Tuesday, February 28, 2006

SJSU Help Desk Report #2

GWI statistics

GWI statistics for Feb. 2006
This screen shot shows the percentage of trouble tickets closed at SJSU within the University's ticketing system. Over 60% of all the tickets in the system at the university this month were closed by the Help Desk Staff made up of myself and our seven half-time student assistants. All of the students who work here are from India and they are a close hard working group. I am very proud of them.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Seems like bad timing to me

Downtown fences

A big Cinequest welcome in San Jose?
It is hard to understand why the City of San Jose and VTA chose two days before the Cinequest near San Jose State to close the closest light rail station and put fences up right by the movie theater which has struggled so hard to succeed in downtown. This is a fine welcome to folks who may be coming downtown for the film festival.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Tower Hall, SJSU

Tower feb fourth of july

February Fourth of July
I love the tower at SJSU, I am always looking for new angles, new ways of shooting it. This angle made me think of fireworks! I have been at SJSU since 1979. I love being here, working here and having the university as a part of my life.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

New digital camera

New digital Nikon
We bought a new digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix 8400 [Link]. I have been looking for an advanced non-SLR camera that shoots Camera RAW [Link]. Few do. This one does. This model was recently list priced at just under $900. We found it being clearanced for just under $400. Susie can take it to London with her and it is small and light enough for me to carry on my bike, unlike my D2H [Link].

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Too fast to blog about it

Bike racers in San Jose

Too fast to blog
Lately it seems life has been going too fast for me to get it down on the computer. My mother-in-law turned 80. We had a great get away to Healdsburg and Petaluma. We discovered some great new wineries and wines. I spent a day photographing and podcasting at a bike race. I did another edition of the bike club newsletter, 24 pages! Sue has been working like a demon. Kenneth came to visit. We bought a new digital camera. There has been no time to sit and think or collect my pictures and blog. Today was the Tour of California. What a great event! Too much fun. Must blog soon!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A 1984 train news photo gets used

Altamont Press used one of my train photos from 1984 in its on-line railroad news publication [Link].

Podcasts: Two for Valentines Day

For your listening pleasure, two Edupodder podcasts
On Valentines Day 2006 at SJSU there was a meeting of the Learning Innovators group at San Jose State. At the meeting I presented on the subject of podcasting. Rather than it being a talk about what a podcast was, we actually did a podcast. That meeting was itself recorded and so this is a podcast of the meeting where we did a podcast.

Podcast eighteen, 63.5 minutes, 14.6 MB - This is a recording of the 2006 Valentines Day meeting of the learning innovators group at San Jose State. At this meeting we produced a podcast, which was presented here in the Edupodder Podcast as the previous show. This included recording, mixing, down sizing and FTP posting the file to the server. Finally we updated the RSS file that is the podcast. The whole time we recorded the session. There is plenty of conversation about that whole process here [Audio Link].

Podcast seventeen, 2.2 minutes, 556KB - This is a demo of doing a podcast. This was produced during the Valentines Day meeting of the learning innovators group at San Jose State University [Audio Link].

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

I have a new podcast!

ACTC Podcast

The Almaden Cycle Touring Club Podcast
Here is the link to my new podcast [Link]. This podcast is about the bicycle club I am the publisher for and it is a lot of fun. It is wonderful how this medium can be used, not only to tell people about an organization but also really put a human voice to the organization. The first contact we have with the world is sound. We hear the world through our mother's womb before we even see it. There is something really connecting about podcasting.

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

SJSU Help Desk Report

No Perfect Storm
I am very pleased with the way the semester has started. We had the unix problem but that did not prove unmanageable despite my fears that it plus the wireless plus sjsuone would combine into an awful perfect storm. We did not have to hire additional staff. In fact we weathered the loss of one staff over the break.

Full time GWI
We are doing full-time GWI. Every customer contact is going into the system. We are using the kiosk machines in the lobby for customers to sign in and create a GWI ticket using the web portal for the system.

Viral spread of wireless
Unlike IT systems that are mandated by faculty we have been seeing signs that the use of the wireless, and SJSUone may be spreading virally. With a mandated system you can expect to see a huge signup burst at startup as students rush to get on whatever IT system the faculty member wishes them to use in order for them to function in the classroom. With a viral adoption the use can be expected to build in more of a bell curve as clients adopt the technology and then tell their friends of its utility. We have seen recent evidence that suggests this may be the case. This may be disruptive to our traditional support scheme.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Security Podcast

Great Podcast on Security by Ed Amoroso
In this great IT Conversations interview [Link] with Sondra Schneider, Ed Amoroso of AT&T shares his views on security in a networked world.

Ed says his biggest fear is "all the bad software out there" that is "riddled with vulnerabilities." He blames the software engineering discipline and suggests that it needs to become more like civil engineering or medicine, requiring "years of tortured residency," whereas today many developers get into software development with little formal training.

He speaks here of what he calls "in the cloud network based security." If you do any kind of IT support, I strongly recommend this conversation.

SJSU Bookstore deal

SJSU Bookstore has special on 4x5 Wacom Tablets
For under $70 you can buy a new 4x5 Wacom Graphire3 Tablet at the book store's tent sale. That is a very good price!

Friday, February 03, 2006

About chasing trains

Susie calls me a Hobbiest
My oldest hobby is chasing and photographing trains. I have been doing it since I could drive. I love doing it and wish I could do it more.

SP 4312, an SD9E

I love trains

BCR RS3 573

Thursday, February 02, 2006

SJSU Wireless is down

The Comcast Wireless network is presently not available for service
According to the Computer Center:

There is a major problem at the Comcast Palo Alto distribution center. The computer center will send a notice to campus technicians when the problem has been corrected.

We will be posting that info on our portal [Link]. The current wireless network is operated by Comcast. Specific issues regarding this should be refered to their help desk. They can be reached at:
1 (866) 353-1607

Update -- The network came back up at 10:30am
This is as per an Email sent to campus techs at 11:02am. The network was down two hours.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

On the train, on the way home

Light rail train

I am blogging from my phone on the lightrail heading home from another day at the help desk. I am very pleased with the way the semester has started. We had the unix problem but that did not prove unmanageable despite my fears that it plus the wireless plus sjsuone would combine into an awful perfect storm. We did not have to hire additional staff. In fact we weathered the loss of one staff over the break. We are busy, but we are managing.