+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 30
Windows Thread, General advice for the new guy in Technical; I am certain that this will be an inauspicious start indicative of my newbie status that I may be posting ...
  1. #1
    Blind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Wrong Side of The Pond
    Posts
    61
    Thank Post
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    General advice for the new guy

    I am certain that this will be an inauspicious start indicative of my newbie status that I may be posting this in the wrong forum and I could probably get this kind of general information by just spending copious hours reading all the thread on this board, but undaunted I will drop my selfish plea here in the hopes that it will be appropriately relocated (if necessary) or the responses will provide illuminating insight to the masses.

    I’m just looking for some general tips and insights into being able to create more secure and automated procedures for a Windows based school environment. Of course money is a significant consideration, but if there are any must have apps or new procedures, I may be able to adjust my budget.

    Here is a brief description of my environment… please assess my situation and let me know if this is as good as it gets or what I should be looking at for the future.

    I just got hired as the only “computer guy” in a private high school with about 200 computers. There is very little documentation and access to my predecessors is extremely limited.

    All of the computers have Windows XP and Office 2003 and most are newer Pentium 4 class systems, but some older celery 500 MHz boxes still remain. All the systems locked down with Deep Freeze and some older registry management software. I’ve got a nice Windows 2003 server and decent tape backup system already in place. It appears that all the students and teachers are setup with roaming profiles (I’m not that fond of these) and folders for network storage.

    The thing that concerns me most is that it appears that no patches or updates are done during the school year. In the past I think they have just updated a couple boxes and ghosted the rest for one update in the summer. (Is this a common practice?) I also have no dynamic inventory or monitoring, or management system. (I had to go around and manually locate and audit all the machines.)

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Gosport, Hampshire
    Posts
    9,881
    Thank Post
    1,316
    Thanked 1,738 Times in 1,087 Posts
    Blog Entries
    19
    Rep Power
    563

    Re: General advice for the new guy

    Welcome ... pull up a chair, break out the chocolate and and try not to mention ironing This is a good place to pop over to and introduce yourself.

    Patch management is a common problem. Some people roll out patches using scripts. Some do it on a master image and push it out when needed.

    The more common method nowadays is the use Microsoft's Windows Software Update Services (WSUS). Systems like Deep Freeze and M$'s Shared Computer Toolkit can be setup to allow for this too.

    If you have a search through the forums you will find various mentions of how people have implemented WSUS in their schools.

    For inventory management there are a number of tools that you can look at ... OCSInventory is OSS and quite common. More commercial system range from M$'s SMS and MOM through to NetSupport DNA.

    There is a section about management tools in the Wiki (another good place to plough through) and searching through the forums for management tools.

    HTH

    HAND

  3. #3
    Blind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Wrong Side of The Pond
    Posts
    61
    Thank Post
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: General advice for the new guy

    Thanks you.

    I was not aware that Deep Freeze allowed WSUS. My brief exposure to the software only yielded an interface with a few options. (The fun part was spending my first 2 weeks trying to get the password)

    I've been looking unsuccessfully for a free inventory system like OCS for awhile. It appears to be exactly what I needed. I guess my Google-fu is weak.

    Any recommendations for my situation for better imaging software then Ghost floppy?

  4. #4
    mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,946
    Thank Post
    235
    Thanked 48 Times in 44 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    45

    Re: General advice for the new guy

    Imaging: RIS is very highly rated, if you already have ghost [enterprise i'd assume] you can still make life a little easier by booting from a PXE compliant network card directly to the RIS server and run ghost from there, automagically - all very easy to do.

    RIS itself takes more setting up but is vastly configurable, and free to boot [ :P ]. There are thorough guides contained in forum threads here - search for threads with RIS in title. Heck there's even one by the annointed one himself: http://www.edugeek.net/index.php?nam...ht=RIS&start=0

    Welcome aboard! [he says, too lazy to visit the introduce yourself thread and partake in the Ironing banter ]

    200:1 - that's rough odds for a good sch!

  5. #5

    Ric_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    7,582
    Thank Post
    107
    Thanked 761 Times in 592 Posts
    Rep Power
    180

    Re: General advice for the new guy

    Welcome!

    Hopefully you have been hired full time and this will give you the opportunity to find your feet over the summer break.

