Tech Report

Date: October 20, 2009
To: Michael Green
From: Steve Rippl
Subject: Tech Dept. Executive Summary

Well things are certainly still busy in the Tech department! There had been a brief lull in incoming helpdesk tickets at the end of September and I had thought that we were perhaps over the worst of the initial rush, but about a week later they started pouring in again! That combined with fighting a few fires caused by power outages and more failing hardware has kept us on the move. We also found a networking bottle neck in the Middle School IDF (intermediate distribution facility, where the network switches reside) where the Middle School, TEAM, the DO and Business Portable all pass through on the way to our High School MDF (main distribution facility, our main servers and switches and internet connection). We think this has been causing problems for recent video conferences as well as some peoples computers, but it's hopefully been cured today with some rewiring to ensure we're making the most of the bandwidth we have. It does highlight to me the need to be watchful of making sure our network infrastructure can handle the increased demands we're making of it.

We had a couple of generous donations of computers last month. About 25 lower level P4s from the Vancouver School District, which aren't great machines but still significantly better than the "worst" (I should say oldest) of what we have out there. We also received about 25 high-end P4s from Providence Health & Services in Portland which will make excellent student computers.

The software and licenses for Microsoft Office and Exchange have arrived. We're still waiting on the hardware for the server but in the mean time we have begun to install it onto Staff machines and moving them back onto the old exchange server to prepare for the migration to the new system.

CAST meetings for grades K-3 seemed to go smoothly with our new student progress system. Not quite everything was in place by then, but enough that Malinda Huddleston and her team could do their thing. I'm now working with her to get things in place for the report cards that the Primary School will put out at the beginning of December. I'm also now starting to move Mo Anderson's data for the Intermediate School over to this system as well.