Author Topic: Academic Installations of PhotoMechanic  (Read 782 times)

Offline timeboxphoto

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Academic Installations of PhotoMechanic
« on: January 11, 2018, 11:49:40 am »
Kirk,
I sent a PM but didn't receive a reply nor an email so I am trying the forum.

I am a personal/professional user of PhotoMechanic and am now in my second year of teaching photography and yearbook. It took almost a year, but I convinced our school district to letting me buy 30 licenses of PM to try in my room (even though we have the Adobe suite and Bridge (to them, PM is a duplicate of Bridge and are still hesitant to let me spend the money on PM).

Right now we are trying to move forward with getting 30 licenses for my room/class, and it appears we ran into an install/management issue. Sales wasn't much help to our IT lead who was trying to find out information about installing and licensing. So I am reaching out to you to see if there are options programatically.

First off is getting the installation simplified without our technicians having to be retrained into installing the software into each individual machine. We have 30 slated for the install right now.
Second is licensing. You do have a licensing server to validate individual installs, but our district re-images our computers frequently each year. If the computer techs or contractors must come to my room to manually deactivate and install the licenses each time is time/cost prohibitive to our IT staff. As it is right now, that alone might kill the purchase for my room and completely kill the possibility for the district (three high schools).

Our needs:
Is there a way to create a PM image to be installed with our standard software so the install can be included with our current third party software and the PM licensing be more automated?
   Command line (silent installs) would be greatly helpful. Currently we install using SCCM to deploy software packages and that leverages Powershell and BAT files for installs.
Can the licensing be more automated so the IT staff does not have to touch each machine when it is installed or reimaged/uninstalled?
   Even to the point of allowing us 1 license key but you allow 30 installs for that key? Installs are done only by technicians.


Right now, I am using PM in my room on one computer. If we can get some of the bottlenecks/time issues taken care of it will be installed for 30 of my computer photo students; ingesting, rating and uploading to our shared network drives.

If the PM operation/implementation works well for my photo classes (including some sporadic yearbook use) our next rollout will hopefully include the following:
1)   Rollout to two additional photo teachers at my school (appx 60 additional seats, total of about 90 site licenses)
2)   Then a rollout to district (two more high schools (80-100 additional licenses)) <HOPEFULLY>
a.   Total of about 150-180 ish licenses for the district depending if the second high school yearbook teacher will implement this software or the 3rd high school picks up this option
3)     Our current yearbook vendor is Herff Jones. I am working with them to see if they can make an option where PM can upload directly to their servers (right now we can only use their web upload option but they do have avenues to upload/connect to one of the more popular web hosted photo sites. My PM suggestion was added to their list but we have not moved beyond that since we do not have PM distributed in our school or district and my rep didn't know what PhotoMechanic was. However, I will be putting together a presentation for my direct vendor rep when he comes to town next if we can get PM running in my room. Big dreams I know... but that's how I roll.

Lastly, we also have an area wide meeting of photography teachers several times a year. We bring up new technology in this meeting and some teachers will implement what we learn and if it makes sense to add it to curriculum. Right now, we are all looking at mirrorless cameras (versus dSLR's everyone currently uses). This is one of those technologies I would add to the group since there are a dozen teachers along with local industry representatives that attend and it extends to yearbooks.

If you would prefer email for the rest of this conversation, my email is below.

Here is the email for our lead tech. He's open to options but the install time and licensing is a sticky point for them.
Chris Brown CBrown@psd1.org

Brent Rust
PHS Room 137A
Photo/Yearbook
brust@psd1.org

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Academic Installations of PhotoMechanic
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 12:13:27 pm »
Brent,

I'm sorry I haven't replied to you until now.  Your message was received and discussed among myself, other engineers, and support people in the company.

PM5 is not going to meet your needs for being able to be imaged and remain activated after a restore.  While we have the ability to activate via the command-line, it requires activating each and every computer via this method.  It could work, you could script it, but it wouldn't be... nice.

I think what is needed is a key server so that each computer would contact the key server when PM launches to see if it is OK to launch (limited by the number of active users you paid for.)

PM5 is very much end-of-life and PM6 is well on its way towards its completion.  Adding a key server capability is not trivial however and we'd have to get it right.  I don't know if we'll have the time to implement it prior to release, but supporting the type of organization such as yours is something that we want to do.

The Windows installer for PM6 is now a Microsoft Installer (msi) and can be installed silently from the command line.  That's a step in the right direction, but it will have the same licensing system that won't work well with your situation.  It is possible that we could add a key server feature sometime after the initial release of PM6 but we don't expect to have such a system ready for release.

Kind regards,

-Kirk

Offline timeboxphoto

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Re: Academic Installations of PhotoMechanic
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 06:35:11 am »
Kirk,
Thank you for the information. I will pass this on to my IT team and we will see what direction we can go. To me, it looks promising.

I really REALLY want to implement PM into my curriculum and the other two teachers in my building are already planning on adding it to theirs once I can show proof of concept. The other three photo teachers as well as the other yearbook advisor in our district will see the results of our efforts.

Also, if you could email myself brust@psd1.org or Chris Brown CBrown@psd1.org with the command line activation info, or provide a contact where Chris can talk to support or a developer so his install questions can be answered that would be greatly appreciated. I know they script many things already since school districts have a myriad of software across various devices.

We know we won't get a magic "POOF and it works" but I am excited for the potential.

Again, THANK YOU! I'll work my side.

Brent

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Academic Installations of PhotoMechanic
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 09:17:42 am »
Brent,

I really REALLY want to implement PM into my curriculum and the other two teachers in my building are already planning on adding it to theirs once I can show proof of concept. The other three photo teachers as well as the other yearbook advisor in our district will see the results of our efforts.

Also, if you could email myself brust@psd1.org or Chris Brown CBrown@psd1.org with the command line activation info, or provide a contact where Chris can talk to support or a developer so his install questions can be answered that would be greatly appreciated. I know they script many things already since school districts have a myriad of software across various devices.

Here is the documentation:
http://wiki.camerabits.com/en/index.php/User_Manual_Flat_View#Activation_via_Command_Line

-Kirk

Offline Kevin M. Cox

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Re: Academic Installations of PhotoMechanic
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2018, 06:12:49 pm »
That is awesome Kirk! We're looking to move deployments of Photo Mechanic at the paper into Munki and those command line options as pre and post install are something I've been meaning to ask about.
Kevin M. Cox | Photojournalist
http://www.KevinCox.com

Offline timeboxphoto

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Re: Academic Installations of PhotoMechanic
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2018, 04:27:07 pm »
We are installing in my classroom now and this almost made our tech giddy with happiness.

I will be implementing PM into my curriculum in a week or two. THANK YOU!