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Working on slow and old computers

I’m back at work now after a nice 2 week break that was seriously deserved after a long very busy term here at the school. I had a chance to unwind, play games, go out, and do some work at my old high school which I mentioned in a previous post.

I’m back ahead of the majority of the staff, preparing computers and ironing out kinks. It’s going pretty well, I’m deploying Internet Explorer 7 and Windows XP Service Pack 3 all over the show. One thing that is driving me nuts though is the fact that I’m back to working with Pentium 3 (800-1000Mhz) machines, with 128MB of RAM, and 10GB 5400RPM hard drives. Updating these computers becomes a big exercise in patience and then some. Waiting there listening to the hard drive crash away is not fun by any means.

It really is hard to adjust to slowness again, after working on my beast of a computer at home. So is adjusting back to a 17″ CRT monitor, when I became used to my 24″ wide LCD. I truly now begin to understand the frustration of the staff with waiting for the computers to open a document or whatever needs to be done. Yet there isn’t anything I can do until we have replaced out IT lab with new machines. We are 11 computers into it, out of 26. Once that is done, we will look at sorting out the staff rooms and so on.

I respect the fact that these Pentium 3’s are lasting so long, despite the pounding they take. However, it’s causing us to slip backwards IT wise, as they cannot handle new software or education programs. 10GB hard drives are useless, they are almost completely full and are seriously slow.

I guess this is a rant many IT admins have, as we fight with the accountants to get a better budget for equipment. We all want the best and to offer the best, but without funds, we can’t do anything. A while back the British company that owns us wanted us to stop buying new computers, and take their old P3 and P4’s. The bursar and I nearly lost it with anger, as this would have been a huge step backwards. Luckily he convinced them that we needed new machines, no matter what. I shudder to think at the stuff they would have sent us. 👿

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