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MS Remote Desktop Client for Mac OS X

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Has anyone seen or realized the importance of microsh*t releasing Remote Desktop Client for Mac OS X?!
Let me tell you why it's such a big deal...my company are merging with another who use windows admin apps, they want us to move to PC too, but now we can all connect our Macs to a terminal server which gives us a virtual Windows session to run apps in but still keep our Macs, with QuickMail etc... The MS posturing over the development Office is nothing, this tells me that MS consider OS X a serious contender and that the Mac has a foothold it will never break. I'm over the moon! Commments?

[changed title to reflect topic - Brad]

[ 07-19-2002: Message edited by: Brad ]</p>
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post #2 of 35
It's amazing that people really haven't talked about this. It is important.
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post #3 of 35
It is interesting that MS did this, but it's nothing new. You could always do this with VNC.
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post #4 of 35
The beauty is that we can manage our servers or use our own desktops remotely while at a client location with our iBooks! Not only that, but we have a lab of eMacs and if the five PC labs are in use, we can run term services to all these Macs and use the Mac lab as a PC lab if need be.

I am quite impressed with MS, this client performs as well as my Win2k client.
post #5 of 35
Yes this IS BIG news. I expect this thread will become popular once more people try this out.

Question 1) Is/will there be support for multiple remote machines?

Question 2) How is it! Anyone used it yet? Do games work? I am considering getting a $200 shitbox (no Windows installed ) for use with this. I'll never have to touch a PC keyboard or mouse again! Yay!

I like something BrianMacOS once said, and I think it applies: "I used to use Windows once. Now I use it in MacOS X"
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"I was really curious how they had managed such fine granularity of alienation." addabox
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"Overpopulation and climate change are serious shit." Gilsch
"I was really curious how they had managed such fine granularity of alienation." addabox
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post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping to try it out on thursday, across a 2Mb line to another site, WAN-style. I'll let you know as soon as I have any results...
But i'm glad that some other people have noticed this too.

[quote] <hr></blockquote>
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post #7 of 35
I agree completely. This hasn't been big news, but it is very interesting. I would love to hear some feedback from people who've used, and some screenshots. I'm just curious what this would look like
post #8 of 35
I still don't understand this Remote Desktop thing completely. Does this mean I can log into my work/school Windows NT server from my Mac instead of having to use a Wintel client?

As some have pointed out above, I would love to screenshots of this stuff in action. If MS Remote Desktop means that I can possibly keep using a Mac in a Windows NT environment (i.e. most of the employers that I will be looking at after I get my JD next year) this development is truly groundbreaking.

Escher
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"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
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post #9 of 35
This MS page has some details and a small screenshot:

<a href="http://www.microsoft.com/mac/products/rdc/default.asp" target="_blank">http://www.microsoft.com/mac/products/rdc/default.asp</a>
post #10 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by Aquatik:
[QB]Yes this IS BIG news. I expect this thread will become popular once more people try this out.

Question 1) Is/will there be support for multiple remote machines?

Question 2) How is it! Anyone used it yet? Do games work? I am considering getting a $200 shitbox (no Windows installed ) for use with this. I'll never have to touch a PC keyboard or mouse again! Yay! <hr></blockquote>

What do you mean by multiple remote machines?
Terminal services comes in two flavors. App hosting and remote administration. With the server configured as an app server you can have unlimited simultaneous sessions. In remote administration mode you can have two simultaneous sessions. If you're curious whether you can have multiple machines with the client, the answer is yes.

As for the 200.00 dollar shit box I am not sure what you mean. Most people don't realize that you need a version of windows that supports an RDP connection or terminal services. Right now that means 2K server or XP on the desktop.
Games are a big no. Terminal services is fast but no where near what someone would need to play games. Bandwith would severly limit this possibility as well.
I just got done testing it on my roommates xp laptop. I must admit I am impressed. Performance seems on par with the 2K pro clients I setup at the family business.

Robster, I do realize the importance of this. I was going to purchase a PC laptop for the sole purpose of administering a 2K server for the family business. I tried hoblink and some of the other solutions out there but wanted something that would work like I was using a Windows box. This is it. Now I can log in remotely using terminal services, then launch pc anywhere and administer the server, 3 workstations, and 3 point of sale terminals all from my mac over the internet. Best part, the money that was going to a pc laptop now is going to a mac laptop!


