Comtech Computers are almost here

I’m excited. “Mac-cited”. In July my proposal for ComTech lab equipment was approved and purchases began, finally, for this project. I’ve been tracking orders from UPS, Purolator, FedEx like a kid listening to the radio for reports from the armed forces about Santa’s arrival on Christmas eve. I’ve been to the office to look at every parcel dropped off at the school for the last week only to trudge back to the lab empty handed. When I arrive home, without a word spoken, my wife knows why.

My data projector and ceiling mount arrived today, but it’ll be a while before they are installed.

I’m most excited about the MacPro Server, it seems an eternity since I’ve managed any significant server (since AppleShare 4->6 on a Mac II->G3 circa 2001 was replaced by Redhat 8 – managed by central office ITs). The server’s primary function will be file sharing with the 25 iMacs and accounts for students I teach in the Comtech courses. I’ll be using it to chew through digital video and images, group projects, collaborations multi-user documents with Adobe Master suite, – should be suhweet gazing into the Apple cinema, too. Oh, and a 66 key M-Audio keyboard with Bose Companion 3 speakers – kids on break in their vehicles will come a’knocking on my door to turn it down.

Some specs:

1 MacPro Server
Two 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeo
4GB (4x1GB) RAM
ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB
4x1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb
One 16x SuperDrive


25 iMacs:

BOSE Companion 3 speakers

I’ll use my new MacBook Pro to present project ideas, tutorials, instruction. I can manage from home/road the school’s web domains and especially iblogs via WPMU(as more of a CMS, really) which sports a blog for every student I teach. I have a 2007 Macbook(personal), but the Macbook Pro should demonstrate anything Adobe Master can do with speed.

The SLR and Video cameras from Canon should be here from Long’s, I phoned Jason on his first day back from holidays… what a kid I am.

Today I made a pile of old Blueberry iMacs, Indigo iMacs and iMac SEs, to redistribute/sell/trash. The Rev C 266 iMac(9 years old) has been running OS X on 256MB RAM on a partitioned drive for several years – a marvel. I’ll find a reason to keep it. Maybe I can scavenge an SE to take home for my kids.(3, 5, and 8 year-old boys still love Webkinz. They still play DVDs, too.)

Managing a iMac lab for the last 10 years has had it’s ups and downs, but the best source for support has always been the software/manuals from Mike Bombich. Panther(10.3) worked effortlessly, and even if a machine borked once in a while, cloning a new working drive with every piece of lab software intact and active, took  a couple clicks, 3 lines in Terminal, and the patience to wait for the disk to copy. I could swap out drives from a troubled iMac with ease and even had a collection of old pre-cloned drives ready to go in the event of a drive failure, but that was rare. One lost its monitor pmu, one was fried by lightening induced power surge, one had the prongs of the ethernet port vandalized. 7 eMacs just came back from a warranty repair for the bizarre “bulging caps” plague (I was successful talking to Apple’s repair service for laptops near Boca Raton about their “out of warranty period warranty extension”).

Over the last few years our school networking(Cat6, fiber, switches, wirless) has become increasingly stable so I will deploy using Netrestore. Given that each iMac has 250GB, copying bootable disk images(even if by trial and error at first) should be a snap. Space was never a luxury on the 6-20 GB iMacs these behemoths are replacing.

What is “back to school” look like for me? Checking my iblog logs, email via MobileMe, uploading iPhoto pics to the school Galley2, managing the online store, and marking – oh the marking – on my new MacBook pro, with some Johny Winter in iTunes.

My wife, can start using the home iMac more than I do. She accepted my “friend request” in Facebook today. I’ve been in Facebook for 2 years, but I’ve logged in less than 10 times in that span. How do I gracefully reject 12 other friends’ invites to play Bingo that are 10-20 weeks old? I finally put the summer photos from Kodak EasyShare into iPhoto. Maybe she can push them to her Facebook page as I seem not to find the time or the interest to do so.

I’m listening to “Winter Kills” by Yaz now, major flashbacks. Time to go. UPS says the 25 iMacs are in transit from Calgary on time to arrive tomorrow. I’m gonna find a movie to watch, maybe Vantage Point is still on the PVR.

But the VP has a new iPhone. Wonder if he can get a GPS fix on the FedEx van at the staff meeting tomorrow? Out.