Distributed IT Support staff Conference

Today welcomes the first DITS conference at Cardiff University. It is an important first step towards bringing the technical support staff from all departments together to share ideas and good practice. Eileen Brandreth, the Director of University IT opened the conference saying that although there is a wealth of knowledge throughout the university, IT support staff often work individually and in isolation on problems and projects faced by other departments. By collaborating with others and other departments the knowledge base is increased and the workload and knowledge is shared, thus reducing the possibility of replicating work.

Ultimately the conference hopes to initiate a virtual support community which enables support staff to gain support across what is often seen as a boundary, that of other Schools and resource centres.

DropBox – Steffan Adams, BIOSC

To make large files available to other users over a network where email and university networks would restrict access. An open source web application on Apache/PHP/SQLite with LDAP authentication.

File size up to 1.3GB @32bit or larger @64bit.

OpenAudit – Kevin Munn, BIOSC

An automatic audit of networked machines, computers, printers etc.

Can compile lots of information including hardware, software, image version and the amount of free space of a hard drive.

INSRV to make available Zenworks Audit Manager some time in the future which would do the same thing (and be supported).

SIMS pipeline – Steffan Adams, BIOSC

A method of combining SIMS data with extra data to be utilized by other systems.

An automatic process has been set up to pull the information from SIMS to a mail address which is then pulled into the specialised database as a CSV file.

Structuring and Sharing IT Documentation – Iain Spillane, ENGIN

A centralised storage for information that everyone within the support team can access anywhere, anytime. Reducing the reliance on the specialist to deal with issues and sharing knowledge.

A folder structure was agreed on for easy access. Documents are produced in a standard format by the specialist and checked by another member of the team. It is then made available to the whole team and is simple to update when required.

The documents are to be hosted by QuickR (update of QuickPlace), a web document storage place but could be hosted on many other places such as a non-standard BlackBoard module.


About shazmagill

I work as a Senior Technical Demonstrator and Lecturer in digital storytelling at Cardiff School of Journalism, Cardiff University. I teach and support any tools necessary for our students to function as journalists or media practitioners. This means anything from audio recording techniques, video editing, photography and print and mobile publishing. I have recently completed MA in Arts Practice (Fine Art) at the University of South Wales exploring the subjective and objective view and community storytelling through art of the Rhondda valley.
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