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Windows at work but I don't want it!

1307 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Jun 21, 2007 1:50 PM by motoki1 RSS
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Suzanne Perkins1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Jun 12, 2007 5:31 PM
I have windows at work (not my choice). I would love to just use my laptop or have my desktop just show up on that damned PC at work. i have just plugged the monitor and key board in to my laptop, which is simple enough but a bit of a pain. I put important files on .mac so that I could access them at work but that isn't all that easy as I have to log in, etc. I want to use ical too. Does anyone have simple suggestions for just being a mac person stuck against her will on a PC.
Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • mecklists Level 4 Level 4 (1,795 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 12, 2007 6:51 PM (in response to Suzanne Perkins1)
    Hi Suzanne!

    I don't know your work environment nor do I know the politics you're facing there. Coming myself from a corporate environment I'll simply say, "Just accept Windows."

    Mixing personal accounts such as .Mac with company documents isn't smart. If these are customer or financial files I'd certainly not put them on servers not maintained nor endorsed by my company. What if they disappear for some reason (either Apple has a problem, you delete them accidentally or you just don't know what happened) and you need to get them back? Who's responsible for your backups? Not Apple.

    If your Mac dies or you lose data while using it then who's in trouble? You, the rogue Mac user. And anti-Mac stalwarts will gladly use that as ammunition to have your hide.

    If Windows is your company's standard and you have no compelling reason not to use it other than "I don't like it" then just accept it. You'll be supported and you won't be scrutinized.

    Hope this helps! bill

    1 GHz Powerbook G4   Mac OS X (10.4.9)  
  • David Livesay Calculating status...
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    Jun 14, 2007 6:08 PM (in response to mecklists)
    Bad advice there, Bill. The only companies I've worked for, either as an employee or a consultant, that wouldn't allow me to use Macs turned out to be horrible companies. I've come to see allowing people to choose their own tools--be they operating systems or any other software--as a kind of litmus test to determine whether I want to work for them.

    Being "corporate" isn't an excuse for bad business practices. By choosing your operating system for you, they're basically saying, "we want to hold you accountable for results, but we're going to manage your methods," and we both know that's just not reasonable.

    Think about it. If you're going to hire a contractor to work on your house, are you going to tell him what tools to use? Are you going to go out and look through his toolbox before you hire him, or would it make more sense to see some examples of the work he's done?

    I honestly don't know why so many companies let their IT personnel dictate terms of employment of accomplished professionals who make more money than they do. I have a Ph.D., tons of experience, and and a record of solid accomplishments. I'll be damned if I'll let some Microsoft-trained wonk with a GED tell me how to do my job.

    Of all the arguments I've ever heard for using Windows, your "you won't be scrutinized" has to be the lamest. I guess if your idea of work is sitting in a cubicle avoiding attention then that might work for you, but some of us actually seek out scrutiny, attention and recognition. If your work can't withstand scrutiny, you have to ask yourself if your job matters.
    PowerBook G4 1.5 GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.9), 1.5 GB RAM, 100 GB HD
  • David Livesay Level 4 Level 4 (2,290 points)
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    Jun 14, 2007 6:23 PM (in response to Suzanne Perkins1)
    Suzanne,

    Yes, that is kind of a broad question.

    If you just need to transfer files, pick up a thumb drive. If you have a lot of files that you work on on both machines, get a big thumb drive and some synching software to synchronize with it on both platforms.

    I used to have a Sony DataVault that came with a Windows-compatible synching program that would launch automatically when you plugged it in and synch any folders you told it to when you configured it. I used SilverKeeper on the Mac side. I already had it because I have a big Lacie hard drive I use to back up my Mac at home.

    So you could synch "My Documents" with it on the Windows side and your "Documents" folder on the Mac.

    The beauty of this is that all your important documents will always be backed up. You'll have a copy on the Mac, the PC and the thumb drive. If either machine dies or you lose the thumb drive, it's just a minor inconvenience, not a total disaster. It's pretty unlikely that all three things will happen at the same time.

