Here are the winning entries that were submitted for February's Fighting Dirty comic strip. If you would like to try your hand at solving a comic strip problem with a Novell products, check out the current contest.
Here's the Question:
The power of the Open Computing movement lies in the fact that contributing code can be -- and IS -- written by anyone, whether or not they work for a big software company. Now that Novell has entered the fray you can expect to see not only Novell employees contributing to Open Source projects, but Novell itself as a company providing official contributions.
Here are the winners:
A Homegrown Printing Solution - David Bussenschutt
Novell + homegrown+opensource? Here's my story:
Before: The printing system for our approx 30,000 students was an abomination. We have dozens of Windows, Mac and Linux student labs across 5 campuses (at a conservative guess, probably 700 PC's total). We have around 60 high-throughput printers. (student like to print a LOT!). There was no manageability, no logging, no interoperability, no control, no feedback. All we had was photocopy card readers hard-wired into each printer, and a queueing system built on old (and reliable) Netware 4 technology (ever heard of Qview?) Yuck!.
Now: Printing a job goes thus:
We now have permanent record of how many pages each student prints for the duration of their study at our uni, and when. We know peak periods etc. We know per-campus utilization of resources (paper/toner/etc). We know which campuses are more prone to printing (a page-per-minute/week/semester-per-student-per-campus statistic is interesting!). We know when printers need more paper/toner/service (they're on the ethernet now, so select ppl can manage them remotely). We know percentages of submitted jobs to actual printed ones. (we know exactly how much each print job cost a student. We know how much money we are making/loosing! We know the average number of pages printed per job (including at different times of year - students print bigger average jobs later in semester!). We know everything! Oh, and we have a complete digital copy of ALL print jobs for the last 30 days. (it only takes around 300-700GB of space for this)
Did I mention that these printers are 4 or 5 different brands and dozens of different models, including full-color and B/W only printers, and they ALL work with our system.
Who would have guessed it, but we had 500,000 print jobs submitted to the system in the first 6 months of use. (a much smaller percentage of those were actually "printed" though).
A Budget Request Form on SUSE Linux 9.0 - Stewart Harrison
I am a Network Administrator for the Department of Student Activities at the University of Georgia. We have a small IT staff of 2 full time workers, including me, and a graphic artist is our print shop who is also our chief web designer.
Our Business office along with the Student Activity Fee Committee, is in charge of handle budget requests from the top 48, in terms of money allocated, Student Organizations who receive Student Activity Fee Monies. The total amount of monies allocated to those 48 Organizations is around $2.5 million. In the distant past we had to use typewriters to type up the budget requests, and more recently had these organizations submit their requests in Lotus Spreadsheets and WordPerfect documents.
The problem was not everyone had the same versions of those software packages, and some didn't have those software packages at all. A problem arose when a student would create their budget proposal in Microsoft Works, which not even MS Office 2000 Pro can read, and then the student would be gone for Spring Break and would be unreachable. So then we tried using PDF forms, but even that had its problems as some people didn't have up to date versions of Acrobat Reader, and even if they did they could not work on their proposal a little at a time and save their work unless they had the full version of Adobe Acrobat.
So, I setup a SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional machine on an old desktop that we were going to surplus, installed Apache2, PHP, and MySQL. And I created a PHP web application to handle the budget submissions while authenticating users against our campus wide eDirectory server(s). As far as how well it is going, well I'll let you know after it is all said and done.
Total cost to our Department, ~$60 for SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional off of Amazon.com.
A solution so good it's commercial - Cobus Burgers
Download the details here
Go see the newest Uncool Solutions, and submit your entry today. You might be the winner next month.