Posted on Friday, August 26th, 2011 at 2:38 PM under News

Greetings and welcome to another academic year!

CTS has been busy over the summer and I wanted to give you an update on some of the projects that may affect your use of technology in the classroom.

1) I have finally developed a Windows 7 image for the dual-boot Macs that populate most of the hands-on computer classrooms and computer labs.  Finishing touches were put in place this week and I will be spending the weekend deploying it to as many locations as I can.  Deployment will be ongoing through the first part of the semester.

2) Flagg 162, Satterlee 300, and the Literacy Center computer lab were all slated to receive new computers.  As the new computers require Windows 7, their installation had to be put off until I had a workable Windows 7 installation to deploy.  I hope to get them all installed this weekend.  As Flagg 162 was vacated due to renovation, it will be the first room to get its new computers.  If I don’t get to the other facilities, they will be done as soon as possible.

3) Of special interest to many of you: The “smart classroom” podium/lectern computers have been upgraded.  We have learned a lot in the 3 years the dual-boot Mac Minis were initially deployed.  We experimented with a few iMacs in lieu of the Minis.  While a little more powerful, the logistics of getting them to work well with projectors were more trouble than it was worth.  We have installed new Mac Minis.

Here are some changes to the Podium setup of which you should be aware:

– In most locations, the computer has been mounted to the TOP of the podium.  The original idea of mounting them underneath seemed like a good idea at the time, but caused a lot of frustration; most notably the difficulty of locating the power button.  Mounting on top also facilitates easier access to the USB ports for flash drives and other peripherals.

– The unfortunate design of the mounting bracket means the the computer as mounted is UPSIDE-DOWN.  The only side effect of this is that CDs and DVDs must be inserted upside-down (shiny side up).

– The Windows installations are now “thawed” and will preserve your user login settings across a reboot.  Historically, every time you logged in you got a “fresh start”, which took time.  The relatively limited number of distinct users these computers in a semester mitigates substantially the rationale for “freezing” the computers–something which is absolutely necessary in the labs and hands-on classrooms.  In the thawed state the computer will “remember” you from day-to-day.  Your login time should be very fast, and things you save or install to the computers in the rooms in which you teach will “stick.”  A WORD OF CAUTION:  Do NOT leave the only copy of ANYTHING on these computers!  If I ever have to refresh or globally update the podium computers, you WILL lose any custom changes you make!  If you have software or programs you want to ensure are always there, please coordinate with me to get it added to the permanent image.

AS ALWAYS:  Please, PLEASE report problems you have with any of our computing facilities and resources to the CTS Helpdesk: or x-2083.  Provide as much detail as you can about the problem, including date, time, location, computer decal number, and the exact text of any error messages you have encountered.

Thank you for your time reading this, and for your patience as we together work to make our computing facilities the best they can be.

Romeyn Prescott
Computing & Technology Services


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