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Chrome Stations

So. My big project this year has been to set up Google Chrome station as stand-up, quick access kiosks for social media, email, etc.

As soon as I found a form that worked (boo they have something against Canadians! lol) I sent in a request to Google that I was interesting in purchasing chrome stations for education. They hooked me up with an account manager, she's awesome by the way. So nice and happy and love that accent. I'm giving her money, even if it is a little bit here and there.

I requested a budget up $10,000 to $20,000 dollars (costs heavily influence by networking and electrical - if I had to drill holes in the thick concrete floors we'd also need to do x-rays). I was approved for $15,000. Surprise! I've estimated I've already gone over that budget because the scope is a fickle creature.

Once I had my hands on the stations I had to work with one of our network admins to get permissions to enroll the devices and then manage them. No on in the department knows anything about these things so I was figuring it out on the fly. Funny how project work usually means you're doing everything yourself. No one really helps you... Boss certainly doesn't or their Boss, when they keep changing their mind about everything... and I love it when other departments get their nose out of joint while you're figuring all this out.

New things are scary!

Anyways. Google documentation is actually fairly straight forward. I was able to test and figure out the settings. I had a handle on the pros and cons of either. Knew where the balance act points were in the configuration. Makes me feel pretty awesome knowing so much about this aspect and I'm just the bottom of the totem pole Smile

The first 5 stations have already been deployed (would have been 6 if SOME people didn't start changing the furniture on me!). Another 4 are set to be deployed at our other campus.

So far they're a pretty huge hit and they're super easy to use. They're in kiosk mode and they don't store browsing history and when you log out (or the sessions times out from inactivity after 5 minutes) then all your stuff is deleted. This computer is literally dedicated to using a web browser.

Lets see if I can dig up a photo...

Cable managed to heck out of these to clean them up as best I could. Make up the signage myself, oddly enough just using Word. The amount of signage was kind of a requirement to ensure people knew what they were and I indicated how to log off so that they knew how they should leave the stations. I might rotate that info out over time but for now this is the 'it's new and shiny' setup.

As a result of this project (not yet completed but darn close) one of the managers has a customer that wants training on the google admin console in terms of managing chrome stations. They've indicated they're looking for a setup very much like what I've already got going. What a treat to find someone local that knows a bit more about this and they're willing to hold your hand through this so there are no surprises? Wish I had that... but I think it says a lot that I was able to do this and teach myself.

This also have me thinking that, while I'm not a full blown admin in the system and I only have access to the chrome machines, I kind of want to learn about the admin console and maybe take their test and get the google admin certificate.

Not too expensive to take the test. Re-certify every 18 months. Might look real nice on my resume?

2 blog comments below

Should be a great investment to do that test. Looks like an awesome project and that budget sounds so small, particularly in Canadian dollars. But at least you got a budget. Wink

Well done! Cool
deanhills on Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:41 am
So I met this customer and it was a weird chain actually. The manager knows another guy who has a customer that is looked to find someone to show them the ropes and let them see the console. They originally asked for something like 2 to 3 hours worth of training but based on what they wanted to do... we were done in 45 minutes! Google makes it far too easy and he is planning to do even less with the stations than what I'm doing so I didn't have a lot of relevant stuff to show him. Well... I still got some money for that!
TheGremlyn on Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:22 am

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