Posts filed under 'Work-Related'

Macs Better Than PCs In An All-Windows Environment?

Some work-from-home solutions involve setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that sends all your internet traffic via your connection to the corporate network. And since big companies like to lock things down, this means you can’t access your private email server, Flickr account, instant messaging app, etc while you’re connected to work.

A better way to do this is for them to use “split tunnelling”, where traffic to goes via the VPN and all other traffic goes via your normal ISP. Not all companies get this, though. These companies are often also the ones that only allow Windows PCs to connect remotely, not Macs or Linux boxes.

Using a Mac running Windows via Parallels is, in a twist of irony, often a better solution than a Windows PC in this kind of situation.

When you connect your Windows virtual machine to the corporate VPN, it is only locking down your Windows environment. Your Mac apps can still reach blocked sites, access your private mail server, access IM, etc.

Using a Mac provides you with the best of both worlds!


Another nice thing about running Windows in a virtualised environment is that you can easily backup the image by simply copying it to an external USB drive or burning it to a DVD-R. If you screw something up in that environment, you can be back up and running in minutes by simply restoring the image.

Also, you can have one Windows image for working remotely, and a separate one for your normal Windows needs. If your employer wants you to install crazy VPN software, antivirus software, patches/updates, etc, or somehow restricts the versions of software (e.g. they need you to have an old version of Microsoft Office installed), you can do so in just that Windows image. You can install all your other software, games, tweaks, hacks etc in your other image without fear of breaking something work-related.


July 16th, 2007

Apple MacBook Pro Update

Apple has just updated their MacBook Pros to the new Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It’s probably a little earlier than many had predicted, but it’ll certainly be a well-received upgrade.

The new MBPs are slightly faster (clock-speed-wise) than the previous model, have Core 2 Duo, HDD options of 100GB (7200 rpm)/160GB (5400 rpm)/200GB (4200 rpm), RAM up to 3GB (1x2GB + 1x1GB), FW800 and dual-layer SuperDrives.

I’ve been trying to decide between getting a 17″ MacBook Pro or a 13″ MacBook with a Dell 24″ LCD (I can salary package a new laptop each year). The two setups would work out to almost exactly the same price.

The MBP obviously has a larger built-in screen, is faster, has better graphics, and a few more ports and things. However, the MB + 24″ LCD offers better portability and a huge screen for when I’m working at my desk. I’m leaning towards the MB + LCD at this stage, but I’m hoping for an MB upgrade early next year (I need to make the purchase before April).

Which way would you go?

October 25th, 2006

My Lab Is Open (Again!)

The lab where I work has been officially opened. Again. This is the second time it’s been opened since I started working here! Strangely, it wasn’t officially closed between the two openings.

My employer, Andrew Corporation, has put out a press release to mark the occasion.

“The members of this world-class Andrew team in Wollongong are innovators in wireless location services and recognized for their work in defining the new architecture and standards for secure user plane location (SUPL) and control plane location capabilities, as well as determining location in internet protocol networks,” said Terry Garner, group president, Network Solutions, Andrew Corporation. “This is a significant addition to Andrew’s presence in Australia, and the outstanding work here in Wollongong will resonate throughout the Asia-Pacific region and the world.”

The future certainly looks better now than it did under Nortel.

Press coverage:

March 15th, 2006


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