Friday, January 28, 2011

Tech Support!

Recognizing that our technical support needs are different from the rest of the campus, the university has funded a full-time tech support person for our department's equipment.  In December, we hired Tim Boyum and he is doing an excellent job!  Our server/lab configuration is a complex combination Mac and Linux workstations, three physical servers and 15 virtual machines; all of which share a file space and single log-on capabilities.  Tim has shown an incredible understanding of Kerberos, LDAP, and a bunch of other technologies that I don't begin to understand.

In addition to his technical skills, Tim's demeanor serves him well.  He wants the machines to work well, reacts quickly when something is not working, is very open to suggestions, and has patience in helping all of our students and our faculty.  He is developing a working relationship with campus technical support that will be critical to his success.  

Tim's arrival has allowed Dr. Briggs to return to teaching full time and he has the real-time/embedded students engaged in programming the FPGAs.  We are happy to have his focus returned to our students!  Over the last week, his office has once again been taken over by long conversations with students about research projects and current technology news.

For now, this new position is funded only through the summer, but we are actively working with administration to find ways to convert it to a permanent position.

No comments: