Over the past week of working with Orbits IT, I have obtained many new skills (that will be detailed later in this post) and understand much more than I did when I started, about the business in general.

The first task that I was given was to create a blog post for the ‘News’ section of the Orbits IT website, that described me, what I study, what I enjoy doing in my spare time, etc.

The second task was much more challenging, however, as I was told to write a script that would search a system for every file that ended in ‘.oab’ and copy them into a network share folder, where files could be copied over the network and organised. One of the hardest parts of this task was finding out what language/ program to write the script in as I’ve had experience programming in python and C++, neither of which I could use for this task. I ended up using ‘Powershell’, which is a programming software built into windows machines and uses a specific language. I’d never even heard of Powershell before, so I had to research a lot before I could get started and still struggled understanding what exactly some of the commands were used for. After a while, I found out enough about the language in order to find and copy the files, but the next step was to keep the folder structure of the files, so it was easier to tell where the file came from.

For the third task, I was given an old, recycled PC, that I had to open up, take out parts, and install some new parts as well. I was able to open up the case with relative ease, but I took a bit of time taking parts out, as I had never taken more than a few part out of my own PC’s and worried about handling them too much (breaking them). It also wasn’t too difficult to install some new parts like the RAM and hard drive. The plan was to boot up the PC after I had worked with it and install Windows using the KVM, but for some reason, nothing would show up on the monitor, even though everything was plugged in and installed correctly.

After that project failed, I was given the task of using a HP microserver and create a synology NAS clone (Network Attached Storage) using XPEnology. If you are interested in doing this yourself, a step by step guide can be found here: https://www.orbitsit.co.uk/2013/07/synology-nas-clone-build/ . I messed up this task a couple of times and in the process broke a USB stick and corrupted a hard drive, but that’s fine…. To complete this task, I had to download a .img and a .pat file put them on a USB stick and put it in the microserver and allow it to boot. From there, I could connect to the microserver through the Synology Assistant and install the OS (Operating System). Then I needed to find out how to turn the NAS clone into a cloud storage device by using the ‘Cloud Station’ software developed by Synology. I then set up this software so that it creates a folder that can be accessed by anyone on the network and is stored on the NAS. I then used ‘Port Forwarding’ to make the NAS accessable to anyone with access to the internet that has permissions to access the NAS, but this introduced security threats into the network, so i decided to revert these changes to the router.

The next task was to use MS Excel to combine 2 spreadsheets with similar information about certain computers of a client, to do this I used the Power Query feature, which automatically combined the sheets. I then had to assess whether the computers needed replacing, upgrading or if they were fine as they are.

After that, I was given the job to install an operating system on a Raspberry Pi and see what else I could do with it. This was a fairly straight forward task, but I had a bit of an issue finding the correct .img file (Disk Image File) to boot the system properly. I then decided to install Pi-Hole, which is a DNS for the Raspberry Pi as a small side project.

Later on, two Lenovo laptops arrived that were for a client, that we had to setup and install software on ready for them to use. This didn’t take long and was fairly straight forward. We went through the basic setup to get the system up and running and then went through installing software like: Atera, Offiice 365, Chrome, etc.

And that concludes my work experience at Orbits IT, overall I’ve learnt many new skill, gained a lot of insight into how a business is ran, what it’s like to work for an IT company and the kind of things it involves. I am ever so thankful to Jim and the Orbits team for helping me and taking me in over the course of the week and really appreciate it.

-Sam.