Friday, July 31, 2009

Google Docs

Geez...I keep getting behind on my 27 Things (like everyone else, I think). So, this morning I worked on #18, the online document stuff. I like Google Docs because I already have a login, so I don't have to set anything up. I also like all the templates they have to choose from. I made a scrapbook of different tech images I have taken over the months. Then I figured out how to let other people see it. Now, I have to get back to my other tasks of the day.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Things are hopping here at the library! We have been very busy installing those new computers I lasted blogged about. We have since finished that project and are almost finished with the new selfcheck installations. We have also begun moving Valley Hi library computers to the new branch that will open at the end of August.

Not to mention the normal workload of break/fix stuff that is submitted into the SuRF system. The GX620 monitors have been failing bunches lately, but they always seem to break down in waves. The new Optiplex 760's we just bought seem to have video chip problems which doesn't make me feel too happy. To fix those machines we have to replace the mainboard. I plan on spending some time today catching up on my 27 things and ordering some parts from Dell.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Holy cow...the computers are here!!

We got the first part of the new shipment of computers today. We ordered 266 computers and 266 monitors. We got somewhere around 200 of each so far. We have to do a lot to get the machines ready to be installed at the branches or departments that they go to. For those of you who have ever wondered, the process goes like this:
  1. "Unbox" the computer and monitor
  2. Put asset tags on each item
  3. Write down all serial numbers and express service tag numbers
  4. Unwrap all the peripherals, such as mouse and keyboard and the cables
  5. Turn on the computer and set up the BIOS (this is the very basic settings for the computer, such as date/time and hardware settings)
  6. Image the computer with the correct image, such as catalog or staff or internet
  7. Put all the items back into one box neatly in preparation for installation
  8. Mark the box and stack it off to the side
  9. Repeat the process about 265 more times
Now you know what is involved in processing a shipment of new computers. After we process them, we schedule the installations for the departments and branches. We usually can process about 10-20 computers a day. What slows us down is the massive amount of packing material. We will fill up the recycle bin at Central every day during this process. When we install them, we usually install about 6 a day for staff and sometimes more than that if they are for public use. This year may be a little bit different since we are also doing the PC Reservation installations over the next couple of months.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Really cool website...

It isn't a techie website, but it is still cool. I joined recently, but I have been pulling information from the calorie counter that they have for a long time. The site is called sparkpeople. It is an online community for people who are trying to live healthy or lose weight. I happen to fall into both of those categories, so I absolutely love the site. There is a food tracker where you put in everything you eat in a day and it calculates whether you are on the right track or if you need to change some things. There are also meal plans available if you want. Recipes, too.

Well, back to technology related stuff. I found the next computer that I would like to own. It's an HP Touchsmart IQ800t and it's pricey at $2100. Normally, I build my own computer, so this is a huge leap for me to want to buy a pre-built computer. The reason I want this one is it is a touchscreen, all-in-one unit, including TV and a 25.5" screen. I have had the same computer for almost 5 years. I built it when I lived in Concord and was working out of my home. It is still a good computer. I built it with top of the line parts that I was able to buy at cost because of my affiliation with a computer store down there. I no longer have the ability to buy at cost, so I have to decide what to do when I want to it myself or pay less and buy from Dell or HP. Hmmm....maybe I will save my money and buy the HP Touchsmart...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

ARD Rollout

I just got back from Arden's launch of PC Reservation. It went really smoothly. Thanks so much to the Arden staff for having the patrons get PIN numbers ahead of time. That made the transition very easy.

I saw Jami Trawick there and she was snapping pictures for her flickr page. She is spending a couple weeks at Arden doing the job swapping program. Be sure to check out her flickr page to see some great shots!

Tomorrow, we will configure King for the new software. They have 30 internet computers, so this will take us awhile to move over to the new system.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fun with files....

Well, today in Systems we found a suspicious file that Norton Antivirus is not picking up as viral. It does some pretty strange things. It creates an exe file named after the parent folder that it is in (usually a username). Then, from what I was able to see, it opens the firewall to every executable that is run. Pretty intriguing. I created a batch file that will send a text file to one of our servers with a list of any %username%.exe files it finds. The file will run when staff members log on to their computer. They may notice a black box appear but it goes by within two seconds or so.

I am thinking that nobody else has this pesky file because there would be symptoms of it. The reason I even noticed the file was because we were having to back up a staff member's profile in order to re-image the computer. There were all kinds of problems with her computer, so it makes itself known to anyone who is infected. We haven't seen any other SuRF requests about similar problems.

Chances are everyone else is fine, but we will find out for sure once people are logging back into their machines tomorrow.

Interesting day....

By the way, RIO's PC Reservation installation went all right. We did have to reboot all the systems to get them to "talk" to each other, but once that happened, we were fine. Next week is ARD and KIN.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Today, we installed PC Reservation at DEL. Things are going well. We went over to DEL first thing this morning and got it all working. Then we came back to Central and I quickly got some documentation put together to hand out to staff. Then we were joined by Antonio who is a huge help training the staff! We drove back out to DEL and made sure everything was going according to plan. It went off well. There was the usual rush of setting up PIN numbers for patrons.

Tomorrow we are doing RIO....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

PC Reservation Roll Out Schedule

Do you want to know when your branch is going to be switching to PC Reservation???? Now you can find out!!!

Go to Splat. Click on Information Technology, then IT Page. Once you get there, go to the IT FAQs. In the list you will find the PC Reservation category. Click it and there is the roll out schedule! It's a PDF file that you can download or view!

Leave me a comment....if you have one.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Snow trip video

Darren going down the hill, originally uploaded by Tamara Morcom.

In March, my family took a trip to Pinecrest, CA and played in the snow.

When we first arrived, the snow was white and clean. By the time we left, it was packed down and full of dirt!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What I want to learn...

So, for this learning plan we are supposed to come up with at work....I think I got it. I have decided that I could use some training in batch files and scripting, so I dove in.

I spent quite a while at work today creating a new batch file that turned out to be two pages long and it helps me to install PC Reservation faster. It will be an incredible help when I get to the other branches to install the product. Curtis helped with a couple of commands that I was not familiar with and I tested the final batch file before I left work. It worked with no problems. Ah, success!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

7 1/2 Habits Online Tutorial

I watched the 7 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners today.

The easiest habit for me to incorporate is "View problems as challenges". I can do that.

The habit that would be the hardest for me to adopt would be to "Accept responsibility for your own learning". I simply don't have the creativity to come up with a learning plan nor do I have a particular subject in mind.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

PC Reservation Installation

Today was the day for Central to start using the new PC Reservation software. Staff assisted patrons with creating their PIN numbers to use the internet. IT staff was on hand to assist most of the day. All-in-all I think it went well. We shall see about tomorrow.....