Systems Manager Report 2009
This past year was a little less hectic then the previous year with no building projects but it was never the less a busy one. The usual new PC install’s, general maintenance on PC’s (close to 800 total), printers, receipt printers, light pens and scanners, wireless equipment, network file servers, web server, e-mail server, spam filter, telecomm equipment, etc, etc… All this for two people to manage keeps us on the move.
A few highlights of the past years include:
- LION’s very own Emerging Technology Committee met for the first time on April 9th, 2009 in Wallingford. Topics discussed included OpenDNS, Wireless Printing, a LION Blog, iii circ sounds. I hope to schedule another meeting soon.
- Over the summer Meriden switched from their town telecommunication circuit over to LION’s CEN fiber optic Connection. Now they have the protection of LION’s firewall and filtering via Opendns.
- On August 17th, 2009, the CEN changed our Internet connection from the AT&T fiber that we had been using to a newer technology called Opt-E-Man. OPT–E–MAN Service is an optically switched data service which allows for versatile scalability and flexibility over an Ethernet network. Basically this means that the price is lower for the CEN and we get more bandwidth. It also makes it much easier for the CEN to increase our bandwidth when needed for a low price.
- This past summer, Wallingford started a trial of a new time/print management system called ALPS. Matt and I assisted them in setting up the server and once they decided to purchase ALPS, we cloned all their (50+) public internet PC’s with the new configuration.
After demonstrating it several times at different meetings, Woodbridge went ahead and purchased it as well. Matt did their entire setup for them. As I write this, I know of 2 other libraries that are seriously looking at ALPS to replace their existing management system. This coming year looks to be a busy ALPS year.
- LION held off purchasing the new Dell computers this year (we usually start in July) until Windows 7 came out. It was officially released on October 22, 2009. We immediately began ordering the new PC’s. They have just started to be delivered/installed. So far 4 new Windows 7 PC’s have been installed. There are a few kinks that need to be worked out (driver incompatibilities mostly) and it will take some time for us to learn the new OS but so far it looks to be promising. One problem that we are aware of with Windows 7 is Microsoft is not making their security software Steady State compatible with Windows 7. We use Steady State for all the Public Internet Computers and OPAC’s to lock them down. We are not sure what we will do when the time comes. For now, the Windows 7 PC’s are for STAFF only.
Looking toward next year I believe that it will be another banner year. Learning more about Windows 7 will be paramount as we move forward with the new Dell installs.
In the very near future we will have a new Web based e-mail server (I have a test server up and running and it seems to work great. I should be rolling it out right after the new year). New ALPS installs are inevitable. Kindle vs Sony reader is another battle which should play out this year. Who knows what the next new thing will be this year for libraries but you can be sure we will be ready for it when it happens.
Richard Widlansky, Systems Manager