My name is John McMillen and I am the Chief Information Officer for Graves County Schools in Mayfield, Kentucky. It is my charge to build and maintain a state-of-the-art technological environment to support a world class education for our students and those who shape and support their education.
I also host of Music From the Front Porch on 91.3 WKMS in Murray, KY. The show airs every Saturday morning from 10 AM until 1 PM but I am only able to do every other weekend... so check in and listen to the stream at the above link.
I have a degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Murray State University.
A quick post about a tool I have been using to survey the wireless signal at one of my locations. NetSpot is a free site survey tool for Mac OS X that is available in the App Store. There is a paid version ($99) as well but we have been using the free version so far.
We had a survey of users return feedback that the wireless signal wasn’t working properly in some locations. We had just implemented a very dense wireless infrastructure at this location and we wanted to know if this was an infrastructure issue or user knowledge issue. NetSpot to the rescue.
This app is easy to install and very easy to use. We had a very rogue hand-drawn map (not ours in the picture) in PDF format that we imported into the tool. We chose two spots on the map and gave a true measurement of the distance between those two points. Then, we started our scan.
We walked to each room and took a couple of readings by clicking on where we were on the map. It took about 5-seconds to scan then we moved to the next location. After scanning enough locations you are able to pause the scan and the tool presents data to you in a color-coded layer on your map. Signal-to-noise ratio, Signal level, Quantity of access point, Noise level, and Signal-to-interference level.
This data will give you a fairly quick visual representation of the coverage your end users are seeing. One more inexpensive tool that will allow you to know more about your network and your end-user experience. We found that our wireless was dense and operational and that we need to educate users on how to connect to the service. Thus, to know is better than not….
You can get more information on the features for the paid version and the free version at http://www.netspotapp.com/.