I recently enjoyed setting up 2 new computers for the Lisbon Public Library. The new computers were highlighted on Market Street’s Facebook page a while ago as “Today’s Tech Deals” because they were particularly good desktop computer configurations and pricing for everyday business use.
Under the heading of “Today’s Tech Deal” I routinely identify new computers and equipment that are extremely good deals based on their performance and pricing on Market Street’s Facebook page.
Usually I list a desktop and a laptop computer every other week. Most of the time these are sale items or have special coupon codes that need to be applied. However, one thing you can be certain of is that NONE of these recommendations kickback any $$ to me or Market Street.
What makes setting up a PC in a public space unique is that the user of the computer will vary greatly from hour to hour. As public access computers they must be treated differently than computers setup for a specific user.
As with any PC, a specific set of software is installed, licensed, updated, and tested on the local network for printing and Internet access. In addition, the browsers are set with specific tabs highlighting the library’s website, the local school system website, and a search engine like Google. Then a copy of the configured system is saved to an external storage device for use if the PC ever needs to be rebuilt due to hardware malfunction.
After onsite testing has been completed and an image of the hard disk has been created, software is installed that enable the computers to restore the original “library approved” system configuration and settings upon simply rebooting the computer. This eliminates problems caused by patrons intentional installation of software or unintentional installation of malware and enhances privacy because simply rebooting the PC wipes everything added off the machine and starts it fresh upon rebooting.
Sadly for me, using “reboot and restore” software also eliminates the need for many service calls and routine repairs… 🙁
I make sure that almost all of the software, from Internet Security software to Microsoft Office is usually provided at great discount via TechSoup.org whenever possible.
🙂 Speaking of discounts, did you know that Market Street discounts labor for qualifying not-for-profits and community based organizations?
Much of my favorite work has been helping not-for-profits (churches, small town govt., libraries, NPO’s, etc…). It’s a great feeling to know that you are helping in your own way to make a change for the better.
Of course I give the same level of effort when I’m helping businesses too!
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