Tech Report

Date: November 20th, 2013
To: Michael Green
From: Steve Rippl
Subject: Tech Dept. Executive Summary

We are switching to Cascade networks to provide our network connection to the Intermediate School, our current provider has proved to be very undependable and I have very real concerns that if something went wrong with the link the Intermediate School would be cut off for some time.  Cascade provide our link to Yale and have been very good to work with.  It’s a shared rather than a dedicated connection so we are losing some networking features (more in terms of our administration of network addresses, nothing visible to our users) but the cost is going to be substantially lower.  They hope to hook up their fiber next Tuesday 26th and then all being well we’ll be able to make the switch at our end on the non-student day on Wednesday 27th.

The annual subscription to our anti-virus solution is coming up for renewal early next year and because of extensive reports of problems with it’s latest version we’re looking at alternatives to see what the current options are.  Anti-virus solutions are a minefield, by their nature they are so integrated into their host system that they naturally slow down the computer and they are very hard to remove if transitioning to another product.  The quality/effectiveness of them also seems to vary over time as they try to stay ahead of current threats.  We’ve been through this once already since I’ve been in this position, we’ll see if we think it’s worth the pain to switch again.

The High School was looking for a simple solution to archiving scans of transcripts and then being able to print them and store some notes as to when transcript copies were requested.  There are some free open source solutions but they were either over-complicated or didn’t work with our database, so we’ve built a simple little web-based utility that lets them upload a scanned PDF (which then gets stored on our servers) and then search for them later.