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Upgrading the Computer Rooms


Our school has two computer rooms/labs. The first one is filled with the best computers, and it is where my colleague and I make our home. The other computer lab is on the other side of the school and is filled with machines 2 years older at any given point than the main lab computers.

The school has a policy of upgrading the main lab every 2 years, with the older kit going into the second lab, with the oldest stuff already in the second lab being sold or circulated in the school, depending on age.

Today, the first batch of 20 computers arrived, out of a total of 40. There are no monitors yet, as they will come last. For the moment, the computers are just sitting in our main lab, as we disconnect the computers presently there and perform a good spring cleaning of the room. It’s been a hectic day preparing things. Dusting out the present computers is no fun task, but it has to be done. 2 years worth of dust is not good for those machines, as attested by some noisy fans.

The new computers are equipped with Intel Core i3’s, 4GB DDR3 ram, 500GB hard drives and onboard Intel graphics. There is no optical drive in these computers, as they would be damaged by the students over the life of the machine. It also helps to prevent ripping of cd’s and watching of DVD’s.

Over the next few days, we will continue disconnecting old computers in the main lab and moving them over to the second lab, dusting, cleaning and so forth. After all the physical labour, we need to deploy our Windows 7 images onto the computers and hope that the FOG cloning software can get them renamed and joined to the domain. Luckily, thanks to the power of multicasting, a tedious job otherwise only needs to run once.

The net result of all this activity will be a brand new shiny main computer lab, a second lab that is far more capable than ever before, and all the really old rubbish Celeron based computers in the school being tossed out and sold. The faster the computers are, the happier staff are likely to be.

This is a major process, but because we are starting much earlier than our network migration last year, we are on track to be done within the next two weeks or so.

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