He's 11...and it's his network

A look at Jon Penn, the young network manager for Victory Baptist School in Millbrook, Ark.

How an 11-year-old became his school\'s network manager

Six-grader Penn took control of the network reins after the existing network overseer left right before the start of the school year and Penn's mom Paula, the school librarian, had computing duties dropped in her lap.

Computers older than him?

Penn says: "These computers are so old they don't support all antivirus programs." The school took advantage of a Microsoft effort called Fresh Start that offers free software upgrades for schools with donated computers, switching from Windows 98 to Windows 2000.

Making network discoveries

Penn got tools from a CompUSA to discover what was on the network, which supports some 200 students allowed computer access, plus teachers. He found lots of spam and viruses, so decided to put in a secure gateway appliance to filter out the bad stuff. Here, he is shown with what he describes as a "homemade U-rack in the computer lab" that he inherited.

Sky\'s not the limit

Penn (shown middle) says he was a natural for the network manager's job, which includes fussing with network cards, drivers and more on the Windows 2000 network. "This is kind of a small school, and I'm known as the computer whiz," he says.

Jon Penn at Space Camp

From this photo from Space Camp, Penn (shown right) obviously likes to challenge himself and have fun.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.