DMH Internship Opportunity


DMH’s IT department has an urgent need for hands-on technology support staff. They are offering a one month paid internship opportunity for high school seniors and college students. Students will be able to earn money as well as an official DMH Certificate of Acknowledgment (COA). Students will be part of technology implementation that will revolutionize care for patients. Such COA’s can be used for admission to college, medical, dental, pharmacy, or nursing schools.

The job description is as follows:

Under guidance of our project leaders, the intern will be assigned to a team associated with the rollout of microcomputer equipment and peripherals.  The intern will be responsible for installation and operation of PC software and hardware.

  • Provides product support for all microcomputers and associated peripheral equipment.
  • Installs and relocates microcomputer software and hardware.
  • Communicates information to coworkers; refers problems appropriately; documents problems and resolutions.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

We are seeking candidates who have experience with installation and maintenance of microcomputers and peripherals.

Position will be temporary positions for period of 30 days with a workweek of day shifts, Monday through Friday.  The hourly rate of $15.00 and these positions will be not be eligible for employee benefits.

To apply for this opportunity, please follow these instructions:

Interested applicants can apply at  All candidates will be required to complete an application and interview process before job offers will be made.  All qualified job offers will be subject to successful completion of a pre-employment drug screen / physical and background check.

This powerful opportunity to learn hospital business and acquire real life technology and healthcare experience will be a major college admissions experience booster. These positions will close fast – so please HURRY!!!!!

A Quick Look at Windows 10 and How to Build Your Own Using VMware #IS240 #IS331 #IS470 #IS492

In a small window of downtime over spring break, I decided to take a look at Windows 10 and see the progress Microsoft was making on its next version. Below, specifically for Millikin students, I have outlined how to check it out for yourself using VMware and DreamSpark. I conclude with my initial thoughts after playing around a bit.

For those of you who are Millikin students, you are hopefully aware of your ability to download software titles (for free) from Microsoft through DreamSpark. You can access this from the Tools menu item in MyMillikin. While Microsoft isn’t giving away the entire Microsoft Office suite for you, you are able to download some productivity titles like Visio, Project, and Access. The other benefit from our Microsoft Academic Alliance is the ability to gain access to beta releases of some of Microsoft’s new software, namely Windows 10. I downloaded a copy yesterday because I was curious about what’s in store for the next version of the ubiquitous operating system.

Rather than trying to get this to squeeze onto an older machine, I decided to spin up this version using VMware Workstation. This is another partnership Millikin for which students can benefit. You can download VMware Workstation 11 from the VMware link in MyMillikin, again at no cost to you (normally $249 retail). The installation is pretty straightforward by going through the default prompts after running the executable you downloaded. VMware utilizes virtualization technology that allows you to run multiple operating systems on one piece of hardware. The workstation version is great for developers and evaluating new software without messing up your main operating system environment.

Installing Windows 10 using VMware

Getting Windows 10 installed was relatively painless. After downloading the .iso file from DreamSpark, I clicked on Create New Virtual Machine from the main VMware Workstation panel in the middle of the screen.


Next, I selected the “Typical (recommended)” option for creating a new virtual machine.



The next step is to tell VMware where your Windows 10 .iso image is located on your machine. Use the browse button to select the “en_windows_10_technical_preview_9926_x64_dvd_6245061.iso” (or similarly named) file. It’s likely in your Downloads directory.


VMware is going to prompt you for a Windows Product Key. Since this is a preview version of the operating system, there is no license key necessary. You can leave this blank. Then, give yourself a username and password to login. After you click Next, there will be a warning message regarding your blank product key. You can click OK to bypass this.


The next screen allows you to give your new operating system a name. I chose the default for the name and the location. The location is where the virtual machine will create a “virtual hard drive” for the Windows 10 operating system.

The wizard will then ask you for how big you want the hard drive size to be along with how to store the virtual machine files. Selecting the default options here shouldn’t give you any trouble. If you have less than 60 gb of free hard drive space, I recommend reducing this to no less than 20 gb.

The last screen is a confirmation of all your settings. I will throw a word of caution. If your machine has less than 4 gb RAM, don’t be surprised if things run a little sluggish after creating a new virtual machine. The Windows 10 preview defaults to allocated 2 gb RAM to run. This will be subtracted from your total available RAM from your machine since these two operating systems are now sharing the available resources. You can reduce the amount of RAM you allocate to a virtual machine by selecting “Customize Hardware”. However, understand that the less RAM you have available to your virtual machine, the slower it may run as well.



