Essays Tagged "MacWEEK"
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Taking Backups out of Users' Hands
Convincing people to back up their hard disks is a universal struggle. Most people make backups irregularly, if at all. And whether or not the backups are labeled or even if they can be used to restore data in the event of a disk crash is usually the responsibility of the individual user.
As companies downsize their computing centers, more critical applications are moving from mainframe computers to networked microcomputers.
The data on these microcomputers can be crucial to the life of the company, and network managers are loathe to leave the important task of backup to chance…
Different Configurations a Problem: Managers Adopting Varied Approaches
It’s rare to find two people who configure their Macintosh the same way. Some users swear by System 7; others won’t touch it. Some machines run QuickTime; others – The Talking Moose.
For those in charge of hundreds of machines, it’s a potential nightmare. “Trying to manage several hundred Macs is, well, [almost] impossible unless you maintain coherency and consistency across them,” said Roy Roper, assistant director for network information technologies at the School of Life Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“We try to create nearly the same look and feel: utilities, software, network resource access across as many Macs as possible,” said Roper, who has defined a standard set of software for every machine. “We have centralized ordering, configuration, delivery and training. We install everything before the user sees the Mac.”…
Does Telecommuting Work? Bosses, Employees Hammer out Terms
San Francisco – When you consider commute hours and the expense of travel, as well as traffic and its accompanying stress and pollution levels, there’s a strong case to be made for telecommuting as beneficial to workers. The advantages for business may be just as compelling.
The Department of Public Works in both San Diego and Los Angeles County reported productivity increases of 34 percent among some telecommuters. Tom Peters devoted an issue of his newsletter On Achieving Excellence to telecommuting. In it he called telecommuting “the ultimate bureaucracy-bashing tool.” He suggested managers seriously consider it because “you can find unexpected labor sources – the handicapped, your own people on sick or maternity leave [who you might otherwise lose], etc. – by allowing them to work at home.”…
Dylan: A New Language Is Blowin' in the Wind
Cupertino, Calif. – Programmers will be able to use a new computer language called Dylan to build applications on the Newton Personal Digital Assistants. While this language incorporates numerous advances from the world of academia, many developers wonder how well it will perform in the real world.
Dylan is an object-oriented dynamic language – one that makes it possible to modify programs, at the source-code level, on the fly. (In fact, the name Dylan is short for dynamic language.) It retains much of the basic syntax of LISP, the language from which it is derived, but it offers far more power, its developers say…
System 7's Security Shortcomings
System 7 and the Mac were designed for ease of use, not security. Networked Macs suffer from many security risks that stand-alone machines don’t and, unlike mainframe systems, there is no central computing machine from which to control access.
AppleTalk is a dynamic “plug-and-play” system – any Mac can plug into an existing network and immediately become part of it. AppleTalk also is a peer-to-peer system – any Mac can access resources on, send files to and exchange messages with any other machine. “Macintosh users are used to having an open platform and freely sharing files,” said Andrew Sneed, computer coordinator at The Analytical Services Corp. (TASC) in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. That openness is not conducive to network security, he added. “They want to be able to get any file on any machine painlessly and effortlessly.”…
Developer Tools Begin to Get LAN Smarts
The advantages of computer-aided software engineering tools running over a LAN can be spectacular, according to users, but such Mac-based tools are rare.
For developers on Macs, sharing programming results and communicating with each other is getting easier. CASE analysis, modeling and prototyping are easier when personal computers can share resources as well as merge results. Even code generation can be sped up through multiprocessing. For the most part, LAN-based CASE tools have been limited to networked DOS environments, but they are starting to migrate to the Mac. Here are four:…
How to Beat the Backup: Phone from Home
If you’re not looking at telecommuting yet, you soon might have to. The 1990 amendments to the Federal Clean Air Act require states to enact strict clean-air policies, and by 1996 all businesses with more than 100 employees at sites classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as “severe” or “extreme” will be required to reduce the number of cars commuting to their locations.
Regulation XV, enforced in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties in California, is the most aggressive air-quality legislation in the world, imposing fines of up to $25,000 a day for violators. In Northern California, the San Francisco Bay area is drafting Rule 13, which promises to be just as stringent…
Is Working Out-of-Site on Your Mind?
Observers are predicting a massive increase in the demand for remote LAN access, fueled by the convergence of several trends. High-speed links have become available through standardized, low-cost modems, making it easier to perform complex computer tasks via a dial-in connection. Portable computers are becoming more powerful. And more companies are downsizing, moving applications to personal computers and making LANs a significant part of their computing system.
“As the LAN becomes a central part of the information infrastructure, access to it becomes more important,” said Dan Schwinn, president of networking vendor Shiva Corp. of Cambridge, Mass…
Bedrock Has Developers Wary; MacApp Community Waits for Answers
Apple Supports Symantec Corp.'s Bedrock Program Development Environment
Cupertino, Calif.—The Mac developer community has been bubbling with speculations, questions and, in some cases, fear since Apple last month gave its blessing to Symantec Corp.’s Bedrock cross-platform development framework.
Not surprisingly, developers who have followed Apple’s often-repeated advice and adopted its current application framework, MacApp, have the most questions.
“There is a lot of concern” among MacApp developers, said Jeff Alger, a Palo Alto, Calif., consultant and former chairman of the MacApp Developers Association (now MADA). “Apple is being secretive about Bedrock in ways that they haven’t been [with MacApp].”…
Keeping Viruses Off Net a Battle
Macs sitting alone on desert islands don’t catch viruses. Even Macs whose users frequently trade disks with each other can be protected easily. With Macs on large networks, however, virus prevention can be a lot more complicated.
“If you have a published volume on your hard disk, someone can drop a virus on your machine without your knowledge,” said Jeffrey Shulman, author of Virus Detective and Virus Blockade and president of Shulman Software Co. of Morgentown, W.Va.
Shared disk space, on servers and local disks using System 7’s file sharing, are an often unprotected means through which viruses can spread…
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.