Courthouse modernizing computer systems
by Jazz Clark
The County Clerk’s Office has gotten the go-ahead to buy server software for their computers, which will include in-house email that everyone in the court house can use.
Brought forward at a June 21 commission meeting, the software is needed in the wake of new computers the clerk’s office is buying one by one to upgrade their older systems. All of the computers in that office are at least six years old.
“The software that is used is not compatible with 64-bit operating systems and Windows 7, the operating system that comes on most new computers,” said Dave McDonald, Information Technology Director.
Computer Services Solutions International sent a letter to McDonald detailing that “due to increasing requirements of all new personal computers Microsoft is suspending support for Windows XP operating system.”
Commissioner Brad Close asked if there were annual fees associated with the additional server, but McDonald explained that they are simply replacing and not adding anything new, so that cost would not increase.
That expenditure for the software only is a one-time cost.
“If we didn’t upgrade our systems they would still be able to access the data and view information, but would not be able to generate new reports from the new computers,” McDonald said.
A consensus was reached by all commissioners who gave their official stamp of approval on a printed quote.
“I trust [McDonald’s] professional opinion,” said Commission President Stacy Dugan. “If he says that we need this, I am fully prepared to go forward with it.”
To buy 20 user licenses of that program costs $1,150, which is well within spending limitations.
To save money in the long run, the computers will be ordered without software and installed manually, which is cheaper than buying licenses in mass.
At a future meeting, McDonald will be unveiling a prototype of an updated database server for building permits and similar documents.
He has a web-based application for maintenance issues ready to roll out, which he can demonstrate at a July 5 meeting.
Discussed at an earlier meeting, licensing information has come forward on the Microsoft Exchange server which will give court house employees a more efficient email system.
The email system was originally to be installed department by department, but will in reality have to be done all at once.
To purchase the Microsoft small business server costs $685, which includes five licenses. The hardware is already in place.
Individual user licenses at special government pricing are $45.30 each.
“The trouble is, we’d have to get at least 45 licenses at once because we have a total of about 48 users who would be using the email,” said McDonald.
The benefits of the cost would be shared contact lists, shared folders, and ability to access from outside and see shared calendars.
That $2,700 cost for the email was approved at the June 28 budget meeting.