Wednesday, April 8, 1998 at 7:23:23 AM Pacific

Miramar Systems

Miramar Systems claims to be the world's leading developer of Mac OS to Windows networking software. On their site they say "Since 1989, Miramar customers, OEMs and the media alike have endorsed MACLAN as the products of choice for dependability, credibility, and performance."

Well, yesterday I had a support nightmare with them. I wanted to purchase a second serial number so we could connect one of our NT servers to a Mac server.

They wanted me to give them information that I consider private (my NT serial number). I couldn't get them to take my money, even after talking with the CEO.

This is a very frustrating and unprofessional company to work with. Absolutely no ethic of "the customer is always right." I just wanted to give them my credit card info, get a serial number and get back to work.

I spent an hour on the phone with them, and I don't have the software, and I regret making the investment in the first place.

More info

Pat Lee, pat@moltensky.com asks: "I have one question about your support nightmare yesterday that your post leaves out. Did they give you any reason for requiring the NT serial number?"

The sales rep didn't offer a reason, other than it was company policy to require the information. When I spoke with the CEO he said that the guy didn't actually ask the question. He said I must have misheard him. The conversation went downhill from there.

Dave Winer
April 8, 1998

Gavin McGovern's Miramar story

From Gavin McGovern, gavin@lushcode.com:

Way way back in the late 80s/early 90s, I was working for a company that did peer-to-peer networking solutions for the PC world. Windows for Workgroups was but a gleam in someone's eye and Novell was our major competitor.

We needed a Mac product and I was part of the team that was going to integrate it. Lo and behold who did we use but Miramar. It was pretty hellish dealing with them back then also. And in fact, by the time I left the company we were already a year late in shipping. It doesn't surprise me that they're still so anti-customer; that kind of attitude comes from the top as your example so clearly demonstrates.

I use a combination of things now, Samba for doing NT-Unix stuff, Netatalk for doing Mac-Unix stuff. I use the standard NT Services for Macintosh to do the Mac-NT stuff. It was a lot of work setting up and I don't recommend it to everyone. Then again, I didn't have to pay anyone and maintenance consists of maybe an hour or two a month.

Paul Snively's DAVE story

From Paul F. Snively, psnively@rdoor.com:

I'm sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience with someone purporting to provide a product and service to go with it.

By way of counterexample, I offer this:

I joined a small company that, while primarily Windows-based, also has a background in NeXTStep and Macintosh.I knew I'd end up using some tools that are only available for Windows, but in the meantime, I needed to be productive on my primary platform--Macintosh--right away.

The company had installed Samba on an OpenStep box, and that was working fine for the Windows folks. I had heard of Thursby Software Systems' DAVE some time before, so I visited their website. Turns out they'd recently released 2.0 and were still getting rave reviews. As if that weren't enough, they also sell online. So I asked my boss for a credit card number that he provided, filled out the form, and downloaded DAVE 2.0.

I extracted it, installed it, opened up one control panel in which I entered the appropriate domain information for the Samba machine.Closed the control panel, opened Chooser, clicked on "DAVE Client." There were all of our Windows machines, some of which had shared directories. Went to one of them, saw Word documents with proper icons, the whole nine yards.

I think the entire process--from hitting web site to seeing shared files--took maybe fifteen minutes.

Since then I've added a shared printer and shared folders of my own. (Since then I've gotten on a new Windows machine, but that's another tale).

The bottom line is that I can't recommend DAVE enough, and no, I don't know anyone there or have any stake. Just a happy customer.

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