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Comment: Re:Why keep it going? (Score 1) 150

by edrawr (#42590151) Attached to: Dell Said To Be In Buyout Talks With Private-Equity Firms

I have to agree here. In the last 5 years I have managed over 1500 Dell desktops, laptops and workstations, and it is not very common to have to chat with someone in Laos or wherever the Dell support team is these days.

To be fair, this is only for their business grade products (Optiplex, Latitude, Precision). I worked at a college helpdesk for several years and the Dell home products (see: Inspiron) are garbage. I have done a bit of side-by-side price comparison of Dell home and business machines, and for a similar spec machine you might pay 50 bucks more and get the 3 year NBD on site warranty, as opposed to the mail in 1 year warranty for home grade stuff.

Comment: Re:Then why didn't that happen with notebooks? (Score 1) 150

by edrawr (#42545703) Attached to: College CIO Predicts Tablets Will Kill Smart Boards
While in college, I worked doing tier 2 support for the campus IT department, and every semester we would have professors come in trying to get some (usually archaic) material out to students electronically, only to find out that it wouldn't work on a Mac, or that students couldn't open a .docx file because they had a torrent copy of Office 2003. This was a great source of frustration for a lot of professors. Then you had the ones that told you on the first day of class that you were not to bring your computer in to class, even though the institution required that all students purchase a laptop (on their own, not from a few defined models to make support easier).

Comment: Prison? (Score 1) 297

by edrawr (#42544363) Attached to: Texas State Rep. Files 2 Bills To Ban RFID In Schools
Does anyone know if prisons use RFID technology to track prisoners? I feel like that might be a better use than tracking students. How about parolees? High tech house arrest, could force checking in at home/PO office/rehab electronically... Of course, some kind of implanted or second layer of verification would be needed for this, but maybe its the way of the future.

Comment: Re:I've seen it work (Score 1) 172

by edrawr (#42503419) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deploy Small Office Wi-Fi SSIDs?
This was a few years back, we had a few applications that could give us some insight on our PCs, but there were a lot of APs (about 60 IIRC) in a relatively small building. It was hard to get a good handle on which one was where, as the applications we had were not designed to analyze the amount of spectrum we had in the building.

Comment: Re:I've seen it work (Score 1) 172

by edrawr (#42474389) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deploy Small Office Wi-Fi SSIDs?

Indeed, you should be fine! A single SSID across all access points is the way to go but, as the Cisco 1040 series seem to be 802.11n your choice of channels is limited.

Make sure you only use channel 1, 6 or 11 as the others overlap which can confuse clients; you are better off having two of your five arrays on identical channels than overlapping them. Just try to keep the access points with identical channels a reasonable distance apart, so that there is an obvious difference in signal strength.

I couldn't agree more on this. In the past I worked for a small college, and we were having terrible performance issues with a brand new Colubris (now HP) setup. After turning the broadcast power down on each of the APs, we still had clients jumping from AP to AP. After a lot of head scratching and bringing in a professional WLAN analysis contractor, we found that all of the APs were on channel 6. Adjusting them to a pattern to break this up cleaned up all of the issues for us.

Comment: Re:Best gifts for techy people (Score 1) 211

by edrawr (#42350501) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Gifts For a 90-Year-Old, Tech-Savvy Dad?
I have to agree, I generally like to buy my own new tech as I find things that peak my interest. I have gotten a lot of nice non-tech gifts that I use on a daily basis- wallets, (analog) watch, and my favorite are benchmade knives. They even have a custom shop to make your own Griptilian series with different steel, colors and blade styles: http://www.benchmade.com/customize/default.aspx [benchmade.com]. Maybe add engraving of a special occasion, service or milestone in life.

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