+1 323 268 0395 kmw@caltek.net

Computer Classrooms

HW @ cost

Hi Kenneth,

How are things going with the workstation's display?

I am STILL working on the Quality of Life list.  I'm decommissioning an old Dell,
moving all files to an external drive, organizing as I go.  Quite a lot of QOL
material there.  Probably enough to fill up a DVD on the topic.

Haven't heard from Alisa Trammell in a while.  Hmmm.  You mentioned interest in
setting up a computer lab in South Central.  Is that a possible Plan B for these
computers if things don't work out with Alisa?  I can't afford to donate them
outright, but can do it at my cost, if you can find funding.

Set up one PC with an SSD I had lying around.  Revelation: it's hugely faster to
start up.  With a conventional hard disk, might as well go get coffee after powering
up, since Windows imposes a bunch of housekeeping that keeps the HDD maxed out for a
couple minutes.  The SSD gets through that much, much faster.  Looking at Windows
Task Monitor, you can see that the HDD is the usual speed-limiting bottleneck.  Now
can get 120GB, major brands like SanDisk, Crucial, Samsung, etc. for about $25.  So
I'm sold on this.  Will install SSDs on our home 'puters and recommend this
generally.

Another breakthrough - my sub-$3 USB WiFi dongle finally arrived on the boat from
China.  Works great!  From my upstairs office, the router is three or four walls
away, and I'm still getting 5 bars.  Nt router has six (wired) RJ-45 ports, but lets
me set up 16 MAC addresses for WiFi, so it only talks to these devices.  I'm just
not sure how much things slow down if you have that many going all at once.  I think
a wired network would be faster  under such conditions, but WiFi is better than
expected.

One thing a computer lab could do is have some WiFi USB dongles on tethers.  Since
MAC addresses are built into the dongles, the router could be initialized for those
MACs.  Then any laptop could plug one in one of these dongles, and be off and
running.  Wouldn't have to set up the router for each laptop.

All for now.

-D