Technical Difficulties

Technical Difficulties

Ajey Pandey

How often do you use the school’s computers? How often have you whined about the painful login times, or the sluggish network speed, or the inability to effectively run Gmail or YouTube?

If you check the labels on the computers, you’ll notice that they were manufactured in…2005. If you boot up the computer, the first startup screen will show a logo on the bottom left for its processor – an Intel Celeron, which now is sold in low-end laptops. If you check the dates on the software, you’ll notice that our version of Microsoft Office is turning nine this month. And in April, Microsoft itself recommended that administrations start switching out of XP, which our dinosaurs currently utilize.

And then there’s the WiFi in the school, with its spotty connection and crowded bandwidth. Whose idea was it to stuff the wireless activity of 1600 students onto one network?

This is unacceptable. We live in an age of technological advancement, but the technology we use in Franklin High School is woefully inadequate in preparing us for that world.

What can the school do? At the minimum, we can install a more modern browser on the computers, like Google Chrome, Opera 12, or Mozilla FireFox. All three are free, work on XP,  incorporate features like tabbed browsing, and, more importantly, can actually run modern websites, unlike the outdated version of Interner Explorer we are forced to use.

But that won’t solve the core problem with FHS technology: the stuff is outdated. And that can only be fixed by replacing the computers.

And no, budget issues are not a very good excuse for this. The CAD room has brand-new computers with similarly state-of-the-art CAD programs. Student discount or not, it must have cost a fortune. Additionally, I know for a fact that Horace Mann specifically has a computer lab with far nicer computers, used for…learning Microsoft Paint and playing computer games. Why does the middle school get the technology that could be put to better use in a facility that actually needs it? Most infuriatingly, the school seems to be more intent on buying far less useful stuff. Those Epson projectors cost no less than $1300 (at the education discount!), but are generally not used as such; a lot of teachers with the projectors could probably get by with a normal projecter which costs a fraction of the interactive ones and which we already own. However, the chandelier in the lobby. just puts me over the top. I don’t care when it was ordered’ the fact of the matter is there is no point to getting a chandelier in an already well-lit lobby of a facility where few people look up and fewer people gain any nicer an impression of the school because of a pretty little chandelier that was bought instead of a computer.
Because unlike little-used projectors and chandeliers, computers are not bolted to the wall, and, (wait for it) they would serve a significant purpose.