Computers coming: Bishop gets authority to search for equipmentPublished 12:05am Thursday, January 10, 2013
NATCHEZ — Adams County’s governmental computer systems are due for an overhaul. In fact, they were due for that overhaul three years ago.
Now, the Adams County Board of Supervisors has given County Information Technology Director Lance Bishop the authority to seek prices for new servers, printers and computers.
Bishop has worked for the county since mid-October, and has been gauging the county’s IT needs as he has been performing routine maintenance work. Before he was hired, the county did not have any IT personnel, and instead contracted its computer and technology needs to an outside company that came a few days a month.
Bishop told the supervisors earlier this week the county will need to replace between 30 and 35 computers at approximately $1,000 apiece.
“We also have a significant number of (computers) that are well over eight years old,” he said. “The life expectancy of a personal computer is five years.”
Though some of the equipment simply needs to be replaced because its age makes maintenance both difficult and constant, other equipment needs to be replaced because of a ripple effect in replacing outdated hardware — upgrading one piece of electronic infrastructure will make another piece down the line incompatible.
The current server the county is using is one of the older pieces of equipment at eight years old.
Bishop said some of the upgrades to the county website — including the ability to pay tax, sanitation, and court bills and fines online — would likely be more than the machine could handle.
“Maintenance has gotten very high on it because of its age, and to handle the web interaction and the business interaction (it will need to), my concern is that it will overtax it,” he said.
But an upgrade to the server will mean that Twinax technology will no longer be supported, and a number of county devices use that technology, Bishop said, including five printers, only two of which can be upgraded.
The Twinax technology will have to be replaced with laser printers, though the IT director said he would work to standardize equipment around the county offices to reduce redundancy.
After some of the changes are made, Bishop said he wants to move the county’s servers from where they are located in the courthouse to the Adams County Emergency Management office, which has a backup generator.
“By moving everything down there, we would have a generator back, it would be more secure and we could continue doing basic functions even if we had a power outage or some other kind of event,” he said.