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  #11  
Old 08-14-2009, 11:11 AM
Rudi A. Jones Rudi A. Jones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua M. Putnam
I swear I've done this before :|

Buying the Macbook that meets the specs of the upgraded Drew laptop will cost a wonderful $2,299.00 (although that is with twice as much harddrive space (but buying an external drive is cheap))

EDIT: They're heavy? That's the most absurd thing I've ever heard; I think they weigh less than 6 pounds

At the OP: If you want to be able to play any games made within the last 5 or 6 years, you would want to have the upgraded model, if not......
So called upgrade, probably. Is the upgrade free to existing students? Probably not. Does CNS ever really fix a problem on your computer? Not really. I have had too many classmates and friends talk about how CNS just re-images or fixes things that aren't wrong. I've had friends who've had their laptops in CNS for weeks, only to find they didn't fix the problem. I don't have anything against the Drew computer or CNS, I'm just trying to say that it would've been great if they didn't make it seem like the Drew computer is the only one you can get to be on campus. I don't understand why CNS can't fix other laptops yet so many other schools do. It's all very business in my opinion.
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  #12  
Old 08-14-2009, 11:48 PM
Paul R. Coen's Avatar
Paul R. Coen Paul R. Coen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudi A. Jones
I don't understand why CNS can't fix other laptops yet so many other schools do. It's all very business in my opinion.

Most schools that don't have a standardized laptop program have a huge investment in computer labs and tend to have things like laptop carts for classes. It's expensive, and you need a lot of staff to maintain them. And you need a lot of space, which is at a premium. And, again, a lot of schools that have different support models have more full-time staff doing general user support.

Not to mention schools that charge you for things like spyware and virus removal. While it's a nuisance, why would you give people a disincentive to get their computers fixed?

We did have significant problems - especially last year - with turnaround time. Part of the problem was Vista. There were reasons to select it last year, but it turned out to have more problems in the field than expected. We're dropping back to Windows XP for the new class (and you can get a Windows XP image for the T400) to simplify things and provide a stable platform for the academic program until we can support Windows 7, which we're already testing.

We've made huge changes to the tools we use to handle reimaging computers (far faster and less disruptive), and to manage call / incident tracking a the Helpdesk. There should be announcements about these changes soon.

That should significantly cut down on the Helpdesk queue. That's NOT to say you can get your computer back in 15 minutes - but it should be substantially faster. And the smaller the queue, the less likely something will fall between the cracks or a mistake will be made.

Trust me - none of us was happy with how last year played out - once things started to go wrong in the fall, the resources just weren't there to do more than band-aid the situation as we went. By the winter, we had filled a couple of critical, vacant positions. That really helped, and allowed us to focus on the problem.

While a huge effort went into trying to catch up and keep up as we went into the second half of the year, we also knew that the tools we were using weren't going to work in the long run, and all areas of the department made a substantial investment in terms of time and resources to develop the new tools and procedures we're deploying this year.

And that's going to be an ongoing process - it usually is. We're actually pretty good at quietly making substantial changes behind the scenes. However, sometimes an area of the department gets hit by something unexpected, or a combination of factors hits an area hard, problems are more obvious. When that happens, it's usually best to step back, figure out what the actual problem is and tackle it a different way. The folks responsible for this will be carefully looking at the statistics we're collecting about incidents to see what is working and what isn't, so we can continue to make improvements.
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  #13  
Old 08-15-2009, 09:44 PM
Joshua M. Putnam Joshua M. Putnam is offline
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You should go to Windows 7 >_>

The Windows 7, 5 second login time on the T-400 is a lot better than the 5 minute login I was getting with Vista
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  #14  
Old 08-15-2009, 10:54 PM
Paul R. Coen's Avatar
Paul R. Coen Paul R. Coen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua M. Putnam
You should go to Windows 7 >_>

The Windows 7, 5 second login time on the T-400 is a lot better than the 5 minute login I was getting with Vista

We can't yet. Too much of the software we're relying on hasn't been officially updated to support Windows 7 at this point. Also, the Helpdesk wouldn't be ready for it (how could they be?), so it would just repeat what happened with Vista last year, to some extent.

And a fully-configured Windows 7 system - which has to download domain group policies, has to start services like Zenworks so you get the antivirus updates, etc. is going to take longer than 5 seconds to log in on a T400.

However, I did just use a T400 (last year's) for a full week at a conference. It had the 64-bit version of Windows 7 on it. I was able to get the Novell client (mostly) working, but that's still a work in progress, same with Zenworks. The antivirus package works, but hadn't been updated to inform the Windows 7 security center that it was active. SPSS seemed to mostly work, Firefox and various plugins were fine, so long as I stuck to the 32-bit version of the browser. But there were a lot of little quirks (mostly in other applications that hadn't been updated yet, not Windows 7), so it's not at the point we can deploy it. But I do have to say that overall, it was not just better than Vista - I'm actually looking forward to being able to use it.

And it did start up and log in faster than Vista on the T400, just not 5 seconds.

So we're not going to be supporting Windows 7 this fall - there's just too much stuff to line up, too much documentation to update, too much training to figure out. Even the logistics of building computer configurations and distributing them is a bit different.

We might use it in one of the computer labs starting in January (BC 13) so we can take advantage of more than 3GB of RAM for the Adobe applications, assuming everything lines up correctly. We're just putting new computers in there, and Windows 7 does work well on them. But again, we're still waiting on a few other pieces, so it's Windows XP in the fall in that room. But Adobe has fully updated its applications to work with 64-bit Windows as of CS4, so I'd like to be able to take advantage of it in that room for Photoshop, Premiere, etc.

We're likely not going to support the 32-bit version of Windows 7, though, and continue to use Windows XP as the supported 32-bit OS. There's not much point in creating a "Windows 7? Ok, which version?" question with every single support call. When we first went with Vista, a lot of apps didn't quite support the 64-bit version correctly, so we stuck with the 32-bit version. That's rapidly changed, and it looks like the 64-bit version of Windows 7 is going to be much more widely deployed than the 32-bit version.

None of this is official yet (although not supporting Windows 7 in the fall is pretty much set in stone), but we've been kicking around a lot of these issues over the past couple of months. We're really waiting for various software vendors to release their final support for Windows 7 so we can really test it, and then move to building our configuration.

In terms of switching - for myself, it's not a big deal. At work, I have to make sure the stuff I need to do my job works, and I can put up with quirks. At home, whatever. I've probably used (personally or professionally) about 20 different operating systems or platforms over the years (and that's lumping together things like Windows 95 and 98, only counting very different Unix variations, treating Linux as a single OS), so switching to Windows 7 personally really doesn't seem daunting. It's making sure we have all of the tools we need lined up to make sure it goes well - with the number of different applications we have to deal with, it's more like corporate IT, except that we don't lock down your computer.

I have to say, though, at first glance, it just had to be better than Vista. And it's far, far better than that.
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  #15  
Old 08-20-2009, 09:17 AM
Rudi A. Jones Rudi A. Jones is offline
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Well, you're making changes so that's good. It just seems like last year there were problems on top of problems on top of problems. Like a medusa.
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  #16  
Old 08-22-2009, 11:16 AM
John D. Muccigrosso John D. Muccigrosso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudi A. Jones
Well, you're making changes so that's good. It just seems like last year there were problems on top of problems on top of problems. Like a medusa.
Or maybe a hydra?
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  #17  
Old 08-24-2009, 06:41 PM
Rudi A. Jones Rudi A. Jones is offline
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Lol yes. A hydra that was budding at an exponential rate.
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