Posted on Thursday, January 28th, 2010 at 9:59 AM under Notes

Starting this semester users of instructional podium computers will notice a change in the way the computers behave after a user logs out.  Previously, no matter which Operating System the user had been using, the computer would revert back to the “You Must Choose” screen.

This screen technically resides “over the top” of the MacOS login screen, meaning that the MacOS is loaded and that anyone wanting to use Windows must wait while the computer restarts and loads Windows.  In rooms where users are mostly (or entirely) users of Windows, this adds precious minutes to the “ready-to-teach” time at the beginning of each class.

The computers have been switched to “stick” with whichever operating System was last used.  If a Windows user last used the computer, the computer will stay at the standard “Press CTRL-ALT-DEL…” screen.  To get back to the MacOS, press CTRL-ALT-DEL, click the “Shut Down” button, and then select “Restart”.  If a MacOS user last used the computer, it will default to the “You Must Choose” screen.

This is not a perfect solution, but it does level the playing field a bit.  Some have alleged that this somehow “discriminates” against MacOS users.  On the contrary: this simply removes an advantage that MacOS users have had before now!  Theirs was the default OS, all the time.

In a room that gets used by nobody but MacOS users, no change will be noticed.  In a room that gets used mostly by Windows users, they will see an improvement in convenience.  And I think that convenience outweighs any initial confusion experienced on the part of anyone.

A computer left in Windows at the end of the day will automatically reboot to the MacOS late in the evening so that daily shutdown and maintenance of the MacOS can occur.  The first user of the day on any podium computer will always see the “You Must Choose” screen.

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