I am currently a student at Halesowen College and I am studying VR Development and Computer Engineering Level 3. This course really interested me as it cover a range of the different aspects in IT. From computer building to network protection. This first year of the course was very hardware based. I had a multiple assignments that were based on computer building. For example, I had to create an example PC that would be suitable for an office. Another task that was given was to take apart and reassemble a PC, which I was able to complete.

This inspired me. Inspired me to make my own PC. During the lockdowns, it was very difficult for me to do online college lessons on my laptop. So I decided it would be a great idea for me to build my own gaming PC, to aid my college education and to have my own gaming set up. This was a difficult and long process. I had no experience in building a PC so therefore I spent a lot of time researching and deciding which parts go get. Once I decided which parts to acquire I ordered them, however, some parts took a lot longer to arrive than others. I had my full PC set up and ready to go but the graphics card I ordered took forever to arrive. Once it eventually arrived months later, I installed it and to my delight the PC was up and running smoothly. And I now have my own PC set up that I built myself, which I am very proud of. Now I wish to keep upgrading my setup and maybe get a second monitor.

After college I would love to do an apprenticeship in the world of IT, as I feel that being involved in IT in the way of working would be much more beneficial than me going to university to continue learning about it for another 3 years. An apprenticeship is much more hands on and interactive, which is much better for me.

I am really looking forward to this week of work experience at Orbits IT as I believe I will gain brilliant experience and a more in depth knowledge of IT, especially in a real working environment.

31/01/2022 – Unfortunately, I turned up late today, which is really unlike me, as I thought it was my week next week. However I am determined to make up for that and I am really looking forward to this week at Orbits IT. I am currently writing this diary introduction about myself and the rest of the team can read to get to know a little bit about me if they like. This is my first task of the day and I will need to keep updating this at the end of each day to document what I have done throughout the days. At around 12:15 I had my lunch break for 30 minutes while files for my next task were downloading. at 12:45 I was given my next task, which was to use orbits monitoring system to identify different components of each different PCs. Such as, RAM size, processor, last logged user and the operating system edition. Once I identified all these, then I put them into a spread sheet and colour coded it in order of device age. I did this for 2 hours just in different spreadsheets. Then at 14:45 I was given another task, which was to research the Raspberry Pie. After an hour of researching and watching YouTube ideas about the Raspberry Pi, I decided to finish the last hour and a bit by carrying on with the spreadsheet tasks. Overall, today has been quite good as I was introduced into a new aspect of IT. Although the spreadsheet task was very boring, it allowed me to gain knowledge about different specifications of PCs.

01/02/2022 – Today I arrived on time, maybe even slightly early, and I am ready for the tasks ahead. At around 9:20 I left the Orbits IT office to go with Alex to West Midlands Education and Skills to install 2 Wireless Access Points. We arrived at WMES at around 10 am. We began by unloading all of the equipment, this included 2 wireless access points and Alex had a bag with him that had more items and tools. So we needed to install 2 WAPs so we decided to put one downstairs and one upstairs. The one downstairs was very simple and easy to setup and configure, as all we had to do was fin an ethernet port in a suitable location in the staff computer room then connect the WAP with the power socket and an ethernet cable and it was ready to go. Alex then showed me how to set up the WAP and then adopted it. We then checked to see if it had worked by connecting Alex’s laptop to the new Wi-Fi and it worked fine. The second WAP too a while to set up. This was because despite there being 12 ethernet cable pots in one room upstairs, not a sing one of them worked. This meant that Alex and I had to spent literal hours trying to figure out and solve this issue. We began by firstly double checking the ethernet ports and they still continued not to work. We also couldn’t seem to find the associating ethernet cables within the server space but we finally managed to find one corresponding one. However, this one that we found had not wire attachment. This was where Alex taught me the skill of “crimping” a wire. This was a very tedious process and had to be repeated multiple times if it didn’t work the first time. And this was the case, it took Alex multiple attempts to get the wire working properly. Alex had this tool that can be used to test if a wire is working or not but the battery was dead. So we had to go to the local corner shop and buy some batteries before we could continue, then we came back and carried on. He even gave me a chance to do it, it involved separating the individual wires within the wire then inserting them into an plastic holder in a very delicate and organised manner. My attempt unfortunately didn’t work either but after a couple more attempts Alex finally got it working. we were then able to connect to a working ethernet port upstairs then finally set up the WAP. We then adopted the WAP and it worked perfectly. At 2:30pm we left and headed back to the Orbits IT office and arrived back at 3:00pm. At 3:15 pm I had a 30 minute break. Once my break was finished (at 3:45) I then decided to spend the next hour continuing with the spreadsheet tasks. Then for the final 15 minutes of the day I decided to begin this summary about my day.

