Archive for the ‘Wireless’ Category

New Employee Info

July 10, 2015

Rather than keeping a document up to date and distributing it to all new faculty and staff, it’s easier to just post here and send out the address. Below is some useful information about the technology we use and how you can access it.


There are a couple options for wireless at school. You should see a WPA2 protected SSID called Harley_Secure and an open SSID called Harley_Guest. You can connect to the secure network using your Harley username/password which will give your device the same access as a wired device. You’ll need to install this SSL certificate to avoid errors when viewing https sites. You could also connect to the guest network with no authentication, but you won’t be able to access any file servers or network resources other than the internet. The extra certificate is not needed on this network. The guest network will most likely be the easiest way to connect your personal phones/tablets to get internet access.

There is also a deprecated SSID called hswlan. This is a legacy network from our old wireless system that will most likely disappear in the very near future.


Our email is handled by Google Apps for Education. Once you receive your email address and password you can access your email by visiting the Gmail website from any computer:

Your Gmail password is synced with your Harley network password. Changing your Harley password will automatically change your Gmail password to match. This does not work in the other direction though, so if you change your password in Gmail, keep in mind your Harley password will not change.

Feel free to add your email account to any and all mobile device you have. Using the Gmail App is the preferred way.

Student/Course Information

Access to our student information system (Senior Systems) is done through a webapp called My Backpack. This is where you can see your class lists, view student information, enter grades/comments and enter attendance. Your Harley username/password gives you access to this site.


You will have a phone in either your classroom or office. Calling another Harley phone is as simple as dialing its 4-digit extension. To make an external call you can either dial 8 before the number or press the “Outgoing” button on the phone to acquire an outside line.

442-1770 – our main number, rings at the front desk

442-1777 – goes directly to the auto-attendant, good for remotely checking voicemail.

442-5758 – our fax line

Your phone also has a direct dial number. Dialing 277-xxxx from an external line where xxxx is your extension will ring your phone directly. If you don’t like this feature or find it disruptive please let us know it can be disabled.

You can check/setup your voicemail externally by dialing into the auto-attendant (442-1777) and pressing the star (*) key. It’ll prompt you for your mailbox number and passcode. When a message is left in your voicemail box, you will be notified via email and an audio file containing the message will be attached.


If you currently have your own personal website, keep using it if you like. You can use Google Sites built into your Gmail account if you are familiar and like that. If you are familiar with WordPress you can create a site here with the URL structure of<whateveryouwant>

Just visit this page and click the “Register and Create Site” link. You can only sign up for an account with a email address.

Document Storage

There are a few places you can store your documents with varying levels of security and accessibility.

  1. Google Drive
    Only you have access to your Google account and therefore only you have access to documents stored in your account. These are hosted in the cloud and are accessible from any computer and can be shared with anyone. With an institutional account, you have unlimited storage space with Google.
  2. H: Drive / Home Directory
    This is a directory mapped to your profile when you login to a computer at school. It’s linked to a local file server and is therefore only accessible on a school computer. Only you have access to these files and they are not able to be shared. Disk space is also limited on this system. This is a good spot for private confidential files.
  3. S: Drive / Snap
    Snap is primarily used as student file storage, but you are welcome to use it. There are no access controls on Snap, so any document can be read and edited/deleted by anyone. Although this is possible, it rarely if ever happens maliciously. This is not the place to store anything of a sensitive nature. Because of its wide open security, it’s perfect for sharing documents with students. Snap has considerably more disk space than your H: drive, but it does have a limit.


If you need help or advice with anything technology related feel free to contact me.

Joe Reid
joe <at>

Eye-Fi Cards in the Enterprise

May 8, 2013

The concept of the Eye-Fi SD card is really cool: It’s an SD card for your digital camera that has wireless connectivity/uploading capabilities built-in. So you take a picture and your card will upload the picture automatically to your computer without having to connect the camera or manually copy pictures from the card. The concept is fabulous, but the implementation leaves a few things to be desired.

Now imagine how useful this would be in a school? Have all your cameras equipped with Eye-Fi cards and have them transfer pictures to a central server that everyone has access to for storage. It sounds like the greatest idea ever, until you try to implement it.

I did this back in the fall and while it functions, it’s really dirty and I still can’t believe they make it as difficult as it is to accomplish this. I used the word enterprise in the title to mean using the cards not as a consumer. I have one of these cards at home for personal use, it works fine with the software that ships with it.

At school I currently have 14 Eye-Fi cards in the wild. To avoid the maintenance nightmare of setting up the Eye-Fi Center software on each teacher’s computer, I wanted to run a centralized Eye-Fi “server”. I’m a Linux guy, so that’s the first thing I thought of, but no, there is no Linux version of the software. Someone hacked together a python script a few years ago that had similar functionality but it didn’t work in our multiple-VLAN environment. So not only did I have to burn a license for a Windows server for this, the cards have to be activated on the machine running the Eye-Fi Center software, so I had to setup a physical machine for this because the version of VMWare we use for virtualization doesn’t have USB pass-through. So instead of being totally free and using practically no resources, I have to use a Windows license, keep hardware running, use more electricity and add more carbon dioxide and noise to my office. And if that weren’t enough, the Eye-Fi Center software installs and runs per-user, so I couldn’t run it as a service in the background, I have to login to the machine to have the helper software start and then leave myself logged in under a remote desktop session! It does actually run if you start it as a service, it just doesn’t transfer any pictures that way. And when Windows Update reboots the machine pictures stop transferring because I’m not logged in anymore. It’s very frustrating, finicky and requires way too much attention; but of course the users are all happily oblivious to this.

I’m absolutely astounded how difficult they make it working with these cards when you’re not a cookie-cutter consumer. All it would take is a few tweaks to the Eye-Fi Center software to make it start and run as a service. A Linux version would also be greatly appreciated. And then add an option in the settings to specify the destination IP address of the computer running the Eye-Fi Center software. Those couple changes would make using and managing this product infinitely easier. The fact that there are no competing products doesn’t help the situation either. If another company came out with a similar product I would switch in a heartbeat, but for now I’m stuck with Eye-Fi.

As of this writing my Eye-Fi server has transferred 9074 pictures.