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Making Your Apple Network Engineer Friendly

By   WirelessPhreak      Tuesday, May 08, 2012      Labels: , , , , ,  
With the popularity of the iPhones and iPads, the Mac has become practically viral among technology professionals. Even without official company support many of these users have banded together to create user-support communities within their companies.  I was recently at a large network hardware company and they threw out some statistics about Mac adoption.  Only 4 years ago they began to allow staff to purchase Apple devices, and since then almost 45% of their employees run a Mac. This is with no official technical support.  So how do they make the Mac Network engineer friendly?

There are several things a Network engineer needs.
  1. Serial Terminal App - The Mac has several options including the built in terminal app.  But many of us like to have something more.  Secure CRT $99.00 - Great app kinda expensive though. There is also CoolTerm, it's free and so far so good, really clean interface and easy to use.
  2. SSH Client - Once again the built in Mac SSH app is great and some cleaver developer out there created an app to manage multiple telnet and SSH connections.  JellyfiSSH $3.99, in the Apple app store, is a really easy and intuitive way of bookmarking all those connections.
  3. TFTP Server - I haven't really explored TFTP on the mac, but I found TFTP Client $1.99, in the Apple app store.  I haven't had a chance to use it and I have to admit I love tftp32 for windows, but let me know what you find.
  4. Serial Port - Steve Job's obsession with sleek industrial design killed off the com port a long time ago. Without a com port a network engineer is practically dead in the water.  There have been some really good USB serial adapters like the Keyspan by Tripp Light USA-19H, but recently I have been on the hunt for a Bluetooth serial adapter.  After looking online, Bluetooth serial adapters range from $40 to $250 dollars.  I am not looking to spend a ton of money so, luckily, I found a great post by Chris Marget on fragmentationneeded.net. In his post he highlights the UConnect BT232B from US Converters.  He says it's a slam dunk for Mac or PC and it seems very reasonably priced at $45.00.  I can't wait to give it a try and update once I get a look at it.
  5. Text Editor -   The text editor in the Mac is as good as notepad but you may want more.  Syntax highlighting is kinda like crack for those who are look at code or configs all day.  I wanted to list a couple text editor I have found invaluable. The first is Ultra Edit a robust text editor with a ton of extras and at $59 bucks well worth it. They also provide a ton of free extras such as the Cisco IOS language pack found here.  There is also a pretty good free alternative called Text Wrangler, it is the freeware version of BBEdit which i have not used, but it to also has a Cisco IOS language pack that can be downloaded from here.
Lastly, I welcome your ideas so feel free to list any apps hardware tor tricks you have found to make the Mac the network engineers friend.

About WirelessPhreak

Just your everyday Packet Wrangler who enjoy's traveling and anything techie...