TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MacTech Spotlight Dave Schroeder, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Volume Number: 23 (2007)
Issue Number: 08
Column Tag: MacTech Spotlight

MacTech Spotlight: Dave Schroeder

University of Wisconsin-Madison


http://das.doit.wisc.edu

What do you do?

Senior Systems Engineer. My role is designing and supporting systems that support primarily research and enterprise environments at the university. Many of these systems are based on Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server, and incorporate other Apple technologies, like Xserve RAID. Another cool part of my job is just keeping current on all the latest developments in the Apple and Mac universe, which means access to a lot of the newest Apple gear and gadgets as a part of my job. And I get paid to do it!

How long have you been doing what you do?

I have been working professionally in Macintosh system administration since 1991, when I went to school at the University of Michigan - a big Apple campus - for four years. I have been in the central IT organization at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1995. UW-Madison is a great place to be in general, and we have around 15000 Macs in use on campus.

Your first computer:

A Macintosh 128K in January of 1984. It's still in my office at work today, along with a 20th Anniversary Mac, a Motorola CHRP box, a NeXT cube, a PowerBook Duo 2400c with Duo Dock, my first 20 MB - yes, megabyte - hard drive and various other historical items.

Are you Mac-only, or a multi-platform person?

Multi-platform. Mac is my primary platform and my primary job, but it pays to keep abreast of other platforms and technologies as well, especially in an environment as mixed as a big research university.

What attracts you to working on the Mac?

It's really Apple's attention to detail, design philosophy, and tight integration of the hardware and software. Apple really benefits from this marriage between the two worlds. For a long time, it was because Mac OS "wasn't Windows", but in the past few years, it's been because Mac OS X brings the best of a UNIX-like environment and melds it with a usable productivity OS. Today, Mac OS X has a great appeal for many researchers and typical UNIX users, who also want an OS they can use for their day-to-day work, but still do scientific tasks - and now they can, even when they're on a plane or at a conference.

What's the coolest thing about the Mac?

The transition to Intel has been the single biggest benefit in the enterprise education and research markets. Most new Mac users are moving to the platform because they have an interest in Mac OS X, but now know they can easily run Windows, Linux, or pretty much any other x86 OS seamlessly on one nicely designed hardware platform. Under Steve Jobs, Apple has really done a lot of things right that make Mac really appealing to new users, or those returning from long ago.

If I could change one thing about Apple/OS X, I'd:

I'd make Apple finally take a real plunge into the enterprise marketplace, instead of just the accidental visitor. As primarily a consumer company, it might be a difficult commitment for Apple to make, but a real commitment to the enterprise market and its needs has the potential to pay off big for Apple.

What's the coolest tech thing you've done using OS X?

An IP cable television distribution system using Xserves and QuickTime streaming, called the Digital Academic Television Network (DATN, pronounced "Dayton" after the street our building is on). We deployed it for a fraction of the cost of any other alternative solution, and our project was featured as a session at WWDC three years in a row (<http://datn.wisc.edu/about/).

We deliver television channels and other content using QuickTime, and wrote custom applications that allow a TV-like interface, searching of closed captioning data, thumbnails, and video archives, almost like a central "TiVo". The system has been up and running at the university for about four years now. We're looking forward to switching to even higher quality H.264 video soon.

Other cool Apple-related happenings at UW-Madison include a 200TB array of Xserve RAIDs <http://alienraid.org/article.php?story=200TBatUW>, and even Xserve RAIDs at a research station at the South Pole <http://alienraid.org/article.php?story=icecuberaid>! Unfortunately, I didn't get to travel there to, er, "help set it up".

Where can we see a sample of your work?

You might see me in many places...Slashdot and other forums, various interviews and articles here and there, and Apple and MacEnterprise.org mailing lists. You might also have used various tools such as the original Grants.gov client for Mac OS X, or visited web sites like alienRAID.org and ipodbatteryfaq.com.