02/2/2022 – I began today finishing off my summary of the day before that I didn’t get to finish yesterday. At around 9:20 I finished with my report diary then continued with my research of the Raspberry Pi. This involved continuing with the research of the minicomputer system and then deciding which project id like to try to create. I spend about 30 minutes doing more research about my Raspberry Pi and decided I will try to create a Raspberry Pi-hole. This is a type of ass blocker software. At Around 9:50 I then went back to the spreadsheet task. After about 50 minutes I finally completed all of the spreadsheets that I was currently assigned. At 11:05 I went to the workshop area with Alex to configure a laptop, however there was a constant error that kept occurring in the setup that meant we couldn’t continue with the set up as of yet. So while Alex tried to work on solving this problem elsewhere I carried on working on my Raspberry Pi research document.  then given another task by Jim. This involved organising their workshop area. I had to fold up a lot of old unused boxes as well as unpacking 6 new monitors on locating them to another side of the work station. I did this till around 12:30 which was when I finished and just about managed to get all the cardboard to fit into the recycling bin lol. At around 1:35 I finished some final Raspberry Pi research and then found a guide for me to follow to create my Pi-hole. This was a long process for me as the code that i was inputting just wasn’t running the fine line correctly. This had me stuck for a while and then Jim gave me a hand by telling me to research how I should be entering that line. I found that there were different ways you could also enter the line “sudo basic-install.sh”.  I then changed the line of code to “bash basic-install.sh”, then the final step worked. The next stage was to just follow the guide and the tutorial by selecting “ok” multiple times. The Pi-hole then fully finished set up and then I was able to search for the site and log in with ease. Jim set my task for the remaining 40 minutes to connect my device to the Pi-hole and block all adds besides Google shopping ads. I believe I have completed this and I will find out when I ask Jim to check it in the morning.

03/02/2022 – Today is my penultimate day at Orbits IT, I spent most of the morning continuing with my Raspberry Pi Pi-hole project. I had Jim check over it for me, he said I was doing the correct thing. The next step for me to do was locate the correct ad domains and add them into the white list. The task after this was to connect the Pi-hole to just my device alone, this is because if I was to connect it through the network then it would effect everyone else’s computer device and we don’t want that. I had to configure my device to the Pi-hole by changing the DNS server and IP address with the one of the Pi-hole. I came across a problem which was I would be constantly changing the ethernet cable between both the Pi-hole and my device, and when I set up the Pi-hole to connect to the device with the ethernet it meant that the Pi-hole wasn’t connected to the internet. So I had to reconfigure my device to the Pi-hole through the Wi-Fi. To test that it had connected properly and that the ad blocker was working, I searched an ad blocker tester online and ran it. One it had finished testing, the result came back that 84% of ads were blocked and all Google/Google shopping ads were unblocked. This was a successful project, as I was able to complete it and have a final project working correctly. This was a very interesting project as it involved coding and learning about a new system. I decided to start my lunch break at around 12:45 for 30 minutes. After lunch I spent the rest of the day doing a lot more spreadsheets lol. These had to be done but honestly they weren’t that bad, as in they weren’t terribly bad but also not good. Towards the end of the day I also helped Mia a small bit with a task she was doing. Overall today was still an interesting day and I am proud that I was able to complete my Raspberry Pi Pi-hole ad blocker.

04/02/2022 – Unfortunately, today was my last day at Orbits IT. I have thoroughly enjoyed enjoyed my time here in the past week and have learnt many new things about the working world of IT. I am very tankful for being given this opportunity to be apart of this amazing team for the week and for being treated as an equal member. I spent most of this morning shadowing Alex and he was showing me how he completes all of his ticketing’s and tasks. I then went to shadow Harrison (who thought my name was Harry and me and Alex found it very funny lol) and he was taking me through server checks and creating and deleting user accounts for different company’s. I was then allowed to join the Orbits weekly teams call. This involved all the staff in one teams call and giving a weekly summary. This gave me an insight into how all tasks mare managed and monitored within this company. Then we had lunch at around 12:55. Jim was vey kind to order us all a McDonalds which is one of my favourite fast food places. This was very nice of him. After lunch I was given a new Excel spreadsheet task. This task involved entering a list of user machines onto Atera and they were on there then id copy them onto the ‘Atera’ lists and if they weren’t on Atera then I’d leave them on the ‘Not In Atera’ side. Then I deleted the ones that were in Atera from the ‘Not In Atera’ list. At 2:40 Jim set me a new task to do with a Synology. I took me little wile (and Jim’s help) to be able to find out how I’d open up the synology device, i had to slide each side open so it would open in half. Once it was finally opened I installed the SSD drive. I then put the device back together and then went to do research on how to set it up. I followed a YouTube guide to help me with the software set up for the Synology NAS. I managed get far in creating this and I’m pretty sure i managed to connect it, This was my final day at this amazing company of Orbits IT.

Overall this week at Orbits IT has been a very great experience for me. From the excel spreadsheets about device age rankings to going to Walsall to install WI-FI with Alex. This has been an experience I won’t forget and has really opened my eyes in the working world of IT, and in the future I could maybe even see myself doing a part time job during the summer or taking an apprenticeship with Orbits IT. I thank everyone for making this an extremely nice and enjoyable experience or me and making me feel welcome.

Thank you–

Harvey Gill – Halesowen College.