Monkey-Wrenched!

Regular readers of this blog (and even the irregular readers: } ) know about our “on a shoestring” 1:1 laptop program using old iBooks and equally old Apple Airport hubs (these are the original Airport hubs). We even run our 36 HP laptops off these old hubs and until recently they were doing OK unless we got every computer going. They have really started to show their age the last few months though, and anytime we have more than about 8 computers online at once (depending what sites they are on) we slow to a crawl.

Well, things got much worse today. You might remember a month ago my classroom was broken into (as were other rooms). Over the Holidays another part of the school was broken into, and besides a few laptops and a projector one of the victims was one of our 2 working Airport hubs. This doesn’t absolutely scuttle our mission, but it sure throws a monkey-wrench into things. Blogging will probably work pretty well, but having the class access the net at the same time will be very problematic with only one working hub.

The real issue with the hub is that our IT department really isn’t thrilled that we have wireless connectivity. The education side of the IT department has advised us not to push too hard for getting the new Cisco hubs they install now because they come with lots of blocks and issues too numerous to go into right now. We “get away” with being able to access the net in ways others don’t for reasons I only partially understand because we have these older hubs that were “grandfathered” in to the network … getting new ones brings all the “safeguards” the IT department installs. I do have one more of the older Apple Airport hubs but we are not very optimistic that the IT department will give it “permission” to be on the network – and like I said we were already creeping along.
It just seems a shame that this little 1:1program that has accomplished I think a lot, and could do much more isn’t supported more … its just “tolerated.”

I’ve been given the job of “making our case” to get our hubs replaced with hopefully a better solution that will actually support our wireless needs … I’ll keep you updated on what happens.

Learning is messy!

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6 Responses to Monkey-Wrenched!

  1. Cathy Nelson says:

    Sorry for being so vulgar, but this just s–ks out loud. Sometimes I think we have seen the enemy and they are us (in the IT department).

  2. Mathew says:

    I’m very sorry to hear about this. We work so hard to get what little we have in our classrooms and then we can’t even count on it being there. I was in your position last year when our one computer was stolen with feces left in its place. http://tinyurl.com/3c6vwf It really hurt my morale, let alone the kids. Donors Choose, Best Buy, and the L.A. Times helped us.

  3. Trina says:

    Sorry to hear about this. :-( Best of luck with getting things back underway again, and getting what sounds like some much-needed support for your efforts.

  4. Bob Cotter says:

    Brian… I’m sorry to hear this, what is the model number of the ancient grandfathered hub? Email me the reply if you like. Cheers… Bob

  5. Wesley Fryer says:

    Brian: What a bummer… It sure would be great if your project could get the positive attention and support of a high level administrator in your district. It is great you are able to accomplish so much with your older machines… But bandwidth is like air, isn’t it? Gets pretty hard to work when the oxygen levels are low. Hang in there.

  6. Brian says:

    Bob – No “Model” number – but it was manufactured in 2000 – Its an original Apple Airport, sometimes called the “graphite”.

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