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UNT General Access Labs:
What We Did This Summer

By Dr. Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, Student Computing Services Manager

As schoolchildren across the country begin writing that all-important classic essay in their English classes so too must I put digital "pen" to "paper" and chronicle the mighty summer efforts of the general access lab managers to continue to upgrade and maintain their facilities and services. Some of these changes include equipment and software upgrades, the redistribution of resources, and in one case, the redesign of an entire lab area.

Equipment Upgrades

In the area of equipment upgrades the College of Arts and Sciences leads the way by outfitting all four of its facilities with Pentium4 2-Ghz machines. The College of Music lab has replaced its Pentium computers with new P4s. The College of Business lab has added color laser printing to all of its printing areas and has developed policies for the use of these new machines. They have also purchased new P4's. The Academic Computing Services lab has a sleek new look with 17-inch flat-panel displays replacing its old large monitors. This has freed up considerable workspace at each computer station. The Willis 24-hr lab has new tables, 17-inch flat panel screens, and P4 machines on order and looks forward to having them in place by mid-fall. Finally despite a tragic robbery in mid-summer, the School of Visual Arts lab is replacing the stolen equipment and is ready to roll for the fall.

Software Upgrades

Software upgrades have also been a part of lab improvements this summer. Charles Andrews, manager of the College of Education lab reports that COE has moved to Windows 2000 and lab visitors will now log in using their EUID to access the lab workstations. Additionally, software provided by Lift that works in conjunction with DreamweaverMX and FrontPage 2002 will be available for students and student workers in the COE lab to test web sites for federal/state/university accessibility standards. The software walks the user through making the necessary correction needed to meet standards. Shortly, all web sites on the various UNT web servers will be required to meet these standards, including instructor course materials. The COE lab is providing facilities for anyone to analyze their web site and to adjust it as needed. The lab located in the School of Community Service has also moved to Windows 2000.

Refurbishing and Redecorating

Refurbishing and redecorating activities have also flourished. The Graduate Student General Access Lab located in the School of Library and Information Science is replacing all of its old workstation counters with new tables. The general access lab located in the School of Community Service (Chilton Hall) will have 10 additional machines available after a redistribution from the Chilton 116 lab. Finally, the Academic Computing Services Lab will have a major restructuring and "facelift" as it becomes the new facility for special needs students. This redesign and reorganization is covered in a separate article in this issue of Benchmarks Online.

Lab Hours

Important reminders about lab hours for the fall include new hours for the Graduate Student General Access Lab which will now be open Monday-Thursday, 8:00am to 11:00pm; Friday and Saturday, 8:00am to 10:00pm; and Sunday, 12:00pm to 10:00pm. The Willis 24-hour Lab will continue to serve the needs of night owls everywhere. Be sure the check out the General Access Lab System Website for a thorough review of lab locations, hours, and policies. We look forward to seeing you this fall!