    If you have experience of systems and an idea of what you want to achieve, I have found it is often better to start from there rather than try to put up with how someone else has done things.

    If you are struggling with DeepFreeze, you could disable it for now until you get a chance to work out how to use it correctly. After all, it's meant to make your life easier not harder.

    I would recommend downloading and installing WSUS. This is very easy and will solve your patch problem.

    If you have Ghost (enterprise) and are happy using it, stick with it. If not, I would recommend looking into RIS for setting up your machines. There are a few threads on here about it but you really should dedicate about a week to get it working sufficiently well. Also look into deploying as much software as possible using Group Policies.

    Profile-wise, check out the wiki (http://www.russdev.com/edugeek/doku.php?id=profiles) - people have different views but the pages there will help you out with whichever method you choose.

    For your inventory problem, check out Netpoint from Neutex (see post at http://edugeek.net/index.php?name=Fo...light=netpoint ). This is free and easy to set up.

    Lastly, it's not usual to find a single techie looking after 200+ machines (I think I'm upto around 250-ish now ). A well thought out system needs relatively little work and you are in the lucky position of eing in a private school with a bit of money so your machines should be a bit newer than most. NetSupport Manager will save your legs though and mean that you don't have to walk across site to find out somebody isn't clicking the right button. Also implement a helpdesk WITH THE BACKING OF SMT so that you can do away with 'corridor requests' and plan your work a little. I use One||Zero and it works a treat.

    Don't hesitate to come back soon and please feel free to pester us

  6. #6
    tarquel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Powys, Mid-Wales, UK
    Posts
    1,740
    Thank Post
    13
    Thanked 44 Times in 34 Posts
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: General advice for the new guy

    Welcome welcome welcome

    Everyone has beaten me to the suggestions I was gonna suggest anyhow, but I will say...

    Dont be too hard on the predecessor though as theres probably good cause for the way he has done things and the lack of documentation.

    I've got about 100 odd machines - and have to literally do everything relating to IT [except SIMS using and bromcom/e-reg using - have SLAs for that] and I have to admit that my documentation is lacking too.

    Its a case of mainly lack of time and a high expectation of other things as priority to be done from the management [Its not a nasty pick at the management here, its just a explanation as to why].

    Its also hard for me to justify setting up a full-blown helpdesk for just myself.

    Ppl moaning at me to have break....

    Nath

  7. #7
    BooBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    77
    Thank Post
    2
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: General advice for the new guy

    From a Newbie to a Newbie, Welcome.

    I've looked after 5 schools now and have felt lucky to find a sheet of paper with the passwords on. Most school techies don't believ in creating Site Op books. My advice make a back of all the servers NOW, make a system state back up for a quick restore as well. Some time soon a member of staff will tell you that when x worked here things worked differently. Most don't even realise what they've just said, forgive them as open lift shafts are few and far between.

    Ghost is an excellent tool for major builds, we do ours during the summer but will ghost all of the ICT rooms over Xmas and Easter so theres a fresh image on the machines. The AI tool is good when used with Group Policy for pushing out new apps.

    Evaluate what the patch is, some don't worrent getting excited about mid term. Update Tuesday from MS is the one to watch and security updates not released on the second Tuesday are rated high risk so the ones to watch. Sign up their security bulletin. WUS doesn't need the most powerful machine to work on and will save you time.

    Buy a Technet Subsciption Plus DVD (Civica £239.99 or Ramesys) possible the best purchase I ever made. Introduce your self to the ICT inspector for your LEA they may even have some one who is a hardware person. What county are you based?

    Finaly Enjoy, your not alone.

  8. #8
    Blind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Wrong Side of The Pond
    Posts
    61
    Thank Post
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: General advice for the new guy

    Thanks for all the kind words and assistance. For those wondering where I live, I spell color without a “u”, mispronounce aluminum, and think football needs to be played with shoulder pads and a helmet.

    I’m beginning to suspect that because the previous people (2 teacher/techs and a contractor) who performed my duties were paid by the hour during the summer that they shied away from anything to automate the update process and cut their pay. I only have Deep Freeze standard which does not like to share with others. No WSUS for now.

