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Apple's attempt at a centralized workstation control center. It is supposed to replace the terminally underpowered and crash happy At Ease for Workgroups. Like most remote administration tools Macintosh Manager operates on a client/server basis with the required client intstalled by default (unlike Network Assistant which needs to be installed from the Custom setting) in all the 9.x Macintosh operating systems.

The client is basically transparent to the end user unless you require a log in. For most applications (typically school computer labs or really anal retentive offices) you want an automated log in with limited access . This is pretty easily accomplished with Macintosh Manager - mainly because it doesn't do a whole heckuva lot more.

From the server side it allows you to set up users and groups and set policy individually for each of them. Big surprise there, eh? The good part is that you can specify which applications a given group can use without dealing with a fuck ton of permissions problems for associated applications, helpers, or whatever. Generally there isn't much permission twiddling necessary after you set up the accounts. Ironically, the only thing I had a rough time with was Appleworks. Since it's old and pathetic I just eliminated it entirely.

According to the documentation, Macintosh Manager will handle "up to 8,000 user accounts, 400 workgroups, and 1,000 simultaneous connections." I'm not going to buy these high estimates but it does seem to handle 500 machines with a couple of generic accounts decently.

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