[quote] The MS posturing over the development Office is nothing, this tells me that MS consider OS X a serious contender and that the Mac has a foothold it will never break. I'm over the moon! Commments?
<hr></blockquote>
I am not so sure. This in many ways means people with macs could run windows apps off the server in app hosting mode. Why have a mac version of office when you can run the pc version off the server? Seems pessimistic but it is possible. I will be using it to run a pc program that will never run on a mac in my lifetime. Development costs for this client are much cheaper than those for a program like office. I think this might have broader implications than it initially seems.

Nevertheless, I'm thrilled!
post #11 of 35
Escher, suggest you take a gander at Macwindows.com's "Citrix section." It is like telnetting to a UNIX box, but of course graphical. For a long time only 3rd parties provided this ability fully from the Mac, like Citrix et al. Thus I didn't want to use them. Not M$ kosher. Because, as we all know, PC users are protective of their machines. Seeing as WinDOHze is so "fragile..."

However, this officially sanctioned client really caught me by surprise. This is BIG news. Escher I have a feeling you'll like this.

From one Macwindows.com reader:

[quote]
Fred Tsui:

I, of course, downloaded RDC the moment I got to work yesterday, I listened to the keynote at home over a modem, and tried it out on the servers at Mission High School. It worked surprisingly well for a v1 of a MS product. My biggest complaint would be not having the ability to open multiple connections. Which HOBLink JWT is supposed to let you have the ability to do, but it is not very easy to set up. RDC does remember your last server you connected to. That is very nice.

At this point, I have to say that RDC is a better value (Free) then HOBLink JWT for Mac OS X users. If HOB can add more features (like multiple connections) faster than MS then their product could be worth the money.

<hr></blockquote>

This suggests I can't have multiple PC machines "running on my Mac." I mean, multiple different PCs on my Mac monitor, not multiple connections between my Mac and a Wintel.

I'm aware what windoze versions I need. Expen$ive ones. I have a licensed copy of XP Pro. So this will work apparently (anyone with this set-up, I'd be obliged to hear your story, MacWindows says XP Pro only does "Remote Help")

Also about bandwith. Since the box on the other end is doing most of the heavy lifting, the only info sent back to the Mac is sound and the display. Input is sent (trivial.) So would there be enough bandwith to play games on the PC through the Mac? Or do other big apps like Office XP (I have licensed copy actually)? Assuming top of the line systems and network?

Thanks for chiming in everyone. I think it's awfully ironic that this may be one of the biggest features to get "switchers!" Imagine that, this would be one of the most impressive things to demo to a casual PC users, and from the Evil Empire itself! Hey, who needs Apple to market OS X when M$ can do it?
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post #12 of 35
[quote](anyone with this set-up, I'd be obliged to hear your story, MacWindows says XP Pro only does "Remote Help<hr></blockquote>

I've used RDC on the PC side since XP was in release canidate, so well over a year now. XP Pro includes full suport for RDC while XP Home only allows for the Remote help.

I tried playing some Quake 2 over the RDC connection but like others said network bandwidth isn't quite up to snuff with requirements, hehe.

[quote]This suggests I can't have multiple PC machines "running on my Mac." I mean, multiple different PCs on my Mac monitor, not multiple connections between my Mac and a Wintel.
<hr></blockquote>

AFAIK you can only be connected to a single machine at once.

[quote]Why have a mac version of office when you can run the pc version off the server? Seems pessimistic but it is possible. I will be using it to run a pc program that will never run on a mac in my lifetime. <hr></blockquote>

Not sure but that might violate Microsoft's EULA. Doesn't mean much to home users but it is something companies worry about.
post #13 of 35
I downloaded and tried the RDC the day it was announced. I have tried playing around with it for a few days.

The comparison to VNC is a little off. VNC allows you to have a single password protected connection. A client connected via VNC has full rights of the Windows user account that is logged in. Basically, with VNC, if you want a client to have admin rights, you must leave your Windows server logged in as admin. This is far from ideal. RDC allows you to connect as any Windows user that has remote connections available on the server. This is much more secure, as you can leave the server on, but logged out. You may also limit the type of account remote users have, whereas VNC anyone with the single password can connect, and have access at whatever level the currently logged on user has.

Throughput seems to be much better than VNC as well. I read over some documentation, and RDC increases bandwidth as demand increases, where as VNC is pretty mcuh a static connection. As a test, I tried playing a QT movie. As mentioned in MS documentation, the movie and sound at first was a little stuttered, but as the movie played, the video and sound become less jumpy. network activity also jumped from about 1Mb/s to around 5.5Mb/s. The ability to hear sound from the server is also a benefit over VNC.

