Newer, but fewer computers

Issues related to the use and operation of Family History Centers
drepouille
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Re: Newer, but fewer computers

#11

Post by drepouille »

The downsizing is likely the result of the numbers on the monthly report submitted by the FHC director. They may also be affected by data collected by Tivoli on each computer. I believe the FHC director can call FHC Support and negotiate an increase in the number of computers. The FHC director may need to submit an order form signed by the stake president to request more computers.

Since all members have free access to Family Tree and Ancestry at home, we see very few members in our FHCs.
https://www.lds.org/church/news/the-hom ... ory-center
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
bookwalk
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Re: Newer, but fewer computers

#12

Post by bookwalk »

Our monthly report has shown increases in patron numbers as well as hours. I will contact FHC support as perhaps, since these are older computers, one is not transmitting usage data properly. We tried an order form last year, which was denied--but that was for 4 computers. Unimaginable that I would need to do that just to keep the number we already have!

We have a varied patronage--there are many more Premium Sites than the partner sites available free to members (also not ALL of the free sites are available to LDS members--only portions of their entire collection). We cover a wide geographic area and many patrons do not have their own computers OR internet or neither--many elderly, disabled, etc.

The Premium websites are a significant part of the "Find" of Find, Take n Teach.

Also, teaching in the FHC during SS time--best results are from individual one-on-one help--which would be less with fewer computers.
russellhltn
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Re: Newer, but fewer computers

#13

Post by russellhltn »

drepouille wrote:We just received a message from FamilySearch FHC Support (via our FM) that two of the four FHCs in our stake will be receiving new computers soon. However, the number of new computers is half the number currently installed, and the message instructs us to wipe and return ALL existing computers, even if their performance is just fine.
I haven't seen the instructions myself, but it looks like we're on the same track. They're supplying about half of what we have now.
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michaelwroe
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Re: Newer, but fewer computers

#14

Post by michaelwroe »

Hello

I am the high councilor for family history in our stake. We had the same issue a while ago when they said that our centre was only supposed to have two computers when we already had four. I was able to get the stake president to see that as we were trying to get the centre usage to grow we needed the resources. It is no good digging a small trench if your are praying for a flood. He saw my point and the next day got onto FM to let them know the situation. We took delivery of the two new computers and only sent two back and nothing has been said about it since. It is amazing what can be done when the stake president is on board.

Since then the centre opening hours have doubled and a lot of the sessions see all of the computers in use. To add my own opinion to this I don't see the point of cutting down the number of computers in centres when there is a push to have everything on-line.

Regards
Michael Wroe
russellhltn
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Re: Newer, but fewer computers

#15

Post by russellhltn »

michaelwroe wrote:He saw my point and the next day got onto FM to let them know the situation. We took delivery of the two new computers and only sent two back and nothing has been said about it since.
FM is not the ones making the decision. It's the Family History Department. Assuming all 4 computers are running the BES client, you may be getting a nastygram from the FH dept when they check their inventory.
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drepouille
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Re: Newer, but fewer computers

#16

Post by drepouille »

Exactly right, Russell. The FHC is under the control and direction of the FHD. They are paying for the software licenses that keep the FHCs running, and they have the right to cut costs by cutting computers. If the stake president wants to increase the number of computers, he must submit a hardware and software request form to the FHD.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
russellhltn
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Re: Newer, but fewer computers

#17

Post by russellhltn »

drepouille wrote:If the stake president wants to increase the number of computers, he must submit a hardware and software request form to the FHD.
And open the stake checkbook. Details on the process can be found in the updated Family History Center Operations Guide.

What isn't stated is what happens to the stake purchased computers when the others are replaced on the 5 year cycle (if the usage doesn't pick up enough to justify the additional computers). I wouldn't rule out the possibility that the stake will have to buy new ones every replacement cycle.
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rsidwell
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Re: Newer, but fewer computers

#18

Post by rsidwell »

The updated Family History Center Operations Guide states on page 23: "The stake president may authorize older computers and printers to be placed in the homes of local stake members." I don't know if the replaced computers are considered "older", but if so, this might be helpful for shut-ins. Though the members would still be responsible for obtaining an operating system (the computers are wiped before placement) and Internet access, so that needs to be considered. A free Linux systemwould allow access to FamilySearch (and at some future time Indexing), but only if there is an Internet connection.
russellhltn
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Re: Newer, but fewer computers

#19

Post by russellhltn »

The recipient is responsible for obtaining an operating system and other software.
I think there's a few reasons for this. First, the OS the computer may be running is likely licensed to the church and NOT to the computer. I believe the computers in my center that are getting replaced have "Vista" stickers on them but were running Win7. Second, it's the only way to make sure the machine is completely wiped. Third, as a practical matter, whoever loads it, supports it. Something to keep in mind if you decide to load it for someone.
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drepouille
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Re: Newer, but fewer computers

#20

Post by drepouille »

For the past several years, our FM's directions to our STS (me) have been very clear. All hard drives must be wiped clean. No computers or monitors may be given to members or anyone else. The CRTs were to be disposed of as hazardous waste in accordance with EPA regulations.

In 2010, I was able to scavenge memory, hard drives, and DVD drives from computers that were to be recycled. In 2015, I was highly discouraged from even doing that.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
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