Question: What options to Macintosh users have who want to use Frontpage or Microsoft Publisher?
The IT Guy says:
One option is to use programs that have Macintosh-native versions, such as DreamWeaver for Web publishing or, for desktop publishing, AppleWorks or InDesign.
With OS X, however, another interesting alternative has become viable for Macintosh users as well as Windows users: software programs like FrontPage and Publisher can be run directly from a Windows 2000 or newer server. To do this, you need to configure remote services on your server, and configure the server as an application server.
Then create login accounts to be used specifically when teachers need to run Publisher or FrontPage from their classroom computer, but don't have it installed on that computer. They will connect using Remote Desktop, which is built-in for Windows XP (START - PROGRAMS - ACCESSORIES - COMMUNICATIONS - REMOTE DESKTOP CONNECTION) but is available for free as a downloadable client application for variants of Windows (98, ME, 2000, NT) as well as Macintosh OS X.
When you create the profile for the user account on your Windows server, set up a default program to run as soon as the user logs in: either FrontPage or Publisher, for example. Of course you need to make sure your campus or district meets requisite licensing requirements for the software you are setting up.
A word of caution: having too many simultaneous users running apps from the server can bog it down, so this is not optimal for a large number of concurrent users. For a few teachers who need access to these programs, however, this can be a slick solution: you can save a desktop icon with the IP address and login info to the server, so the teachers do not have to remember those settings. And Macintosh users can do this too! They will only have access to network printers, not their local Macintosh inkjet printer, and files must be saved directly to the server. Despite these limitations, this option can be viable and welcome to users who did not previously enjoy access to these programs.
Download links for the remote desktop connection client software is available from Microsoft for both older Windows operating systems. For Windows go to Remote Desktop Connection Software Download (opens in new tab). For Macintosh OS X go to Remote Desktop Client (opens in new tab).
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