    If this doesn't address your specific problems, let me know and I'll take another crack at it.
    PowerBook G4 1.5 GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.9), 1.5 GB RAM, 100 GB HD
  • mecklists Level 4 Level 4 (1,795 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2007 8:19 PM (in response to David Livesay)
    Hi David!

    Bad advice there, Bill. The only companies I've
    worked for, either as an employee or a consultant,
    that wouldn't allow me to use Macs turned out to be
    horrible companies. I've come to see allowing people
    to choose their own tools--be they operating systems
    or any other software--as a kind of litmus test to
    determine whether I want to work for them.


    Your reasoning fails to meet scalability and my answer, as I prefaced, comes from a corporate point of view. No large company can possibly support every platform and every piece of software. I come from a production background with multiple companies where we had to turn around jobs in a matter of a few hours. If everyone in production had different tools then only certain people would ever be able to work on those jobs. If those tools are unavailable due to the operator being gone or working on a different job then that job waits. Not efficient.

    Being "corporate" isn't an excuse for bad business
    practices. By choosing your operating system for you,
    they're basically saying, "we want to hold you
    accountable for results, but we're going to manage
    your methods," and we both know that's just not
    reasonable.


    Standardization is not bad business and it's reasonable. It allowed Eli Whitney to produce muskets that a battlefield solder (not a skilled gunsmith) could repair himself. It allowed Ford to produce the Model T. And it allows people who have to work together to share documents without the burden of error dialogs and messages that some files can't be opened.

    Think about it. If you're going to hire a contractor
    to work on your house, are you going to tell him what
    tools to use? Are you going to go out and look
    through his toolbox before you hire him, or would it
    make more sense to see some examples of the work he's
    done?


    A contractor is different from an employee. The contractor is expected to bring his own tools. However, if I hire a contractor to automate a computer process in my company, I'm certainly going to make sure he's developing in VBA, AppleScript or whatever platform I'm using so that the finished product is compatible with my systems. So, yes, I'll be looking at his toolbox in this case.

    I honestly don't know why so many companies let their
    IT personnel dictate terms of employment of
    accomplished professionals who make more money than
    they do. I have a Ph.D., tons of experience, and and
    a record of solid accomplishments. I'll be damned if
    I'll let some Microsoft-trained wonk with a GED tell
    me how to do my job.


    In every company that I've worked for the business unit, not IT and not each individual employee, decides the tools.

    Your accomplishments sound impressive. That's all I have to say about that.

    Of all the arguments I've ever heard for using
    Windows, your "you won't be scrutinized" has to be
    the lamest. I guess if your idea of work is sitting
    in a cubicle avoiding attention then that might work
    for you, but some of us actually seek out scrutiny,
    attention and recognition. If your work can't
    withstand scrutiny, you have to ask yourself if your
    job matters.


    If the OP had been in the opposite predicament—wanting to use Windows in an all Mac environment—I would have said "Just accept the Mac OS."

    People work for companies for different reasons. I believe I clearly made the point that I don't know Suzanne's work environment or the politics there and my perspective for what I said. You're trying to make an argument out of something where no common ground was first established.

    bill

    1 GHz Powerbook G4   Mac OS X (10.4.9)  
  • scutter Calculating status...
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    Jun 14, 2007 8:37 PM (in response to David Livesay)
    From David... "Bad advice there, Bill."

    Huh? I disagree with your comments here. I think Bill was right to question Suzanne on her work environment without knowing more about her specific situation. In fact, many of the corporate entities I have worked for would make the act that Suzanne is attempting a reason for termination (yes, lame...but true nonetheless).

    I am a creative director who has worked for several Fortune 100 companies and my experience has taught me that no corporate entity out there is going to let renegades on their network. I've been in many situations where I've had to gingerly and patiently work at high levels in IT to help them understand why my team uses and prefers Macs. There are very good business reasons for creative professionals to have them...not necessarily ones that will be accepted for those in HR or accounting.

