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Wednesday, October 4 • 1:15pm - 2:15pm
Is Imaging Down?: Developing And Supporting A Large Scale Laptop Checkout Program

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The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a free three-day laptop checkout service to students and staff. We have approximately 1000 laptops available for checkout from eighteen locations across campus which can be brought home free of charge making us one of the largest and most generous laptop lending programs in the country.

The laptops are dual-boot with both OS X and Windows installed along with a small amount of free and campus licensed software. Between checkouts, laptops must be reverted to a clean and consistent state, with all extraneous files, history, and personal information removed. These laptops are expected to have patched and reasonably up to date operating systems and software for security and compatibility reasons. With so many computers and moving parts, keeping the program running smoothly has at times proven difficult.

Maintaining this service presents a number of challenges. We require a system that allows staff with a variety of experience levels to expend minimal effort quickly and reliably cleaning, rebuilding, and updating two operating systems on up to 300 machines across campus every day. This paper gives a general overview of our laptop checkout program, discusses our current imaging workflow, and explores some of the decisions, challenges, and trade-offs that brought us to where we are today.


Wednesday October 4, 2017 1:15pm - 2:15pm PDT
Seattle 1 1415 5th Ave, Seattle WA 98101