Date: November 17, 2008
To: Michael Green
From: Steve Rippl
Subject: Tech Dept. Executive Summary
Well HP, while not admitting directly that there's anything wrong with the model of switch I mentioned last month, have furnished us with a firmware upgrade that's 2 versions ahead of what they release to the public. I think we must have hit on something they're only just working on and now we're beta testing their firmware! Needless to say we're putting it on a test switch here in the office first and then we'll find one or two spots in the Intermediate school to test it further. It is a relief that we're not crazy in our expectation of this hardware and that HP are taking us seriously.
Jeff Flanagan has been taking kids into the new thin client lab to familiarize the students with it before teachers take their classes in. Things have been a little rocky as we iron out a few glitches and optimize the new operating system for our environment, but Jeff has been very helpful and flexible in his approach to it and things are getting there.
We will continue to work on this for the next few weeks with him, and a little later when everything is really working as it should I will invite a few teachers from other schools to take a look at it. One of my main goals at the moment is to find different ways to give the students more access to computers. Student wireless and allowing them to bring in their own laptops will be one way, but I also would like to get more computers into classrooms, and thin clients may be a part of the solution here. One thing that will need to be addressed as we put more computers into classrooms is the network infrastructure, the actual wiring in the buildings. We've just upgraded the wiring throughout the High School Office area, things were woefully inadequate there to support the amount of networked hardware in there in a secure and efficient manner. So part of my budget and whatever we have available from Capital Projects will slowly need to go towards improving the worst classrooms. But wireless and small localized thin client labs will be another way out of this problem.