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Mac OS X and higher education lab deployments Press Rel
From the editor: This is not your normal Press Release blurb (which, in case you haven't noticed, have more or less disappeared lately due to the amount of actual hints to be published!). The goal of the Higher Education Mac OS X Lab Deployment Initiative is to make OS X easier to deploy and maintain in a computer lab environment. They have created the macosxlabs.org website as a clearinghouse for information related to their mission.

If you work with OS X in the higher education arena, their website looks to be well worth a visit. Read the rest of the article for the full text of their announcement...

A group of us are working on a project called the Higher Education Mac OS X Lab Deployment Initiative. We are members of the Apple University Executive Forum (UEF), universities working with Apple to explore higher education trends and issues, with a specific focus on educational technology.

Our goal with this project, Mac OS X Deployment in Higher Education, is to simplify the task of installing and maintaining Mac OS X in computer labs. To that end, we have created a web site that lists our goals, what we've found so far (see documentation), and pointers to areas of ongoing exploration. We have also created a forum where registered members can ask questions and share their findings. We have created a list of resources (books and other documentation, web sites, mailing lists) and tools (including RsyncX, an implementation of rsync with HFS+ support).

Apple has recently placed several links from the education area of their web site to ours. We are pleased with this evidence of support of the work we have done so far.

Collaboration and sharing of ideas is essential to this project and it is our hope to create a community where lab managers can work together on this. Come share your experiences and questions in the forum, and pass this information on to anyone you know who is working on deploying Mac OS X in a lab environment.
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Would be great if...
Authored by: JWellner on Mar 26, '02 05:29:36PM

They actually felt like working with businesses. We asked to be part of the project and was denied. The funny thing is that alot of the goals that the Higher Ed. users and the Enterprise level users have are exactly the same. For example, having userproof desktop security, supporting multiple applications across multiple user accounts and supporting a large volume of machines over a large area.

We have roughly 105 Macs that are going to be upgraded to OS X in the next year. I've talked to a few people at a larger company than us and they are making the leap with 16,000 Macs. It would be nice to see either the Higher Ed. folks loosen a bit and cooperate with businesses in coming up with Enterprise grade solutions or to have the large businesses/corporations/etc. get together and start sharing information.

As it stands today Apple isn't willing to do so (without pulling teeth) and I do believe continues to push larger companies where Macs either have a tenatious hold or a large grip on the user population off to the side.



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RE: Would be great if...
Authored by: Anonymous on Mar 26, '02 06:06:11PM

Don't feel too bad.
We're HIED and were denied involvement with this consortium. We're just left on the sidelines like many other Education sites who have to be spectators to their work, rather than helping with it.



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RE: Would be great if...
Authored by: sdoenges on Mar 28, '02 08:06:36PM

Actually there is a public forum on macosxlabs.org where anyone not directly participating can indirectly help and participate by submitting issues, concerns, questions, etc. To join this discussion forum, see:

http://webcrossing.macosxlabs.org/

And you can directly send feedback to the group through the Contact Us page on the site:

http://www.macosxlabs.org/contact/contact.html

So you do have some options...



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RE: Would be great if...
Authored by: LeftOfCenter on Mar 26, '02 10:16:09PM

Quite frankly, I support their decision to not allow enterprise users to participate. My university whored itself to too many corporations, and what did the students gain? ZILCH! Many resources including everything from computer labs, to printing presses, to even entire buildings (anyone know of CIMS?) were closed completely to students and reserved for corporate meetings, training, or research. Sure, the school turned a profit, great! Yet, my tuition rate still went up each year. The corporate world has the resources to accomplish this task on its own, let these higher-ed users pool their scare resources, share their knowledge, and maintain their integrity.



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Would be great if...
Authored by: hmclean on Apr 01, '02 05:54:10PM

The goals of all labs are quite similar -- higher ed, K-12, private industry. We've established a public forum where anyone can ask questions or share information about deploying Mac OS X in labs. Please join us:

http://webcrossing.macosxlabs.org/



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Just to spark some controversy
Authored by: UnoAmigo on Mar 26, '02 07:16:03PM
http://www.macosxlabs.org/asr_for_osx/asr_for_osx.html Give this page a look. I believe this is exactly what many of this want. Note that it will not be made publically availible and from the sounds of it you need to be a higher ed tech to get ahold of it.

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Check your Sofware Restore CD
Authored by: LeftOfCenter on Mar 26, '02 10:25:58PM

Not only is it "publically availible", but I bet you already have a copy of it. Dig out that Software Restore CD that came with your Mac (hopefully you've never needed it). On there you'll find ASR. You can even customize the disk image that it uses to restore your hard disk.



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Need Apple Installer SDK
Authored by: LeftOfCenter on Mar 27, '02 07:00:23PM

Sorry, I knew it could be done but forgot the link to the info. MacAddict had a nice HowTo back in June 2000.
http://www.macaddict.com/magazine/2000_06/restorecd/



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ASR for OS X
Authored by: JWellner on Mar 27, '02 10:10:38AM

The version of ASR on the Software Restore CDs is only half the puzzle. The other half is using Disk Copy 6.4 (which isn't publicly available) and some of the specialized scripts that Apple writes to "bless" the disk image. I managed to obtain the full version of the tools but only after becoming terribly PO'd at several Apple sales people and account executives and their managers and their manager's manager. How much pulling teeth do you have to do in order to keep the Macs (who are already generally shunned at most companies) current and up and running before you call it quits and say it's not worth it?



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