Leaps of technology at U of C

By Sandy Shonfield

Processing power in the Tri-faculty computer lab made a quantum leap recently when some Dell 486 66MHz computers were replaced with a fleet of new models.

The lab previously housed 148 Dell 486 and Pentium III 450MHz computers. These have been replaced with 21 Macintosh G4s and 40 Pentium III 866MHz computers with CD burners.

"These new computers are far faster, letting students work more efficiently," said Tri-Faculty computer lab manager Paul Zubicek.

The original computer lab on the fifth floor of Social Sciences was strictly for the use of the faculty of Social Sciences. Five years ago, the lab moved to its current location in the basement of Social Sciences, where it served the faculties of General Studies, Humanities and the Social Sciences. The Students’ Union funded this move and a few small upgrades. At the time there wasn’t much demand for Macs and the few they had were replaced with IBM compatibles.

The lab’s usership has grown to include users from all faculties, but until last year the lab featured only the elderly Dell 486 66MHz computers. Users found little work could get done because students needed programs that ran slowly on the old machines.

The recent hardware upgrades, funded by the university, will continue to be implemented through the summer.

"We are very excited about the new computers and look forward to using them more," said Zubicek.

Users of the computer lab were not nearly as excited. Todd Fer-guson, one such user, claimed not to notice any difference in the performance of the new computers. He was quick to state that he mainly uses the computers for word processing.

Paul Kiemele, another user, noticed a difference: programs such as video players and other resource-intensive programs are now available. While standing in line waiting for a computer, both students were quite adamant the major problem with the lab is the lack of computers available, not their quality.

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