Of course I want to take part in another ICT pilot…

Well, apparently we’re going to participate in the 2006 KS3 ICT test pilot, and I’ve been put forward as the named person responsible for ensuring our network systems are up to scratch. Nice to be informed of these things. Even our head of ICT didn’t know about it, but we both have a good idea how this has come about.

Anyways, after filling out a survery twice (the first time, their crappy JavaScript didn’t understand Firefox so sat there sulking, refusing to respond to ‘Submit’) I then get told that the survey was a waste of time as they don’t believe the specs I gave for our servers, workstations + network infrastructure and so have to run additional tests on each machine and upload the results back to the exam board. Everyone has to do this apparently, so why have a 20 question survery I don’t know.

Okay, so they only want a single DC for running the base system off, but then you have to run the system check on each workstation you want the pupils to use when participating in the exam. They want at least 20 machines before they let you progress to make sure you’re going to have enough. Now, speaking for myself and pretty much every other secondary school I’ve seen, you’re gonna have 20 machines sat quite happily in ICT suite, probably more. Very rarely will these machines be a mis-match of components cobbled together. Pretty much all the time, they’re going to be identical, having been installed in the same batch. Ours our. But no, the exam board worries people might cheat and run the system check on one machine, then claim they have 20 more of the same spec to make sure they participate in the pilot…

As a network manager, I want to take part in this like I need a second ass. If anything, I’d purposely find 20 machines that don’t meet the specs, except even our oldest machines (2 years now) still comfortably meet the requirements.

Have they made a simple tool that can run across the network? No. Admin must log on to each machine and run the test online. I’ve tried running it twice from one machine but it knows it’s already been ran, even after clearing out the cache and cookies, so I’m a tad worried as to exactly how much information this is pulling out about my machines.

Think I’ll keep running it within Firefox as it always fails, then claim I can’t complete the process. Either that or click the link for those not running Windows-based networks and tell them I’ve got an AS/400 and see how quickly I get politely informed we don’t meet the criteria for the pilot as things stand at the moment…


Senior Content Development for Microsoft writing about Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Model train nerd. Occasionally I play video games.

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