Butting Heads with IT


Okay I said I would do some explaining. I don't want this to get long so I'll try to summarize.

My coworker who does GIS work here is using a workstation formerly used by another former employee. This PC has seen its day I think. All the form boxes in applications and websites are out of proportion and sorta smooshed into other text. I took a stab at figuring out what it was to no avail. Okay that was short and sweet. Then recently a couple apps started popping up the Windows installer every time the Desktop was accessed. Thinking he must have some spyware or virus, I scanned his machine and ultimately uninstalling one of the two troubling apps to work with one at a time popping up. As administrator things seem to work fine after going through the install motions but only for that session and IT has these locked down so that users can't do installs. So in one effort to fix that dang form box monitor resolution issue, I install a different video driver and viola! it is fixed. Install one of the pissy apps and wham it's all crap again.

This box has seen its day! So after finding the resource CD's I format/reinstall from custom corporate CD's and install Firefox, Gimp and Google Earth. Then I logged it into our domain but can't add the computer to the domain as I didn't have permissions. So I call IT and give them the scoop and all hell breaks loose. At one point I had to stop him (the IT guy) and tell him to spare me the lecture as I just knew I should have called them from the start. Me knowing me and they not, I didn't want to waste time sending the machine across the States. This issue has been looked at once before to no avail. Heck if I didn't know what I was doing I wouldn't have been so stupid to think I could just TRY and see if I could fix it. The best way to fix Windows has always been to format c:\ right?

Well after all that he logged in remotely and called back to ask what the hell some of those apps I installed were. He asked about Gimp and 7zip then said Firefox is not allowed and he proceeded to uninstall it. To shortened further; he couldn't get the box to register with the domain and INSISTED I send the box overnight to them.

Before they got the PC in their hands I sent him an apology email saying I was sorry for not staying within my domain and on and on. I didn't want them to hold a grudge over my coworker is spite of me.

About two weeks later the whole company gets an email:

Good Afternoon,

The IS Department has noticed several employees have installed browsers such as Firefox on company machines.

We ask that you do not install or use any browsers other than
Microsoft's Internet Explorer Version 6 (please do not upgrade to Version 7).

If you have installed any browser other than IE6, please remove them from your machine.

Thank you.

IS Support

My immediate response remains in my Drafts folder today in efforts to bite my lip.

Admittedly I was one of those who had Firefox installed and have since removed upon request stated below. However I would like to understand where the IS department is coming up with this decision. Before I state my opinion, I think it is necessary to give a brief background history of my usage.

I have been a Netscape user from the start before Internet Explorer ever made the scene. Remaining faithful to the line using the Mozilla suites into this day with Firefox. I have supported the online community in seeking bug fixes and support for users. This has always been the good nature of the Open Source community. I advocate Firefox as a far superior application to any other web browser.

To mention any of the shortcomings of Internet Explorer would be preaching to the choir assuming you know its history. I am not saying that Firefox is bug free either. One main difference is that bug fixes are applied within hours not days or even weeks that IE bugs go unfixed. The fact that IE 7 is not recommended yet by IT folks is the same you acknowledge. I understand that IS should disapprove IE 7 soly on the basis that it has not been tested with Webapps. Personally I use IE just for such purposes. Firefox does not work with sites requiring DirectX and luckily there are very few of those sites out there. But to assume that that should be the only use employees' venture to the Internet is far from reality. I know this is where I should state why I could not live without Firefox when it comes to performing my job. I have thought long and hard about what answer to give, but no I truthfully don't other than it has been a long time preference of mine. One of my previous careers as a Systems Administrator I converted the office to Mozilla for web and email. As an ISP business support, I advocated proper use of Firefox and helpful/powerful extensions available; suggesting to customers to use it as well in efforts to help keep spyware and other malice off their computers. Detection and removal tools alone should not be the sole method for fending from these attacks. Not placing the target (IE) on your back is the answer.

I hope you and the IS staff will do the homework and re-consider this decision. It's a great tool full of productive and secure features by default.

Thanks for you time,

So anyway this is most not all of my relations with our company IT staff.

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Glad I am the IT guy here I

Glad I am the IT guy here I install firefox via GPO :)

Worzie's picture

No Firefox; What to do?

Oh and what have I done to thwart their efforts? I have since installed to my USB drive Firefox Portable. The version they had was not the latest but the update featre worked great as does all the extensions I use. Not that it was a huge issue since I run all the apps I want anyway inside my VMware Player FC5 anyway. So the only trace of Firefox might be a Desktop link in the quick launch tray.

BTW, they have many apps there including Gimp and Thunderbird.


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