Network and Classroom Management Thread, Networking Solutions For Schools in Technical; Hi,
Anybody had any experience with either of the following products ? Just interested in feedback from any schools who ...
7th January 2009, 10:30 PM #1
- Rep Power
Networking Solutions For Schools
Anybody had any experience with either of the following products ? Just interested in feedback from any schools who may be using the RM CC4 or Ergo Free2Teach products.
CC4you - ICT just got personal
Ergo Free2Teach - primary school network management
IDG Tech News
8th January 2009, 07:13 AM #2
CC4 has been littered with problems from release; but it looks good on paper features wise.
20th February 2009, 06:13 PM #3
- Rep Power
I am also looking for some information of Ergo Free2Teach. Is anyone using one of these systems and can recommend them?
I am not a big fan of RM, and am looking for something decent to replace CC3 with, that will be easy to run, cheap to buy, run quickly and be reliable without ongoing expensive support costs and problems.
I saw a demo of Free2Teach at Bett and was quite impressed. Apart from Vanilla Networks, RM and Ergo, what other good (Windows Based) network systems are available for schools at the moment?
20th February 2009, 07:27 PM #4
- Rep Power
Hate it.....but it might get better
Since the installation of 2 x CC4 servers I have spent most of my time doing nothing more than dealing with issues on them.
Everything seems to take 5 times longer than it should, installing programs other than RM's software can be a nightmare, the Management Console crashes quite often if you ask it to do more than 3 things at once, we have had the server crash totally once and another time it would refuse logins directly to the server at one stage meaning a total power down using the power button, Links to Learning Resources direct pupils and staff to the wrong server. Remote Access to PC's across the network doesnt work unless you remove/edit GINA, we have had various issues with the backups, some software related and then finally the tape drive died.
Add lots of daft things like you cant rename PC's without rebuilding them (thats direct from RM) and for me I generally think its not that good.
From a techie point of view not impressed, but from the end user point of view the pupils and staff seem to love it.
Laptops are not synchronized to the server.
There is lots more I could add but not all directly related to CC4, one example being all of the keyboards had to be replaced within the first month due to sticking keys causing continual beeping when left at the login prompt.
Oh and all of the above since September.
In some respects RM support has been awesome, and a few people have actually been very good but there are still a few problems that have now been on RM's list for quite a while.
There is probably a few other things I have forgot as well.
20th February 2009, 08:09 PM #5
@yabbadabba: I am interested in whether you upgraded from CC3 or had a clean install.
Anecdotally, it seems that fresh installs generally seem to be ok and its the upgrades that are causing the issues. Personally I am holding off on recommending upgrades until more positive feedback is forthcoming but I do like the look of the feature list of CC4.
20th February 2009, 10:20 PM #6
There is a *serious bias* to those anecdotes. I've seen that said a few times, often by the same people over and over for some inscrutable reason (well not really, but I'm not going to get into it), but that is simply not true on my planet: I think the majority of the CC4 issues have applied or continue to apply to both new and upgraded systems. It's a bit unreasonable to think that's such a factor considering it's the same s/w on both.
Anecdotally, it seems that fresh installs generally seem to be ok and its the upgrades that are causing the issues
The only significant distinction appears to be between big and little systems i.e. there have been some scalability issues you're not likely to hit on little systems. Watch say ten of the latter, every day, every week and you should notice all the other issues.
20th February 2009, 11:14 PM #7
- Rep Power
Detailed list of CC4 problems so far.
1 - Build images were failing, incorrect drivers on the supplied build image, tried downloading the correct drivers for the network cards and they still failed, after contacting RM I was then told I had to use a Vista driver (our machines are XP).
2 - Learning Resources Shortcut points to the incorrect server.
3 - Struggled to wade through RM's documentation for installing all of the RM updates (might of been me just being dim).
4 - Head of ICT had problems installing laptops and getting them to connect to the CC4 network.
5 - Problem with backups on the our second server.
6 - Keyboards started to fail.
7 - Teachers existing laptops could not be upgraded to CC4, ie fully working and operational laptops would have to be rebuilt as clean CC4 laptops and any local applications reinstalled along with installing drivers, backing up data etc.
8 - Keyboards, again, keys appear to be sticking and making a continual beeping when at the log in prompt.
9 - Teachers laptops running CC4 had problems with Internet Explorer, could not add Favorites, very long log on times.
10 - RM Engineer attempted to install updates, could not connect using LogMeIn, this was blamed on our ISP who is SWGfL.
11 - This is my favorite, Remote Access was not working on any of the CC4 PC's, RM's response word for word "Removing the Gina is a working solution until Update 9 is released."
12 - RM Management Console kept on crashing.
13 - Could not log into the server, had to power it down manually.
14 - Daft printer issue, not RM's fault.
15 - Engineer tried to install updates, again could not use LogMeIn to connect to the server, I provided them with a logmein session to my own private PC not running anything RM/CC4 and left them to it for the weekend.
16 - Updates all installed, Remote Access still not working.
17 - Backups failing on main server.
18 - Problems with teachers not being able to see all of thier class computers on the network.
19 - Learning resources still not working.
Thats a fair chunk of the faults, as said there are still more that need to be reported such as the laptops possibly not synchronizing with the servers.
The really annoying thing is when things go well on the CC4 setup it does actually really work very, very well, for the end users all is good as they like it, it runs and they expect no more.
When it goes wrong from the techie side its just a right royal pain, things that should just work dont.
Ah well I am going to go and hide in a dark corner for a while.
20th February 2009, 11:20 PM #8
Could be worse. I've seen a couple of schools decide they know better, ditched their CC3 system (or CC4 in one case) and gone for a plain network.
Servers job? DHCP and file sharing.
No domain, no policies, no control or restrictions. Just a workgroup.
All pupils with admin rights.
And some muggins has to manage that. Certainly better ways around it :/ I'd rather have set it up myself using entirely open source or freely available software (on top of AD etc) but of course some of these head of ICT people (titled that because they have a computer at home and often use it to send an email now and then) know better and/or have read "Networking for Dummies" a couple of times
What CC4 should be capable of is good news for everyone. What it appears to be doing at the moment though, is something else. I've no idea why it's going out in the state it's in. Worth noting I've got 1 site running CC4 and it's been *entirely* trouble free.
20th February 2009, 11:27 PM #9
- Rep Power
I hope in 6 months time when I am more familiar with the setup, updates have been installed and generally the dust has settled it will actually make my job easier and leave me free to do the other onsite techie stuff.
At the moment I am 50/50 if this is going to happen, in response too
I so agree, the previous IT company were a 100 times worse than RM.
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