The Lite Side

Subversive User Initiatives

- 2001.11.12

Used to be, Apple could stand up for itself against the Wintel world. Now, not exactly assimilated, Macs have had to adapt to be acceptable in business and in "corporate education," where the network is more important than the individual user. Back in the old days, you could bring your Mac to work and use it just so you could get your work done. Other people would see how productive you were, and gradually you could convert the Unwashed Masses. These days, though, it's not Computationally Correct to bring "nonstandard" equipment into the workplace, and more and more companies are phasing out Macs because it's more efficient (for IT, not for you). What's a Mac user to do?

Consider the following subversive tactics which can make your point clear not only to IT, but to the administration that handles IT's budget.

When the next big virus scare pops up in the news, hang a big sign on your door or cubicle entrance which says, "This workstation has been PC-virus free since 1984."

Send a memo to the director of IT that says from now on, due to requirements of the art department, all correspondence, measurements, bids, and estimates will be conducted in metric units. Buying only one type of ruler will be more cost-efficient.

Every time you help a Wintel user fix their computer, set the home page on Microsoft Explorer to John Droz's "Why Mac" page.

Teach people how easy it is to open a Dell now that they've copied the side opening design from Apple, and point out how easy it would be to remove parts quickly and without special tools. Show the custodial staff, too. And the caterer. And the FedEx guy.

Order your Mac through the office supply budget to bypass the usual IT purchasing restrictions.

Hang a Mac User's Bumper Snicker on your wall. Make copies and leave them in colleague's snail mail boxes.

Ask for a fax line in your office. Since fax lines are almost always not a part of the PBX system, you can use the fax line to connect your Mac directly to the Internet, bypassing the network that refuses to offer AppleTalk services.

Connect a PC monitor and USB keyboard to a Mac CPU under your desk, run OS X, and tell everyone it's XP. You seriously think your boss can tell the difference?

Buy a copy of Connectix Windows 3 for Windows XP, and install it on the budget director's computer just to see IT get really, really confused.

Take an old LocalTalk to ethernet adapter into the IT department, hold it high over your head, and yell, "Nobody move! I've got AppleTalk packets, and I know how to use them!"

Install Timbuktu at home, then do your work remotely from your PC at work using Timbuktu for Windows.

Use Kaleidoscope on OS 9 with a theme designed to look like Windows 98.

Subscribe your boss to the Mac Evangelist newsletter or any newsletter sponsored by Low End Mac.

Forward old Lite Side articles to your colleagues. Just send the URL so we get more hits.

Better yet, subscribe the group email account to the newsletter of your choice. You know, the address that goes to everyone.

If you're leaving the company for whatever reason, once your new job is set, tell everyone you are leaving because you'd rather use a Mac.

If you're involved in interviews, reject applications which show PC-only experience.

Use iCab or another alternative browser with the internal identification set to tell Web sites that it is really Internet Explorer. Send a memo to all Mac users giving instructions on how to do this.

Start a technology underground at your office by stringing your own ethernet cabling under partitions, below the carpet, through the drop tile ceiling, etc., connecting to a router leading to a cable modem installed in the executive boardroom where the TV is plugged into the cable network. Get the modem installed and paid for it with the supplies budget. If everything in your office is IP based, you should be able to access LAN services while being invisible to IT. If not, a PCI ethernet card should give you access to both networks since all Macs have ethernet built in. Or, if your Macs are new enough, do this without wires using AirPort.

Leave your old Macworld and MacAddict magazines in the restroom or the break room.

Whenever you fix a PC user's computer, delete Solitaire.

Hoard discarded parts in an unused storeroom. Be the person people go to when they lose a mouse ball, keyboard key, or need a floppy disk.

Be really good at your job, and you might get away with having a Mac despite IT's best efforts. Like the guy who wears Hawaiian shirts every day instead of just on Fridays, you might be tolerated just because you're needed.

Got any more good subversive tactics to use in the modern era? Drop me a note, and I'll collect them for a future column.

Jeff Adkins is a science teacher who isn't afraid to state his preferences in computing platforms. In his classroom he has everything from a Quadra 700 to a 500 MHz CD/R-CD/RW iMac, and they all work together nicely. He also writes Mac Lab Report for Low End Mac. and maintains a site for astronomy teachers at

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Today's Links

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Custom Search

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac

Low End Mac's store


Open Link