March 2001


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"Jessica L. Dion" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Departmental Technology Coordinators <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 15 Mar 2001 09:50:15 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (67 lines)
On Wed, 14 Mar 2001, Harley Blake wrote:

> Hello,
> I have noticed somewhat of a gap between the software provided here at
> UVM for Mac and that provided for Windows - maybe justifyable by
> amount of PC users being higher, but whatever...

In general, I believe CIT has tried to provide parallel applications for
both platforms.  Sometimes a mac alternative doesn't exist or is of
dubious quality, so we just can't support it.  In the case of X-windows
software, for years there weren't many alternatives.  MacX was marginally
acceptable on older macs, but it doesn't not well at all with newer macs.
We do have a limited license for eXodus (
that covers the Bailey-Howe, Waterman and Aiken computer labs.  We don't
have a site license for all of UVM though - my guess is because of the
cost.  You're welcome to try this application - we do have zoo-specific
configurations files, and there is a considerable amount of in-house
familiarity with the product.  It works very well - much slicker than MacX
ever was.

> A major thing missing is any sort of X-windows apps. I use this
> extensively to have access to a pop client for email that roams and
> lets me manage attachments, and a browser environment customized for
> my needs running on our Red Hat Linux server. For over a year it has
> been on X-win32 only and I find that fights with my workflow, since I
> am normally on Mac for the bulk of my work.

I'm not exactly sure what you're describing, but you may want to consider
using IMAP instead of pop.  This would allow you to "roam", and use pine,
webmail, and any imap client (Netscape Messenger, newer versions of
Eudora, Outlook express, etc) interchangably.  All of the apps will
synchronize with the server, so you'll see the same INBOX and folders in
each program.  The only thing that doesn't sync is addressbook entries,
but there are workaround for that.

> Since people are encouraged to take advantage of central services, and
> that is primarily a Unix cluster, it would seem only fair and
> equitable to provide nice stable apps for accessing these resources
> from the Mac (i.e. X windows and contemporary FTP like Interarchy or
> something).

I agree.  CIT may not be able to afford a site license for a mac X
emulator, but I'd certainly recommend trying eXodus.  Perhaps you should
bring this up to the ITN Standards Committee
( and ask that a standard be
reviewed for X emulating software.

If you "live" in X and would rather not use an emulator, you could try
installing linux on your mac (for instance,  CIT in no way condones or supports this,
but it could be fun.  :-)

As for FTP - is fetch inadequate?  (I won't be insulted if you say yes
:-).  This would be anotyher good topic for the ITN standards committee.
Personally, I've been looking for an SSH client for the mac that will do
sFTP, like openSSH for windows.  No such luck yet.  If you can articulate
your thoughts on fetch, and perhaps some suggestions for other FTP
programs to examine, forward them along to the standards committee, or pop
in on our next meeting. Unlike many committees, we actually get things
done.  :-)

Hope that helps.  Others in CIT who have been here longer than I have may
want to correct me on some of this.

                                                        - Jessica Dion