I just read vince's last paragraph regarding single users vs
multiple users on a given machine....
I often try to describe my tech support challenges with the metaphor
of managing a fleet of delivery vehicles.........
with many different teenage drivers taking out different vehicles
each time they drive, some leaving the lights on, some locking the
keys inside, few checking the oil, and all with very different
driving styles...riding the clutches, burning rubber, gunning the
engine etc etc....
service and tune ups and ongoing driver ed are just part of my job
Most fleets buy a quantity of a specific model ( bread truck, police
car, delivery vans etc) which mean that the motor pool can easily
swap out parts, canibalize entire vehicles, and recognize/isolate
similar problems to make and model... new brakes 28kmiles.... new
engine 193k miles..... decommission 201kmiles
I on the other hand ( given my small budget ( small school) I buy a
few new computers each year to add to the mish mash mix... and
consequently have multiple makes and models, all with different
dashboards ... rearranged furniture, and idiosyncratic
behaviors....P3, celeron, G3, G4, G5, Printers, copiers, cameras,
scanners, switches hubs etc and many different engines Windows 9x 2k
ME xp OS9x 10x jaguar, panther, tiger.......... now ipods,
Plus my 300 plus drivers have all manner of driving experience and
confidence..... I still get new customers pointing a mouse upside
down and asking "what is double click?" ( I actually told one user
to "go file ... open new document" and they said " file... open...
new document" and waited for something to happen....
not that I see buying a whole new fleet of like computers every 3-5
years as a likely solution.......
There is a calculus somewhere in here but I don't have the time to
try to figure it out...... except to say that here at my understaffed
motorpool (i mechanic) there will always be a percentage of rigs in
for repair, rigs doa, and service calls to users to tell them that
"the battery cable was loose", "you have to depress the clutch before
turning the ignition" and "yes it is important to check the oil" and
"no gas.... no go"
I don't have time to go back and reread but often think of the book
"Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" which I first read prior
to touching my first pc... but described different user/operator
styles with a different technology...... I am sure there are very
appropriate passages to capture the joys and frustrations of our
multi hat responsibilities.....
On Nov 10, 2005, at 4:47 PM, Vince Rossano wrote:
I guess I can add my belated $.02 here as well:
In Montpelier, there are three of us officially doing computer tech
support. That includes me, though I also have administrative duties and
responsibility for the phone system as well. Still, I probably put in
at least full-time hours just on computer support and my assistants
probably put in more than full-time hours. On the other hand, our three
tech educators get sucked into providing some technical support too, so
it's difficult to figure exactly how many person-hours are spent
supporting our users' computer needs. But let's say this:
We have ca. 1150 students and another ca. 250 staff members who use a
computer for at least checking their email, so, if we call it 1450 users
total, and call it three support people, that makes, rounding off to the
25th decimal place: 466.666666666666666666666666 users to each techie.
We can really call it 467 because the .6666666666666666666666666 user is
a real pain and he takes more than his share of support.
Seriously though, I at first thought this statistic relatively
meaningless in comparison to the usual hardware-to-support-person ratio,
but then I realized that if you've got one computer with only one person
using it, it's probably going to take significantly less support than if
you've got three people using that one computer. Of course, as we all
know, there are so many variables......
Information Technology Director
Montpelier Public Schools
Montpelier, VT 05602
>>> On 11/4/2005 at 3:39:03 pm, in message
<[log in to unmask]>,
[log in to unmask] wrote:
> I wanted to take a quick Friday poll -
> What is your school's student to techie ratio ?
> Ours is roughly 400:1, counting myself and a part-time assistant.
> And then when you add staff, administration, and teachers, what ratio
> That puts us at about 450:1.
> I know that some schools have consolidated their IT operations within
> district, but I still thought it would be fun to get a sense of how
> numbers are looking statewide.
> Eric I. Snay
> Technology Coordinator,
> Fair Haven Union High School, Vermont
> 802.265.4966 x215