The Practical Mac

The Rest of the Story

More on Backup, IT Jobs, Wireless Printing, and Macworld Predictions

- 2002.11.12 - Tip Jar

Sometimes a writer has difficulty formulating a story of the length required in the timeframe mandated. Sometimes one has nothing to say, and at other times, too much. Today is one of those times for me (although I am not certain exactly which one).

I decided that it would be a good week to revisit some past articles and give clarifications, additions, and updates. I would call this, "Miscellaneous Ramblings," but that name is already taken. Instead, I will refer to it as, "Various and Sundry Ramblings."

This is the journalistic equivalent to a corporation restating its earnings. For example, I might write, "What we meant to say was do not place your iBook under running water. We regret any inconvenience the omission of the word 'not' in the original article may have caused," in much the same manner as a corporation's accounting department might write, "When we released our original earnings statement, we had not yet received our power bills for the last 12 years. Since we now know that we owe PG&E $25 million, we are revising our earnings statement to reflect the fact that, instead of posting a $3 million profit, we are now in fact bankrupt. We apologize for any inconvenience to our shareholders."

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Backup Solutions

In this article, my intent was to focus on possible solutions that readers might not have thought of. That is the main reason I did not discuss CD-R/RW and DVD-R. These are excellent backup methods, especially DVD - if you can afford it! In fact, I use CD-R regularly as part of my backup routine. It is more difficult to automate these methods, as opposed to a tape, for instance. The tradeoff is that the media, especially CD-R's, is dirt cheap and very reliable.

IT Job Articles

A point that I did not really address in these articles is that there are basically two philosophies of hiring. One, in which HR does most everything - maybe giving the manager a little input, and the other where the manager does most of the screening and interviewing and runs the finalist(s) by HR for a "courtesy call." Obviously, there are many situations that fall between these two extremes.

It is not always easy to know which situation you are sending a resume into. HR is typically much more impressed by paper credentials than an IT Manager would be. The only certifications that normally get my attention are the ones from Novell. It is very difficult, though admittedly not completely impossible, to get these by just reading a book and without some practical experience.

Microsoft's certs, on the other hand, are very easy to obtain without any actual knowledge or experience whatsoever. The Apple administrative certifications are new, so time will tell their value. The Apple hardware technician certification has been around forever and is virtually a prerequisite to being hired by any reputable Apple repair shop - and certainly by Apple itself.

My spell check changed Scott McNealy's name to, "McNeely" and I let it. "Scott McNeely" is a golfer and presumably would not care one way or the other about an MCSE. I typed that particular article in MS Word. Obviously MS did not think Scott McNealy important enough to put the correct spelling of his name in the built-in dictionary. Surprisingly, "Steve Ballmer" passes the spell check with flying colors. {Editor's note: We have corrected the original article.]

Footnote to Sociologists looking to conduct a new study: The hits on the article on how not to get a job went through the stratosphere (and are still increasing); hits on the two articles giving advice on actually landing a job barely registered on the radar.

Wireless Printing

Apple actually hawks the Linksys WPS-11 on their website. However, the reports I have received indicate that making it work with AirPort continues to be problematic in a small but significant number of instances. Linksys continues to maintain on their website that they do not support this product in a Macintosh environment. They offer some Apple setup files on the CD, but you are pretty much on your own.

Since I purchased my WPS-11 and wrote the original article, there have been some very positive developments at D-Link with regards to Macintosh compatibility. D-Link has quietly added "Mac compatible" to the descriptions of a great many of their products. Here is a paragraph straight from their website on Mac compatibility:

Mac Support

Check for Mac support by going to the Products section and selecting your product. Links to Mac drivers are included in the product description. If you do not see a link to a Mac driver, the product is not supported for the Macintosh operating system.

They also have a new product called the D-LinkAir DI-713P, IEEE 802.11b Compliant Wireless Gateway with 3-Port Switch + Print Server. This is an integrated wireless base station, 3-port switch, and wireless print server with a suggested list price of $179. I have not used it, but I have had good luck in the past with other D-Link products. I am especially encouraged by D-Link's support of the Mac.

Macworld Predictions

In revisiting my Macworld Predictions Report Card, I made several predictions that did not pan out. However, I have since been redeemed on three of those "misses:"

  1. $999 iBook
  2. PowerMac G4 speed bump: Now at 1.25 GHz
  3. 1 GHz TiBook

For next year's Macworld, I can safely predict a 2 GHz G5, confident that, sooner or later, I'll be right! LEM

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Steve Watkins is the Vice President for Information Technology for a mid-sized bank, an attorney, and an Army Reserve JAG on extended active duty. He has been a Mac user for about 12 years. He has owned some PCs along the way - but always came back to the Mac. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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