Once your Windows 10 operating system is installed, it should prompt you to login with the username and password you provided earlier. Let your test drive begin. For more information on how to use VMware Workstation 11, see VMware’s Documentation Center.

After Installation: Previewing Windows 10

At first glance, the desktop looks similar to Windows 8 with the addition of a global search bar within the task bar. The biggest difference I noticed right off the bat was that I wasn’t stuck at the horrid metro interface with large squares of apps. To avoid this on your current Windows 8 machine, feel free to use Windows Key + D to get to the desktop at any time. In my case, I was so frustrated that I installed Classic Shell, which is an open source program that brings back the Windows 7 interface. I digress…

The start menu, however, is remarkably different. They’ve taken the Windows 8 metro interface and integrated into the list of applications installed. The blend is a better way to fit this design on one screen.


However, I’m a little taken back with how much “content pushing” is embedded in the operating system. It seems like just about everywhere I went, content from MSN was being pushed through different app. I tried opening up the Food and Drink app, which allows you to create recipe collections. I’m dumped in an article about Guiness cake. I had to scroll to the right significantly to get to the functionality part of the application.


The same thing happened when I went to the Money app. I had to scroll through a bunch of content before I could use the functionality of the app.



While I’m sure all apps and programs don’t have content embedded in them, several of these default ones do. If I go back several years, users were forced to scroll through content to do the same types of tasks on or the barely used but force-installed MSN browser. So, it appears that Microsoft is taking what used to pull-based web content and pushed it onto the operating system. I’ve always thought of these elements in two separate worlds. If I wanted news articles, stories, etc., I went to that web source to read it. Having it forced into my operating system only gives me the content Microsoft wants me to read. I’m not sure I’m a big fan of this. However, I do see the rationale. If Microsoft is going to compete with Apple on free operating systems, Microsoft can gain affiliate revenue through advertising and click-through article placements.

I’m sure once Windows 7 reaches a slow death just like Windows XP did, we’ll all be looking for tricks to customize Windows 10 into the operating system we need to be productive without all the noise. It’ll be interesting to see how this evolves and if it will catch hold as the next workhorse operating system for business and personal use.

Turning #VHS Digital

I was embarking on a project to bridge the analog and digital tonight. I had an old souvenir program from Epcot in VHS format from the mid-1980s that I wanted to share with my class. I remember getting the video during my first visit to Epcot. This was when the majority of gift shops were lined with yellow Kodak film and the FastPass did not exist, but the place was still magical.

The problem is that very few classrooms even have VHS tape decks anymore. So, it was time to bring out some equipment from the archives. I still keep a VHS player in the basement for important times like these. I fully believe that you should keep a player on hand for every different type of media you keep in your house. I still have a cassette tape deck and an actual CD player (you never know, right?). I had purchased a Pinnacle Dazzle DVC100 several years ago so I could convert VHS to DVD. The problem with this old model is that it was designed for Windows XP along with the infamous Windows Vista. I wasn’t about to go buy a new version. Getting it up and running in Windows 8.1 proved to be impossible, but I was able to get it going using Windows 7 along with an updated driver and version of Pinnacle DVD Recorder from their website.

After all the software was up-to-date, it was as simple as running the composite video and audio cables from the VCR out through the Pinnacle Dazzle and into the laptop via USB. Using the Pinnacle DVD Recorder is a pretty straightforward, wizard-driven process. Don’t expect the world’s best video or audio quality when you get done. Expect VHS quality. That’s roughly what you’ll get once you run through the conversion process.

My Pinnacle Dazzle DVC100 purchase from last decade included a copy of Pinnacle Studio 12, which is about 4 versions behind. This, naturally, was not compatible with Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 for that matter. This wasn’t a really big deal as there is an abundance of video editing software on the market today. Pinnacle recorded in .VOB file-format, which was recognizable by Windows Movie Maker. Because it was already on my laptop, I used it to merge two files together (Pinnacle Recorder maxes out at 1GB filesize), crop off the dead space at the beginning and end, and then export to .MP4 file format.

