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James Jacobs

Info 4493

Bob Houghton

Final report

I think it prudent to highlight all of the skills I have reinforced, as well as all of the new

challenges I have faced as a part of this report. Now I have been working at the Portneuf District

Library for almost 4 years now. I have done quite a few different things, though I have learned a

few new tricks this semester.

The largest thing I have done this semester would have to be the deployment of the new

test server. The library and some of its counterparts are taking measures to see if they would like

to change the way they are doing their database and checkout programs. These programs are

called ILS or integrated library systems. This being just the start of things I learned. I was tasked

to set up a new server and database as a playground to test a few features of for our library and a

few others. There were quite a few hangups, not the least of which was learning how to navigate

in Linux based operating systems. I have also had to learn to use git and apt. most was

straightforward, there were a few guides, but after failing multiple times, I had to decode the

error messages to make sure it worked.

After the actual installation of the software, I was overjoyed (not really) that I had to

manually configure all of the network interfaces for the server as well. I had prior opportunities

to figure out port forwarding and domain management, but as of now, my boss has told me to

take it off of the internet at large. I further gained experience setting up offsite remote desktop
connections to our currently in use ILS. This was not too big of a hassle, other than making sure

that Host names were all EXACTLY correct. Yes that did take us a few hours to figure out.

The reason why we had to reformat our current RDP connections is because new systems

were being installed. After giving a budget (I am quite proud of actually) I had actually ordered

the new machines right before the semester started. Taking a few weeks because I have very

limited time to devote solely to computer only projects, I had installed operating systems, RDP

connections, drivers, software for employees, and other useful tools. On one machine however, I

was to set up as a new patron machine. This included an additional software package with deep-

freeze software. Only in name however, ours is called Smartshield. It just makes a clone of the

hard drive at startup, and only writes to the clone. Then, when the machine is shut off, all data is

gone, and a new clone is made from the master hard drive. This allows us to get by most viruses

and user error, but is a bit of a pain to work with. You just have to unfreeze and restart to make

any changes, but waiting around for a restart sometimes is harder than one would think.

Anyhow, this machine was set up with smart shield, and two other computers were

having issues with updates. They sometimes get locked in an update loop because it wants to

update to apply changes, then it restarts and doesn't have the changes, so it want s to restart to

apply changes. So every once in a while, they are a pain because I'll go in and have to fiddle with

it until I can get it to stop updating, sometimes this results in a full reinstall, which is the worst.

Sometimes though, I can catch it when it decides to go to desktop before deciding it wants to

restart again. In that case I can disable protection long enough for the update to take. Long story

short this happened twice this semester and only served to reinforce my commitment that I need

this degree. Because nobody else in the building had any idea what to do. It is nice to be wanted.
Many small tasks have been completed using the knowledge I have gained from

experience in this field. A network survey, configuring user accounts, managing DHCP and IP

addresses, driver installation for receipt printer, color laser printer, laser CNC mill, and die cut

printer. We had a keyboard swap, a mouse swap, two system swaps. There was license

management, and a hard drive failure. Most of this resulted in some pretty simple tasks and

outcomes. Except the hard drive. It ended up being the flash memory of the xbox itself that was

used so much that it had become corrupted and unusable. We ended up having to throw that

whole system away, good thing too, because we ended up purchasing a new Nintendo switch that

ended up replacing the Xbox.

Speaking of games, we have a Raspberry Pi that is one of my favorite little things to play

with. The kids seem to get a kick out of it most days too. Managing it however is a bit more

complicated than just showing the kids what it do. The original setup was quite straightforward. I

downloaded an executable from the website, and it asked what drive I wanted to load it onto.

Pick the SD card, and away it goes. Now It so happens that I do not have regular access to a

micro SD card reader (maybe I should look into that), but there are some features on the

hardware and built into the software of the Raspberry Pi. It happens that there is a wireless

Ethernet antenna and ftp defaults to enabled when installing. I was lucky that I found this after a

while when loading up new games. I downloaded Filezilla and punched in the IP address that I

had assigned it. Worked like a charm. Used plenty of times since then, and have uploaded

various holiday games for the kids to play.

Overall I think that this semester was a good chance to flex just a little bit, but more

importantly to reinforce the skills I had learned over the many years I have been pursuing my