Friday, August 21, 2009

New job, new town, new state

On June 6th, I started a new job as the Technology Librarian at Rye Public Library in Rye, New Hampshire. This blog started out as my contribution to the 23 Things/Learning Library 2.0 program at New Canaan Library in Connecticut, but now that I'm a "dropout" from that program, I'm hijacking this blog (can you hijack your own blog?) to become a log of my adventures in managing the technology needs of this small, rural library.

We only have 12 public access computers, but they're a challenge in that they are all Windows machines (or were until a few weeks ago, when I installed Ubuntu on 2 of them) and we have no domain server to enforce group policies or serve up other means of locking them down. Five of the public computers are actually laptops, because we don't have enough space to set up permanent stations for them. We also have a number of staff computers, of course, but my primary focus for the last 10 weeks has of necessity been the public computers.

All of the laptops were running Windows XP, which is astonishing when I tell you that 3 of them--the cute little ThinkPad R40 pictured here--only had 128MB of RAM each. After adding an additional 512MB of RAM to each, disabling all the background programs that run at Startup, canceling all Scheduled Tasks, and installing and running Malwarebytes, Spybot Search & Destroy, and Spyware Blaster, all three are running a lot better now. More on this next time.