Changes to increase memory and efficiency
Nearly 780 new Dell computers were bought for Blair through MCPS' TechMod program last summer, and the network was updated from Mac OS 9 or X to Windows XP Professional, allowing for a faster, more current system. However, the changes have caused several problems, one of which prevented the students from logging on.
The new computers have 512 MB of RAM and run at a speed of 2.79 GHz, a significant improvement from the older 300MHz versions, which had just 256 MB of RAM.
According to User Support Specialist Anne Wisniewski, students' logon passwords had been unsuccessfully changed during the updating process, preventing them from connecting to the new network. Staff members were able to obtain lists of student passwords and have been giving out logon information individually. Teachers' accounts were effectively imported.
Blair user support staff members expected to have problems with the process, according to Blair User Support Specialist Tim Hall. "When you upgrade in a large organization or education building, it's really the equivalent of a brain transplant. There are hundreds of glitches," he said.
Blair has not received a substantial number of new computers since the opening of the new building in 1998, according to Wisniewski. "[The school] really needed to get a little more current with things," said Hall. "The old system was sort of antiquated."
Some of Blair's old computers will be donated to third world countries and non-profit agencies throughout MCPS, according to Hall. Others will be brought back to Blair to be used in the computer-give-away program.
Seema Kacker. Seema is a senior in the magnet this year, and is thrilled to be a part of the Online senior staff. She also plays tennis. More »