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New General Access Computer Labs LogoWhat the General Access Lab Staff Did During Your Summer Vacation

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

Though the summer has been hot, the managers of the UNT General Access Computer Lab System have been hard at work preparing their facilities for the fall.  Also implemented this summer was a slight name change (we are now General Access Computer Labs) and the creation of a logo for the lab system (more on that later).

Equipment Upgrades

Several labs upgraded their equipment. The College of Education (COE) lab, located on the third floor of Matthews Hall now provides 50 new 3.06 GHz Pentium IV machines.  Each machine features read-writable CD-ROM drives, zip and floppy drives and a front panel that includes two USB-2 ports, a firewire port, and volume-control headphone port.  Six of the stations also have document scanners.  Students are invited to bring their personal headset and listen to their favorite CDs while they work on assignments. 

The lab located in ISB 205c (the graduate computer lab - SLIS) updated its Macintosh G4 computers to OS X and have added Quark and Stuffit Deluxe to the already extensive list of software available on them.  All lab PCs now have CD-ROM burners.  The lab has added books on SPSS and SAS to its large manual collection and also has new computer tables.  On the personnel front, the lab has added a consultant position.  In addition to the lab monitors answering questions, patrons can now ask application-specific questions of the consultant.  The consultant's hours will be posted on the lab door this fall.

The ACS Adaptive lab, located in ISB 110 upgraded its computers early in the summer to 3.06 GHz Pentium IV machines.  Each machine has a CD-ROM burner and front panel USB ports.  Students are encouraged to bring USB "flash" or "thumb" drives to the lab; they require no drivers for use and plug in easily to the front panel ports.  The lab will also have several demos of new adaptive equipment in late August and an update on additional adaptive equipment purchases will come in the future.

In other areas, several equipment upgrades were provided to classroom machines and the College of Arts and Sciences has added 4 web access kiosks to the third floor commons area of the GAB. 

Adobe Acrobat "Read Aloud" Feature Added

Other items of note include the new Adobe Acrobat 6.0 reader which includes a "read aloud" feature for the reading of Adobe PDF- formatted documents.  This is of special importance to our blind patrons and is available currently in the College of Education, College of Music, the Graduate, the ACS Adaptive Lab, and all the CAS labs.  Additionally most labs now feature double-sided printing as the default printer setup for paper conservation.  Single-sided printing is available by request as is color printing in many of the labs. 

Changes at COBA

We bade a fond farewell to Jan Brothers, the COBA General Access Computer Lab manager, this year as she "retired" to move on to a new career.  However, we also give a warm welcome to new COBA lab manager Charlie Brien!  

New Name, New Logo

Finally, in addition to a slightly new name given to the General Access lab system, the managers commissioned and adopted a logo which is displayed prominently in all General Access Computing facilities.  In addition to the logo for the system, each individual college and area has its own lab logo created from new titles and different color schemes added to the general design.  Patrons can easily distinguish the labs now with the new prominently displayed signs and posters featuring the logo in each of the general access computing areas.

Looking Toward the Future*

As always a new and returning hard-working student lab staff is found in each of the labs and they look forward to serving you during this next busy year!


* For a glimpse of the past, click here to see a comprehensive list of articles that have appeared in Benchmarks Online on the General Access Labs since 2000.