The Adventures of Systems Boy!

Confessions of a Mac SysAdmin...

Not Dead

Hello out there, oh loyal, faithful readers. All three of you.

Just wanted to pop in and say hi. It's been a solid month since I've posted anything, and that's pretty unusual. I've even stopped responding to comments, which is almost unheard of. Unfortunately it's been somewhat out of my control. Both work and life have been insanely busy. I'm not so much making excuses here as posting this so that anyone who might be reading this site knows that:
A) I am not dead (or even injured)
B) I am not planning on discontinuing the blog.

That said, I wanted to just take a moment and explain what's been going on. Our department is getting a face lift. Which is to say that we are completely remodeling our floor. Gut rehab: Power. A/C. Network cabling. Seriously. Everything is being completely redone. It's freaking fantastic. It's also a hell of a lot of work as I'm the one overseeing the entire transition, from a technological standpoint anyway, which, since this is a digital art program, represents a fairly large piece of the pie. So I'm exceptionally busy helping plan the new floor — from actual per-room computer placement, to the power needs and layout of the server room. Much of this is new to me, so I'm being educated quite rapidly and on the fly. And since this is a gut rehab, we'll have to clear off the floor at the end of the semester, so I'm planning that transition as well — from moving staff computers to another floor and setting them up with an ad-hoc LAN, to moving our entire DMZ to said floor along with the requisite internet pipes. It's not easy, and it's very much a concerted effort. Fortunately, everyone here has really pulled together, and we're actually making it happen somehow. And while I'm elated to finally be getting all this done (it's been a long time coming, believe me, and we desperately need it, if for the cabling and power problems alone — don't even get me started on the A/C!) I'm way too overwhelmed to write about any of it intelligently right now. Or much of anything else for that matter.

We have been forging ahead with our various long term projects, however. Most notably, I've started building and testing an authentication server for the external network. So far it's going exceedingly well, and it shouldn't be long before our external network has a single authentication source (hopefully this summer sometime). I've been taking notes, so expect a post sometime when things get back to normal. We've also recently bought and set up a firewall appliance which we're loving. It's now being used to properly host our internal and DMZ networks, and is really making our network management a thousand times easier and more sensible. We'll be using it for limited VPN as well, which will be sweet. Today a friend will be running a demo of Leopard in his class as well. These — along with all the goodies associated with the renovation — are all posts in the pipe. Just as soon as I get some time.

You know — if I may wax reflective for just a second — it's not even so much that I have no time to write. Clearly, I'm able to write this post. The real problem is that writing about technology takes a certain amount of brain power. No, not even brain power. Brain space is maybe more like it. With everything I'm dealing with, I've got plenty to write about, and even some time to write about it. What I'm missing is the time to actually process what I'm experiencing. And before I can write about it, I have to process it. It's not so much that I need time to write as that I need to time to think. And that I just don't have right now.

So that's what's been going on here. This can't all last forever, of course. And I'm sure I'll be posting regularly again soon. Until then, do check back from time to time. I'll try to post small bits of stuff as I can.

Okay then. Back to the trenches. This has been fun.

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2:02 AM

man, you might just be the answer to my prayers if you willing to help me... our organization has recently made a big switch to converting most of its workstations to mac os x, the accounting depart. unfortunately is still using windows and now since the organization is growing so fast and we have limited funds, we had to incorporate linux (ubuntu) workstations... we also purchased 2 xserves and 1 xserve raid...

i'm relatively new to this platform, but since i've switched from windows, i'm not ever going to look back!

i've been reading your "Three Platforms" series and its been awesome but i've got a few questions... the first one being, how did you authenticate your linux boxes to open directory on mac os x server?

i've also read in one of your comments that one can get directly in contact with you if he leaves his email address on the comment...

so my email add is i hope to hear from you soon...

and thanks so much for all your input... take care and glad to know that you weren't raptured or got abducted...

- bagadat    

4:14 AM

Check the Apple Discussions boards, OSX server and cross platform lists, and even the Apple server docs.

Or how about:

I have booted Ubuntu or my PC in a while, so I can't check it out, but I am sure it is possible.    

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