Nineteen years ago, Y2K was starting to occupy a few people's minds, The Grateful Dead performed their last concert with Jerry Garcia, and the world's population surpassed 5.5 billion...
- Microsoft releases, you guessed it, Windows 95
- The average home computer had a 420 MB hard drive and 8 MB of memory
- 16 Million users were on the Internet
- The Dot-Com boom started
- E-Bay, Amazon.com and Yahoo were all founded
- The USB standard was introduced (Intel)
- Quebec Referendum on independence is narrowly defeated
- The New Jersey Devils defeated the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup
- The X Games were launched on ESPN
- ...the list goes on!
In 1995, the IT landscape was a focused on transition, as it always seems to be. For this period the transition was from older legacy systems like the DEC VAX, to the then popular Client/Server model supported by i86 based servers and new application frameworks that could support this push. For ESTI, it was Compaq Proliant servers and the Oracle Forms platform. It is worth noting that many of the Oracle Forms applications built during this time period are still running. Now that is solid Return On Investment!
Also within this period, ESTI was busy supporting a number or organizations by providing IT consulting for the office environment. Workstation and associated tools, printing solutions, network connectivity'all those things that we now take for granted, were cutting edge in 1995.
For another walk down memory lane, Ron Walter from what was then the Saskatoon West School Division, has provided a glimpse into the past:
'I was the Secretary Treasurer of the Saskatoon (West) School Division from 1987 to 2006 when the Province amalgamated rural school divisions. Around 1989 our Assistant Director of Instruction had some discussions with George to look at a strategy for implementing technology for instruction in our schools. On the administrative side, we were experiencing frustrations with support of our accounting and other administrative applications. We turned to George to provide that support for our growing number of administrative computers essentially in a stand alone environment. We made the switch and never looked back cutting our ties with our former IT supplier and putting all our faith and trust in this new company ' Education Services.
ESTI was able to provide support for our administrative applications over the next seventeen years until the School Division was amalgamated in 2006. Through those years in addition to George, we had the pleasure of working with professionals such as Shaun Herron, Simon Gadd, Joel Schmaltz, Maureen Perepelkin, Daryl Crozier-Smith and others. During that time, we moved basically from an office with three or four standalone computers to a fully networked environment with Internet, email and all the potential those services offered ' services we now take for granted and could not function without. I need to point out that the services were not one only from ESTI to the School Division. I recall one day I gave George a 'short course' in how to pay an employee, make payroll deductions and make remittances!
Through the years we always knew the staff at ESTI were available when needed to provide the support advice and guidance we required to deal with the new technology ' and we were never disappointed. As an example, one day I was talking to a colleague in another school division who was complaining about the technology frustrations he was dealing with. He asked me how often our network crashed as they were dealing with crashes on an ongoing basis. He was amazed when I told him we had never had a network crash in our office! That's the kind of confidence and support we received from ESTI.
So to all the ESTI staff, congratulations on twenty-five years of professional excellence ' and best wishes for continued growth and success!'
We welcome you to please continue to share with us your memorable experiences with ESTI services and staff over the past 25 years!