    I think your analogy about contractors is hilarious. In my department, we only hire contractors who work on Macs and specifically in InDesign (over Quark). If they don't, we aren't interested. Like many corporate departments, we are tight on resources but large on work. The only way we can stay afloat is to make these requirements to reduce variance in software, systems, knowledge, etc. That's just life in corporate America. I hope you never have to spend much time there.

    But I do agree with you totally that any company that doesn't support Macs is a sad place to be. I just make sure I find that out in the interview before I take the job...not after.

    MacBook, iBook G4, PowerMac G4, PowerMac G5 Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • scutter Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2007 9:00 PM (in response to Suzanne Perkins1)
    Hi Suzanne;

    My first job was at a state university, so I feel for the red tape you have to go through. One of the few saving graces is that I found academic IT departments very knowledgeable when it comes to Macs as they usually have several student labs on campus that they manage.

    Based on the info you provided, I'd suggest you go to your IT department and ask them for help based on your setup. I'm not entirely sure that you can just hop on the network on campus and connect to servers from your Mac. I know that many server setups require authentications and to know that your computer is allowed to access the server tree. For instance, at my work I can see the servers, but I can't access any of the data on the servers until I log in (which was set up by IT).

    Talk to IT first. I'm sure they've had to help many people in similar situations and can get you on your way.

    If for some reason they won't help, but don't mind if you try on your own...here is a link to Apple's basic migration page. http://www.apple.com/support/switch101/migrate/

    Here is also a link to a software product that transfers data from a PC to a Mac. http://www.detto.com/mac-file-transfer.html

    I've never used this, but it seems fairly hassle-free. It seems to be meant for one-time use...not for on-going transfers. See the other post by David for some ideas on continual transfers from machine to machine.

    Feel free to ask more specific questions. There isn't one right answer necessarily...it just depends on what exactly you are willing to do and how much transferring you expect to do.

    MacBook, iBook G4, PowerMac G4, PowerMac G5   Mac OS X (10.4.9)  
  • David Livesay Level 4 Level 4 (2,290 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 15, 2007 3:31 AM (in response to mecklists)
    Bill,

    Of course file format compatibility is a requirement of collaboration. That doesn't require using the same software. Standardization is an issue for the people who develop the tools, not those who use them.

    I'm curious about your claim that large corporations can't support multiple platforms and tools. Setting aside for the moment the issue of whether people require more or less support when they are forced to use tools with which they are unfamiliar, isn't one of the advantages of being large that it allows for diversity? And isn't diversity a good thing?

    I really enjoy being the one whose computer iss immune to all the viruses that my coworkers live in fear of. I enjoy being the one who can turn around labor-intensive tasks quickly because my applications can be easily automated to perform repetitive tasks without human intervention. I'm not saying Windows might not have some advantages for people who are experienced with it, but the problem is that if everybody uses the same tools, everybody has exactly the same capabilities--and exactly the same limitations! Diversity is good! Smart companies know this.
    PowerBook G4 1.5 GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.9), 1.5 GB RAM, 100 GB HD
  • David Livesay Level 4 Level 4 (2,290 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 15, 2007 3:35 AM (in response to scutter)
    I've spent lots of time in corporations. The companies I've worked for recently are all doing very well. They might be your competitors; that's probably part of the reason you are so "tight on resources."
    PowerBook G4 1.5 GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.3), 1.5 GB RAM, 100 GB HD
  • mecklists Level 4 Level 4 (1,795 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 15, 2007 12:21 PM (in response to David Livesay)
    Hi David!

    Bill,

    Of course file format compatibility is a requirement
    of collaboration. That doesn't require using the same
    software. Standardization is an issue for the people
    who develop the tools, not those who use them.


    But file format compatibility in many cases does mean using the same tools. Let's take page layout applications as an example. If I allowed one person to do layout with InDesign, another to use QuarkXPress and a third to use Publisher then I have three people who can't collaborate. If we reduce the toolset to both InDesign and QuarkXPress because they are made for both platforms and that their file formats are suppose to be compatible then we may still run into font problems. At this point it's just more efficient to use the same tools. Standardization then does become an issue for those who use the tools.

