Sunday, September 07, 2008

(Mucho) water over the dam...

Lack of blog entries is due to excessive activity, not the reverse. I won't detail the multitudes of things that have been going on, however will try to at least list them.
  • Monitors: we still need 22 of them. It turned out that Computers for Schools had only one third the number we needed, so I've been searching for more. I bought 10 over the Internet, however 4 needed power supplies so we've worked it out w/eBay vendor that he will send me 2 power supplies and two new monitors upon my returning the two unpowered monitors. I've tried other sources so far to no avail. Any ideas?
  • Plone server: my advisor at the U of M patiently permitted an old Pentium 4 in her office to serve as the Plone and Cmap server for the last 3 years. It was woefully underpowered but was sufficient to limp along. Now with much greater demand coming, a powerful server is required. I asked Coleen K. about a new server for this purpose. The short of the story is we've got a very powerful Web server now! Ben P. obtained the machine and helped install Ubuntu server on it and Brian D-G set up five virtual machines on it. (Those 2 operations took from 1:00 until 10:30 PM one day!) Doug R, the MPS Internet guru is getting it set up on our system. Hopefully it will be up soon. I'm hoping Jack U. can help with the transfer of the old Plone sites and Cmap Server install to the new machine. Thanks to all!
  • Jack U. updated the Vee Map content type and now it has edit-in-place capabilities! It is cool! He also updated the whole management system of the Plone installation to match with Plone's new structure. While I know some Plone, all of this work was beyond me -- thanks Jack!
  • I have no idea what we would have done without Fred O., and his wife too! They have been helping out Christen on the north side, helping install cabling in the ceiling, unpack, test, remove the monitor stand, and prepare all of the new eBay LCD monitors, make sure the thin clients are ready, troubleshoot the server power supply, help carry heavy stuff about and generally just help out! Thanks!
  • managing cash flow over the summer was crucial to get this project moving. However, there have been multiple issues. Apparently the reimbursable limit is not $1000 as I had always heard, but instead $999.99. Therefore, the district requires approval from the Board of Education to reimburse the check I wrote for $1000 to Computers for Schools for the printers and monitors. Don't ask about the other thousands of dollors that the district has decided to not re-imburseme due to tax exempt, coding, lack of attention on their part and general... I won't expand. My wife is trying to be patient but I don't blame her... Waiting on the Board of Ed to deal with this :-(
  • Due to a timing issue with the 3 foot square glass panes, I had to make two deliveries of glass, 8 panes to Nellie Stone Johnson, and eight to Roosevelt the day before the start of school. Transporting eight panes of glass that size in a Mazda 3 is a bit dicey. Nonetheless it all worked out great, and the district was able to deliver the last eight panes to Eddie's room the first day of class, on Tuesday, September 2. Eddie had a fascinating solution for the missing glass table tops. He built 8, 4 foot square white board surfaces. Then, he gives students dry erase markers and has them doing bubble maps and making comparisons between each other. I stole his idea and had students do it on the glass tops. He needs to describe what he did--this is awesome.
  • Conner M. has been working to set up the proxy server, remotely, and Chris G on managing Firefox. Lots still to do!
  • Oh. Did I mention kids have come, school has started? :-)
  • I think this coming Sat. at Roosevelt will need to be a work-date...
I could go on and on, but I got to go. Thanks to the many volunteers, this project continues.

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