True stories from the world of Information Technology, brought to you by the NTRLS Information Technology Specialist.


RAID-1 or RAID-5 for Servers - January 2011
     RAID configuration provides fault tolerance and redundancy to protect your data in case of a disk failure on your server.  Adam explains how it works and helps you choose the RAID configuration that's right for your situation.

Re-partitioning or Copying a Hard Drive - December 2010
     Adam found a tool that makes it easy to change the partitions on a hard drive, or to copy a hard drive in order to use the drive image on another computer.

Setting up a WiFi Hotspot - November 2010
     Factors to consider when setting up a WiFi access point for your library's patrons. 

Buying a New PC - September 2010  
     Adam explains what to look for when buying a new PC.

Upgrading to Windows 7 - May 2010  
     Planning to upgrade from Windows XP or Vista to Windows 7? Adam has some helpful hints.

How to Make IE8 Forget Browsing History - April 2010  
     Configure Internet Explorer 8 to clear the browsing history automatically, to protect patron privacy on your public computers. 

How to Repair IE8 - March 2010  
     When your browser goes haywire you can hit the reset button to get it back in working order. 

Content Protect Pro and CASSIE - February 2010  
     Adam figures out how to make the time management software CASSIE coexist peacefully with the content filtering software Content Protect Pro. 

Setting Up QoS - January 2010  
     How to configure Quality of Service (QoS) on your network to make sure the staff computers get higher priority than the public access computers when using the Internet. 

Hard Disk Drive Failure - November 2009  
     Is your hard drive really dead?  Adam helps you make the diagnosis. 

Choosing an Antivirus Solution - September 2009  
     At NTRLS we just switched to a different antivirus solution for our internal servers and workstations.  Adam lists the criteria he used for choosing a product. 

... And Then, the Lights All Went Out! - August 2009  
     Are your servers and other important computer equipment protected in case of a power outage?  Adam explains how to keep things running smoothly with an uninterruptable power supply (UPS).

Adjusting to Vista - June 2009  
     You just installed Windows Vista and the operating system features you were used to in Windows XP are mysteriously missing!  Track down the lost items and make your computer run smoother by following Adam's advice.

Maintenance Matters - May 2009  
     Why should you pay for software support agreements, and which ones matter?    Following Adam's advice can help you make sure your software is functioning well to serve your patrons.

The PC That Would Not Power On - April 2009  
     This PC had a blinking yellow light on the power button, and would not power on. Read how Adam figured out the problem and got the PC back in operation.  

Updating Typical 3rd Party Software - February-March 2009  
     It's not enough to run Windows update regularly.  Browser plugins from Adobe, Sun and Apple need to be kept updated, too.  Here's how.

Troubleshooting RAM - January 2009  
     When your computer won't boot or it crashes with a blue screen, what do you do?  The culprit may be your RAM.  Adam give simple instructions for troubleshooting the problem.

Buying Software - December 2008  
     Software for your library can be very expensive.  Adam's tips tell you how qualified non-profit organizations and government entities can save money by selecting the right vendor.

Backup Devices - November 2008  
     Adam compares tape drives, external hard drives, and flash drives as devices you might use for backing up the valuable data on your computers and servers.

Physical Computer Maintenance - October 2008  
     Simple cleaning procedures can help prevent computer lockups caused by overheating, keep your monitors looking good, keep your mice rolling smoothly and keep your patrons healthy.

How to Survive an Upgrade to Windows Vista - September 2008  
     Are you considering upgrading to Windows Vista or buying new computers with Vista installed?  Here are things to consider before you decide. 

Athena's Receipt Printers Trying to Survive in a Strange New Environment - August 2008  
     Sagebrush's Athena automation software was written for earlier versions of Windows, but libraries have been using it with Windows XP.  Now some libraries want to upgrade to Vista, but there are no printer drivers for the receipt printer commonly used with this system.  The TANG consultant reviews the available options. 

The AntiVirus Software that Ate the Library Catalog - July 2008  
     A library's automation system stopped working when they upgraded to the latest version of their antivirus software.  Read about the database conflict between Symantec's Endpoint Protection and Sagebrush's InfoCentre.

What's this 'Remote Downlevel Document' in the Print Queue? - June 2008  
     The library's networked printer was working fine, except the print queue displayed 'remote downlevel document' instead of showing the website or application that the document came from.  Was it a symptom of a virus?  No, just an unexpected behavior of Windows XP.

It Wouldn't Boot Past the Windows Load Screen! - May 2008 
     A computer would hang with a black screen during the boot process.  Was it a hardware problem? The detective found that this was a known problem with a certain version of Symantec Antivirus software and certain Dell computers, and Symantec's suggested solution worked until an upgrade was available.

The Optiplex 755's that Wouldn't Connect - April 2008
   A library had 20 new Dell computers, but they wouldn't connect to the network!  Here's a full description of the problem and a description of how it was resolved.