Archive for the ‘ACTIVE’ Category

Mac Integration – A Story

July 28, 2006

A person should walk up to a macintosh, enter their AD username and password, and be logged into a standard desktop with the following exceptions:

1) The Documents folder for the user will map to a user folder on the file server.

Equipment Sharing Tool

July 21, 2006

A web site will be developed that allows programs to keep track of items that they would like to share with or give away to other programs.  Many programs have items that are acquired for a particular need, but then the need passes.  For example a special desk is bought for an individual student but when the student graduates the desk is no longer needed.  Also, many programs have specialized curriculum or materials that they may use infrequently and are willing to loan to others as long as they can be sure the material will be returned to them.  Currently, this sharing and re-use of items happens informally by word of mouth, resulting in many items being underused and programs buying duplicate items.

What is needed is a simple way to list the items that a program is willing to share or give away to other programs, and a simple way to keep track of who currently possesses a shared resource.

A web site will be developed that will enable programs to list all items they are willing to share or give away.  Complete descriptions as well as photos of the item can be provided.  The information will be stored on a central database to make it easy to manage. Programs in need of an item can check the re-use database first to find out if it is available within the district.  If a match is found, the programs can agree to share the item with a specific return date, or agree to permanently transfer the item to the other program.

The goal is more efficient use of specialized resources by encouraging the sharing and re-use of items between programs.

Media Management

July 21, 2006

The use of multimedia content in the teaching process is expanding greatly, thanks to the enormous power that media has on attracting student interest, the ease with which complex concepts can be illustrated with appropriate media, and the increased ability of modern computers to process pictures, sounds, animation and movies. However, despite the enormous multimedia capabilities of our new computer infrastructure, media is underused in the classroom. And often when it is used, it is with enormous effort on the part of the teacher to produce the content and deliver it to the students.

The goal of this project is to spell out some easy-to-understand media management techniques, define a minimum amount of media tools that should be available at each program to make it possible for them to more fully integrate media into their classrooms. Finally, some “boilerplate” projects will be described that will enable any program to quickly and easily reproduce in their classroom. Boilerplate projects that are planned include
1) a calendar made up of unique pictures for each student
2) a graphic story board where teachers can use symbols to tell a story
3) a simple move production – useful for end of year movies
4) a simple “PowerPoint” presentation that can be a central part of student-led IEP meetings

Currently all of these activities are taking place in the district, but there is much duplication of effort as everyone tries to re-invent what is already being done somewhere else. Also, there is a general lack of awareness of the simple ways that media can be manipulated, presented, and integrated into a lesson plan. Finally, there is little attention paid to cataloging and archiving of media content when it is produced, exposing us to great risk of loss of enormous amounts of effort if a computer or hard disk were to fail in the middle of a project.

This project will outline and disseminate best practices for basic media production efforts. The goal is better integration of media into daily teaching activities with minimal effort on the part of teachers and students.

Mileage Reporting Tool

July 21, 2006

A web site will be developed that allows individuals to manage information about mileage driven for District work.  Each individual will use the web site to submit the worksites they visit each day.  The product will then generate a report of the total mileage driven as well as the appropriate budget codes for each trip.  Directions to sites will be available if needed.  Mileage between sites and budget codes will be stored in a central database to make it easier to update and re-use the information.  The report can be used by the program secretary to more quickly and accurately submit mileage reimbursement requests.  Staff will benefit by having their mileage more easily and accurately reimbursed.  The district will benefit by having a more timely and accurate measure of the actual mileage being driven by staff.  Such information may contribute to better program planning.  The goal is more accurate and timely information with less time filling out forms.

Radmind questions

June 27, 2006

roles that need to be filled

  • create image
  • deploy images
  • restore images
  • update images

also

  • authentication
  • syncronize user files with server
  • save browser bookmarks

Tools available

  1. OSX server
    1. netboot
    2. netinstall
  2. apple remote desktop
  3. VNC
  4. radmind

I just need to figure out how all those tools relate to each other and what they do.

Online fileservers

June 27, 2006

For sites that are not on our WAN, online file servers may be one solution for allowing them to back up and share their files. This is a summary of the PC World article Store it on the Web.

BACKUP

For online backup, PC World reviewed six services. Here is a summary of each

IBackup

  • Lowest price: $10 / month, $100 / year
  • Browser based access: yes
  • Mount as a network drive: yes

XDrive

  • Lowest price: $10 / month, $100 / year
  • Browser based access: yes
  • Mount as a network drive: yes

AmberWave FirstBackup

  • Lowest price: $4 / month, $39 / year
  • Browser based access: no
  • Mount as a network drive: no
  • comments: client access only, which avoids web security concerns

Acpana Data Deposit Box

  • Lowest price: $0.01 per meg
  • Browser based access: yes
  • Mount as a network drive: no

ElephantDrive

  • Lowest price: free
  • Browser based access: no
  • Mount as a network drive: no
  • comments: requires .Net framework in Windows

Mozy

  • Lowest price: free
  • Browser based access: for restore only
  • Mount as a network drive: no

STORAGE

Online storage can give you the space you need for large multimedia libraries without having to buy extra hard drives. PC World reviewed six services.

