Sunday, March 14, 2010

A long week

A cheesy iphone Ad made by Me.Image by twenty5pics via Flickr

On Monday I jetted over to Adelaide to do some training with one of my client schools that have put in 50 or so eBeams into their classrooms. By far one of my biggest installs, hence the training.
While I was there I caught up with some other clients and met some new (hopefully) ones. I also had a new recruit shadowing me.

I was all prepared to go back to Perth on Thursday when my boss calls me - Can I stay until Saturday so I can help out with the Apple ITS Conference. "Sure" I say. "I just have to check with my other boss." So I called my girlfriend of many years to let her know and she gave her blessings (it was 42 deg C in Perth at the times so not nice to go back to anyway).

My mission: to make sure that the responseware system worked on both Friday and Saturday.

ResponseWare is the Virtual Keypad that can be installed onto blackberries, iphones and ipod touches or can be run from a web browser. The cool thing about responseware is the ability to take long text answers as well as get the questions and results directly on the screen of the device.

So I have one day of preparation and to learn how to configure and use ResponseWare on a Apple Mac - without actually having a Apple Mac.

I arrive at the Venue (Scotch College) nice and early (7:30am) to scope things out and to find out exactly what was going to go on.

The network was very well set up with Cisco routers and switches, wireless g for the iPod touch's and Wireless N for the Macbooks. Three base stations set up around the room each with 4 radios on them. So all good for connection speeds.

One presenter was going to use ResponseWare in the afternoon. I prepped him and we ran some tests to get any issues resolved. All was working perfectly.

He was going to use the ResonseWare built into TurningPoint Anywhere on his own Mac. We got people to download the app onto their iPhones and I pods and then linked them into the session. He asked his first question and after taking 36 responses the system kicked everyone off. Aughhhhhhh!!!! Because he was still presenting I couldn't go up on stage to check what had happened - so he went through the rest of his talk - sans using ResponseWare.

So day one FAIL!!

So after some head scratching and some log checking we figure that it was because the presenter accidentally closed the session, the presenter and the responders we all on the same network and the application had issues or there was a network timeout between our little network and the connection to the ResponseWare server.

So I reset up with my PC (the horror of a PC at a Mac Conference), on a wired in network on a different subnet to the wireless devices - I also ran TurningPoint in Powerpoint and hooked it up to a projector switch.

Day two rolls around and I am able to test the new configuration. Seemed to be OK. I write up some questions the organisers wanted to know the answers to. We roll through the whole presentation and it works for all questions. Phew!! I was able to give the organiser all her data within 5 mins in an excel spreadsheet. Job done.

Day 2 Success.

Caught a plane back to Perth 6:20am on a Sunday bleeuugh.


Mrs. Tenkely said...

Doesn't it just seem that Murphy comes calling right when you need him the least? He never shows up during setup when you have time to investigate and deal with the problem, no, he shows up right smack dab into the presentation. It sounds like you handled it perfectly and glad to read that it was a success the second time around!

Hall Jackson said...

Murphy is just like my boss - always calls at the wrong moment.
As the organisor said - if everything went perfectly then the teachers would think that this is too slick and they couldn't implement this in their classroom without all the expertise. Showing systems/people were failible made it seem more "normal" and accessible.

It was a good conference though as there were not only Apple staff on hand but the Apple distinguished educators peppered around to help those new to Mac and how to use it in education.