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July 25, 2006

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Hey guys...feel free to use my new desk if you need to!!!

I'm very curious as to the results of the top-needs lists that were compiled. What did they come up with? Any solutions brought to the table yet?

All that dispair in such a little room....

Sounds like my church. We now have 2 G5 dual 2.7s in the video department, a dual 2.5, a single 1.6, an old G4 and a 17' powerbook in the Vineyard Leadership Institute department, and various use laptops scatered about the offices...and our IT depertment has no idea what to do :)

I'm the volunteer/contract Mac guy (it's what I do for a living anyway, so it's an easy job) and I was in the other day getting the macs to print through our non-Microsoft print management software...man was I glad to find out that using Windows printing on the macs did the trick (we had tried it in the past and got nowhere).

Have fun, and watch out...once you've got macs in your church they're like a virus, they just keep spreading till you're all infected :)

I would sure like to hear how your Mac infection is doing.
We have 3 Macs in regular use and one in occasional use (not counting our test laptop which is never really used).

We hused to have some more G5's but our Mac experts apparently crashed them so bad they had to be taken to the Apple store and we haven't seen them since.

Regarding the top 10 list, there were two consistent themes, email and printing.

Here's the list that we came up with:
1. Integration with Exchange
2. Printing
3. Mounted drives locking up Finder

We never got to point 4.

There are a few options for integration with Exchange and each option provides varying degrees of success.
1. Microsoft Entourage
2. Integrate Mail.app with Exchange
3. Outlook Web Access
4. Use Evolution
5. Replace Exchange with an open solution

I've never liked Entourage much, I found the interface cluttered and cumbersome. Moreover, it tends to be problematic because it depends upon option 3 to function properly. Changes to OWA have a tendency to break Entourage.

Mail.app seems to work well, however, it doesn't hide non-mail IMAP folders, causing questions such as "Why doesn't my Calendar work in Mail?". In order to create a Exchange account, the exchange server needs to accept IMAP requests.

I'm reviewing Evolution as a possible Exchange client for our next IT meeting.

Printing issues are due primarily to two factors, incorrect configuration or lack of driver support. Resolving these issues is usually possible since OS X uses the same printing engine that Linux uses. This fact enables OS X to use most of the printer drivers that are available on Linux machines. Visit http://linuxprinting.org for a complete list of drivers.

Older PCL based printers tend to be more problematic. In Panther, OS X was able to utilize PCL printer drivers, but this appears to have changed in Tiger. I need to do more research on that. Perhaps the extensive support for PDF output necesitated dropping rasterized drivers such as PCL. More research is needed. In the meantime, I will be setting up a Linux print server and making it's printers available to OS X clients via CUPS broadcasting.

So to summarize everything, we've got some work to do in order to complete the invasion. Till then, keep smiling and be patient. I'll do my best to resolve all of our issues.

Thankfully, we've gotten Entourage/Exchange working on 3 different macs with no problems (though the IT guys couldn't get it working, I came in and stuck IP addresses in all the server address boxes in Entourage and it worked fine). Even the busy schedule stuff works, which is very handy.

The problem with Mac/Entourage/Exchange setups is I've found nearly every Exchange server setup to be different. Every one of my clients who also runs Exchange has different problems and different setups. Sometimes it's one server, sometimes (as with Cardinal health) it's many different servers (including one for the global address book). In that case we had to set up single bogus user on the ldap server so the macs could log into it. Turns out that even though Entourage was built by MS, it does NOT really log into the AD system, so the account info doesn't get passed from server to server. Since you guys are now using AD with your macs, I'd be interested to know if it works better or worse :)

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  • Jason Powell is the Information Technology Director at Granger Community Church. The views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of GCC ...
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