Clerk's Computer Must not be shut down?

Discussions around the setup, operation, replacement, and disposal of clerk computers, not to include using MLS
MelvilleMercado
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Clerk's Computer Must not be shut down?

#1

Post by MelvilleMercado »

I received an email from our Area Technology Specialist regarding clerk computers. He mentioned that computers must always be left running (turned on) because of the software updates sent by the church. Do you ever leave the clerk's computer ON all the time? We always shut down the PC before we leave the building for safety purposes. I am just curious if other clerks leave the PC on all the time.
russellhltn
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Re: Clerk's Computer Must not be shut down?

#2

Post by russellhltn »

I've set ours to power on at Wednesday at 11PM. It will hibernate after 6 hours.
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garystroble
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Re: Clerk's Computer Must not be shut down?

#3

Post by garystroble »

From a purely safety of the hardware standpoint, it is generally not a good practice to have a computer running all the time unattended if it is not on some type of UPS or isolating power supply, in order to avoid power surges or lightning problems such as EMP coming in via the power line, CAT cable or even via the ether. Surge protectors offer some limited protection but they are not as safe as using a UPS, etc. If you are in a lightning prone area, some of the machines could get blitzed during thunderstorm season.
davesudweeks
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Re: Clerk's Computer Must not be shut down?

#4

Post by davesudweeks »

When I was first called as clerk in my current ward, we were instructed to shut off the clerk computer and unplug the phone line (dialup in those days) each time we were finished. The stake had lost a computer or two from lightning strikes that came through the modem. When the dialup went away, we were instructed to leave the computer on. The computer is plugged into a power strip (not a UPS) as supplied by the FM group, but it is the cheap kind that probably doesn't give much protection.
drepouille
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Re: Clerk's Computer Must not be shut down?

#5

Post by drepouille »

davesudweeks wrote: Sun Feb 20, 2022 7:47 pm The computer is plugged into a power strip (not a UPS) as supplied by the FM group, but it is the cheap kind that probably doesn't give much protection.
When I was the STS, I told our FM Group that we needed to replace most of the older surge protectors throughout the stake. They asked me to provide a count of how many were needed. However, their idea of a surge protector was the cheapest power tap strip they could buy. I wondered why the FM was responsible for providing protection, and yet provided devices that did not protect anything.
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Mikerowaved
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Re: Clerk's Computer Must not be shut down?

#6

Post by Mikerowaved »

I'm a retired Electronic Engineer and have worked with grounding and bonding radio towers, cell sites, ham radio stations, and the like. I agree with your Area Technology Specialist. Leave them on and let them assume their sleep state when not in use. The external power supplies on these Small Form Factor (SFF) PC's found in clerk's offices will take the brunt of any power surge, not the PC itself, and it won't make any difference if the PC is on or off.
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MelvilleMercado
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Re: Clerk's Computer Must not be shut down?

#7

Post by MelvilleMercado »

I found this helpful information from help.churchofjesuschrist.org

"TASK: CONFIRM THAT COMPUTERS ARE LEFT ON WHEN NOT IN USE

"Where possible, the clerk computer should be left on so it can receive updates when it is not in use. It may not be advisable to leave computers on in areas where electricity costs are high or where the meetinghouse runs on a generator that is only powered on as needed. In these cases, when power is applied to the computer system, it may need to reboot while performing updates."

A UPS might be the best solution if we need to leave the computer ON. Sadly, we do not have a UPS in the clerk's office so I have to contact our FM to request for one.
garystroble
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Re: Clerk's Computer Must not be shut down?

#8

Post by garystroble »

Mikerowaved wrote: Mon Feb 21, 2022 11:47 pm I'm a retired Electronic Engineer and have worked with grounding and bonding radio towers, cell sites, ham radio stations, and the like. I agree with your Area Technology Specialist. Leave them on and let them assume their sleep state when not in use. The external power supplies on these Small Form Factor (SFF) PC's found in clerk's offices will take the brunt of any power surge, not the PC itself, and it won't make any difference if the PC is on or off.
At this time at least in our ward, the clerk pc does not have an external power supply nor is it an SFF, perhaps that will be coming soon with the anticipated 5 year or more replacement plan.
BrianEdwards
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Re: Clerk's Computer Must not be shut down?

#9

Post by BrianEdwards »

If the meetinghouse has a broadband internet connection, it is your role to ensure that the clerk computer is left on for four to five hours a week so that it can receive Windows and antivirus updates and so that Church headquarters can perform any other management tasks.
I found this on the "Computer Overview" page in the Meetinghouse Technology section of the Help site. Based on this, our typical Sunday usage pattern seems sufficient and we could continue to shut down the computer when we leave the office on Sunday. We've never had issues with updates swamping us first-thing Sunday morning when we wanted to "do something", and one of the counselors is a stickler for unused lights/etc getting turned off promptly :D
russellhltn
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Re: Clerk's Computer Must not be shut down?

#10

Post by russellhltn »

From Technology Standards dated 9 September 2021:
4.2.4  Where possible, computers with MLS should be left in standby or sleep mode and should not be powered off.  This will enable Church headquarters to manage the machine and ensure updates and patches are properly distributed. 
I have noticed that since setting up the late-night power on, that machines tend to be up to date when I do manual checks.
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