Danny Thompson, Systems Administrator, is the newest member of the Computing Infrastructure team. He primarily oversees the workstations in Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS)-managed computer labs, ensuring the computers function properly and installing software to facilitate requests for lab use by courses. “We respond to any issues where there’s a software conflict, [like when] a teacher needs newer or older software,” Danny explained. To make distributing software to computers easier, he recently helped migrate the department to a new software deployment system. He is using the slower period between spring and fall quarters to help transition five computer labs from Windows 32-bit to Windows 64-bit.
In addition to maintaining the lab computers, Danny works on ACMS servers from time to time. He recently fixed an issue to improve the download speed for course podcasts available through podcast.ucsd.edu.
Since arriving at UC San Diego two months ago, Danny has been impressed by the assistance available to campus through the ACMS Help Desk. “The people at the Help Desk are excellent. Most of them are trained above their position, which is great,” he said. The service that he is most impressed with is the Help Desk’s in-house repair facility, where residential students can bring their computer in to be diagnosed when they develop an issue.
Later this year, Danny will travel to the Mojave Desert for Wasteland Weekend, a four day Mad Max-inspired post-apocalyptic event that he volunteers at. This is his fourth year with the event and he helps host the Mushroom Cloud Lounge. “It’s a 2,000 square foot shaded structure with comfy seating that doubles at night as a dance club,” Danny explained, “We didn’t intend for it to become a dance club, but we had a good sound system and it became what the will of Wasteland wanted.” He spends his spare time throughout the year doing metal fabrication for vehicles and structures for the event. “I’m probably the only guy most people know that does hard manual labor for fun in his time off,” he admitted.
Luckily for everyone at UC San Diego, Danny’s computer skills are just as good as his ability to thrive in the (hopefully never to arrive) dystopian badlands. Glad to have you aboard!
ACMS Aces is a series of articles that highlights the dedicated employees of ACMS at UC San Diego. Keep checking back to find out more about the people behind the magic at ACMS!