GoDaddy Online file folder

  • Lowest price: $5 / year for 50MB, $20 / year for GB
  • Max 10GB
  • Browser based access: yes
  • Mount as a network drive: yes

Streamload Mediamax

  • Lowest price: free with limitted file size and 25GB, $120/year for no file limits and 250GB
  • Browser based access: yes
  • Mount as a network drive: no
  • comments: downloads and sharing are limitted with free plan

Box.net

  • Lowest price: free for up to 1GB, $100/year for 15GB
  • Browser based access: yes
  • Mount as a network drive: no
  • comments: free service has file size limits

Simdesk

  • Lowest price: $3 month per 1GB, 10GB max
  • Browser based access: yes
  • Mount as a network drive: yes
  • comments: provides printer sharing and mobile access

FlipDrive

  • Lowest price: free up to 25MB, $100/year for 15GB with no limits
  • Browser based access: yes
  • Mount as a network drive: no
  • comments: has photo album feature; web interface is lacking

Online Storage Solutions

  • Lowest price: $5/month for 10GB, $35/month for 100GB
  • Browser based access: yes, limitted
  • Mount as a network drive: yes
  • comments: web interface is lacking

SHARING

Instead of attaching 15 documents to your email and sending it to a dozen people, why not put your documents on a sharing service web site and send everyone one URL? PC World reviewed five sharing services

GoDaddy Online file folder

  • Lowest price: $5 / year for 50MB, $20 / year for GB
  • Max 10GB
  • Browser based access: yes
  • Mount as a network drive: yes

Streamload Mediamax

  • Lowest price: free with limitted file size and 25GB, $120/year for no file limits and 250GB
  • Browser based access: yes
  • Mount as a network drive: no
  • comments: downloads and sharing are limitted with free plan

Box.net

  • Lowest price: free for up to 1GB, $100/year for 15GB
  • Browser based access: yes
  • Mount as a network drive: no
  • comments: free service has file size limits

Simdesk

  • Lowest price: $3 month per 1GB, 10GB max
  • Browser based access: yes
  • Mount as a network drive: yes
  • comments: provides printer sharing and mobile access

FlipDrive

  • Lowest price: free up to 25MB, $100/year for 15GB with no limits
  • Browser based access: yes
  • Mount as a network drive: no
  • comments: has photo album feature; web interface is lacking

Online Storage Solutions

  • Lowest price: $5/month for 10GB, $35/month for 100GB
  • Browser based access: yes, limitted
  • Mount as a network drive: yes
  • comments: web interface is lacking

New Domains

June 22, 2006

I’ve established a web hosting account with DreamHost. It will be a place to at least develop and test new prjects. Hopefully it will work out as a place to host projects in production as well.

These are the anticipated URLs:

http://www.287tools.org – main page

manage.287tools.org – project management page, running subversion and perhaps trac

cwgriesel.287tools.org – future home of this wordpress blog, and model for other 287 personal blogs

http://www.287tools.org/share – 287 Sharing and re-use project

http://www.287tools.org/mileage – 287 mileage reimbursement project

http://www.287tools.org/incentive – student incentive program

http://www.287tools.org/ebooks – ebook download service

new.287tools.org – perhaps a place to generate new databases from templates

Problems with OSX server in AD environment

June 15, 2006

I can easily set up an OSX server to handle file services for my Mac machines. But here are the problems I see with doing that in our current Active Directoroy environment.

  1. Seperate logins – no directory integration
  2. OSX file system is not backed up and not on SAN

That being said, there are some challenges that need to be addressed if I am not going to use the OSX server

  1. Automatically syncronize local hard disk with server
    1. bind mac to AD
    2. do the following at login
    3. mount shared volumes
    4. at logoff, sync desktop changes with server and delete desktop files
  2. Syncronize laptops with server
    1. similar to desktops, but first time machine is used, ask if it is a laptop.  If it is, copy entire contents of desktop folder to laptop

Sharing tasks via RSS

June 15, 2006

I would like some way to easily publish my current tasks via RSS, so I can share them with others.  Maybe maintaining a parallel task list in TaDa is one way to do it.

Tracking Projects with TrackIT

June 15, 2006

Each project will consist of one main task that defines the project, then multiple sub-tasks for each part of the project.  The main task will be have "Project" as the first word in the title.

There are some reports that will be needed

1) The number of hours worked by a person in one day – to help worker organize their daily activity.

2) The number of hours worked by a person in one week – to fill in time cards.

3) The number of hours applied to one project in any period of time – to manage project.

4) The total number of hours ever applied to one project – to manage project.