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Long Beach School for Adults' Independent Learning Center

Dear SystemLink Prospect,

Early in 1999, I became the technology coordinator at Long Beach School for Adults' Independent Learning Center. The Independent Learning Center (ILC) was running a 31 station network that needed upgrading; the stations were, one by one, beginning to break down. Some had bad monitors, some had bad CD-ROMs, others were just plain "buggy." In addition, the stations were running DOS and Windows 3.1, and were therefore incapable of running nearly all new software programs. I knew that upgrading our lab would be a daunting task: we ran over fifty different software programs! Some of the programs were DOS based and some ran under Windows. Some ran locally (off the C: drive) while others were server-based. Furthermore, each student in our lab (and we have over a thousand) needs a unique log-in that can track their performance in the software programs. Finally, to complicate matters even more, our district wished to simultaneously upgrade our server and connect us to their WAN.

I consulted with SystemLink in order to facilitate the upgrade of our computer lab. SystemLink had helped to create our old LAN, and we were very happy with their work. From the very beginning Malcolm McColl helped set my mind at ease. He took on the task of project coordinator and aided me in planning our new LAN; this was no small task! Since we are a school, security issues were paramount. Our server must house both our test answer keys and our students data files--so our system must have a fool-proof lockout to avoid our students from breaking into these files. We had also had problems with our students placing innappropriate pictures as wallpaper on the Windows desktop. Malcolm assembled a team of networking specialists who were able to provide us with a secure, 3-tier hierarchy (Students, Teachers, and Administrators) of login rights and access. He also began testing our older, DOS-based software for Windows 98 compatibility well before our LAN was scheduled to be installed; this gave us ample time to replace any software that would be unable to run under the new operating system. The professional staff at SystemLink consistently anticipated and prevented snags in implementing our new LAN. Were it not for their foresight we would have had serious bottlenecking problems when accessing our new server.

The transition to our new LAN was a much easier process than I had anticipated. SystemLink completed this Herculean task on schedule and UNDER our projected budget! SystemLink has continued to provide us with support since the installation--and surprisingly little support has been needed!  The new system runs all fifty plus (we've added several programs since the install!) programs smoothly. Malcolm and his staff provided me with the training necessary to prevent, diagnose, and remedy many of the small bugs that can plague a new LAN. The SystemLink staff does an excellent job of explaining the oftentimes complex issues of networking to those of us who are not computer technicians! I wholeheartedly recommend SystemLink for your computer networking needs.

Gregory K. Spooner

Teacher and Technology Coordinator

Long Beach School for Adults
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