    RIS looks like it might be a nice future challenge, but it’s probably too close to the school year to attempt a rollout.

    Oddly, this is my dream job. I always suspected that I was a bit of a masochist.

  9. #9

    russdev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Leicestershire
    Posts
    6,873
    Thank Post
    650
    Thanked 534 Times in 353 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3
    Rep Power
    200

    Re: General advice for the new guy

    arr so your yank aey

    Were abouts from states from you from then??

    Russ

  10. #10
    contink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    South Yorkshire
    Posts
    3,790
    Thank Post
    303
    Thanked 327 Times in 233 Posts
    Rep Power
    117

    Re: General advice for the new guy

    Gotta say I'm finding this thread incredibly useful myself so thanks for starting it..

    Just to add though, I've found this site:
    http://eventid.net/

    .. pretty useful when trying to determine underlying problems based on the eventlog, etc...

  11. #11
    tarquel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Powys, Mid-Wales, UK
    Posts
    1,740
    Thank Post
    13
    Thanked 44 Times in 34 Posts
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: General advice for the new guy

    Blind, would be nice to see how differently [or the same] IT Techie staff are treated over in the states.

    I know some of us have a hard time with management and getting them to understand whats needed in IT and what is essential for pupil improvement.

    Now can you get time off for the conferences we have? hehe

    Nath.

  12. #12

    Ric_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    7,582
    Thank Post
    107
    Thanked 761 Times in 592 Posts
    Rep Power
    180

    Re: General advice for the new guy

    @Blind: You also spell ALUMINIUM incorrectly

  13. #13
    Blind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Wrong Side of The Pond
    Posts
    61
    Thank Post
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: General advice for the new guy

    Sorry, it's taken me awhile to respond to the questions in this thead, but I've spent the last few days trying to discover why our grading software compnay does not think we are a client even though the school invoices show that we've been paying them the last seven years. Our old software is now no longer supported and they won't send me an upgrade! ARGH

    I'm currently in Wisconsin. (For those that were not raised under the old empire and are unfamiliar with comprehending such large foreign geographic areas, it roughly in the northern middle of country by the Great Lakes.)

    I have not been in school IT long enough to compare general treatment on this side of the the Pond. However, I believe the given no budget, treated like a slave, expected to work miracles, but fully accountable when anything goes wrong is par for the course. That and the fact that most of my peers were brought up on inferior American science fiction unlike many of your peer who know how technology is supposed to function from your familiarity with Blake’s 7, Doctor Who and Red Dwarf.

  14. #14
    BooBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    77
    Thank Post
    2
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: General advice for the new guy

    The Man (A huge assumption) likes Red Dwarf. I think we can forgive him from being the wrong side of the pond.

  15. #15

    russdev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Leicestershire
    Posts
    6,873
    Thank Post
    650
    Thanked 534 Times in 353 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3
    Rep Power
    200

    Re: General advice for the new guy

    Quote Originally Posted by Blind
    Sorry, it's taken me awhile to respond to the questions in this thead, but I've spent the last few days trying to discover why our grading software compnay does not think we are a client even though the school invoices show that we've been paying them the last seven years. Our old software is now no longer supported and they won't send me an upgrade! ARGH

    I'm currently in Wisconsin. (For those that were not raised under the old empire and are unfamiliar with comprehending such large foreign geographic areas, it roughly in the northern middle of country by the Great Lakes.)
    So that means must be a Brewers fan then??

    I have not been in school IT long enough to compare general treatment on this side of the the Pond. However, I believe the given no budget, treated like a slave, expected to work miracles, but fully accountable when anything goes wrong is par for the course.
    Ok can i ask a question can you explain bit about system do get employed by school or the state as in uk employed by the school but paid by lea aka the state?


    That and the fact that most of my peers were brought up on inferior American science fiction unlike many of your peer who know how technology is supposed to function from your familiarity with Blake’s 7, Doctor Who and Red Dwarf.

    anyway smoke us a kipper i be back for breakfast

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Recycling and general eco-friendliness
    By pete in forum How do you do....it?
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 19th May 2006, 07:59 PM
  2. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12th May 2006, 08:19 AM
  3. BSF in General - Kent in particular
    By pcprofessor in forum Windows
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 26th March 2006, 06:16 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •