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ICT Village of the Year 2004
« on: March 02, 2004, 07:22:08 pm »
North Mymms Parish Council has entered Brookmans Park for the Hertfordshire Village of the Year 2004 competition under the information technology section. North Mymms Parish Councillor, Bob Horrocks has written about the entry.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2004, 08:34:31 pm by admin »
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Offline Largey

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Re: IT Village of the Year competition
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2004, 01:48:37 am »
If it helps to the weight of the village entry. We as a local business have donated IT hardware and services to Brookmans Park School by way of PC's, hardware consumables, Wireless Lan card, and internet services to assist the staff and governors of the school.
If anyone else has something to add in relation to this appeal then I suggest we let the "powers that be" know about them. Our community should be proud of its genuine concerns in relation to "Self Improvement".
Brookmans Park deserves a little recognition from the efforts everyone has made to this site in general as well as the superb fund raising activities associated with the village days held every year.
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: IT Village of the Year competition
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2004, 05:18:18 pm »
Great to hear of Falcon Media's help to the school.  Could I ask FM, and anyone else who has given IT help to the community like this, please advise the Parish Council (E-mail address on the main article) or write to the NM Parish Council Office, Bushwood Close, Welham Green, AL9 7TZ

It will help our bid.

Bob Horrocks

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Re: IT Village of the Year competition
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2004, 08:10:50 pm »
Hi Bob,

For the submission you might like some stats from this site to back your case. So far this year the site has had an average of:

  • 1,700 pages viewed every day
  • 3,125 distinct hosts served each week

As of  5 March, the forum stats show:

  • 379 members posting
  • 4,154 messages on
  • 323 topics

I’ll mail this to the North Mymms Parish Council e-mail address shown in your article.

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Re: IT Village of the Year competition
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2004, 12:58:26 am »
Brookmans Park has been voted Hertfordshire's IT Village of the Year 2004. The village now goes through to the national competition.  Bob Horrocks attended the award ceremony and has just submitted this report.. Well done, one and all.

;D
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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2004, 06:49:42 pm »
I am told that if Brookmans Park wins the national final of ICT Village of the Year, the village (or rather the Parish Council) gets £1,000.  

If it wins the regional final on the way there is another £500 up for grabs.

According to the competition sponsor, Calor, the prize money must be spent on a village project for the benefit of the whole community.

So, if Brookmans Park does win the regional and national awards, how should we spend the £1,500?

All suggestions below please.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2004, 08:36:46 pm by admin »
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Offline MC

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2004, 10:14:19 am »
Live feed from the webcam??

 

John_fraser

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2004, 04:37:22 pm »
Congratulations on getting this far. If BP does win, here are some ideas for the prize:

1 – Put a free to use internet PC in the library or possibly a shop.

2 – Set up a server to give free e-mail boxes to anyone living in BP. This could possibly use the “brookmans.com” domain name and would give everyone in the village an e-mail independent of their ISP. It could allow web access and have spam filtering and have 10mb+ of space to store the mails. Not sure that 1,500GBP would cover this, even with some people giving their time for free to set it up and run it.

3 – Give anyone connecting to broadband a one off subsidy of 10GBP. This would of course need administrating, which may be more trouble than it is worth.

4 – Sponsor an “internet awareness” day. Hire the URC hall and set up a number of stall and demos to encourage people to get onto the internet and educate them on how to get more out of it. Stalls would allow people who never have access to the internet to try it out in a friendly environment and advice could be given on how to get connected, chose an ISP, set up wireless LANs, protect children from the danger stc. It would require people to give up some time and loan some PCs and we would need to internet check access from the church. Also I’m not sure that there is sufficient need for this.
 

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2004, 08:19:50 pm »
Like the second idea, an email server, not sure but couldn't you have a normal computer connected to the internet with a free mail server like http://www.desknow.com/ , and somebody tehnical from the community to set it up.
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2004, 08:39:38 pm »
Not sure whether the email server is practical, you would need some reasonable kit to ensure 24x7 uptime, some sort of backup etc as well as regular admin to keep it running smoothly.
When you can get a free Yahoo email account with 100Mb storage can't really see the need.
Best idea is for a couple of public PC's in the library accessible by all
 

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2004, 09:02:14 pm »
The library used to have free internet access - click here for details, has that changed?
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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2004, 09:52:34 pm »
Just found this page on Brookmans Park Library. It says it does have Internet, but doesn't say whether it is free or not. They are open tomorrow afternoon so I can ask.
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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2004, 10:01:44 pm »
On the mail server, the company I work for has hired servers for other purposes for a fixed number of years at an “internet hotel” for a little more than this budget. This gives us 24x7 availability with almost zero down time. I don’t think a backup server would be required and the costs would be too high for the small amount of time it would be used. Administration need not be too high – it isn’t for us - but it would have to be strictly volunteer.

The advantages over Yarhoo or Hotmail would be:
  • You wouldn’t have resort to the ‘fraserj988567’ style names
  • You’d have a less ‘common’ domain name – what we use to call net credible.
  • There also wouldn’t be any advertising on the site
  • We could keep the mail boxes open beyond the 90/30 days of inactivity.

Otherwise, the BP mail server could pretty much match Yarhoo and Hotmail feature for feature.

On the internet PC, it would be interesting to know how much it is being used.
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2004, 03:29:20 pm »
Discussions like this must impress the judges when they check out this website.  thanks for the ideas so far.

Offline supersonic

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2004, 04:22:47 pm »
Quote
On the mail server, the company I work for has hired servers for other purposes for a fixed number of years at an “internet hotel” for a little more than this budget. This gives us 24x7 availability with almost zero down time. I don’t think a backup server would be required and the costs would be too high for the small amount of time it would be used. Administration need not be too high – it isn’t for us - but it would have to be strictly volunteer.

I think the idea of a community mail server is top notch - but what happens when the money runs out? For how long would would the prize cover hosting as John has metioned above?  Also how would the facility be managed? Would it be as easy to get a mail address on the server as it is to join the discussion forums? That would be a good thing for community access and use, but how would it be 'policed' to stop the server being abused by the wider internet communiy, particularly by those with less-than-honourable intentions, such as spammers and virus spreaders for instance?

supersonic
« Last Edit: July 10, 2004, 07:21:27 pm by supersonic »
 

Offline James Bentall

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2004, 05:35:06 pm »
Quote

What happens when the money runs out?


Easy - just have to make sure we win it again next year  ;D

I share supersonic's worries about leaving the server open to abuse.

Does it have to be an IT issue that we spend the money on?
James Bentall, Brookmans Park, Herts.
I post in a personal capacity and not on behalf of North Mymms Parish Council
 

John_fraser

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2004, 12:28:03 am »
Supersonic, in answer to your questions:

I don’t really know what we’d do when the money ran out. Except that there is heavy negative inflation in IT and that in three years time – which is when I’d imagine the money would run out - the amount of money required to continue the service would be much lower than it is today. Therefore I’d not be too concerned with postponing this issue for a couple of years. After which the users would need to look at securing fresh funding.

I would imagine that the BP server would only be available to residence of BP and businesses. What exactly constitutes BP may result in some discussion, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to settle on a good definition. Gaining an account would entail requesting one and having it approved by the administrators. This would take some time, up to several days, but would go a long way to stopping spammers. Any account found to be spamming would be turned off at once and we could limit the number of mails and recipients to a level that would only cause inconvenience to spammers – e.g. no more than 100 mails a day and no more than 50 recipients per mail.

In truth I blow hot and cold over this whole idea. Currently I have an alias e-mail address on the Brookmans domain which sends mails to my ISP supplied mail box. Therefore I am not sure that this really gives us anything worth having.

James, in answer to your question:

Obviously I have nothing to do with this, but I felt someone should suggest some more ideas and felt an internet theme went well with the prize. Most of the non IT projects I could suggest would soke up 1,500GBP just in the planning stage. But it does strike me that there is little to do in the village for its adolescents, which is why so many hang around the village green of an evening. Although I’ve not seen any problems caused by this, it is intimidating for people walking through the village, their noise must be disturbing to the residents there and it makes the whole place seems less welcoming. It seems that it would advantage everyone if there was something to occupy/entertain the 13-17 year olds in the village. I have no idea what this would be – perhaps one of them would like to make some suggestions – but the money could be used as an initial pool to start that off.
 

Offline steve

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2004, 07:37:59 pm »
i agree.
why not use these funds to give us the live webcam.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2004, 07:39:34 pm by steve »
 

Offline James Bentall

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2004, 09:39:07 pm »
Just to save some the bother of reading, this is a very long boring and technical post  ;D

I think the trouble with a 'live' feed to the webcam is the cost.

At the moment, the webcam runs quite happily off an ADSL line. If you are talking about a live webcam however, the bandwidth requirements increase one heck of a lot.

The trouble with ADSL is that no matter how fast a download speed you have (typically 512K, 1MB or 2MB), the upload speed is always 256K at best. Now, if people are accessing the webcam, it needs to send information over the upload speed, so has a max upload of 256k/sec.

That sounds quite a lot, but a compressed jpeg image of the webcam shot is currently around 30k. To support a live link, you are looking ideally at sending this a couple of times a second - let's be generous and say only twice. So that would be each user needing 60k/sec. It is easy to see that 256k/sec is only going to be able to support 4 users at a time. And I'm guessing that if we had this on permanently, it would be quite a popular feature and would need a lot more than that! And remember of course, that your average ADSL line contention is 1:50, meaning that there would be 50 other users also trying to access your bandwidth.

So we would probably need something more than an ADSL line. The next great thing which companies are likely to support is SDSL. The upload speeds on this are a lot better, but unfortunately the price is a lot more. I've just looked at the price of Zen Internet as I know they do it - they charge £265/month for 1MB line, which would eat into the £1500 very quickly.

So why it would be a nice idea, I'm not sure it would be a great use of the funds.

James
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Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2004, 07:53:24 pm »
The national competition rules forbid a village from entering in successive years.  So we are talking of a possible one-off £500 if we win the regional stage, and a total of £1,500 if we are the national winner.

Any ideas costing more than that are unlikely to proceed - if we win of course - unless more money can be raised from somewhere, but where?

We can enter again in 2006 of course.


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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2004, 05:54:18 pm »
North Mymms Parish Council is putting Brookmans Park forward as the most ITC aware (Information Technology Communications) village in the region and in the country following the award of a certificate this weekend. Click here for more details.

The picture below show parish council chairman Bob Horrocks (well done Bob) receiving the certificate award to Brookmans Park for being the most ITC aware village in Hertfordshire.

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Offline liketoretire

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2004, 04:19:32 pm »
Its been a while.....................

Regarding the ICT award (was it £1500?) my children aged 11 and 14 suggested that Brookmans Park would benefit from an Internet Cafe.  Whilst agreeing that more money would be needed (perhaps Parish Council would help?) the idea would help the bored teenagers who hang around the village and I notice that the Pet shop is closing down. It would definately fall into the scope of a local community project. What does everybody else think??
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2004, 11:06:09 pm »
Sounds good in theory but would there be sufficient demand for an Internet Cafe?  I imagine that many of the local children already have internet access at home.  Maybe something could be set up at the NM Youth & Community Centre with an Internet theme?  The main problem is the potential for burglars.

It would cost a lot more than the top prize of £1,500 to set one up and keep it going until hopefully it became a paying proposition.  However, thanks for the idea.  The more the merrier.

We will have to wait until 7 December to find out if we have won any money.

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2004, 11:14:06 am »
Brookmans Park, Hertfordshire's ICT (Information Communication Technology) Village of the Year, is being put forward for the regional title. Click here for more details.
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Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2004, 07:10:29 pm »
REGIONAL WINNER!

At the Calor Village of the Year awards ceremony today,  Brookmans Park was announced as the winner for the East of England region.  As well as the very nice certificate, which will be hung in the Parsh Council office, we get £500.

At the award ceremony in central London the village was represented by Stuart Phiilips, headmaster at Chancellor's School, and James Bentall, one of the team running this website.  These two aspects were the reason why the village won the regional prize.

So.  We have some money to spend.  What shall we spend it on?  This is a one-off prize since I do not think the village can enter again next year.  The money is going to the parish council so please let me have ideas on what to spend it on.

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2004, 08:30:22 pm »
Congratulations.

Also congratulations to Chancellors School – and I hope this won’t be taken as a snide comment – for recognising that they are part of the Brookmans Park Village, rather than just “in it”
 

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2004, 10:03:11 pm »
Nicely done! :D


supersonic
 

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2004, 11:49:39 am »
Someone has just mailed me the news release about Brookmans Park winning the award. Click here if you want to read it.
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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2004, 06:11:06 pm »
So why do Chancellors have such a terrible website? No information, no staff lists, no governors lists etc? Didn't the judges check it out before making the award? Sounds like more 'spin' from Chancellors to me.
Judging by some of the parents who have spat at me on my bike, the one that knocked me off of it yesterday and those that have given me the finger when I have asked them to clear my drive as I have to get out, I suggest an ASBO would be more appropriate!
Maybe the editor should establish how many pupils at Chancellors come from the village before making such wild claims that the school is a village school rather than in it. Chancellors makes NO EFFORT to deal with the local residents, makes NO APPARENT EFFORT to suggest a sensible traffic management scheme (as other local schools do) and does nothing to support the clear up of litter that its pupils kindly deposit. And thats without the underage smokers that one local resident provides a bucket for their butts, as otherwise the garden would be overrun.
Chancellors contribute little visible towards this website - all praise to the team that run it, but keep the pre 16 holding camp out of it!
« Last Edit: December 10, 2004, 06:17:13 pm by AgentOrange »
 

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Re: ICT Village of the Year 2004
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2004, 06:24:02 pm »
Blimey!
 

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