Changes to labs and classrooms

8 September 2015

Every summer we update and refresh aspects of the technology in classrooms.  Over the last three months ITS replaced all the instructor stations with newer, faster hardware.  The new computers have solid state drives, for very fast booting and data access, 16GB of RAM, and faster processors; instead of relying on the Rube Goldberg-ian physical armature to press the power button that we’ve used in past years, we’ve also installed electronic power switches in all classrooms.

Over the summer, we refreshed the AV systems, as well as the instructor stations, in the following classrooms:

  • Hulings 115 and 120
  • Boliou 130
  • Goodsell 104
  • Olin 101 and 103
  • Library 305 and 344
  • CMC 102

Some of the changes to these spaces include updating to wide-screen projectors and screens, moving to all-digital video input, updated audio systems, and Blu-Ray players. More information is available about connecting laptops in these rooms.

The largest visible change is the move from Adobe Creative Suite to Adobe Creative Cloud, the new cloud-enabled version.  Two things to note about the new versions are:

  • The file formats for certain apps in the new Adobe Creative Cloud are different from file formats for their counterparts in the old Adobe Creative Suite.  While the new version will read older files, files created or saved from the new versions may not be readable by the older versions (more info).
  • Adobe Creative Cloud apps are available on all instructor stations and in the following places:
    • All public computers in the Library
    • Boliou 130
    • CMC110
    • CMC109
    • Mudd169
    • Mudd 0  (Geology)
    • Olin 014 (Geology)
    • WCC138
    • WCC028
    • WCC026

We’ve updated a number of applications, such as Flash, Adobe Reader, Firefox, Chrome, and Microsoft Office to their current versions.  We are continuing to use the 64bit version of Windows; the Macs are now running MacOS 10.10.

Both Chrome and Firefox have implemented a number of changes in how they support plugins, including Java, Flash, and Silverlight.  This can have unexpected impacts on how common websites work, including Moodle and Zimbra; unfortunately, these changes outside of our control.  If you run into issues, try the site in a different browser.

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