The history of Edge Hill… On Google Maps?!

I was just having a look at Microsoft’s take on the ever popular online map site and found myself having a look at Edge Hill (yeah I know, sad huh?). Anyway.. I found it had a rather old aerial picture of Edge Hill! I’d guess it’s around 5-6 years ago based on the buildings there. You can see the LINC is just finished by the look of it. Even the Wilson Center isn’t on there is it’s current form. The Faculty of Education building and the lake are just green fields!

I decided to hop on Google Maps and see what their picture was like. It was a much more recent image, I’d say around mid/late 2005. Now if you put the two together you can really see how Edge Hill has grown in the last decade, even without the current new construction!

So here are the two images, Microsoft on the left and Google on the right.

ms ehu google ehu

I really can’t believe just how much the place has changed while I have been there. I can’t help but wonder how it will look 10 years from now. More to the point I wonder if anyone will be on here blogging satellite images of how much it has changed?!

If I never see another network cable, it will be too soon!

I seem to have spent the best part of the last fortnight over in the LINC building for one reason or another. It all started over a hardware failure in part of the main network switch for that building. This is a fairly rare occurrence (luckily!) and resulted in some significant disruption for the service in the LINC. In the first instance we had to move nearly all staff computers over to some spare switches that were fitted as a temporary work around. Our suppliers were excellent and had some replacement parts with us very quickly and our network manager was able to get the switch up and running again.

Despite this we still had teething troubles for a few days as a result of the chaos caused by the emergency repatching so last week we set aside an evening to totally re-patch the entire building. It took three of us working till after 9pm with the building totally empty to get it all done. Even then we had to spend time the next morning mopping up the odd faulty cable or printer plugged into the wrong port. I can’t really describe what was involved in getting this done so I think I’ll take the easy way out and show some pictures (worth a thousand words?).

Here is a shot after we had unplugged everything from the switches:
Linc Before

This is how it looked after we had plugged everything back in! To give you an idea this is consider to be quite tidy by patch room standards! :
Linc After

Hopefully that is the problem all done with and everything seemed back to normal on Friday. You can’t really predict these sort of problems but instead have to try and take them in your stride. To me the most important thing was maintaining some sort of service for all of our staff members in the building and their patience with myself and my team mates during this massive disruption is a real credit to everyone there.

Going green with Windows Vista

A lot of people have asked me about our plans for Windows Vista and as Derrick mentioned in his first post the reply is “not yet!”. There are some pretty good reasons for an institution to consider the upgrade: improved security, better system performance, availability of new applications and features. All of those are pretty good reasons to consider upgrading but I happened upon another new reason this morning. It turns out Microsoft have been getting a bit greener and trying to make Vista not only user friendly but environmentally friendly too!

There is a white paper available and more on the subject from Microsoft’s Technet site It’s a rather heavy read but luckily one of their bloggers has cut out the interesting bits for us:

With Vista running in your business (and at home) you can help save energy and also money! With Vista installed you will:

* Reduce the carbon dioxide generated by an organisation, equal to 45 tonnes per year for a business with 200 desktop PCs.
* Deliver savings on energy bills of up to £46 per desktop PC per year.

Those figures are quite significant when you consider the thousands of computers that we have running around the campus. Maybe next time when someone asks me why we should upgrade to Vista that will be the first reason I come out with.

Source: James Senior