Discrimination at Kenan-Flagler

What a shame. Such a titillating title for what you will find to be a whiny, self-righteous post.

Plus, I should be studying, not whining, especially not whining self-righteously.

At Kenan-Flagler, Mac users have to walk to school barefooted, in the snow, uphill both ways. The whole email/calendaring system is entrenched in Exchange and that isn't going to change any time soon. I can't access the school's address book. The program office distributes documents that inexplicably don't open in Office for Mac.  You get the idea...

(I guess this really isn't that bad or much different that anywhere else. You see? Whiny.)

To be fair, I don't really mind it - I actually enjoy it. I have what works for me and I'd rather stick with it than follow the herd. Plus, the feeling that I'm having to scrape out my interactive existence keeps it interesting for me. (Here comes the self-righteousness...) Most of all, 4 years spent working at a company driven by and built on open source technologies galvanized my belief in open standards. I'm perfectly happy trading convenience for conviction.

That said, I don't like it when the following happens:

1.) I email someone about getting 30 minutes of their time and they reply asking that I add it to their calendar. I reply saying that I can't. I get the meeting, the first 2 minutes of which is spent questioning my ability to be productive without Outlook and suggesting that I migrate to Outlook for the web. (The full version of which doesn't work in Firefox and/or Mac OS, by the way.)

2.) I schedule a resume critique through an online system only the receive a calendar invitation that I can't act on. I had to access web Outlook to confirm the meeting and add it to a calendar that I don't use.

3.) One of my classmates describes my iBook as "cute".

The IT department, though aware of our needs and reasonably accommodating, constantly reminds us that they don't support Macs. In fact, they set up a discussion board so the 25 or so Mac users can help support each other. How nice! (Too bad it was after we had already set up an email list...)

Instead of a discussion board, I'd prefer a migration away from the Microsoft death grip to an IT world in which we are all created equal. The following simple things would make me happy:

- Calendars distributed via the CalDAV standard.
- Some sort of LDAP access to the global address book. Thunderbird appears to support it.
- The disappearance of the assumption that we all use Outlook.