Hunter/Supply Guru/Tizoc —
I’m a Computer Tech and can attest to what Mike said about Mac’s. But to clarify:
The ‘Town Techs’ are there to take care of the hundreds of NSF-owned computers. As far as I know, all of these are PC-based, including the laptops.
There are also ‘Crary Techs’, that reside in the Crary Science and Engineering Lab. Because they deal almost exclusively with the scientists (and many of the scientists prefer Macs), they have to be skilled in multiple OSs.
Both groups have an extremely heavy workload and cannot work on personal laptops. Bring your own recovery disk, and any other software you might require in the event of a crash. We cannot loan-out software, either.
Making friends with a Tech does not mean you will get a dial-up connection in your room. That decision is made solely by the on-ice IT Manager, and then only as-needed. Scientists, of course, have the priority in the food chain. The dial-up pool is user-limited, as well. Better to retreat over the the Coffee House, and plug-into their LAN.
Also, the techs do not ‘install’ virus protection on any personally-owned computer. The person bringing the laptop in must have it on there already, and must maintain it at their own cost. This is a Raytheon/NSF mandatory requirement in order to use the NSF-owned network. Even if a person has a Mac, it still has to be registered, and there’s no ‘cutting in line’.
Tizoc is correct about wireless – it’s definitely not allowed. While the exact reason is not evident, I would assume that it’s because of the myriad of critical communications, and monitoring, we have down there. It could be that particular operating range is either already taken, or it would interfere with something important. I will ask my superiors about the reasoning.
You must remember that technology is ‘a little behind the curve’, on the ice. We don’t have a CompUSA, or a BestBuy right down the street. Any conversion to a new technology typically takes about two years to implement. Visitors to the ice often come down with the latest and greatest technology, but that doesn’t mean it can be used (or supported).
Be patient, be accepting. Getting your e-mail is a distant second to the adventure that lay ahead for you.
See you soon.