January 28, 2007

Enterprise-Grade Pimpin’

Filed under: digital — mhoye @ 6:19 pm

12:35 <shaver> you should blog this shit

I have, I concede, been remiss in my blogging. In my something-that-doesn’t-truly-hold-water-as-a-defence, I am not alone and also busy and, you know, stuff.

Stuff, I tell you!

I’m about to endorse an Apple product, here, which makes me kind of sad; whenever I mention that there might possibly be the slightest good thing about Macs a small but vocal contingent of my readership, by which I mean one guy I can barely stand, starts saying things like “told you”, “ha” and “booya”. I mean, that’s fine, I bought a Lenovo that I’m totally happy with, I hate him, he hates me, and my laptop doesn’t spend any time in the shop and its batteries don’t swell up and explode, so as far as I’m concerned, it all works out.

But that’s neither here nor there, and now that the Pope has abolished Limbo I’m really not sure how you’d draw a line from where you’re standing right now to these abstract ideas to which I refer. Unless you’re that nominal friend I’m talking about in which case you should give up on the line-drawing and just stab yourself with the pen. Otherwise I think it’s safe to just drop the whole thing, really.

Because while I don’t own a Mac, I’ve been charged with the care and feeding of around a hundred and fifty of them. A damn lot of Macs, in truth, in a damn lot of places I’d have to walk to if people in remote parts of the corporate apparatus suddenly can’t see the network shares. Like too many SAs I know, I am enthusiastic about technologies that enable me to solve people’s complicated problems without actually standing up, so if your situation is anything even vaguely like mine, boy howdy, have I got a treat for you.

I stand here today to sing of you the pure, unfettered joys of Apple Remote Desktop 3. I would kill a man with the comically-inconvenient appliance of your wildest imagination’s choosing for a comparable Windows-based product.

How do I love thee, ARD? Let me count the ways:

  • Silent observer, one-click to control and one more to return control to the user. One click to turn the channel around, and show the user your desktop. One-click “curtain”, for when you need to do stuff remotely that maybe they shouldn’t be looking at.
  • Painless, accurate client discovery. One-click ARD-client-standardization.
  • It’s still BSD under the hood, so one-click-to-terminal.
  • One-click software install. One-click hardware and software audit, and software metering.
  • Client grouping, and bulk installs. Smart grouping, like smart folders. Remote Spotlight, OMG.
  • Localhost-to-client drag-and-drop.
  • Automator. swoon

The fact that it costs, in enterprise-ware terms at least, basically nothing (where said nothing is not even per-client) is just that much thick, delicious gravy slopped about your plate of steak and frites, giving them the appearance of lonely, oddly-brownish island paradise in a distant and strangely also brownish-but-delicious sea.

Seriously, it’s an incredible product. If you’re responsible for the care and feeding of any number of OS X machines that are further away than the next office, I cannot say this strongly enough, it is worth every single penny.


  1. I have to agree, although I’m a bit disappointed that in order to run a task server on a system that lives on the network 24/7 and use the admin interface on, say, your laptop, they require you to buy a second unlimited user license. That seems like it should be a supported feature for one administrator and one license.

    And while I really like remote desktop 3, I do hit really annoying snags with things that I feel should be simple… or at least be so common as to have been properly solved – like upgrading MS Office or Adobe CS. Maybe I don’t have the full hang of it… or maybe I’m just expecting too much based on how well everything else works. Let me know if you have some tips for those. :)

    Anyway… based on the list of things that you like about it, I’m genuinely surprised you haven’t switched your OS of choice, but I won’t join the other fellow in the “booya” chorus. That would probably only harden your resolve and prolong your greater suffering. And yes… we all suffer… they are all computers after all. ;)

    Comment by Amos — January 29, 2007 @ 12:12 pm

  2. Thank you, thank you I’ll be signing autographs for the next five minutes. I have other people to save today.

    Hated friend, I’m just saying you know a lot about Microsoft. You, like others must enjoy conformity, order, and the security of momentum. But, I do not support perpetual suffering machines that only masquerade as people friendly computers.

    I won’t tell you Mac is better, like so many flavors of linux, it’s just for a different mind space. So, I am happy you had something positive to say about their product.

    IMO, switch to mac because it’s a new toy to try. The side benefits for me haven’t been painful.

    Your comment was both red and delicious!

    yours truly,

    Comment by rotten apple — January 31, 2007 @ 4:44 pm

  3. ps. booya.

    Comment by rotten apple — January 31, 2007 @ 4:49 pm

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