Reply to post: War with the idiots of IT

Computer says: Stop using MacWrite II, human!


War with the idiots of IT

Why couldn't you be bothered to do something sensible like provide all the computers with properly licensed copies of MacWrite II? If the users are supplying their own regardless of the legality why do you feel a need to stop them from getting work done? Now I'll agree they shouldn't have copied their own programs to the universities computers, or deleted the ones present. The obvious solution the the loud pronouncements of "Stop installing MacWriteII" was a dead end audio plug, it plugged into a lineout jack and had a little plastic cap on it. It made the Mac believe it was plugged into external speakers so it shut off the internal speaker. LOL.

I do appreciate your solution in the end with the Macs, it's quite elegant, and still allows the users the freedom to use their own software. I prefer working with environments like that. Give the users a clean image restored each day and let them do what they will. Not appropriate for all environments, but it works well for schools and libraries.

My experience with school IT was they insisted on running programs a year or two old with no patches installed. I requested they fix this, they refused. One of the assholes even had one of those new more than $1000 USD Apple LCD screens when they were first new right after the first ones Apple ever shipped, (Disregarding the 30th anniversary Mac) had been announced, and everyone else had CRT's which were absolutely fine really, but the money could have been better spent. Web browsers at the time were changing at such a rate that this would cause websites to fail to load and the old versions of the browsers were generally much slower than the newer versions. The solution was to disable their security software and install the updates (within the same major version) / new versions of the webbrowsers myself and put the security back in place afterwards. I also tossed a freely licensed image editor on the computers. By using a different computer each time I needed a computer eventually all the computers I had access to were within 3 months of the current patch.

I also had a way to redirect all my webbrowing through a site that wrapped it in SSL which opened up the full version of the internet instead of the censored blocked one the school provided.

They tracked down the students who changed grades (Most teaches kept a copy on paper) and the ones who stole the mice, but they never accused me of anything. I'm somewhat surprised by that. I didn't tell people what I was doing and I kept the prompts out of sight, I never actively touched IT's computers though I knew where they were and about them. This was a silent campaign against IT.

I was once accused of modifying the software on the computers by a friend, they often sat next to me and had caught a hint of what I was up to. I had really, really upset them one day. I played off the accusation totally innocent with a "I tried to install a copy of Bolo, (a game) at the start of the year, but it didn't work. I think there's something protecting the computers." They totally bought it.

I wish IT had been responsive to the students. I wish they had provided a good software environment, not just good computers. I'm proud of my accomplishments in 3.5 years of keeping the computers up to date while facing hostile IT.

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