The next way I'm going to impact IT/OS X/the Mac universe is:

I hope to continue expanding the use of Apple products in enterprise and research environments at the university where they are a good fit, and expanding Apple use in datacenter and server environments, alongside more traditional server hardware from IBM, Sun, and Dell, and traditional server operating systems like AIX, Solaris, Linux, and Windows. Mac OS X Server has grown into quite a nice general purpose UNIX server. There is a bias against Apple in many areas - sometimes warranted, sometimes not - but Apple has many offerings in these areas that deserve a second look.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

DaisyDisk 4.8 - $9.99
DaisyDisk allows you to visualize your disk usage and free up disk space by quickly finding and deleting big unused files. The program scans your disk and displays its content as a sector diagram... Read more
VMware Fusion 11.5.0 - Run Windows apps...
VMware Fusion and Fusion Pro - virtualization software for running Windows, Linux, and other systems on a Mac without rebooting. The latest version includes full support for Windows 10, macOS Mojave... Read more
Apple Configurator 2.10 - Configure and...
Apple Configurator makes it easy to deploy iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Apple TV devices in your school or business. Use Apple Configurator to quickly configure large numbers of devices connected to... Read more
Spotify 1.1.15.448. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
MenuMeters 1.9.8 - CPU, memory, disk, an...
MenuMeters is a set of CPU, memory, disk, and network monitoring tools for Mac OS X. Although there are numerous other programs which do the same thing, none had quite the feature set I was looking... Read more
Blocks 3.5.2 - RapidWeaver plug-in; divi...
Blocks is a plugin for RapidWeaver. It allows you to place blocks of text, graphics, and even raw HTML onto your page wherever you like. Drag blocks around, resize them, and even overlap content. All... Read more
Live Home 3D Pro 3.7 - $49.99
Live Home 3D Pro is powerful yet intuitive home design software that lets you build the house of your dreams right on your Mac, iPhone or iPad. It has every feature of Live Home 3D, plus some... Read more
Ableton Live 10.1.1 - Record music using...
Ableton Live lets you create and record music on your Mac. Use digital instruments, pre-recorded sounds, and sampled loops to arrange, produce, and perform your music like never before. Ableton Live... Read more
BetterTouchTool 3.202 - Customize multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom)... Read more
Fission 2.4.6 - Streamlined audio editor...
Fission can crop and trim audio, paste in or join files, or just rapidly split one long file into many. It's streamlined for fast editing. Plus, it works without the quality loss caused by other... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Marvel Strike Force is adding Agent Coul...
Marvel Strike Force, the popular squad-based RPG, is set to receive a bunch of new content over the next few weeks. [Read more] | Read more »
Lots of premium games are going free (so...
You may have seen over the past couple weeks a that a bunch of premium games have suddenly become free. This isn’t a mistake, nor is it some last hurrah before Apple Arcade hits, and it’s important to know that these games aren’t actually becoming... | Read more »
Yoozoo Games launches Saint Seiya Awaken...
If you’re into your anime, you’ve probably seen or heard of Saint Seiya. Based on a shonen manga by Masami Kurumada, the series was massively popular in the 1980s – especially in its native Japan. Since then, it’s grown into a franchise of all... | Read more »
Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special...
Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special Delivery is a terrifying new nightmare from developer Illumix. Last week, FNAF fans were sent into a frenzy by a short teaser for what we now know to be Special Delivery. Those in the comments were quick to... | Read more »
Rush Rally 3's new live events are...
Last week, Rush Rally 3 got updated with live events, and it’s one of the best things to happen to racing games on mobile. Prior to this update, the game already had multiplayer, but live events are more convenient in the sense that it’s somewhat... | Read more »
Why your free-to-play racer sucks
It’s been this way for a while now, but playing Hot Wheels Infinite Loop really highlights a big issue with free-to-play mobile racing games: They suck. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying going for realism, cart racing, or arcade nonsense, they’re... | Read more »
