Tech Report

Date: December 8, 2008

To: Michael Green

From: Steve Rippl

Subject: Tech Dept. Executive Summary

A slightly briefer report this month as it has not been that long since the last one! I can report that the HP switches we were still having problems with are now behaving exactly as we need them to. A combination of firmware that actually works and Travis plugging away until he found the right settings has done the trick. We also seem to have had success now in the thin-client lab in the Intermediate School. Initially things were still going too slow, so we actually took a step back with the software, installing a previous version of LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Project - the software that runs the thin clients) as opposed to the latest version we started with, and things seem to be working really very well now.

Over last summer we upgraded our Accelerated Reader software (with is used from the Primary School through to the Middle School) to a web based version, and right now we're in the process of upgrading Read Naturally. This has been a particularly problematic application for us with the database getting corrupted several times. A lot of educational software is frankly pretty poorly written, but Read Naturally was worse than most! The new version runs on a much better database (actually an open source one!) so I'm hoping we have less problems with it in the future. We're also upgrading an application called Deep Freeze, which we use to "freeze" student machines in a certain state, so that no matter what happens on that machine it just reverts back to the correct state every 30 minutes or so. Our old version was no longer working with the newest hardware coming in, so it was time to upgrade.