This is a continuation of a blog series I started back on April 2013. You may want to start reading there if you're new to this blog series. Part 1
Part 5 - Mac Hardware and Software
Wow, it's hard to believe we're into year 4 of this transition to Macs and mobility ... time flys!! Surprisingly, we've made only a few edits to our mac hardware and software standards since we started this journey. Also to note, after 3 years, the macs are still going strong giving us no reason to believe they won't give us 5 years of service. We do see some reduced battery longevity, but so far it's not newsworthy. It will be interesting to see how the batts are holding up this time next year. We also see folks originally lobbying for a 15" or 17" macbookpro now asking to trade in for a 13" air or 13" retina mbpro. Heh, told 'em so ;-)
On the hardware side we still use the 13" air as our default ... still i5, we've bumped ram to 8GB, and in 2014 we up'd to the 512GB SSD. Yes, we're still mainly buying Apple refurbs when possible. I predict we'll see more interest in the 13" retina mbpro unless Apple releases a 13" retina air (yes please!). I've been using a 13" retina mbpro for over a year and really love it! The extra pixels are worth the slight weight and thickness tradeoff.
External Monitors - most staff, especially air users, have an external monitor, which is typically purchased by their dept (through IT of course). Some are using old 17" LCD's we left in place when we removed a desktop PC, some are using Dell 24" LCD's, and some are using the really slick 27" Apple Cinema display. While the Apple display is a whoppin' $799, it really is worth it when you consider everything it provides: amazing resolution, charges your laptop, provides a Gig network port, thunderbolt and usb ports, webcam and audio.
We don't use any imaging software for mac deployment. That could change someday, but so far we've not had enough pain to make us head down that road. Here's essentially what happens when we get in a new mac:
New mac comes in ...
- record the serial number off the box into inventory (we use smartsheet) and write end users name on box as another form of initial record keeping. Yes, we have a GIANT stack of boxes in storage!
- power on (duh!)
- join to public wifi
- enter our TechOps info and user/pass
- UNCHECK NATURAL SCROLLING!!!!
- run software updates
- name computer (jpowellair, jpowellmbp13r, jpowellmbp15, etc)
- enable remote management and remote login
- create another admin user account matching the end users AD user/pass
- enable guest account ... uncheck parental controls (we want a theif to be able to easily log in so we can hopefully have time to track their location)
- login as the end user
- uncheck natural scrolling
- join to private wifi via ruckus zero-IT portal (uses end users AD creds)
- require password from sleep
- keyboard > shortcuts > change to all controls (allows you to tab between all fields)
- finder preferences ... check all
- shared drive and media drive shortcuts
- add needed printers (we use a mac mini running OSX server as our mac print server)
- install our custom LogMeIn free client (part of LogMeIn Central)
- Office 2011 install and run updates
- Outlook 2011 setup
- CrashplanProE install (our backup software)
- ESET NOD32 install (our antivirus softare)
- print and attach a label of the machinename to underside (silver label tape)
- For some users like Finance, we install and setup the free Microsoft Remote Desktop app. This app combined with a Remote Desktop Gateway config gives users one-click access to a terminal session desktop or published app, like Great Plains, from on or offsite. Bye bye VPN!
- handoff to happy end user with training as needed
Sounds like a lot of steps, but it's really a quick process. We could script some of it, but again there's not been enough pain to warrant the effort to figure out scripting ;-)'
If end user needs a paid app from the appstore installed we ask them to create an apple ID with their church email address. Their dept pays for any additional apps. For stuff like Adobe CreativeCloud we manage licenses and charge depts for new users and renewals.
What about iPads?
If a user needs an iPad we will make the purchase for them (again usually a refurb), but their Department is on the hook to pay for it.
So that'll wrap up part 5 of this series that now spans 2 years (facepalm). Part 6 will be about Applecare and is almost ready to publish. It's got some pretty revealing information that I think you'll want to check out :-)