CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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Interesting Day! Training Erin, Exciting IT News and More...

I started to feel 'bad' just when we got to work this morning. I had a stomach ache and backache and was nauseous. Normally I take the new person to Starbuck's before starting training, but I skipped that today because of not feeling all that well. (She doesn't drink coffee -- which is what she pointed out -- but you can have tea, which she does drink. I often have tea, myself.)

Anyway, her training started around 9:00 (or a bit after) and ran until nearly 11:00 a.m. It went very well, I'm happy to report.

Training new people on our computers is an important part of my job. I also vet them a bit on how they work with computers and the main softwares we use (I always do an evaluation of new people during this training). Plus I tell them basic info about the festival, our Team and our Team attitudes. And I show them our filing systems and remind them of good policies. I direct them to the portion of the website where we keep information for the staff, which includes various sets of instructions spelled out step by step and our standard practices, etc. (They're also expected to know the contents of our Computer Policy document that Marilyn wrote a couple years ago.) Because of how this is set up, once they know the URL they can access this stuff from any place they can get on a computer connected to the internet. That allows them to study this stuff from home (etc.).

After that, I felt better, so I decided not to try and go home. Before that, I'd planned to phone sister Sue and beg her to come and get me. But I had set up for a 'field trip' with Mark to go to Free Geek today, so he and I chatted about various things for a bit -- and I got info together to give Marilyn for her all-important meeting with Jeff and Kathy about the IT budget -- before we finally left.

I'd never been to Free Geek before, even though we got a donation from them a few years ago. They provided us with some towers and monitors. Unfortunately, the towers didn't have Operating Systems installed, so they were pretty difficult for us to deal with. (It just hasn't been all that easy in the past to get random OSs whenever we needed one or two.) Anyway, that's neither here nor there, really!

Mark picked up some things he needed. He has quite a computer system set up in our office. His video 'station' is located on a large conference table from our old offices that is just outside Jeff's office. It's set up next to three Intern stations. We have a file cabinet next to it that is also a make-shift 'station' for Angel's computer (which works fine for him, as he's not in the office all that often). Angel -- like me -- does a lot of his work using Remote Desktop from his home office. For that matter, Mark does a lot of his video work in the evenings or at night. He's built a system that would probably be worth $4,000 minimum, for under $2,000 -- and it's all his own stuff. He has it in-office to use for our projects, but also does his own stuff there. He wants to build at least one similar setup for home, but that takes time and money, needless to say. Oh. And those prices are only including hardware -- the software is a whole different thing, and far more expensive!

I didn't pick much up at Free Geek, but did buy a few things. I can see how it's a good place to pick up inexpensive stuff. And they have a program where people can do volunteer work in exchange for 'adopting' a computer. This way anyone can have a computer to use, no matter how poor they might be! (I've suggested this to several people who want computers, but so far I haven't heard of anyone doing it. I'm sorry to say that the people in question expect me to simply GIVE them free computers. I don't know how they expect me to come up with them, but whatever!)

I forgot to mention this yesterday! My friend June sent me a link to a YouTube Video: A Moose in a Maple Tree - The All Canadian 12 Days of Christmas. Go check it out -- it's really cute!!!

After Mark and I got back from Free Geek, we went to lunch together (I bought) at Anne's Deli. We had sandwiches and chatted about his health and his love life. He's not well (he has major health issues, even though he appears to be pretty healthy) and he had a bad breakup this past autumn, poor guy. I'm pleased by how much Mark clearly likes and trusts me -- and the way he shares things with me. We're really good friends.

When we got back from lunch Marilyn was in a closed-door meeting in her office, so I went into Jeff's office and casually asked how their IT meeting had gone. He didn't want to give anything away, but he couldn't help himself: He told me the plans for the future of our festival IT, which is a drastic change from what I've dealt with since 2007!!! We're either going to invest in a Thin Client system, or I'm going to be allocated 12 (!!!) new computers for 2014 (!!!). Frankly, I'm STUNNED! For several years we got NO new computers at all -- I just worked with the existing equipment and the donated pieces from the summer of 2007 (plus a few other donated items since then). In 2010 we got two new machines (which ended up being three, when one of those crashed almost immediately). In 2011 I was allocated two new computers (these ran $1,000 per machine). I got three machines in 2012 and another three in 2013 (one still isn't on the floor, yet -- Marilyn's new computer, purchased in June). In a six-year period we've only had eleven new computers. Kris has been pushing for us to annually replace 1/3 of our computers, but we've never had the budget to do so!

Plus he said they were going to okay buying Office Suite 2013 (at a cost of $4,000 for the upgrade licenses)!!! Another shocking and exciting development!

Jeff told me he was pretty sure he'd really surprised Marilyn -- and I'm sure that's true! He's always been one NOT to spend money, period -- and that's certainly extended to our IT equipment. Admittedly, we got a new phone system when we moved into our current building in 2010 -- and a new Server in 2011 (both quite expensive). But you can tell from above that this didn't extend to equipment for each work station...

I'll be talking to Kris as soon as possible about all of this. We'll need to investigate the Thin Client system, which has a lot of advantages. Things are actually run on the Server, rather than on an individual computer. (That's not a great explanation, but google it if you want to know more...)

What else?

Sister Sue and I are supposed to go to Costco (finally!) tomorrow morning. If the weather cooperates, that is. We're having freezing fog as we speak, yet again... I really need and want to go and have wanted to for weeks, so... (I'm also counting on her taking me to the store for a couple of essential items, like kitty litter! Hope that can happen. I don't know what I'd do tomorrow without it, as Friday is garbage day...)

And on the bad news side, something is drastically WRONG with our garage door! The cables are hanging down loose on both sides! I don't understand this enough to know what needs to be done about it. Mark said he could fix it, so he might give it a try tomorrow. If not, I need to phone someone and get an expert out pronto to take care of it. I'm worried that a cable will get caught in some way and rip our door up! Plus it has to be dangerous hanging there like that. (sigh) It's always something when you own a house...

Lots of other things to try and get done tomorrow, as we hope to leave this weekend and head to the beach house for Christmas! I need to do dishes, laundry and CLEAN. And still want to put up a few decorations around the house. Tomorrow is my LAST day to do that, clearly.

Time for bed!!!

Tags: 2013, annes-deli, beach-house, christmas, cleaning, computers-at-work, costco, december-2013, decorating, dishes, donn, erin, food, free-geek, garbage-and-recycling, housecleaning, it-budget, it-excitement, it-manager, it-related, jeff, june, kris, laundry, lunch, marilyn, mark, meeting, shopping, sick, sister-sue, starbucks, thin-client, training, youtube

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