Tuesday, September 19, 2006

so what is it that you do over there?

Here's a rundown of just a few of the things I've been working on:
  • the big one? Automation had several ugly days with the web server (which didn't involve me, some of which I didn't even know about... and yes, like you I'm unpleasantly surprised when I try to get onto the web server in the early AM (around 7, usually) and it's unavailable (particularly disturbing when I'm trying to publish something up to it)), so I've been trying to help t-shoot issues with it. Our primary sys/dev is no longer with us and we have no replacement as yet, so the folks in Automation are scrambling. The server has always been a little unstable from what I've been told, but without our sys/dev available, the situation has become more acute, or should I say - noticeable? If I had to guess at the cause of the larger issue, I would say that one of the major issues is that the date of the OS' manufacture is old (it would be considered old if it were a car, let alone software). The second big thing is that the web server is not just a web server, it also serves up a piece of software designed to manage the public access computers. This piece of software is very resource intensive and seems to lock up. I've analyzed event logfiles for the Automation crew & offered them my summary. I've also been running bandwidth tests in the pm since the Inet is often SO slow here these days. I suspect that with students returning to campus & us having a fractional T1 that goes out through said campuses' pipeline, we're just competing with a lot of traffic.
  • of course, the ongoing updates, etc., inc. converting reports, minutes, and financial reports take some time, because of the way we do them at this point in time. It's open for workflow improvement discussions.
  • I've written a column for CT Libraries on blogging and created a wiki for the 4 of us who are involved in creating the technology column.
  • Some behind the scenes stuff is being hammered out related to how we conduct biz - i.e., a committee's being put together re: the website
  • I've done some instruction for another member of the staff w/FP questions, had to t-shoot FP problems, etc.
  • I put new software on the test server, ran it successfully, then installed on the live server - had to wait until after hours
  • Began getting together curriculum for the website accessibility
  • Continuing to clean up code, as it comes
  • Began converting the Wm. Webb stuff - soon to be a new addition to the website
  • Agencies - oy - the code for the Agencies pages is coming in really ugly. I find myself cleaning it by hand. It might be quicker to have access to the original .docs or to database the info than to work converting each badly-coded html page myself, but it's gone back and forth so many time that there's just no good answers. It's one of those things that - when it's done without input ahead of time (couldn't have been input, anyway, because I wasn't here, but...) it ends up taking 4 x as long as it ought to.

Just a lot of troubleshooting overall. And that's what takes the extra time. Wondering if I'll be ready for next week's Library Camp in Darien.

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