What is your public computer's DNA?

Everything we do at MaintainIT is based on the experiences we gather from librarians and staff about maintaining public computers. We interview libraries each week, but another way we hear from libraries is through a link on our web site where we invite folks to share their experiences with us.

Just yesterday, we heard from Christopher Davis at the Uintah County Library in Vernal, Utah. Christopher described how his library's public computers are set up, using the analogy of DNA. What a terrific way to explain the nuts and bolts! Here's what he shared:

We have about 9 public access computers in our library. Each of them is a clone of a single software system including Windows XP Pro, Open Office, four web browsers, CD/DVD burning software, media player, and several other open source applications (think of this as the computer's DNA). This DNA is stored in untouchable storage insulated by software named "Deep Freeze", and each time one of the computers is restarted, it is totally restored to its original cloned state. No matter what our patrons do to the computers, after a restart, the computers will be restored. We have set "Deep Freeze" to restart a computer if it's idle for longer than 30 consecutive minutes- this operation helps us protect our users' personal information. I know that it is not the best set-up, but it will do until we can implement a better infrastructure."

How do you keep your public computers humming? Do you implement a similiar strategy? Let us know!