Perspective Needed

Posted on 2000-03-10
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I am the administrator of a jr. high Mac lab consisting of 35 computers and  Most of my experience is with IBM's.  How should the Mac lab be managed?  What should be the regular maintenance and how should be administered?  Each computer seems to have a personality of its own - should I keep a log of it's behavior?  How should Norton Utilities be used?  (The 'higher-ups' thought it should be installed on every machine.)  I appreciate your insight on this.
Question by:afrench2
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Expert Comment

ID: 2605297
If you are on a budget you don't need to install Norton on every every machine.  Depending on your computer departments policy you probably need a licensed copy of Norton for each station and 35 copies could be expensive.

I work in the computer services department for a University and oversee several Mac computer labs.  We have a few copies of Norton and if any computer station is suspected of having problems we bootup from the Norton disk, repair whatever problems appear, then restart the computer, without installing anything.

This avoids any licensing problems and if you dont mind repairing a few stations at a time it works well.  Most Mac problems are minor and infrequent.  It allows us to afford other Mac utilities (TechTool Pro).

As far as regular maintenance, I wouldn't run Norton unless there are problems reported or right after installing new software.  But then again I only have a few copies of Norton to work w/.

It would be a good idea to keep a log of the station's problems as well as the computer users.  If there are problems it would be helpful to find the last user, see what they were working on and find out what happened.

LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 2605470
I agree with fork on this one. However if you want to get fancy about administration you might want to look into an OSX server. All the files and applications would be stored on the server and the client machines would netboot from it. Very handy from an admin standpoint.

fork: go ahead and post an answer.

Accepted Solution

forkbeard earned 75 total points
ID: 2606710
The above mentioned comment should fill your needs.

Just curious what type of computer lab are the Macs being used for and what programs?

(ex:  art / graphic design, internet research, word processing...)
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Author Comment

ID: 2607849
Adjusted points to 75

Author Comment

ID: 2607855
Our MAC lab is currently being used mostly for Internet research, Claris Works, Typing Tutor and other subject-related programs.  At Ease 5.0 is running slow and is starting to be a concern.  Any suggestions?
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 2608140
Yeow...get rid of At Ease...Apple has replaced it with Multiple Users which ships with OS9.

Author Comment

ID: 2609406
Hey, I'm new at this....  We have OS 8.0 (I believe).  Point me in the right direction to review this and present it to the 'higher-ups'.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 2609815
For OS9? Its just a newer OS from Apple. You can get it from or any apple retailer.

Author Comment

ID: 2612177
Boy, did my question sound like a new-bie.  I meant to ask about what to expect when switching a lab from 8.5 to 9.0.  I found a great book that will help with lots of my questions on bunches of Mac things called, "Mac Answers!" copyright 2000.  Education in Louisiana thanks you for your expertise.

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