Saturday, November 22, 2008

Parallel progression

On Saturday morning five of us gathered in my room at Roosevelt high school. Unfortunately I didn't get around to taking a picture until after two people had left, nonetheless, here's Don and Fred, still able to stand at 1:30 when we left.A challenge of this project is that there are many interweaving threads that must be developed in parallel, with much interdependency between them. Some of these threads include: assembling the computer embedded tables, laying cables from tables to switch, importing student users into the server, getting computer lab management software, implementing student management software, installing the special software for students, setting up classroom printers on the network, getting the virtual machines running on the Web server which is connected to the district's Internet backbone at 807, installing server software from scratch and then transferring the 4 currently running Plone CMS instances as well as the Cmap server software to it, and more! OK, lots to do.

Don was the first to show. He has souped up his 16 line script to 360 some lines script to import users. He aims to create a simple yet clear menu-driven program to help non-technical users import students into their classroom. He worked on it all morning, perfecting it and in the end imported my hundred something students! It's so exciting to finally have a student accounts working!

Brandon worked tirelessly on making iTalc work on a thin client setup -- not something it was specially designed for though it does work on them. This software will allow me to control student computers in the classroom, observing them from afar, chatting, controlling and sharing screens, all actions necessary for a teacher in a computer enabled science classroom. With just a few final tweaks this thread too will be done! Conner is working on the student management software called Sabayon, though he was unable to come today.

Jack came by and worked to get Plone installed (remotely of course) on our new district Web server. Things appeared to be going swimmingly when all of a sudden an error message popped up saying the virtual machine didn't have enough memory! Of course the machine has plenty of memory -- for some reason we just couldn't access it. We tried to contact Brian who is the VM man but to no avail. Jack left to greener fields but with the promise that he would return when possible. I really need to make sure that both Jack and Brian are present at the same time when Plone work is attempted.

Finally, Fred showed up after dropping his wife off at the airport. In the relatively short time he was there he succeeded in assembling another computer enabled table! Not sure how because in the whole time I was there I didn't even complete one table assembly, albeit my table required a somewhat more involved procedure since it didn't use the new HP monitors.

Sweets from "A Baker's wife" and coffee were imbibed by all.

Thanks for your help, gentleman.

Anyone up to coming in at 1:00 this Wed November 26th? No school that day so I'll be there, working to assemble final tables and starting the wiring. Let me know and I'll stop by A Baker's Wife before I get there...

1 comment:

  1. Hey a solution to the groups problem may actually be in the works. Working on the script now.