Archive for the 'News' Category

Friday, August 26th, 2011

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: helpdesk@potsdam.edu 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.

Sincerely,
Romeyn Prescott
Computing & Technology Services


signat-url: http://www2.potsdam.edu/prescor/signat-url.htm

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

The Math Department MiniLab in MacVicar 201 has been upgraded!  The old PowerPC G5 Macs have been replaced with dual-boot iMacs.

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

The Reference Area in the Crumb Library now has a scanning station.  This computer allows login with your Campus Computer account and can ONLY be used for scanning.  It will auto-mount your Helios Home directory allowing you to save your scans there.  You can also plug in a flash drive and save documents there.

No other applications will run on this computer!  It is for scanning only.

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Yesterday it was reported that Windows was not working in Satterlee 300.  This has been fixed.  Additionally, all workstations in Dunn 210 are now online.  (3 had been non-functional.)

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

We have upgraded to Microsoft Office 2010 (Windows) in most locations.  There is what I’ll call a “glitch” in Microsoft’s Licensing mechanism.  Users will, upon launching any Office application, receive a notice that Office has detected hardware changes and that it needs to be “re-activated”.  Users should just click “Next”, which will re-activate Office and allow it to be used normally.

I will continue to research a solution to this problem, but for now clicking “next” is a necessary work-around.

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Welcome back, everyone!

This Summer CTS has been busy upgrading and updating facilities across campus.  Here are some highlights:

* The Kellas 100 and Carson 101 hands-on computer classrooms were upgraded with new, dual-boot iMacs
* The Crane Library MIDI Lab was upgraded with new iMacs
* The Crumb Library classroom was upgraded with 30 new notebook computers
* New projection-capable classrooms were installed in Flagg 210 and Stowell 103
* The Honors Lab in Dunn 354 received 3 dual-boot iMacs
* The Art labs in Brainerd Hall received dual-boot iMacs
* The Drama Department lab received 5 dual-boot iMacs
* The English & Communications department received 24 updated notebook computers

Adobe Creative Suite 5 finally arrived and we are working on its installation.  Look for it in the labs “real soon now” (Mac OS).

Friday, March 5th, 2010

This week saw the following improvements to Campus computing facilities:

  • 2 PCs in the Chemistry Computer Lab (Stowell 303) were replaced with newer models.
  • The College Writing Center (Carson 106) received dual-boot iMacs to replace older Macs and PCs.
  • The Sociology/Politics Commons PC was replaced with a newer model.
  • The MacOS DVD Player was updated in the Levitt Center (Merritt Hall).

More on this last item: The first time the DVD Player application is run on the MacOS, you must declare and set the “Region Code” for the DVD player hardware.  While we believed we had set this properly shortly after installing the new iMacs in Levitt (and elsewhere), it was reported to us that it wasn’t working.  The DVD Player software has been reset on most of the iMacs in the Levitt Center as of this writing.  Any stragglers will be updated by the time Spring Break is over.  If you discover any computer anywhere on campus that won’t let you play/watch DVDs, please make a note of the SUNY Potsdam Decal number and report it to the CTS Helpdesk: helpdesk@potsdam.edu or x-2083.

Friday, February 26th, 2010

This was a productive week.  Note the following improvements across campus:

  • New group study area computers in Crumb Library.  Trickle-down dual-boot iMacs from the facility upgrades over Winterim were prepared and placed in the new downstairs group study area in Crumb.
  • The Non-Trad lounge in Carson received sorely-needed replacement of the two computers there.
  • The Geology Student lab in Timerman 217 received replacement computers.
  • Newer PCs have been prepped to replace the aging 2 PCs in the Chemistry Student lab in Stowell 303.  They will be replaced on Monday.

More updates and upgrades will happen next week.  Stay tuned!

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Welcome back for the Spring, 2010 semester.  Over break, we were busy upgrading the Levitt Center, Dunn 210, and the Crumb and Crane Library “Ref Pods” (Reference Area computers).  Levitt and the Libraries now sport dual-boot (MacOS/WindowsXP) iMacs.  Dunn 210 has 31 new HP computers running Windows XP.