Another benefit, is that when connecting from your Mac to the Windows server, you may choose to allow your Windows acount to have full access to your Mac drives and printers. This is great. Even if your PC isn't set up for your PS printer on your Mac network, it can use the established RDC connection to print to that printer.

All in all, I have been pretty impressed. Depending on where I am in the house, I use both an OSX and an XP box. When I am on the Mac, I have been using VNC to admin the PC from 2 floors down, but RDC is seeming to be a much better option.

Now I am wishing that Apple would drop the price on their Apple Remote Desktop, or bundle it in a pro version of OSX, and also release a Windows Client for it.

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...sometimes it's both
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post #14 of 35
For the ones who need a screeenshot, here's one: (a friend of mine posted it, but i've never personaly tried RDC)

<a href="http://www.aucuneid.net/share/pic/rdc.png" target="_blank">Clic Me !</a>
post #15 of 35
I sold my iBook about 2 days ago because I couldn't use it at work. This little piece of software would have changed all that. I support and administer about 200 servers worldwide using WTS. I'm now very pissed!

Goddam IBM thinkpad, lousy nipple - Oh save me!

Thank god for the iMac at home
Tim
post #16 of 35
Tim, sorry to hear that.

[quote]
...and also release a Windows Client for it. <hr></blockquote>

Good call!

Franck thanks for the screen shot, but I can't believe IE doesn't support PNG. Stupid IE. Mozilla and Netscape 6.2.3 are looking better every day...

Eskimo, thanks for the informative post. You can't use multiple PCs from the Mac? That would be super-ultra-mega cool!

So, what were you using when trying to play Quake II? Maybe with Gigabit ethernet and fast boxes games will work?
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"I was really curious how they had managed such fine granularity of alienation." addabox
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"Overpopulation and climate change are serious shit." Gilsch
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post #17 of 35
*bump*!
"Overpopulation and climate change are serious shit." Gilsch
"I was really curious how they had managed such fine granularity of alienation." addabox
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"Overpopulation and climate change are serious shit." Gilsch
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post #18 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by Escher:
<strong>I still don't understand this Remote Desktop thing completely. Does this mean I can log into my work/school Windows NT server from my Mac instead of having to use a Wintel client?

As some have pointed out above, I would love to screenshots of this stuff in action. If MS Remote Desktop means that I can possibly keep using a Mac in a Windows NT environment (i.e. most of the employers that I will be looking at after I get my JD next year) this development is truly groundbreaking.

Escher</strong><hr></blockquote>

You could keep using it in a WindowsNT environment as long as your company has a Terminal Server or will allow you to run XP. WindowsNT Terminal Server, Windows 2k Server family, and Windows XP Pro are the only Windows that you can remote desktop into (it's only called remote desktop on XP, it's 'terminal services' in NT and 2K).

As far as some people talking about games. This will only work with some games. Non-graphical games. By this I mean games that don't require a high refresh. Playing movies and 3d games are out, but games like Civilization II with the movies and animations turned off shouldn't have a problem working. (technically the machine will still be running the game if it requires a high refresh, only you won't be able to see what is going on as well since the Remote Desktop doens't refresh at 30+ fps ).
post #19 of 35
I have used RDC a lot (in XP, not in OSX). I used it to administer to a Windows XP box I had running as a server for a Direct Connect Anime hub while I was on my college's connection. I also used it for IRC when I found out that my IP was banned from #C++@dalnet (this was the first time that I tried that channel) since I had two IPs with the school. Back on track though, RDC works prett nice for average applications. Things like movies and games , as I mentioned above won't worka s well since the refresh isn't that great. There is one cool thing (at least in the windows versions). You can tell the audio to play on your computer or the remote computer. You can use RDC to stream sounds to the computer you are running RDC from or you can have all the sounds that you are playing play on the actual computer that you are logging into whicb is kinda cool.
post #20 of 35
Thread Starter 
Hi,
Well i've been testing the RDC connecting across a WAN link to a Win2k server, from both OS X and WinNT4...
The client end is great, even a little faster in OS X, there are some good features like saving of profiles (woefully lacking in HOBlink). It's going to make my life a lot easier. I'll try and get a screen grab to post on monday.
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post #21 of 35
Yes I guess for games it's a pipe dream. For now, in a few years we'll see. Maybe when those "better" PCs get Gigabit Ethernet? Still sounds very exciting, I can't wait to try this when I get to college this Fall! Screen grabs would be great, and that sound toggling feature is just plain slick. M$ needs to be split up! Apple buys MacBU and M$ is forced to maintain compatibility! I can dream

So is RDC better than Citrix and 3rd party clients on the whole? I don't understand why I'd want to buy those when this is free. (Sounds so familiar, hmm who are we talking about?)

