Trina L Short (trinalin) wrote,
Trina L Short

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Summer Computers and Active Server Pages

I love computers. Until they don't work. And in the summer, I get a wonderful mix of computers that work (my FAVORITE computers) and computers that don't (when Trina swears like a sailor). Amazing how I have the patience of Job when it comes to people (well, usually) but it only takes a few minutes of a computer being a pain in the ass for me to get out the four-letter words.

So today I was working in one of the elementary rooms and installing the wonderful kiddie software. Gah - a stack of CDs as long as my arm... But I only install on one computer and then clone the rest. Of course, already this summer I've had the completely dead HD (and replacements will be another 2 weeks away), the too-small HD that won't boot once it's cloned, the HD that locks up while you're cloning it (regardless of whether you're in regular mode or safe mode), and I'm sure there will be other challenges. Today we discovered two of our new LCD monitors don't keep the image on for more than a millisecond. And we've yet to get in our order of 48 new computers which will need to have master computers made and then lots of cloning. Oh yeah, and I'm still struggling with our newest piece of software, Clean Slate. Most of the computers give me a Blue Screen of Death when I go to shut them down once that software is installed. So a long and detailed e-mail to the Clean Slate folks is in order.

But it's still a good thing. We're finally getting rid of computers which aren't all *that* bad. 400MHz machines with 64MB RAM. Don't know yet what we're going to do with them, but it looks like we'll be storing them under my chemistry lab tables like we usually do with the older machines. (I thought it was about time the English department stored the old computers, but dad just gave me this odd stare when I suggested it to him.)

My other summer task, apart from getting all of the computers running for another year and setting up the new ones, is to get the school website up and running. Back in February, I talked about how Metadot Portal was going to be the basis of our website. However, the more I've fiddled with the program, the less I've liked it. (Or rather, the more difficult it seemed this was going to be for ME.) So I waffled for a bit. Did I want Metadot? Build one from scratch? If so, do I use ASP or PHP? Well, I liked the concept of PHP more - less cumbersome code, lots of Open Source support. But when I checked with the school's DA site (basically, our ISP) they only supported ASP. No matter, I just ordered some books on ASP (Sams Teach Yourself ASP 3.0 in 21 Days and ASP Web Development with Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004). I've just finished Day 1 in the Sams book and will probably get the Dreamweaver book in another couple of days.

So it feels good that I've finally made a decision of some sort. Figuring out how I want the page to look - well, I have a basic idea. And since I'll be doing my own coding, I should be able to get that design to fruition. I'll probably let you folks be my guinea pigs as development continues. Will the site be ready by the start of school? Heh - I seriously doubt it. But I should at least have SOMETHING going by then.

Tomorrow it's back to installing student software and cloning computers. And I wonder if I'll make progress tomorrow or if I find myself even more behind than when I left work today. That's the fun and excitement in the world of school computers. :-)
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