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smittyinva 02-03-2005 07:53 AM

Virtual PC and VPN Questions

This is my first post and I am hoping that you folks can help me with my dilemma. Recently, I took a job at a company and they require that I provide my own notebook. I will only need to run one Windows application on it and I am convinced that it will run fine, as it is a typical business application and nothing fancy. I have never owned a Mac yet I think I would prefer it based upon using a friend's machine. Last night I ordered a PowerBook G4.

I contacted the company's Network Administrator and he freaked out and said "We cannot have any Macintosh PCs on our network." I called him to discuss this further and he said that he would have to "redesign the network topology [sic] and schema" because Macs are "incompatible" with the network. I pressed further and I believe that he is a typical Windows Admin who is prejudiced against that which he does not understand. The office uses a Windows server and Exchange server and since I will be working from home, I will need to use a VPN. He believes that I will have no ability to access shared drives or the Exchange server. He said that in order to make the Mac "compatible", I would need to connect to a desktop at the office and use Remote Desktop.

It is my understanding that Virtual PC will emulate the physical PC that he wants to set up and I should have no issues with VPN as long as he provides me a login and password with appropriate permissions. Am I correct, or did I just buy a $3000 desk accessory?


MactotheMax 02-03-2005 08:09 AM

There will be more expertise to chime in on this. But, I have been reading about this and I believe that you will have no problems connecting at all. As far as VPC is concerned, I have found Windows 2000 to run perfectly on my iBook. (It runs about as fast as a machine built in 2000 w/ windows 2000 on it) You should have no problems at all with your Powerbook.

Actually, I believe that I read somewhere that the new OS X would run fine on exchange servers. I believe Entourage has that capability built right in.

Hope this helps.

Mr Bobbins 02-03-2005 10:59 AM

Yes, OSX should have no problems running on a windows network. The network man is probably thinking that Macs still run in classic mode and hasn't heard or doesn't know anything about OSX.But then I'm no expert on the matter.

smittyinva 02-03-2005 01:48 PM

Thank you for the responses. I just found out that this guy made our California office give up thier Macs and buy Dell replacements because he claimed they are incompatible with "the network."

Mr Bobbins 02-03-2005 02:56 PM

What a horrible man !! Thats just evil.

cadsmn 02-03-2005 10:48 PM

Are you sure you want to go to work for a company that has such narrow minded IT people? To me it sounds like the guy is just lazy and ignorant. I have had no problems getting my PB to talk to the Windows & Novell network at my job at work or from home. Congratulations on the purchase you will be very happy with your PB.

smittyinva 02-04-2005 07:47 AM


Originally Posted by cadsmn
Are you sure you want to go to work for a company that has such narrow minded IT people? To me it sounds like the guy is just lazy and ignorant. I have had no problems getting my PB to talk to the Windows & Novell network at my job at work or from home. Congratulations on the purchase you will be very happy with your PB.

I am sure that I want to work there. It is a part-time job and I get to set my own hours. Everybody seems cool except him. He is definitely lazy and ignorant. During further discussions, he said that they are running PPTP through a Windows client using a Watchguard termination device. I sent him a link to this:

His response was:

"Yes, I have seen this before. We may get lucky, but again it is highly unlikely that [company name omitted] will be willing to front the costs for the experiment with a mac, it will get time consuming as it always does when we try to integrate something new. I will do my best to work with what you give me."

So at least he is willing to try, but unwilling to expand his knowledge base. If I were he, I would look at this as an opportunity to add something to my credentials rather that view it as a pain in the as.

rman 02-04-2005 11:54 AM

The problem is that window systems take more work to maintain. Look at most IT department you have more windows personnal than any other. He is just looking at job security. If more people in the company were to use Apple products, he would have less to do.

i2oadi2unnei2 02-05-2005 04:23 AM

It sounds like your Network Administrator seems to lack a bit of experience with Macs. I have to agree with everyone that posted above, and it's sad that your Network Admin is a bit narrow minded and then some... :rolleyes:

I'm the only person in our IT department that has a Mac. I can logon to our domain, share files, use any network printers, etc. We use Cisco PIX (firewall) to VPN into our network and all goes well, so yeah, Mac's can coexist in widoze enviroment/domain.

If your Network Admin tells you "no" you can't use a Mac on the network is either because 1. He won't tell his superior he's incompetent about Mac's and tells them some BS reasons why not to have Mac's on the network 2. "maybe" he did some research and realize it may incur too much expense to allow just one user to use their Mac or 3. He just a __________ (you fill in the blanks).

I've installed Virtual PC on my Mac and I wasn't too impressed and among other things. I VPN into our network from home and while I'm on the road a lot and I use Remote Desktop to control one of my workstations. I have one XP and one Win2k, however RD works only on Windows that has Terminal Services installed and running which most Windows Servers has and WinXP. Whenever I VPN in, I'm usually on a fast connection (dsl, cable, etc.), so Remote Desktop is much faster then VPC (this could be a debate to some) in my opinion.

If your Network Admin won't allow you to use your Mac, just tell him to give you VPN access & a network logon. Then you go home, install VPC & Windows and viola, you're all set and don't tell him what you did. When the time is right, break out your Mac show off your new toy and let him see what it can do <grin>.

Oh by the way, I'm a Mac virgin <grin>. I bought my PB a month ago and I love it to death. I could count the ways but I'm sure you don't want to hear it =) Unfortunately, as most companies out there, there's nothing but Windows OS on their desktops. I have 2 workstations at my desk and I don't bring my PB to work, just mostly at home and when I'm on the road. Good luck with your Network Admin and I'd love you to follow up and tell us what was the outcome! :)

ed724 02-24-2005 12:11 AM

Anyone know how to VPN into a windows network using the VPN client built into OSx instead of using VPC?


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