Being able to control more than one PC from your Mac would be extremely cool and useful, no?
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"I was really curious how they had managed such fine granularity of alienation." addabox
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post #22 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by Eskimo:
<strong>

Not sure but that might violate Microsoft's EULA. Doesn't mean much to home users but it is something companies worry about.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Remote Desktop only allows one user to be logged on remotely at a time. This would not violate the EULA since only one person could use Office at a time and it is running on only one machine at a time.
post #23 of 35
There is also 'rdesktop'. Which is a Unix version (I think it's open source too). It's 3rd party though. Sometimes it screws up the fonts and you have to log in and out until it gets it right, but this might only be a flaw in linux. I'm not sure how it runs in OSX with X-Windows installed.
post #24 of 35
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by pyr3:
<strong>

Remote Desktop only allows one user to be logged on remotely at a time. This would not violate the EULA since only one person could use Office at a time and it is running on only one machine at a time.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well that's not true, sorry not flaming or anything but i have 50 people connecting to one Windows2000 server everyday as of today (when i did the installs) and it works perfectly. The EULA question is sorted because you have to pay for a per seat license for each connecting user of the server and for any MS software installed. I'm not saying it's cheap ('cos it ain't) but it's NOT restricted to a sinlge user login.

[quote] <hr></blockquote>
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post #25 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by robster:
Well that's not true, sorry not flaming or anything but i have 50 people connecting to one Windows2000 server everyday as of today (when i did the installs) and it works perfectly. The EULA question is sorted because you have to pay for a per seat license for each connecting user of the server and for any MS software installed. I'm not saying it's cheap ('cos it ain't) but it's NOT restricted to a sinlge user login.<hr></blockquote>

That's because what you are running is Terminal Services, not Remote Desktop, they are two different things. Remote Desktop only comes with Windows XP Professional, any only one user can be logged in at a time. Fortunately, the Remote Desktop Client works for both.

[ 08-05-2002: Message edited by: Colby2000 ]

[ 08-05-2002: Message edited by: Colby2000 ]</p>
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post #26 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by Aquatik:
<strong>
So is RDC better than Citrix and 3rd party clients on the whole? I don't understand why I'd want to buy those when this is free. (Sounds so familiar, hmm who are we talking about?)</strong><hr></blockquote>

Ok, while I'm at it, Citrix MetaFrame is WAY better than RDC. There's just no contest. Citrix is way faster and much nicer to your bandwith. It let's you do a bunch of cool things RDC doesn't too, like publishing apps (instead of the whole desktop [ok, if you really try you can do it with RDC]) anyway, you can publish apps to web pages, click a link and run word in your web browser! It let's you map and use local resources like drives and printers from the remote apps too.
Demo here--&gt; <a href="http://demoroom.citrix.com/" target="_blank">http://demoroom.citrix.com/</a>

Then again, it's thousands of dollars.


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post #27 of 35
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Colby2000:
<strong>

That's because what you are running is Terminal Services, not Remote Desktop, they are two different things. Remote Desktop only comes with Windows XP Professional, any only one user can be logged in at a time. Fortunately, the Remote Desktop Client works for both.

[ 08-05-2002: Message edited by: Colby2000 ]

[ 08-05-2002: Message edited by: Colby2000 ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

aaaah simple misunderstanding, yes of course your right, i am indeed connecting to terminal server....sorry for any aggro!


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post #28 of 35
This is a REALLY cool App not getting much attention. I'm surprised. Anyway..

An interesting point was raised about FireWire networking in regards to using RDC. Now that Apple is implementing FireWire networking officially in OS X, what's everyone's thoughts on this? Especially with FireWire 2, likely coming this year.
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post #29 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by Aquatic:

<strong>An interesting point was raised about FireWire networking in regards to using RDC. Now that Apple is implementing FireWire networking officially in OS X, what's everyone's thoughts on this? Especially with FireWire 2, likely coming this year.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I connected my Compaq (celeron 800Mhz) to my iMac (G4 800Mhz) today with firewire (tcp/ip) and I have to say that RDC is very fast now. I will hide the Compaq under my desk and never use Virtual PC again!

