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Marion pays $3,000 for computer maintenance, upgrades

Staff writer

Marion recently paid $3,000 to Great Plains Computers, according to city records, which included services that went beyond routine maintenance of its systems, said Lloyd Davies of Great Plains Computers.

Transferring the city’s systems to a new server and changing from Microsoft Windows 7 to Windows 10 was a big expense, he said.

“Everybody on the planet is migrating, we’ve been working on that for two years with the county, too,” he said. “We’re migrating systems to make sure the new operating systems are in support.”

With Windows 7 no longer being supported starting Jan. 14, the upgrade has implications far greater than a regional scale, Davies said.

“Most of our clients have done a good job of planning, but it’s nationwide, it’s global,” he said. “There’s such a huge base of Windows 7 out there because it works so well.”

At the same time, some of the charges are for simple fixes, but customers often pay to make sure modifications are done properly — similar to car repairs, said Michael Nielsen, an IT expert for Marist College in New York.

“People are nervous around technology,” he said. “A lot of the payment comes from the reassurance that you’ll never have to mess with because it’s done and set correctly.”

Modifying a domain name system to add a canonical name record costs the city $42.50, but the task is simple, Nielsen said.

“That’s not even a minute long,” he said. “If you know what credentials you’re putting in then you’re fine.”

A canonical name record streamlines web functions so typing “www” or “http” before a web address is unneeded.

Another important fix was modifying the city’s demilitarized zone, since many residents pay city bills online, Davies said.

The zone allows residents access to pay bills online without giving hackers access to the city’s entire website.

While they might not need to know every intricacy, it is helpful if clients, including those at the city of Marion, have a degree of understanding about computers, Davies said.

“If they have a better awareness of what they need, that helps a lot,” he said.

Last modified Dec. 24, 2019

 

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