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The random ramblings of a Star Trek-obsessed schools ICT Systems Manager who likes a good moan.
This is a place where I can whinge about life, and express my love of my family, 80's music, retro computer gaming (especially on my Commodore 64),
 oh and Star Trek. I'm very open with my opinions and I like a good moan. If you don't like what I say, then you might want to consider not reading this blog.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's my job... and I love it!

I popped into the school this morning to get a couple of small jobs done before going away this weekend - yes, I know I'm on holiday for 6 weeks, but I love my job so much, I just can't keep away.

While sat at my desk, I thought I'd take some pictures of my office so that I can show you a virtual tour of my work environment (as it looks at this precise moment in time), and to give you an idea of what I have to deal with being a Network Manager in a typical secondary school in the UK!!

Be warned.... it's messy!


1 - UPS x2
2 - Server 1 - Domain Controller / IBM XSeries 235 / Sits under the desk and does nothing! It will shortly be made redundant.
3 - Server 2 - Domain Controller / HP Proliant ML350 / Student and staff user areas / Profiles / Shared areas
4 - Server 3 - HP Proliant ML350 / Backup server / Print Server / Also used to store network programmes. I also use this server when VB programming
5 - Test workstation / Great for Unreal Tournament!
6 - Sound system / Needed to blast out 80's tunes on stressful days
7 - My PDA - used as a wireless testing device, and for playing Tomb Raider on the go!
8 - Pictures of Kieran
9 - My "To Do" tray - as you can see, I've got lots to do!
10 - Backup tapes (Ultrium 1,2 and 4 data tapes)
11 - A Collection of certificates that I've had since working at the school
12 - Some pictures that Kieran did for me to display in my office.

1 - UPS
2 - Server 4 - SIMS Server / HP Proliant ML350 - SIMS is our school administration software, and not some crap game about controlling the lives of little virtual people called Sims!!!!
3 - Server 5 - Administration File Server / Dell PowerEdge 2600 - Shortly will be made redundant.

1. - Server 6 - HP Proliant DL180 Rack Server - New Evesham High School web server (Not yet configured)
2. - Server 7 - HP Proliant DL180 Rack Server - Microsoft Exchange 2007 Server (Not yet configured)
3. - XServe - Mac Server for the new iMac suite in the school.
4. - Big kick-arse cabinet for all of these new servers!
5. - Big kick-arse rack mount UPS for all of these servers!!!

Computers from hell - The dreaded iMacs!!!! Sitting, waiting to be configured and installed in to the new iMac suite

1. - Our main comms cabinet, with fibre optic links to various other cabinets located in the different buildings around the school. This cabinet includes a variety of switches - HP Procurve 5406zl (with gigabit ports), HP Procurve 2650, HP Procurve 1400-24G and a couple of Netgear ProSafe WFS709TP wireless switches that we use to control and manage 35 wireless access points dotted around the school.

2. - All schools located in Evesham and the surrounding villages get their internet access from us - essentially Evesham High School is the central hub for internet access. This cabinet belongs to BT and includes all the fibre links to the other schools.

3. - Server 9 - Dell PowerEdge 840 - This is our proxy server, and gateway to the internet!

Our new state-of-the-art server (actually, an old BBC Master - kept for posperity!!


A collection of some of my certificates, and my infamous "I could rule the world with my Commodore 64" poster


The most important machine in my office - the air-con unit!


Anyone who enters my office is greeted by this poster - and reminded that no matter how bad it is, "Don't Panic"

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Rock on Tommy!

Well, the summer holidays have started and I am now off work for 6 weeks. Already after just one day of sitting on my arse I have accomplished something I never thought I'd ever do - It has only taken me 22 years, but I have finally completed the Commodore Plus 4 version of Tom Thumb WITHOUT losing one life!!!! (and without cheating!)

180000, all 26 keys and with 13 lives left is the highest score I have ever had! I missed a few of the treasures so I am sure I could get a slightly higher score, but I'm happy with it! For those who have never played it before, it can be a rather frustrating game and it is very easy to get far in it, only to be killed and to return to a checkpoint much earlier in the game.

For a game that cost a couple of quid back in 1986, I think I got my moneys worth!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

All Aboard (Part 4)

Work has resumed on Kierans trainset, and I must say it is beginning to look really good now. Michelle has been a star and has done the papier-mache over the second tunnel/hill and has covered it with grass.

We have also started to add foliage ontop of the hills and around the tunnel portals, and this has really added a touch of realism to the project.

The next job is to lay the road, and to add the pavement and foundations for the individual buildings along what will be the main stree(which have already been built and waiting in storage).