I look forward to sharing this nostalgic video with class next week!

Using I.S. Skills to Make Pesto

For the past several years, my wife and I spend a day making large batches of homemade pesto to freeze for winter eating. We keep an herb garden near our patio and usually plant enough basil in the spring to reap a bountiful harvest by the end of August. Pesto is a versatile Italian staple that goes great in pasta, soups, or used in spreads for sandwiches. It contains just a few simple ingredients (the Italians wouldn’t have it any other way): basil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. As we were in the throes of laboring in the kitchen on Labor Day, I couldn’t help but think how my I.S. skills and experience in upgrades contributed to this herbal project. These weren’t, however, the technical skills I had learned (my food processor is not yet wi-fi enabled). The skills I used in this home project were process thinking, attention to detail, and iterating over time.

Process Thinking
In order to start with a couple of large basil plants and other ingredients, a step-by-step process had to be created to end up with pesto at the end. In addition, proper preparation had to take place to make sure all of the ingredients were on hand. I can relate this to getting ready for a big upgrade. In order to pull it off, you had to create your recipe. This usually included a combination of instructions from the vendor, which needed amended to fit your environment, your own in-house steps to complete, a list of steps to include prior to and following the upgrade, and testing. The same was true for making pesto. We started with a recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook; a staple for all households. There was a lot to do before and after making the pesto (setup and cleanup), and we had our own flair to the recipe we employed. Naturally, we tested the product after we were done 🙂
Attention to Detail
While we could have just thrown all of the ingredients into the food processor and hit liftoff, the results wouldn’t have been favorable. The same can be said for upgrades I completed in the past. Server processes needed monitored, scripts needs reviewed before execution, and verification by painstakingly reading log files must be done to ensure all steps were completed successfully. When making pesto, we ensured to wash all of the basil leaves and pick out the bad ones. When running through the food processor, the olive oil should be added very slowly so the herbs, cheese, and nuts can absorb the oil over time. Otherwise, it’s a bit gommy.
Iterating Over Time
I was confronted on more than one occasion why I needed so much time to complete an upgrade. My response was simply, “There are a lot of steps and waiting. I can’t rush it, unless you want me to risk something going wrong.” Over time, I learned that I could automate certain steps of an upgrade by creating my own scripts in advance and running some unrelated steps in tandem. It was process refinement through iteration. We make several batches of pesto and store them in small Gladware containers, so the food processor gets refilled several times. I learned that just refilling the food processor left the remnants of the previous batch. The oil, cheese, and bits of basil were left behind. Over a few batches, the pesto started to become a bit “muddy”. I realized that I needed to begin washing the food processor bowl after each batch. I believe iterating is learning. You can’t learn without making a few mistakes.
Pesto Tips
So where does all this pesto leave us? For me, it’s a step away from technology for a day (albeit this blog), time with my wife, and the creation of good, natural food to use for quick dinners. Here are a few tips to get you started in making your own.
  • Fill your food processor with (in this order*):
    • 3 cups of torn basil. Be Italian, tear it by hand. Using a knife bruises the leaves. We will sometimes mix in spinach or parsley to the basil for a different flavor.
    • 1/3 cup of nuts. Pine nuts are super expensive, although the traditional Italian ingredient. We have experimented with walnuts, pecans, and almonds. Just toast them in the oven on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes to extract the oils. Let them cool prior to room temperature before placing in the food processor. If still warm, it will turn the basil leaves black.
    • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Not grated. Shredded works the best and don’t scrimp on this one. Buy some good quality cheese.
    • 2 roughly chopped cloves of garlic. Use fresh garlic. Don’t buy the minced stuff in a jar. It has preservatives.
    • Salt and Pepper
    • * The pesto processes better with the heavier ingredients (nuts, cheese, garlic) on top of the leaves.
  • Now, pulse all this together in the food processor and scrape the sides if need be.
  • Turn on the food processor and pour a slow steady stream of extra virgin olive oil for about 8-10 seconds  I wish I could tell you a measurement, but it’s all by feel. When the pesto is bound together, you have enough. It will be loose if you haven’t added enough oil.
  • Scrape the sides again if need be and pulse a few times to finish it up.
  • Taste and enjoy.
Cut basil from the garden
Basil plant after cutting