Mac @ Geo

The IT staff at Dept. of Geosciences offers limited support for Mac.

–Picture © photoshopranger

Mac at Geofag

Macs are great machines, but we (IT staff) have limited resources. This page outlines what you can expect as a Mac user at the department.

Purchase

Macs are expensive. In general, the department cannot provide Macs to employees unless you can pay for it with grant money (as per department policy). Depending on configuration, a 27" iMac will set you back NOK 15000–25000 +25% VAT (spring 2017). Or more!

In addition, we are required to purchase Apple Care for Enterprise (ACE), for an additional cost of (currently) NOK 1734. The support runs for 3 years. Outside this, the project (grant) assumes responsibility for the hardware.

At the present, Macs are purchased by the IT staff from Itello, through Basware PM.

Support

The IT staff support Mac OSX in accordance to the Mac services provided by USIT. Currently, this means the Mac will be set up with Apple's Device Enrollment Program and managed by Airwatch, as outlined by USIT. The setup will provide you with access to your home directory, synchronize your username and password, set up pullprint queues, and give you access to some pre-configured Mac software, as well as Macprog.

We have no support for geo-specific software for Mac. You will have to find and install this yourself, and manage licenses by your own.

If you can justify the need, you can have administrator privileges. Note that this enables you to mess up your system configuration and setup. If this happens, our offer will be to reinstall the machine to a pristine state.

We can not fix problems for machines not set up as described here.

Backup

Mac computers are in general not backed up be central IT services. This means everything on your home directory (on /Users) will be gone if the machine is stolen or destroyed, or if the disk malfunctions.  Also, if you accidentally delete a file, we cannot get it back.

It is therefore vital that you make backups yourself, to a secure device. There are several possible strategies and solutions, find one that works for you.

One possibility is mounting your UiO network home directory, and copy your files there at the end of each day. This has the added benefit of having your files available on Windows and Linux computers as well.

On the cabled network, use Command (⌘) - K to open the Connect to Server window, type in smb://kant/disk/username, where "disk/username" is your network home directory on kant. To find it, log in to login.uio.no with ssh, and use the pwd command. E.g.:

my-Mac% ssh hpverne@login.uio.no
hpverne@login.uio.no's password:

[hpverne@sauron ~]$ pwd
/uio/kant/geo-adm-u1/hpverne

So I (hpverne) would use the following in the Connect to Server window:

smb://kant/geo-adm-u1/hpverne

You will probably want to save this as a shortcut (+).

On other networks, use sshfs.

Misc

Many Apple devices can't handle accented characters in passwords.  If you have æ, ø, å, é, ï or other non-ASCII letters in your passwords, consider changing it to something else.

If you use Adblock in Safari, consider whitelisting mail.uio.no and other HTML editing sites. Adblock has been reported to inject spurious HTML causing mail to be (silently) rejected as spam.

By Hans Peter
Published Jan. 26, 2016 2:57 PM - Last modified May 8, 2020 12:40 PM