04 February, 2007

Holy Wars: the Innate Superiority of The Mac

Let me just preface this by saying first that I really don't care what type of computer people use as long as it gets the job done. However...

A co-worker uses a Mac. Up until yesterday he also had to use a PC, because while his Mac could run the Microsoft Access application critical to much of our work (provided he was running a virtual Windows machine), it couldn't connect to the Oracle database that sat behind the Access front-end.

So he ran both a PC and a Mac to get around this, until yesterday when he, a tech, and a senior tech spent two hours trying to establish a connection to a database. Eventually it succeeded, but at a conservative estimate the exercise cost somewhere in the vicinity of $200 to $300. That's purely in terms of wages, and doesn't take into account the things they didn't do during that time because they were concentrating on getting one Mac to duplicate the functions of an existing Windows machine.

All good now, though? Well, no, because now he has to get Lotus Notes working properly under the virtual Windows machine, because otherwise he has to deal with the Lotus web interface and its various idiosyncrasies. But at least now he's down to using only one computer (most of the time), and after another couple of hundred dollars in salaries are consumed, he might be able to do everything he wants on his Mac.

By running all the critical systems through a virtual Windows machine.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dude - not for anything - but unless you're living in the 90's - it's not "virtual PC" anymore.

Macs have same the hardware as PC's now.

He COULD run dual boot - so it's a PC when he needs it to be & a Mac when he wants it to be...

OR if you WANT that "virtualization" you install Parallels - which is like VMware - you're partitioning your system, but it's not emulation.

Incidentally, I use a Mac to access Oracle ERP - which is about as complicated as things come from Oracle.

So your cow-orker AND his techs are either incompetent or they're using outdated kit & either way - my blood would boil in your shoes also...

Argh said...

He was running Parallels on one of the first generation of Intel Mac not-laptops and didn't want to do dual boot because a) it's a pain in the neck if you have to keep doing it constantly, and b) he just didn't want to use Windows (running a virtual Windows box under Parallels apparently doesn't count).

It's since turned out, after it stopped working and prompted many more tech-hours of investigation, that at least some of the troubles are being caused by the combination of a local Novell network, Sun back-end, and his Mac not being able to lock on automatically to dynamic network drives. It's the kind of thing that happens when your organisation's infrastructure is built to accomodate 9,500 Wintel machines rather than 500 Macs.

Anonymous said...

It's the kind of thing that happens when your organisation's infrastructure is built to accomodate 9,500 Wintel machines rather than 500 Macs.

Ah, you've got it right there and don't even seem to realize it. The problem isn't inherent inferiority of the Mac, it is poor or no consideration given to non-Windows compatibility in the software or services being used. This isn't the Mac's fault, it is the software or service provider's fault.

Chris said...

The problem isn't inherent inferiority of the Mac, it is poor or no consideration given to non-Windows compatibility in the software or services being used. This isn't the Mac's fault, it is the software or service provider's fault.

what, because they don't write their software to run on/with a mac? if you can't do the job you NEED to do on your current machine, switch to one that can. End of.

Argh said...

Ah, you've got it right there and don't even seem to realize it. The problem isn't inherent inferiority of the Mac, it is poor or no consideration given to non-Windows compatibility in the software or services being used.

Actually, the problem is people who should know better trying to run a piece of equipment that's not compatible with the corporate environment, when said equipment offers no functional or operational advantage over a Windows box. That's the bit that alternately entertains and irritates.