We could have used a few different titles for this post such as “How To Save Yourself 60+ Minutes Per Machine“, or “Fast and Error-Free Refurbishing” or “How DAO Technologies Saved PCF !” among others.

PCF has been incredibly fortunate to have received support from DAO Technologies this Fall. DAO devised a very practical, state-of-the-art way to refurbish computers or to update those already installed:

  • Rather than configure each machine individually, we now create a master and copy that to the others
  • Imaging machines now takes as little as 5 minutes (as opposed to over an hour !)
  • Imaging now involves a mere 5 or 6 steps rather than more than 50+ steps !
  • We can now do our updates in the classroom without moving the equipment
  • We can now update our computers even if the Internet is not working
  • We can now use a networked server or USB Flash Drive to do our imaging
  • Most importantly, we can now have students as young as 4th grade do the work for us!

Thanks to our new refurbishing process, a single person was able to update Logan Elementary in about two days. This included the time it took to rewire some classrooms, replace failed units, and add a couple new ones. Previously, this would have involved multiple volunteers and taken many more days of work.

We want to extend a special thanks to Keith Perry from DAO Technologies for coming up with this ingenious way for PCF to install our customized version of Linux. He even helped train some former ITT Technical Institute students who have continued to volunteer for PCF even after they finished their work-study program.

PCF Director Updating Computers at LoganPCF Director Jan Deruiter recently helping out at Logan Elementary to update computers using our new “imaging” method.

Computers were updated both over the network and using USB sticks.

About 50 computers were updated in a little more than two days!