Since administering a computer system is always more or less Excel files, papers,
and all kinds of fuzzy stuff, I came up with a draft of an integrated system (a computer program) which would put some of these things together. It would make the process of administering much easier, by relieving the admin from remembering where he has stored bits and pieces. We admins often run too much. Running is bad in work sense – it means the process is unpolished.
So the below system is a client-server solution; the clients being very lightweight programs run on each workstation (or laptop) which is to be administered. The server is the command-issuer; the admin is connected to a server, and this can be done from any IP location. As long as the administrator has connectivity to the server, and the server can see the client, the system works.
A big benefit which I haven’t come across, is that AdmiNEXT would also include the possibility to make maps: of networks, of actual workstation locations, etc. There’s a lot of remembering in a big office space, and especially when there’s someone new doing the installations, they run into problems with locating stuff.
My dream system for user and computer administration (AdmiNEXT) would include:
* a state and machine register, for easily seeing what installations have been done
* the above would be shareable by RSS, web, calendar, text message, mail – to admins
and other interested parties
* a command line interface to controlling AdmiNEXT (in addition to GUI)
* shell mode for running Windows commands directly
* possibility to run 3rd party installers and other tools
* a chat, for communicating between admins and also end users
* project view: easy overview of the whole project currently underway; workhours, efficiency, and piecharts of what is taking time
* all functionality and user interaction is logged
* a AdmiNEXT client program is run in each workstation; this executes the work
* superClipboard for storing all those little snippets of information, that usually are written on PostIT notes
* ability to run patches to both Windows and 3rd party software
* lightness! AdmiNEXT should itself be very lightweight, so that it will be used.
* visuality: everything from the ground floor plans of buildings to network topologies could be visualized, perhaps even on maps
* expiry dates for operations and objects: you will be reminded when to renew
Currently IT is being handled in a variety of ways. Users suffer. Bad decisions
are everyday; like taking away necessary tools. I’ve seen cases where people couldn’t
read intranet anymore, since it contained documents made in a proprietary format,
but to which the users didn’t have a license. It was bad judgment. Saving in the
wrong place. Also made me appreciate open formats and free software. There is
software and there’s software. Document reading is a basic human right. You shouldn’t
have to pay for that. A complicated SAP system is not. I understand the royalties
Btw. I wonder if running stops. Not only that, we could be swirling in these
nice little caddies around the office. Noiseless, environmentally friendly,
good looking surfpads on wheels. They’d perhaps have a screen, very thin and cool,
showing you a radar-kind view of the office or other premises. You’d see targets
like computers, switches, routers, and others. No more wondering where your
work target is. Yes, it’s the Blade Runner inspired scene. 🙂 And of course
walking is healthy. But I’m a utopist.