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Posts Tagged ‘Mac’

Ketchup Got Me Thinking About Technology

November 9, 2010 Leave a comment

So here is how my bizarre mind works…

I am in Saratoga Springs, New York right now, about to attend a session with Alan November.

The hotel clerk recommended a local restaurant for breakfast.  After ordering my breakfast, the waitress brought over a bottle of ketchup.  Not so extraordinary except for the fact that it was not my preferred brand of ketchup.  Instead of my usual Heinz, she instead placed a bottle of Red Gold Tomato Ketchup on the table.  Up until that moment I never really considered how strongly I felt about brands, but I should have.  As I think about it, I am very particular about all sorts of brands in my daily life, from food to clothes, etc.  Oddly, it made me examine my strong brand loyalty for the technology products I favor.

For years I was a huge fan of Dell computers.  I had been instrumental in placing literally thousands of these PCs in the various schools I was involved for a period of 10 years or so.  I recommended them to everyone.  My family members all had Dell’s as well.  They were (and likely still are) terrific machines.  They were the only machines I would even consider when purchasing or recommending PCs.

Then I found Apple.  More accurately, Apple found me.  I got hooked very quickly.  I am now an Apple evangelist.  Not because they are cool and sexy (though it helps), but because they work.  Upon doing a lot of research, it became clear to me that the TCO (total cost of ownership) of an Apple is actually far less than that of comparable Windows-based PCs.

I have also been swayed in my printing choices.  Once a huge fan of HP printers (still think they work great), I have moved on to OKI printers.  Oki makes great, reliable printers too.  But what I like most about OKI’s are their low cost for consumables like toner.  Over the life of a printer, the TCO of an OKI is far lee than HP or other manufacturers.

The point of all of this is that if I am honest with myself I will realize that often when I break away from my tried and true brands, I find very good, if not better, alternatives.

Maybe the next time the waitress brings me an unfamiliar brand of ketchup, I should actually try it.

Integrating Macs in our Environment

August 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Integrating our new Macs into our existing AD environment has presented some challenges.

Within the past few months we have installed nine new, 30-user iMac labs total.  One in each of our elementary and middle schools.  The labs went in with very little trouble and have generated a terrific buzz in our buildings.  Many teachers were quick to sign up for a time slot.  The response has been tremendous.  The children and teachers are all thrilled with the new labs.  One teacher commented that she brought her class to the computer lab more times in the past month (since the lab was installed) than she had in the previous 3 years.

The students took to the new iMacs, without any apprehension.  They just went in, sat down and got straight to work.  There have not been any technical issues that have prevented the students from working.  The brilliance of the screen, coupled with the speed at which the new iMacs operate, have really appealed to the students and teachers.

The Macbook Pro laptops slated to be distributed to all professional staff members has been another matter.

The laptops are sensational, sleek & sexy, and perform extremely well.  We have encountered some issues, however, with regards to taking them off of our network (home, for example.)

We have found that in order for the Macbook Pros to work effectively outside of our schools, we need to provide the staff members with administrative rights to the local machines.  This will allow the staff members to connect to home wireless access points, add printers and install software.

At this time, we are still struggling to find out why, once they are off our network, they lose their administrative rights.  We have worked tirelessly with high level engineers at Apple, who have assured us that we have everything set up properly, yet we continue to experience this problem.

At this point, we have deployed about 30 of the laptops to our administrators.  Thankfully, they have been extremely patient and willing to work with our tech staff to resolve this problem.  The administrators want to assist us in tweaking the laptops before we distribute them to our teachers in September.

The problem seems to have something to do with our new OD integrating with existing AD.  My tech staff and the Apple engineers, are confident will resolve this issue within the next few days.

Once this issue is resolved, all that remains is working out the logistics of deploying the laptops and providing a basic training to the 600+ staff members that are anxiously awaiting them.

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans!

April 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Sometimes we get diverted from our plans and the task we’ve set out for ourselves.  C’est la vie.

In some instances, slowing down or stopping entirely, offers a tremendous opportunity to (re)evaluate things.  Though often unanticipated and/or unwanted, this can sometimes be a very good thing.

Things have slowed down but not stopped.  The large Apple/Mac implementation is taking place, but just at a slower pace than expected.  New iMac labs will be built and eventually all professional staff members should be receiving new Macbook Pro laptop computers.

As far as outfitting all classrooms with a projector and interactive whiteboard, I am still optimistic this will happen, but cannot determine a time frame for this project.  I remain a huge fan of the eno boards from Polyvision and am looking forward to the time we get to implement them to the masses.

Often, there are circumstances beyond our control and part of being a professional is our ability to adapt.  Slow and steady always wins the race.

“Yesterday’s over my shoulder so I can’t look back for too long, there’s just too much to see waiting in front of me and I know that I just can’t go wrong.” …JB

Apple Order Has Been Placed

February 26, 2010 Leave a comment

I am extremely excited.  After years of being in the dark ages, in terms of the technology in my district, things are finally beginning to change.

Today I received confirmation that my order for Macbook Pro laptop computers for every teacher in my district has been received and is being processed.  That is 665 Macbook Pro computers!

In addition, I ordered enough iMac computers to create 12, 30 user labs.

Now it comes down to careful planning for and proper staff training for a successful integration and acceptance of these new Macs in my historically PC/Microsoft-based environment.

Excited, but nervous.  With an anticipated delivery date of mid-April, I have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time to get ready.

Google Chrome for the Mac

December 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Wow!  Finally!  It seems like I have been waiting a very long time for the release of the Google Chrome browser for the Mac.

Today I was notified about the beta release of this product and immediately downloaded and installed the new browser on 2 of my Macs.  Very exciting.

I was immediately impressed by the speed of the pages loading.  Far faster than the Firefox browser on either machine.  The sleek, clean, simple interface is also appealing.  Equally impressive is the ability to search and navigate all from the address bar.

Though I have only used it for a couple of hours, it looks very promising.  The web-based student information system used in my school district appears to work flawlessly (at least at first glance.)  This is a tremendous improvement.  Up until now users needed to use Safari as their browser in order to successfully access the SIS from a Mac.  Even Safari users encountered mixed results though.

Google continues to impress.

The Macs are Coming! The Macs are Coming!

November 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Stay tuned…

 

Categories: EduTech, Mac Tags: , , , ,
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