Professional Accomplishements

Posted by Jim on May 30th, 2008
May 30

I was going to send this out via Twitter, but it’s a little too involved for 140 characters, so you’re getting the full write-up here.

The middle schools were I work were recently shipped copies of the MLTI‘s new softwae image, which incorporates Apple’s Leopard OS.  These are the first machines on the district’s network to use the new OS, and as one would expect, there are a number of problems springing up as I try to incorporate them.  Luckily, I solved two of these problems today.

First, the Leopard client machines are able to bind to the XServe running Tiger (which means they have a directory record on the server and numerous settings can be managed through the server), but a number of managed preferences are not being passed.  I discovered that the settings I wanted to manage (and that had worked for all the Tiger clients) are no longer stored in the same preference files on a Leopard system.  Uploading the settings from a Leopard client allows for them to be passed to all the bound Leopard machines.

Second, the Leopard machines were not able to connect to a number of our file servers.  Our servers are all Netware boxes running both afp and smb.  Certain servers were accessible to the Leopard clients, but some very important ones were not.  All the servers we available to Tiger clients.  Following a suggestion I read on a message board, I tried connecting to the server via smb instead of afp (afp is Apple’s filing protocol, smb is used mainly by Windows machines).  SMB access worked, although the mount points were all geared towards the windows users and did not have their Mac-specific names.  This solved the problem, but it wasn’t a perfect solution, so I kept digging.  Apparently Leopard has disabled sending cleartext passwords in order to better the system’s security.  This normally is a great measure to take, except when your netware servers all want cleartext passwords (why they want them is beyond me, I think we’ll have to change that).  By going into the user’s file and manually changing the afp_cleartext_allow entry, the netware servers were all available.

It’s not everyday that I solve a big problem at work.  Solving two though, that means I’ve really made a difference today.  It makes leaving early to finish moving into the new house that much easier.