Monday, February 07, 2005

Emergency Mac mini Mail Server

Over at MacDailyNews, theloniusMac posted a response to the article that told of a recent client call. Apple should use this story for a commercial. You can check it out for yourself at the link above, but here's the story:


"Friday night at 05:30pm got a call from a clothing manufacturer. E-mail server down and they needed it back up ASAP. They told me it was Windows. I said, "Huh? Where'd you get my name?" Some guy I used to work with back in the day at Bank America gave them my name.

"The guy on the phone described the server. Some big honking Dell. Dell had given them the name of some local Dell Certified consultants. The Dell guys estimated the cost to get the server back up and running to be $1500.

"I asked are there any Windows specific applications running on the server? They guy said it only handled e-mail, but it had to work for Windows e-mail clients. I said I can be there in 45 minutes.

"I just happened to have a Mac Mini with me. The low end one. I'd been carrying it around in my bag to show people. I'd had it for about 2 weeks and haven't even hooked it up yet. Everywhere I took it, people were astonished. People love the Mac Mini. Especially when they actually see it. Everyone knows it's small, but it doesn't really hit you how small it is until you lay eyes on it.

"Anyway, I show up at this guy's place in downtown Los Angeles. I take a look at the Dell server, and he asks, "Can you fix it?" I say, "Why bother, I have another server here somewhere." So I start digging around in my bag making a show of it. "Hmmm... I know it's in here somewhere." The guy says, "Are you saying you have a server in your bag?" Then I whip out the Mac Mini.

"You could have knocked him over with a feather. He was freaked out and resistant at first thinking that e-mail has to run on a big Windows machine.

"17 minutes.

"It took 17 minutes to take the keyboard and monitor from his Dell, configure the Mac Mini, add usernames and passwords, and have it serving e-mail for the 15 or so people who needed it.

"I charged him my cost for the Mac Mini, and $100 for my time, which came out way less than the $1500 the Dell consultants were going to charge.

"AND it turns out he uses a web based management system for his company. We tested it, it works fine on the Mac. I demonstrated OS X on my PowerBook, showed him the facts of life concerning the Virus and security situation. He's spent a small fortune already bringing in people to de-virus and de-spyware his machines. Next week he wants to talk about replacing the aging Compaqs in his company with Mac Minis.

"Just goes to show ya. My first inclination was to tell the guy, tough luck, it's Friday, I'm going home to watch Stargate and Battlestar Galactica, and Star Trek because it's what geeks do on Friday night."