How Times Flies When You’re Having Fun: My 1 Year Anniversary

I’ve been so busy with so many different things that I completely forgot about my one year anniversary (February 12) at work! It’s amazing how time flies. It only seemed like its been a few months since I left San Jose State University for the City and County of San Francisco.There is only so much that can be achieved in one year. So what have we done since I’ve been there?

New Public Website

Prior to coming on board, the way the Office of the Public Defender made updates to their public website ( was to login to the City & County’s CMS and make the changes there. While the CMS was great for departments who had no web trained techs, it was horribly limiting for those who knew what they were doing. For obvious security reasons, PHP, javascript, and a host of other coding language was not allowed to be used. The SFGov site (prior to the new design currently up) was littered with code soup and the site design was laid out with tables. And because of the CMS used, there was very little design customization possible. Content was always on the left and the sidebar on the right with the City & County header on top.With my knowledge of WordPress, xHTML, CSS, and usability, we moved the Office away from the City & County’s CMS over to a privately server with a new domain name ( to better reflect the Office. So the new site is built entirely on WordPress MU using various plugins. The results: faster load times, more attractive design, easy to upgrade and scale, and standards compliant.

New Internal Intranet Site

The intranet site for the Office had become a repository of information and knowledge for the attorneys and support staff but had a few major shortcomings: there wasn’t a search to speak of, only one person could enter and input the information to the intranet, it was a pain to maintain and update, and no one could find anything.So using the same infrastructure as the public website, we setup WordPress MU, installed a number of plugins, installed MediaWiki, an addressbook, Thyme Calendar, and Gallery2. The results: the most advanced internal intranet in the entire City and County of San Francisco. For more details, continue to check back, I’ll be making a future post about this with much more details.

Active Directory

The basic infrastructure for Active Directory was in place before I started, but on a very limited basis. There were only two of the thirteen units (paralegals and investigators) were logging in the domain. After months of tedious work, we are now at 95% finished and we’ve been able to connect up our satellite offices also. We are now working on the second phase of the Active Directory project: implementation of group policy.

Active Directory Servers At Satellite Offices

The Office has two satellite offices at Twin Peaks. Because of a previous lack of available resources, they did not have the same resources the main office has here such as daily file backups, share points, and so forth. We rebuilt two old servers, setup another zone in the Active Directory and placed a server in each of the locations. Now they have daily backups, a share point, access to the new intranet, and so forth. This way when a user from the main office takes an assignment at the satellite offices, we no longer have to physically go over there to create them an account, they can just use their domain account. Plus doing maintenance and trouble shooting has become easy as we do not have to physically go there as often.

So what’s next? There are still many things left to do. The new intranet is far from done, we’ve at version 3 right now and we’ve road mapped out to at least version 4 and 4.5. We still have to finish the Active Directory project. We’re also working on new computer roll outs to replace dying or dead desktop machines. Still so much to do.

2 thoughts on “How Times Flies When You’re Having Fun: My 1 Year Anniversary”

  1. Congrats Rich! I’ve been meaning to call you. I’m starting the Academy on Monday!! (2/25) I got in!

    Hope you enjoy this job and several years of service. Best of luck! -D

  2. Dennis, congrats dude! That’s awesome man! Your going to have excellent benefits and retirement now! It’s a Godsend to have benefits in this day and age, especially since health care costs are constantly rising.

    Give me a call when you get a chance and we’ll catch up!

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