As to pulling the batteries to reboot our laptops:
Normally, it’s not necessary. But with power management software, the “power” switch on newer computers is not like a lightswitch anymore. It does not actually break the circuit, it sends a command to power down. And it can be frozen when the computer crashes just like any keyboard key. If this happened on your desktop computer, you’d have to unlug it, or turn the power off at the power strip. But when you unplug the laptop, it reverts to internal battery power. Hence the extra necessary step in a bad crash.
Our group got all the way TO that last step, They knew to try and reboot, they knew to hit the “off” switch, and they knew to unplug it. And then “the screen stayed lit”. And I’m so disappointed that they were unable to draw the conclusion that “it must still be getting power. Oh yeah, there’s a battery”.
Is that an unreasonable expectation on my part? Maybe it actually IS, which is disappointing on a larger scale.
As to using Groupwise:
Yes, that’s our office tool. But there’s complications that your suggestion, calling it a Resource, impractical. We are funded by a foundation, and give priority to certain types of meetings, so we can’t allow self-scheduling on a first come basis. Also, we operate it like a conference center, and we have Facilities department people setting up room arrangements to order, and a Food Service department that caters the meetings. Neither of these departments are under our control, and neither of them are AT ALL interested in electronic information exchange. And we need to collect a lot of information on our users to justify out Foundation money. The system I’m designing is an MS Word Form, which will collect data for all three departments, and spit out paper printouts for the other two departments. As for OUR data, at this point I’m bookmarking all the formfields with custom names. I hope to convince my boss to spend a couple grand next year to have a vendor write some code to crossload the data into Access, and generate reports from it.
Our current scheduling program is called Scheduler Plus from CEO Software. It does have a very nice graphic interface for shuffling meetings among rooms, but for data collection and printing reports, it’s a real horse’s ass.