General Access Labs:
What We Did This Summer
Ah summer! Time
to kick back and relax...put your feet up...... Not if
you are UNT computing personnel! Summertime means less
students and less mission-critical academic computing.
Your friendly tech staff use this time to experiment,
upgrade, redesign, and implement computing resources
throughout the campus. We toil endlessly while you suntan
so that when the UNT community returns in full fall
force, everything is once again state-of-the-art and
Upgrades made the summer go faster
The managers and staff of the general access labs are
no different and we spend our summers upgrading and
improving just like everyone else. This year the primary
goal of many labs was to deploy Windows2000 and also to
improve tech support and machine management through the
utilization of Zenworks 3. Additionally, through
remodeling and software upgrades, the labs now have much
better ADA accomodations throughout the entire system.
Leading the pack with machine upgrades are the College
of Education (Matthews
309) and the School of Community Service (Chilton 255)
general access labs with the acquisition of Pentium III 1
gHz computers. The College of Business labs (BA
333-335) also upgraded to PIII800s. Macintosh
upgrades occurred in the Academic Computing Services (ISB 110) lab and in one of
the School of Visual Arts (Art
232) rooms which does double-time as a lab and a
classroom. These labs now boast the latest Macintosh G4s.
The Academic Computing Services lab also added new PC and
Macintosh USB scanners with both photo and text (OCR)
digitization as well as three additional CD-ROM burners.
Once confined to the Music and Art labs, CD-burners can
be found now in a number of facilities. The Music lab (MB 238)
continues to provide a variety of specialized
professional audio and video components for use.
Software upgrades were a major part of this summer's
activities. Though the labs are remaining with Macintosh
OS9.x, patrons will find Windows2000 in almost all of the
facilities. The exceptions to this are the College of
Business lab and the Willis Library lab which must remain
with Win98/NT technology until all vital applications in
their areas are made Win2k compatible. Web developers and
multimedia aficionados will be happy to find several
products from Macromedia more widely distributed in the
labs. Both the College of Education and the ISB Graduate
Student lab (ISB205C)
now have Flash, Fireworks, and Dreamweaver available.
Additionally, the College of Education has computer-based
tutorials online for these applications. Most of the labs
also have all plug-ins necessary for the running of WebCT
and Smartforce courseware.
These new Wooten Hall flat-panel
displays look so cool!
Then there was the renovation and remodeling
Renovation and remodeling were important components of
the College of Arts and Sciences labs. The Wooten Hall
lab (Wooten 120)
was painted, carpeted and outfitted with flat-panel LCD
monitors allowing for full ADA compliance and providing
for much needed desktop space. The College of Education
lab also acquired flat-panel displays as well as optical
mice allowing much greater workspace flexibility for its
patrons. Several of the labs had major wiring projects
completed allowing for faster network access. Readers are
reminded that the
general access lab system also acquired a whole new
facility this summer with the opening of our fourteenth
lab at the System Center at Dallas.
ADA features were added and security was improved
Finally and most importantly, all of the general
access labs have more ADA features to offer. Both the
Academic Computing Service and the School of Community
Service labs offer Zoomtext and JAWS on all of
their machines for sight-challenged patrons. The majority
of the other labs have either one or both of these
applications on many of their machines. Patrons are
encouraged to call first to ensure availability of these
workstations. Of course, the Adaptive lab (Chilton 116)
continues to have the most comprehensive accommodations.
One additional item that both the College of Business
and Willis Library labs have added are security cameras
for the safety of their patrons.
As always after a long hot summer, all members of the
UNT community are strongly encouraged to review the
policies and procedures of the General Access Labs at their Website. And
while you are doing that, we shall just sit back, relax,
and rejoice that OUR busy summer is over!