in Personal

My MacBook In A Microsoft Forest

Innovation should make your life easier, but, as we will see this sometimes does not happen.

A few days ago my office WindowsXP laptop started to show some fancy white line oc the lcd display clearly indicating that it was going to break in days. I made a quick call to our IT guys and managed to get the promise that the pc would be replaced as soon as new PCs were arrived.

In the meantime I decided to give my MacBook a try in our office environment.

We live in an Active Directory domain with an ISA server managing internet connection with the rest of the world.

Followin the tale of the integration:

  • Using standard Active Domain support on Mac OS X I was able to join the domain.
  • For some reason I have not been able to determine our printers do not sit on the Active Domain but on another couple of servers that are on a Windows Workgroup. Fine, I joined the Windows Workgroup domain too. Unfortunately I was not able to print anything.
  • After a few investigations I discovered the AdmitMac software and after five minutes of testing I fired the 119,00 USD order to these smart guys. In ten minutes I joined both domains and was able to happily print from my mac. I strongly suggest this piece of software. It works and it’s really reliable. Highly reccomended.
  • Next Step. Microsoft Office for Mac. Installed in fifteen minutes and configured Entourage in less than a minute. Loved it. Unfortunately our IT guys do not disclose the IP address of our LDAP server. Fire up ethereal and chase the ip address of the LDAP server. Another five minutes. Once I found the correct address the Address Book lookup worked as a charm.
  • I had no problem using Firefox with our ISA proxy server since it do support NTLM authentication. The only annoying thing is that you need to type your credentials after you have fired it.
  • The last thing was MSN Messenger for Mac. That was tough… we have that bloody ISA server that requires NTLM authentication. I tested pretty much everything and I ended up using ntlmaps. It worked for a day or so and then stopped working. I do not really know what’s wrong but at the end of the day I decided to fire up Parallels and run MSN Live Messenger from there. If some of you have found some smarter solution please drop me a line.

I can say it was not painful but the only thing I have to notice is that if you are not a computer literate you will not go through all of the hurdles.

Why do I blog this? Does technology has to be user friendly?