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Mac Thread, New To Mac's in Technical; i have used mac's before but have never tried to set them up on a windows network. The college where ...
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    SSFC's Avatar
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    New To Mac's

    i have used mac's before but have never tried to set them up on a windows network. The college where i work is looking to get a few in for the media/art department and would appreciate it if you could let me know the basics of what can be achieved. eg can students logon and access there user account and internet connectionfrom the mac, do i need to get any additional hardware/ software?

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    Domino's Avatar
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    your best bet would be to run a mac server to connect them

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    SSFC's Avatar
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    Does that mean i cannot connect a single mac to our network? when we go for a full suite the best course of action would be to create a mac network with a server, that server is what is used to connect to our windows network?

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSFC View Post
    Does that mean i cannot connect a single mac to our network? when we go for a full suite the best course of action would be to create a mac network with a server, that server is what is used to connect to our windows network?
    For just one or two macs you can use the AD plugin to login and map their windows home drive. You don't get much managment of their settings without an OS X server (managed prefs is os x version of group policy - except its worse).

    For just a few machines you don't need to spend anything.

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    Domino's Avatar
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    you can connect a single mac, but you'll have better control of access, mapping drives ,etc if you go with a server.

    Grumbledook usually says you can run mac osx server on a mac mini for a medium suite, save on the server hardware costs

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    SSFC's Avatar
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    i see, thanks for the input.

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    When I was first put in charge of the art macintosh computers I had no access to the mac server that was in charge of the macs in Performing Arts (there was a dirty (un)civil war between the two support areas), and at that point my main concern was integrating them into the AD. At the time the AD plugin was, to be fair, pants (it's much better now), however the following software was of great help for me and now, I believe includes tools to help you better manage the mac environment without a server. Depending on how many macs you're looking at to start with this may prove cost effective.
    Link here:
    http://www.thursby.com/products/admitmac-eval.html

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    We're getting 8 or 12 Macs for video editing, which apparantly don't need access to our network just the Internet.

    Figured I'd stick them on their own vlan and bypass the Windows network completely just have them on a switch connected to our ASA.

    But then you know how things are, in a few weeks they'll decide they do actually need some network access but we'll see what happens...

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    I was in a similar position to you SSFC late last year. We purchased 16 iMacs to use mainly for animation (at least initially), but did not purchase a server. I had been using a macbook pro for approx a year that I had joined to the AD domain without any problems. However I had not really bothered to try and get the macbook to map drives etc... until we decided to purchase more macs.

    I soon discovered that without a mac server things are a lot more complicated. For example it appears to be impossible to map directly to a shared folder unless it is a top level share on the windows server. So for example if you share a folder called "home" then put more folders into "home" as user home folders such as "home\user01\" you cannot map to the "user01" only "home". It is possible to get around this for the user home folder by not using scripts and going back to the old "Home folder" option in the users AD account in the Profile tab. This puts a folder on the mac dock which points to the folder directly. The only other option would be to make all shared folders top level shares, not something I wanted to do.

    Also as mentioned before there is no ability to restrict the access that the user has other than by making sure any admin options that have a padlock on them have it locked or by removing options from the default user profile such as removing the "Network" option in the finder window so they cannot easily browse the network.

    Printing is also an issue, as I understand it a mac cannot print through a windows print server because it does not send any user info with the print job so the print server will not accept the job ( could be wrong on the detail but it will not work for me unless I setup the printer directly with the mac and not through the windows server).

    Basically you can connect macs to AD for user authentication and simple file sharing and internet access but if you want to do anything else you either need some third party software (like ADmitMac or MacAdministrator) or a mac server. Have a look at http://www.bombich.com/ it is a really useful site, especially if you want to start imaging to speed up setup etc...

    Hope some of this was useful.

    Richard

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    SSFC (10th September 2008)

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