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What's new in the student computer labs for 97/98?

By Jason Davis

During the summer months Information Services staff made some behind-the-scenes changes to the network to improve reliability and minimize slowdowns.

UMD Information Services has spent a busy summer continuing to expand and improve student computing facilities and resources. The student access fees have provided most of the funds for some major improvements to our labs, and we are pleased to announce the following changes that have been implemented or are in progress.

Hardware upgrades

The AILRC (BohH 209), SBE 45, and H 470 labs have been upgraded with faster, Pentium computers. All PC labs now have Pentiums. There will be a new color printer in SBE 17. The quality of color printing will be higher than anything we've been able to offer in the past, but the cost per page will remain the same as it was last year.

We have added color scanners in Engr 204 and Humanities 470. Both scanners have OCR (text) scanning capability. Finally, we have installed WACOM graphics tablets in SBE 17. These tablets allow you to draw freehand in popular graphics programs.

Software upgrades

As promised, we have upgraded to Windows95 in all of the PC labs and in the Web labs. We have also upgraded much of the software in the Full Access Labs, including: MS Word 97, Excel 97, PowerPoint 97, Lotus 97 and WordPerfect 7.0.

Lab location changes

The focus within the Campus Center has undergone considerable change. To help accommodate the renovation and reorganization taking place in the Campus Center, we have moved the CCtr 25 Macintosh lab to SBE 17.

The new location is over 30% larger and should be a comfortable room for working. The MWAH 177 lab has been added to the roster of Basic Access Web labs, increasing our web-station count to 97. Sun stations and X-terminals are still available in this lab.

Web lab printing added

In response to growing demand, printing is now available in the Web labs. There are new printers in BohH 120, MWAH 177, CCtr 41, and on the second floor of the Library.

The new service will cost 10 cents per page. You can charge pages using the value stripe on your UCard. You can add value to your UCard at a machine in the Library (near the circulation desk) or in the Library 165 computer lab. If you do not have a UCard, you can also purchase a "visitor" card from these machines. Once you have added value to your card, you can use the card reader and "Uniprint" print station at each Web Lab printer to retrieve your printouts.

Detailed instructions will be posted by each printer. This method of payment will also be used for printing, and eventually copying, in the Library. Student fees still cover Basic Access and Full Access printing services as they did last year. Only the new printing service in the Web labs and the Library will require the 10 cents per page fee.

Although printing in the Full Access labs is still covered by the $30 Full Access fee, we have also installed print-stations in Library 165. These print-stations, similar to those found in the Web labs, offer print-load balancing and a chance to see how print-charging might work in the Full Access labs at some point in the future. Information Services may implement a print-charging process in the Full Access Labs Fall Quarter 1998, depending on fee negotiations that will take place this academic year.

Library printing changes

In previous years, the Library subsidized printing to inexpensive dot matrix and inkjet printers. However, printing demands in the Library are increasing with the introduction of full text and full image journals - and other online resources. Therefore, this year the old side printers have been replaced with several higher quality, more reliable laser printers. Printing will be managed by the Uniprint system, charging ten cents per page. The Library will also upgrade its photocopiers to accept payment via Ucard. To accommodate new services, the Library's public access computers have been updated to Pentiums with a web-based interface.

For more information, please access the Lab home page at: http://www.d.umn.edu/is/labs/.

This site has been developed to answer frequently asked questions about the labs. Open and reserved times, lists of hardware and software, and a wide range of information about departmental policies and procedures are available on this site. Comments and questions about the labs can be sent via e-mail to labmanager. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Last Revised on 09/18/97 sab [an error occurred while processing this directive]