New Middle School Labs – 8th Grade Lab and Library
The school district purchased 50 new IMacs for use at the Middle School.¬† Over the break I installed these units replacing both the 8th grade lab and the library.¬† These machines are brand new Intel based IMacs with a 2.4 ghz core 2 duo processor and a 20 inch screen.¬† Those familiar with the machines in the High School labs will notice these machines are almost identical with the only difference being the memory frequency, High School at 667 mhz and the newer Middle School machines at 800 mhz.
I reimaged all of the new machines based on an improved|modified image from the High School labs.¬† With this image in place all of these new machines are already running the latest ILife 2009 (Imovie 2009, Garageband 2009, Iweb 2009) and IWork 2009(Pages 2009, Keynote 2009, Numbers 2009) as well as Office 2004 (with all updates) Firefox 3.0.8, Google Earth 5.0, Sketchup, and much more.
There were no problems to report except for some compatibility issues between legacy workgroup manager and 10.5 based workgroup manager.¬† On the older EMacs running 10.4.11 application access and control was handle by specificly indicating which applications students could open, in Leopard Server's workgroup manager this is called Legacy mode.¬† Since the new IMacs are running 10.5 they have a different application control setting that had to be configured in order for the machine to operate correctly.¬† In short there are now two sets of application controls for the Middle School student accounts one that applies to the older machines and one to the newer.
In the library there were not quite enough ethernet jacks for the machines but this problem was easily overcome by simply using the built in Wireless N on the IMac with the Wireless N at the Middle School.¬† The Middle School currently uses Cisco 1250 Aeronets (I installed these last year) using Wireless N each connected back to the network backbone at 1 gbps.¬† The connection works so well that you could actually run the entire lab wirelessly if need be or desired.¬† In fact I would say the days of running network cable to individual machines may be over.
These IMacs have only 1 gig of RAM installed and I plan to purchase a 2 gb upgrade for each machine at the price of 20$ per machine (crucial.com).¬† When this is complete the machines will each have 2.5 gb of ram as they currently have two sticks of 512 mb.¬† Machines are ready to go and are available for student use.