The MAC OSX and Freedom of Choice

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I read an article this past weekend which refers to Steve Jobs as some kind of dictator. The author out of all things is trying to or actually intends to switch to Ubuntu/Linux. The author of this article is basing his decision on not having freedom of choice. I believe that if you run a business and you use your computer(s) to keep that business running then you should always have the freedom and choice to move to a different platform. However in this case I believe that the author of the article may not be doing it for the right reasons.

He claims that Apple is putting restrictions on his operating system and that Steve Jobs most likely will not continue to develop the MAC OSX any further or that at some point it will become stagnant. He also credits Microsoft for having a great OS in Windows 7 but also says that this OS is also too restrictive; And that all of Apple’s development will most likely go into the iPad/iPhone.

I feel that most users don’t care about freedom when it comes to a computer or software; to them they see it as a dishwasher or a refrigerator. If your not a geeky techie type then you really would not care about this and actually pay as much as you can for a piece of hardware/software regardless of what freedoms it may or may not offer you. Well if you are a business owner you should really pay more attention to this kind of freedom and stop looking at your computer as some piece of appliance equipment because it actually holds valuable information and it is an extension of you, yes an extension. Most PC user keep tons of personal information in it such as pictures, music, movies, documents etc… So what happens if and when you do decide to switch to a different operating system such as Windows or Ubuntu/Linux? Well on the MAC I think is fairly easy to move as it does not seem to have too many restrictions like on a Windows platform. Although anything like movies you’ve downloaded or anything that you have not created yourself maybe a bit hard to transfer over due to DRM (Digital Rights Management – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_management / http://www.defectivebydesign.org/what_is_drm) restrictions.

The MAC OSX is actually a great operating system. The only issue is that is extremely expensive although some might argue that you are actually paying for quality which I tend to agree to a point. As far as freedom goes you have the freedom to do what you like with your own personal stuff that resides in that computer but like Microsoft you don’t really own the OS, you are merely renting it since you can’t make any modifications or anything like that and that is fine because most users don’t care(although they should).

So I wonder why is this particular author complaining about the MAC OSX since he knew from the start that the OS had its terms of agreement and he agreed to it when he purchased his MAC book pro.

Steve Jobs will not make the OS stagnant specially since the MAC is gaining so much market share and most Windows users seem to be switching over. I will also point out that they are not just moving to the MAC OS but also towards Linux(mainly Ubuntu). If you have no issues with renting an OS and not being able to tweak it as much as you like then the MAC OSX gives you freedom enough to the point were you can move your personal stuff in and out of it as long as you play within Apple’s rules and the same goes for Windows (DRM anyone).

The one thing the author was 100% correct was that at some point you will eventually be totally locked in on either platform(MAC OSX or Windows) and also claims this is the reason why he is moving to Linux, I will closely follow his progress and see how it goes.

But again if you don’t care about your OS freedom the MAC OSX is a damn good system.

Article: http://www.salon.com/technology/dan_gillmor/2010/06/20/from_mac_to_linux/index.html

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Windows 7 and Network Failure

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Long gone are the days of simple network setups and how much we miss them. Recently we had a client whom network setup went completely kaput after a Windows update. For some unknown reason the client’s network went completely haywire. The users within their office can no longer map any specific hard drives which are shared on the network nor see any computers/workstation which are part of Active Directory.

The setup for this network is very straight forward. The client is using Windows Server 2003 64-bit Enterprise edition with Active Directory/DHCP enabled.

Until now all their workstations were running Windows XP Professional with SP3 and they had asked us to upgrade all of these workstations to Windows 7 64bit Professional. So over this past holiday(Memorial Day 2010) weekend something went extremely wrong with their network setup. When employees got back to the office on Tuesday they could no longer see anything on their network, no printers, no servers, no shared directories and no workstations within the network.

So we were totally confused as to why this would happen. While investigating this particular situation we came across two workstation one which was still running Windows XP and another running Ubuntu 10.04. For some strange reason both of these PCs were still able to see everything and everyone within the network.

In our findings we discovered that Windows 7 somehow on its own changed from a Domain to a Work Group which is usually setup to network PCs whom are not part of a Domain, but why would Windows do such a thing. There should be no specific reason why this should change on its own unless an administrator switches the PCs manually.

After manually reconfiguring all the workstations to be part of the Domain again Windows 7 still cannot see any workstations, printers, shared directories or servers within the network. But the strange part about it is that they can access(and by access we mean just that not actually seeing it on the screen) things which were already mapped such as shared directories and drives. But any attempt to actually map or do a network search for a new drive or share directory does not work yet the workstations are now clearly part of the network Domain again because when we view the full network map on each workstation is shows that it is part of the domain. It goes to show that no matter how many pretty features you have on an Windows 7 or on any OS for that matter if you have a flawed system of performing updates and not taking into account the type of environments businesses might be using these updates will always create some kind of damage and failure.

I just hope for our clients sake that Microsoft did not pull one of their age old tricks and created a mess to make existing Windows 2003 server users upgrade to Windows Server 2008. That would really hurt our clients bottom line and this new version is not cheap.

But on a lighter note the users do like the Windows 7 Task bar.

If anyone has run in to a similar issue please let us know we would like to hear your situation.