View Full Version : They-come-to-you Mac Assistance?

12th September 2005, 02:43 PM
Hi all,

I work in Sydney at a company in which everyone uses PCs.

I'd like to use my PowerBook instead of the PC I've been given. All I want to do is get it onto the network, connect to printers, the Outlook server for email, shared drives, internet access, VPN maybe, etc...

However I'm told our network admin and tech guru is not too happy to try and get my Apple onto the network.

I have no idea what I'm doing, so is there a company that does Mac-related consulting like this? I mean it would only take someone who knows what they're doing an hour or so to get everything running, and I'd gladly pay for it...

Any thoughts/experience with computing consultants OK with Mac/Windows integration?


12th September 2005, 02:55 PM
Originally posted by Kuwashima@Sep 12 2005, 02:13 PM
However I'm told our network admin and tech guru is not too happy to try and get my Apple onto the network.
He should be fired.

There are quite a few people on these forums who could probably lend a hand and are in your area. I'm sure they'll post here.

12th September 2005, 03:17 PM

I use a Mac in an otherwise Windoze-only office, luckily the director in our head office is a Mac fan, so when I timidly suggested I use a Mac he wholeheartedly agreed :)

For getting on your network, your admin guy should know whether you use a DHCP server, the DNS server, and all those settings off by heart. Just open the System Preferences, click on Network, and make sure you're in the settings for 'Built In Ethernet' (or 'AirPort', if you're on wireless). He should recognise all the settings there and be able to enter them in.

For printers, just go and make a note of the make and model of the printer(s). Then go to the manufacturer's web site (assuming your network has been set up!) and download the latest Mac drivers. Install them. Then open Printer Setup Utility in Applications -> Utilities, and add each printer. You can do it by typing int he IP address if it doesn't automatically detect them. The process is fairly straightforward.

For shared drives, all you'll need is the IP address, and a user name and password. Your admin guy can set you up with the latter if you need one, otherwise just get the IP address and log in as guest. command+k will let you type in the IP address of the server you're connecting to, or you might be able to browse to it from the left-hand pane of a Finder window, under 'Network'.

If you need to tunnel in to a company VPN, you'll need a VPN client. Mac OS X has one built-in but from what I understand it's not easy to configure (may have changed since 10.4 - someone correct me if I'm wrong here). Equinux (http://www.equinux.com/) has a VPN client for Mac called VPN Tracker, it works with most commercial hardware firewalls.

As for Outlook, not so sure with that one. Anyone else have experience here?

EDIT: Oh, and Disko is right - if you're admin guy can set up Windows computers for the network and printing, he should be able to set up a Mac! Maybe try a little reverse psychology. Hint at the fact that as Macs are easier, you assumed he'd be able to do it... :)

DVD Plaza
12th September 2005, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by Kuwashima@Sep 12 2005, 02:43 PM
I have no idea what I'm doing, so is there a company that does Mac-related consulting like this?
Unless you have management approval to violate IT policy what the hell you doing even contemplating hooking up unauthorised equipment to the network, let alone hiring an unauthorised person to come and start tampering with access... you'll be facing dismissal in most organisations for such actions.

If you have been given permission, or are in a small business who doesn't really care and don't have an IT department responsible for anything IT, then it'd be a mere 5 minutes work to set it up. Just need a username, password, and domain name... printing will be a sinch, OSX will pick all your network printers up, and shares you need merely point at the server and the list of shares will appear for your selection (after which you need to enter your domain credentials). Exchange server will be a problem, as Exchange support is pathetic in Entourage it merely uses the OWA component to do it. Internet should be transparent, at most you'll need to configure a proxy. VPN is pretty easy to setup in OSX now, unless your VPN isn't compatible in which case there are a few freeware VPN utilities you can use instead.

This is, of course, assuming your IT department doesn't have half a brain or you don't even have an IT department - otherwise all your network resources should deny access to unauthorised devices.

12th September 2005, 03:51 PM
While I admit it does sound like the admin is being "anti-mac" for the sake of being "anti-mac", there are legitimate reasons for not allowing personal computers on a company's LAN (be they PC, Mac, or otherwise). It's one of the easiest ways to introduce viruses onto a network (sure, not in the Mac's case), and it means there's a part of the network over which the admin has no control.

Does he allow users to bring their own PC notebooks into work, and use them on the network? If not - give up. He has a reason.

- Febs.

12th September 2005, 03:53 PM
Symean's answer was pretty thourough, however if the network uses Active Directory there could be some problems if the Admin has set very strict security. Panther & Tiger do have the ability to connect but usualy require the Admin to lower the security levels. A lot refuse because of the increased risk to other users on the network.

AdmitMac by Thursby Softwware is a commercial product but it allows a Mac to join Active Directory networks without changing security levels. It comes with a few utilities that also aid in accessing network printers etc via the Browse Network Panel rather than having to find out their IP's.

Try Symean's answer first but if it doesn't work AdmitMac could be the answer. ;)

12th September 2005, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by Disko@Sep 12 2005, 02:55 PM
He should be fired.

There are quite a few people on these forums who could probably lend a hand and are in your area. I'm sure they'll post here.
Correction: Fire them, hire me :)

Seriously though. The issues are plentiful, as everyone has suggested, there are lots of reasons. Unfortunate, but true.


19th September 2005, 08:53 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone! Very helpful (and, btw, I do have management approval if I can make it work!)

One question... once you connect to a shared drive, is there any way of synch-ing that drive, or more to the point, specific folders inside that drive so that you have offline access to the files? (And then re-syncs when you reconnect to the drive.)

The Outlook/Exchange server issue seems to be annoying. I found something called GroupCal which looks awesome in giving me iCal access to shared Outlook calendars - but it doesn't work with Tiger! Growl!

Thanks again muchly...