    I'm curious about your claim that large corporations
    can't support multiple platforms and tools. Setting
    aside for the moment the issue of whether people
    require more or less support when they are forced to
    use tools with which they are unfamiliar, isn't one
    of the advantages of being large that it allows for
    diversity? And isn't diversity a good thing?


    I never said "can't support multiple platforms and tools". I said, "No large company can possibly support every platform and every piece of software."

    If you're going to give the aside "forced to use tools with which they are unfamiliar" then I'm going to have to ask why is a company hiring someone who can't use the tools already in place?

    Yes, diversity can be a good thing but it's not good for all things. Apart from that you seem to have the impression that I'm saying one platform is better than the other or maybe that I think a company should have just one platform. I've never said that.

    I really enjoy being the one whose computer iss
    immune to all the viruses that my coworkers live in
    fear of. I enjoy being the one who can turn around
    labor-intensive tasks quickly because my applications
    can be easily automated to perform repetitive tasks
    without human intervention. I'm not saying Windows
    might not have some advantages for people who are
    experienced with it, but the problem is that if
    everybody uses the same tools, everybody has exactly
    the same capabilities--and exactly the same
    limitations! Diversity is good! Smart companies know
    this.


    I'm glad you enjoy what you enjoy.

    I don't care to discuss the pros and cons of diversity because that isn't the issue that Suzanne raised. She's trying to fit in with her organization but she wants to do it on her own terms. That's not always possible nor is it always realistic. My suggestion to her was simply accept the scenario and work with it rather than working against it.

    bill

    1 GHz Powerbook G4   Mac OS X (10.4.9)  
  • David Livesay Level 4 Level 4 (2,290 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 15, 2007 12:37 PM (in response to mecklists)
    And I don't agree with your suggestion. Can you deal with that? There is more than one way of looking at this, and I don't think "go with the flow" and "don't make waves" are always the best course, especially in an academic setting.
    PowerBook G4 1.5 GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.9), 1.5 GB RAM, 100 GB HD
  • scutter Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 15, 2007 5:49 PM (in response to David Livesay)
    *comment deleted* see below.
    MacBook, iBook G4, PowerMac G4, PowerMac G5, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • scutter Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 15, 2007 5:53 PM (in response to David Livesay)
    What concerns me most David is that it's obvious you don't understand these basic concepts that both Bill and I have brought up (or are being contrary just to be contrary). This makes it painfully obvious you don't have the experience you claim you do...and yet, here you are giving out advice to people that can put them in jeopardy with their companies.

    Sad...plain sad.
    MacBook, iBook G4, PowerMac G4, PowerMac G5, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • David Livesay Level 4 Level 4 (2,290 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 16, 2007 4:01 AM (in response to scutter)
    What concepts don't I understand?

    I'll tell you one thing I don't understand. I don't understand why you say you will only hire people who use Macs and InDesign when InDesign is available for both platforms. I mean, it's bad enough to be locked into a single tool, but a single tool on a single platform? Why??? Remember the pain you had to go through when you changed from Quark to InDesign and all your AppleScripts had to be trashed and your workflows had to be redesigned almost from scratch? Pretty traumatic, wasn't it? That's because when you get too specialized, change becomes nearly impossible. There are probably still a lot of print shops out there who are still running Quark 5 workflows on OS 9 and slowly dying because their margins are too thin to do all the work necessary to transition to OS X.

    I also don't get your concern about "jeopardy with their companies." If they aren't happy, aren't their companies already in jeopardy of losing them? We're not in 2002 anymore. The job market still hasn't returned to the way it was in the 90s, but I get very attractive job postings from recruiters several times a week now. There's just no excuse for counseling people to settle for a work situation they're not completely happy with. If you can't negotiate a better situation where you are, get those resumes flying! You deserve to be happy. Your company deserves a chance to hear your concerns and accommodate them if they choose to, but you don't owe them your continued dissatisfaction.

    You and Bill sound like a couple of guys skating towards retirement. Very sad.
    PowerBook G4 1.5 GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.9), 1.5 GB RAM, 100 GB HD
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