Steam Link Spotlight - The Banner Saga 3
Steam Link Spotlight is a new feature where we take a look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry talked about Terry Cavanaugh’s incredible Dicey Dungeons. Read about how it’s a great mobile experience... | Read more »
Combo Quest (Games)
Combo Quest 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Combo Quest is an epic, time tap role-playing adventure. In this unique masterpiece, you are a knight on a heroic quest to retrieve... | Read more »
Hero Emblems (Games)
Hero Emblems 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** 25% OFF for a limited time to celebrate the release ** ** Note for iPhone 6 user: If it doesn't run fullscreen on your device... | Read more »
Puzzle Blitz (Games)
Puzzle Blitz 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Puzzle Blitz is a frantic puzzle solving race against the clock! Solve as many puzzles as you can, before time runs out! You have... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Get one of Apple’s new 2019 iPhone 11 models...
Boost Mobile is offering the new 2019 Apple iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max for $100 off MSRP. Their discount reduces the cost of an iPhone 11 to $599 for the 64GB models, $899 for the 64GB... Read more
13″ 1.4GHz Silver MacBook Pros on sale for $1...
B&H Photo has new 2019 13″ 1.4GHz 4-Core Touch Bar Silver MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off Apple’s MSRP. Overnight shipping is free to many addresses in the US. These are the same MacBook Pros... Read more
4-core and 6-core 2018 Mac minis available at...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2018 Mac minis available on their online store for $120-$170 off the cost of new models. Each mini comes with a new outer case plus a standard Apple one-year warranty... Read more
$250 prepaid Visa card with any Apple iPhone,...
Xfinity Mobile will include a free $250 prepaid Visa card with the purchase of any new iPhone, new line activation, and transfer of phone number to Xfinity Mobile. Offer is valid through October 27,... Read more
Sprint is offering the 64GB Apple iPhone 11 P...
Sprint has the new 64GB iPhone 11 Pro available for $12.50 per month for new customers with an eligible trade-in in of iPhone 7 or newer. That’s down from their standard monthly lease of $41.67. The... Read more
Final week: Apple’s 2019 Back to School Promo...
Purchase a new Mac using Apple’s Education discount, and take up to $400 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution with a .edu email address qualify for the discount... Read more
Save $30 on Apple’s AirPods at these reseller...
Amazon is offering discounts on new 2019 Apple AirPods ranging up to $30 off MSRP as part of their Labor Day sale. Shipping is free: – AirPods with Charging Case: $144.95 $15 off MSRP – AirPods with... Read more
Preorder your Apple Watch Series 5 today at A...
Amazon has Apple Watch Series 5 GPS models available for preorder and on sale today for $15 off Apple’s MSRP. Shipping is free and starts on September 20th: – 40mm Apple Watch Series 5 GPS: $384.99 $... Read more
21″ iMacs on sale for $100 off Apple’s MSRP,...
B&H Photo has new 21″ Apple iMacs on sale for $100 off MSRP with models available starting at $999. These are the same iMacs offered by Apple in their retail and online stores. Overnight shipping... Read more
2018 4 and 6-Core Mac minis on sale today for...
Apple resellers are offering new 2018 4-Core and 6-Core Mac minis for $100-$150 off MSRP for a limited time. B&H Photo has the new 2018 4-Core and 6-Core Mac minis on sale for up to $150 off... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**732324BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 000013-Fargo-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Read more
*Apple* Mobility Pro - Best Buy (United Stat...
**723452BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobility Pro **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 001194-Greeley-Store **Job Description:** At Best Buy, our Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**731319BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 000303-Arlington Heights-Store **Job Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**733266BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Location Number:** 000144-Union City-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Read more
Geek Squad *Apple* Master Consultation Agen...
**732907BR** **Job Title:** Geek Squad Apple Master Consultation Agent **Job Category:** Services/Installation/Repair **Location Number:** 000360-Williston-Store Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.