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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Nice new computer suite, part 2

    After loads of nagging, moaning and being a pain to the bosses above me, I too have finally managed to get the go ahead for a computer suite in our school.

    I am now in the process of having our music room converted into a "Music and Information Technology Suite". This will consist of the room being segmented into 5 tables (6 PCs per table) and each PC being wireless. We will also be running a Windows 7 / Server 2008 framework.

    As we are going wireless, we are having 1 login, as the children will be doing most of there work on the Virtual Learning Platform. The logins will be locked down so that the children cannot change the background etc, and they have access to 2 shared drives one being read only - teachers assignments, and the other being read/write - childrens work, which will be set up in such a way that each child has there own folder, and it will be backed up hourly.

    Any thoughts on this set up would be greatly appreciated, although we will not be going hardwired as doing that adds an additional 3000 to the room renovation costs! (and we went over max budget already)

    Thanks!

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    mossj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    Any thoughts on this set up would be greatly appreciated, although we will not be going hardwired as doing that adds an additional 3000 to the room renovation costs! (and we went over max budget already)

    Thanks!
    Could you not hardwire it up yourself... for a very much reduced price... It's not that difficult to do

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    5 tables (6 PCs per table) and each PC being wireless.
    Coo, snazzy! What wireless system? Check it can handle that many clients, obviously, or put an access point and switch in the middle of each desk and cable each PC to that. Buying 5 of those might even be cheaper than buying wireless cards for 30 PCs.

    We will also be running a Windows 7 / Server 2008 framework.
    Do you actually need Server 2008? If you're going to have each PC only use one login anyway you could just have them use a local login, not bother with having to have a DC, 30 device CALs or antivirus. You would want to use something like DeepFreeze to keep your PCs set up properly and virus free. The cost might actually be around the same, but I bet a PC that uses DeepFreeze to keep a PC in a consistent state instead of having antivirus constantly running performs better. Best to have a client on each PC to take a username and password from the user to mount network drives, and users should reset the machines after use instead of logging out.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    what about soft xpand or ncomputing to give u the number of pc's saving money and allowing for hardwiring.

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    Hey...............

    I went back to the homepage, clicked what I thought was my thread, read the first few words and thought "nephilim didn't post this"


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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    what about soft xpand or ncomputing to give u the number of pc's saving money and allowing for hardwiring.
    Probably not the best choice for a music suite, especially if you're plugging in MIDI/USB keyboards or using the various Windows-based music packages out there which tend to want anti-copy dongles, direct access to soundcards, etc. It's probably not the wiring aspect itself, either, it's just that the tables are going to be islands in the middle of the floor so you have to run cables through the floor to them. This is easy in the private sector (get a chisel, some rubber hose and some cement and you're good to go), but state schools have paperwork.

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    SYSMAN_MK's Avatar
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    I would opt for pillars from the ceiling to the desks to carry cables so no chisel needed.

    30 wireless desktops.... Large audio files... Ouch.

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    Although surely power cables are going to have to be run to these islands, assuming they dont already exist? Personally I would be worried about doing it all over wireless - yes you can get 30 clients to work, but not with a cheap wireless setup. If you're going to spend the money on a good wireless system, you might as well spend it on hard wiring. Even if it's as mentioned above just 1 cable per desk, and then a cheap switch for each. You can get an 8 port unmanaged gigabit switch for under 30 now, so that would give you over 100mbit bandwidth per pc, as opposed to less than 1 with a wireless setup.

    Steve

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Actually a mini hub on each desk is not a bad idea, however wiring that would be a pain as we do not have the pillars, and unless I wanna run some form of gaffer tape across the floor, there will be wires all over!

    Also, the server is not only for our kids, but I will eventually move over the staff server to it in the long run to save hassle in the future.
    Last edited by nephilim; 26th July 2009 at 09:47 PM.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    Actually a mini hub on each desk is not a bad idea, however wiring that would be a pain as we do not have the pillars, and unless I wanna run some form of gaffer tape across the floor, there will be wires all over!
    You can get flat, ribbon-style cables to run under carpets for home telephone extensions, can the same be done with cat5 cable? How's about if you just stripped the plastic off a standard cat5 cable and squished the wires flat?

    If you had one wireless access point per desk hooked up to an 8-port switch you should get less contention than if you had 30 PCs each with their own wireless connection, but as has been pointed out larger audio files might not do so well over that kind of bandwidth. However, will you actually be moving large audio files around - are you recording audio as WAVs, or transferring MP3s, or just moving MIDI/Cubase/Sibelius/etc files around? If you're copying larger audio files around, are you copying the same one to each workstation (and thus a copy of the file stays in the server's disk cache, making network bandwidth to individual workstations the issue rather than server disk I/O speed) or is every workstation using different large, binary audio files sat on the server, in which case some more disks in your server's RAID array might be more use?

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Can you not get those black rubber things to go along floors which run cables inside? Surely they can't be that pricey?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    You can get flat, ribbon-style cables to run under carpets for home telephone extensions, can the same be done with cat5 cable?
    Yes it can - Homestead - FLAT UTP Cat5e Patch Leads

  13. 2 Thanks to SYSMAN_MK:

    dhicks (27th July 2009), nephilim (27th July 2009)

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    May have to see how the floor has been done, because flat cable is ideal, however if/when the carpet gets laid, it may not be able to come back up.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    If you don't mind running cable that doesn't conform to specifications and would probably fail testing as well that would be fine.

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    If you don't mind running cable that doesn't conform to specifications and would probably fail testing as well that would be fine.
    Why would the cable fail testing? If it needs extra shielding, you could try stripping the wire mesh from the inside of a TV arial cable to wrap around the stripped cat5 cables. You can use the same stuff to replace the pick-ups on Scaletrix cars, too, I seem to remember :-)

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