Spring 2015 Technology Update

I’m afraid my move from the Washington, D.C., back to North Florida disrupted my blog updates here. I’ll cover as best I the Fall and Winter time periods in this update.

Much of the last few months has been spent internally migrating to a new server for the local office. That move is helping ease some processes in the office, and through a combination of a launchd process, bash script, and rdiff-backup, is allowing us to make hourly encrypted backups of our webserver that are accessible locally in-house instantaneously. Over the next few months, I’ll be teaching it other new tricks as well.

In January, we purchased new wi-fi equipment for the IWS house. Over the next few months we hope to deploy similar access points in other IWS locations during intensives. We’re using Ubiquiti Networks’ UniFi access points. We’ve found these to be easier to manage than the Proxim devices we used previously (one of our Proxim access point radios failed, and it then took 6 weeks to get it fixed). We’ve found them much more stable than the Draytek AP’s we deployed a few years ago, and they allow for more seamless handoff as you move about the campus. Coupled with our new local server, we can monitor and manage them centrally—even across multiple campuses. June should provide a better wi-fi experience for everyone on campus.

We’ve ramped up our in-house video efforts, and you’ve no doubt seen some of our efforts. We’re still learning (the whole process, and how to use our specific tools) as well as more appropriate equipment. We’re also learning how to better plan and execute these video productions. The most recent Scholarship Fund Appeal video went from shooting to release in about 26 hours, despite some technical challenges. That video was edited in the latest edition of iMovie. I expect us to move to Final Cut Pro X over the summer.

Finally, we’re investigating our options for streaming video from major on-campus events during the intensive sessions (Convocation, Graduation, etc.) and would love to have your input on that.