Death of the bulky monitor

Feeling a little less claustrophobic in the Info Commons these days?

Sleek new computers with flat-panelled LCD monitors replaced the former bulky boxes during the second last week of July. The approximate cost of the project was $250,000, supplied partially by the University Budget Committee.

“The response from our users here in the commons has been very positive,” said Susan Beatty, head of the Information Commons. “The students have taken to the new PCs without a problem. They have commented on the flat screens as being easier to read, and the extra work space in each workstation is much appreciated.”

According to Mary Westell, Information Resources assistant director for technology, the change was made for two reasons. The old computers were only covered by a three-year warranty, no longer valid in their fifth year of use, and due to high traffic, computers in the Information Commons experience more than the usual dose of wear and tear.

“Since they weren’t under warranty, if there were difficulties it would be very expensive to get them repaired,” said Westell.

The second reason for the switch stems from the need for a more robust PC with additional features for research.

“Computers get better every year,” said Westell. “A lot of the learning resources that we are expected to deliver are also getting more sophisticated. We felt the new computers would be better for student use.”

Those who became sentimentally attached to the old-timers can rest assured they are being treated well in their retirement years.

“Half are going to other student spaces on campus and some are going to upgrade staff desktops in Information Resources,” explained Westell. “Last time we made an upgrade we did the same. In fact, that’s how we got computers into the Elbow Room [the Science Theatres computer lab].”

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