While the Chief Technology Officer of a prestigious I.T. weekly magazine loves his Mac, he canit seem to find the time to support them at work. That is the admission of I.T. specialist Chad Dickerson, who oversees the maintenance of computers at InfoWorld magazine.
In a column that appears both online and in the current issue of its magazine, Mr. Dickerson explains that the company allows its employees to use Macs, but only if they "promise not to ask for support or help of any kind."
Mr. Dickerson defends his policy saying, "Iim too busy" supporting Windows-based PCs and defending himself further by explaining, "When you bring a Mac into the corporate environment, you have to factor in software overhead such as VPN clients, Lotus Notes, and backup clients.
"Iim usually working on some kind of deadline with real deliverables that must be met," he wrote. "I will continue to use a Mac because I like it, and Iim willing to support myself 100%, but Iim not going to spend my time evangelizing Macs to people who probably should be using PCs. Iim too busy."
Mr. Dickerson also explained that the magazineis outsourced online backup and recovery service concern, Connected, canit help employees at InfoWorld using Macs because the service only supports PCs. "In a PC world, I either back up my own Mac or build a separate Mac backup environment, which is more expensive than the PC service," he explained.
As for the excuse Mac users can run Virtual PC to work around software compatibility issues, Mr. Dickerson wrote, "Virtual PC is hardly proof that you can run Windows applications on a Mac," and explains that "if enterprise end-users use Virtual PC for anything mission-critical, I.T. has to figure out a way to manage another Windows machine, virtual or not, viruses and all."
Saying that working-around Mac issues is a "pain", Mr. Dickerson categorized using a Mac in an office environment as "tinkering" and said "I do think carving out some time for playing around is important for innovation in I.T."
Dickerson points out that with new Mac switchers, "I.T. could potentially face a whole crop of end-users who are not the kind of self-supporting Mac enthusiasts to which weive all grown accustomed."
Mr. Dickerson does not detail how many PCs he supports at InfoWorld, how big of a staff or budget he has, and doesnit say if he has tried to find another outside online backup and recovery service that supports both Macs and Windows-based PCs.
Mr. Dickerson has written extensively about his use of Macs at InfoWorld over the years. Although he is now questioning their use in an office environment, he embraced Macs in the work space in a September 2003 column, saying, "a small, successful integration project on a small network in one CTOis home hardly merits a mass OS migration at a Fortune 500 company, but my experience with the Mac at home forced me to re-examine my preconceptions. Iim grounded in reality, so Iim not expecting to replace all the Windows XP desktops and the Windows 2000 file/print servers at InfoWorld any time soon. Still, the next time Iim facing a mass desktop and network OS migration decision, Mac OS X will be on the list."
InfoWorld magazine is part of the InfoWorld Media Group, which is a division of IDG. IDG owns a number of Macintosh-related Web sites, publishes MacWorld magazine, and owns IDG World Expo, which produces the Macworld Conference & Expo twice yearly.
As of last December, InfoWorld magazine had a circulation of 220,700, according to the consumer and business media auditing concern BPA Worldwide.