This enables anyone in the building to access the Internet or a
computer network via wireless connections with their desktop
computers or laptops.
He said the wireless capability has even
been extended to the council chambers, making it possible for
aldermen to use their laptops during meetings and exchange
information via emails.
The advantages to wireless capabilities for the council are the
savings of paper and printing costs for handouts. Documents can be
emailed to aldermen and can be viewed on their computers during
meetings and discussions.
The disadvantage was that not everyone has laptops they can bring
to the meetings.
However, last week, that problem was solved with a grant or gift
of free laptops from State Farm Insurance of Bloomington.
Police Chief Ken Greenslate said he'd heard of an opportunity to
get good, used laptops free from the insurance company and had
applied for them.
As a result, the city has received 25 laptops.
At last week's committee of the whole meeting, Wilmert said he
would check out all the laptops to see if they were in good enough
condition to use. He also advised the council that the laptops had
been stripped of software, so he would have to reload Windows and
necessary programs such as for documents and spreadsheets.
Monday evening, Wilmert had one of the laptops in the council
chambers. He told the council he has fully installed all the
software on one computer. He ran it throughout the meeting and it
appeared to be working well.
Wilmert said he'd spend a few dollars on a thumb drive to create
a backup of the fully loaded software. The backup, he said, should
be stored in a secure place in City Hall, to be available if one of
the laptops does crash. He said having the backup would save hours
of programming time.
With one up and running, Wilmert said he would continue going
through the process until every computer has appropriate software.
Once all the laptops are ready, each member of the council will
be given one for use while in office. The laptops will remain the
property of the city.
The remainder of the 25 laptops will be used by various city
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In addition to the laptops, Wilmert and Alderman Tom O'Donohue
have been working on other software and computer issues at City
Not long ago it was discovered that the software purchased quite
some time ago for upgrading the sewer department billing system was
not actually compatible with the existing software.
This has made it impossible for the city to move forward in
streamlining the sewer billing process.
In looking at this problem, another one arose. The current
software being used by the city has missed a few upgrades.
Wilmert said last week that looking at the software with its
provider WTI, they found they weren't as far behind on upgrades as
they had initially thought. Work is continuing to bring all the city
software up to date.
Finally, Wilmert recounted Monday night that he'd been scavenger
hunting at Habitat for Humanity.
Last weekend Habitat, in conjunction with the Logan County Joint
Solid Waste Agency, had done a collection of computers for
Wilmert, who serves on the committee for the waste agency, said
he'd gone to the collection point and gone through some of the stuff
that was being brought in. He said that in doing so, he'd collected
several "spare parts" that might someday be useful for the city.
Wilmert said he'd appreciate the city drafting a thank-you note
to Habitat for allowing him to scavenge through their collection.
Mayor Keith Snyder thanked Wilmert for his endeavors.
[By NILA SMITH]