This week the ACMS made several technological leaps forward in terms of its computer network. First, we replaced an old windows server that was truly on its last leg with a smaller, faster router. Second, we purchased a new server and loaded it with a Linux operating system (Ubuntu 8.10) for better functionality and security. The new server will perform many functions, but as of right now it is acting as a reliable way for the office computers to share files. Third, we replaced our old Canon photocopier with a newer, sleeker model. It has network printing with the works in terms of finishing documents, so now all computers in the reading room and office can print double-sided and collated if the desire should strike anyone.
All of these changes are due to a grant from the US Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, and we are grateful for the support, as well as the ability to provide our patrons with much better service. Incidentally, we donated the old photocopier to the School of Foreign Service Library at the National University of Mongolia, so they are also able to provide their patrons better service, too.
Earlier in the year the ACMS purchased new computers for the office with funds from the Council for American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC). At that time, we installed special software that resets the operating systems of the reading room computers to their default settings each time a patron logs off. This means that all files, good or malicious, are purged from each system each time they reboot, which further means that the risk of viruses is practically zero on the ACMS computers. It makes the reading room and office computers some of the safest public computers in Mongolia.
Next on the agenda is figuring out how to fix the very slow internet connection speed problem. More information on that as it develops.