-Snowster

[ 01-04-2003: Message edited by: Snowster ]</p>
post #30 of 35
We hooked up a couple of dedicated rendering machines to our company's LAN, and we log into these things remotely with this software. Nice idea, but terrible implementation. Sure, it can render the models nice and fast thanks to the hardware on the other end of the ethernet cable, but even drawing a menu in WinXP takes anywhere from several seconds to several minutes to draw. working with these machines through Remote desktop is a simple failure for use at this point. I'm sure it's better when you only have two machines connected, but any semblance of a network, and no pipe is fat enough to make it worthwhile right now.

This is exactly why David Pogue had such frustrations with the Smart Display he reviewed in the Ny times this past week. It's a nice idea in general, but it's just not really feasible yet from my experience. that will change over time, but as time goes on, apple and whoever else can implement this at a better time and not lose a step.
post #31 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by Snowster:
<strong>

I connected my Compaq (celeron 800Mhz) to my iMac (G4 800Mhz) today with firewire (tcp/ip) and I have to say that RDC is very fast now. I will hide the Compaq under my desk and never use Virtual PC again!

-Snowster

[ 01-04-2003: Message edited by: Snowster ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Tell me - I'm currently using a 100Mb switch between my Windows PC and my Mac (so I only have to use one keyboard/mouse). How much better is firewire networking? And how was the setup on the PC side? I'm VERY interested in this.
post #32 of 35
Same here. Just imagine, with 3,200 mbps tcp/ip over FireWire 2 :eek:

This looks so cool. I'm going to try this soon.
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post #33 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by Aquatik:
<strong>Yes this IS BIG news. I expect this thread will become popular once more people try this out.

Question 1) Is/will there be support for multiple remote machines?

Question 2) How is it! Anyone used it yet? Do games work? I am considering getting a $200 shitbox (no Windows installed ) for use with this. I'll never have to touch a PC keyboard or mouse again! Yay!

I like something BrianMacOS once said, and I think it applies: "I used to use Windows once. Now I use it in MacOS X"</strong><hr></blockquote>

You don't get it. 'Over the network' is the key phrase here. The frame rate over remote desktop is extremely sluggish. You can't play games over it! You can't even stream movies over it. The only thing this is useful for is for running office-type apps over the network.

There is no multiple machine support. I don't even think that windows has multiple remote desktop support, though I maybe wrong. Not many people use more than one remote desktop.

Hell, Remote Desktop even lags on the text scrolling in mIRC when I used to use it over RDP ( MS now calls it Remote Desktop Protocol, instead of Remote Desktop Client for some odd reason ). Granted this was only for when there was an extreme amount of text, but the point is that there is still no *real* substitute for running directly from a windows box for most things. Microsoft is not so retarded as to release a product that negates the use of Windows completely. Also, this release is not so significant as you try to make it seem. RDP had Unix apps that could access Terminal Servers before OSX or Windows XP even hit the streets. This also doesn't even take into account that VNC is also out there and is open. This release isn't as signficant as you think it is ... and this thread is a few months late at that.
post #34 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by Akac:
<strong>
Tell me - I'm currently using a 100Mb switch between my Windows PC and my Mac (so I only have to use one keyboard/mouse). How much better is firewire networking? And how was the setup on the PC side? I'm VERY interested in this.</strong><hr></blockquote>

For a point-to-point connection (i.e. exactly two devices) IP over FireWire might be a little faster in some cases - I never managed to get actual transfer rates in excess of 10MB/s when doing some tests with it, which is about the same 100Mb ethernet gets. But for anything involving more devices than that, a switched Ethernet will be the better solution.

Bye,
RazzFazz
post #35 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by BlueJekyll:
<strong>It is interesting that MS did this, but it's nothing new. You could always do this with VNC.</strong><hr></blockquote>
With the best will in the world, not quite true!

VNC - as far as I understand it - runs in a similar way to Timbuktu or pcAnywhere delivering remote control of server's operating console or a remote PC.

RDC is a) a client for Microsoft's Terminal Services server which comes with Windows 2000 Server, thus facilitating both remote admin of a server and multiple clients to use products like Project and Visio without implementing Virtual PC and b) a client to control Windows XP's remote desktop service pretty much like pcAnywhere or VNC or Radmin.
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]

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"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]

"What's your point?" ~ Mark Solomon...
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