The New Triage Room at Rowell Annex

Next week, if you stop by Rowell Annex or call for Helpdesk or Media Services assistance, you’ll be directed to our new Triage Room. This is space will be the Champ Support hub and our customers’ first stop, whether they’re here with computer troubles or need to pick up an item from the loaning pool.

With the new Triage Room, customers won’t have to worry about figuring out which desk to contact when they have an IT or AV need. They just have to come to Rowell Annex with their questions and we’ll take care of the rest.

The room itself has come a long way since Champ Support started moving in over a month ago. If you came to Rowell Annex at the beginning of July, you may have been greeted by stacked boxes and equipment, but lately the office has begun to take shape. There’s now a place for customers to sit while they’re waiting and the reception desk has been cleared off for the two student employees who’ll be working there this summer, Sam Maslak and Rachel Salois.

Look for Rachel or Sam in the Triage Room when you visit Rowell Annex

And over the next few months, the room will continue to be improved. Two LCD panels are going into the room, as well as more furniture, student artwork, and even a few gadgets (like an iPad) for customers to check out while waiting for their turn.

Photos by Sam Maslak.

Top 10 Mac Apps for Champlain Students

Photo from crunchbase.com.

You probably bring your smart phone or even your iPad just about everywhere you go, so while you’re gearing up for the fall semester, make sure you also check in to the app store so that you’ll have everything you need to make your studying and scheduling more efficient. Here are ten apps that Champlain students (and staff) may find useful on campus this fall:

1. iBook: Free e-book reader that also gives access to the Apple iBookstore.

2. Dictionary.com: Free dictionary with a million words.

3. PCalc Lite Calculator: This free app can’t replace your high-tech Texas Instrument, but it’s useful for quick calculations.

4. Pages/Numbers: These Word and Excel equivalents are available for your iPad for $9.99 each.

5. EZ Read++: This app is for easy viewing of Sparknotes web pages at $1.99.

6. Wikipedia Mobile: Free app to access Wikipedia.

7. Iplanner or iStudiezPro: These apps for $2.99 allow you to organize your life and schedule due dates for your assignments.

8. Word Lens: Studying abroad? This free app lets you video translate to English.

9. Amazon: Use the free Amazon app to buy your textbooks for less.

10. Internship Seeker: This free app will notify you of new internships based on location and keywords.

Skiff 102 Lab Network Upgrade

The Skiff 102 lab.

Matt and Nate work in the lab.

The computer lab in Skiff Annex 102 has undergone two upgrades recently.

One improvement has been new, lower counter space for the computer monitors in the center of the room. This prevents the monitors from obstructing the student’s view of the Smartboard and their professor while in class.

New network drops were also installed to solve network connectivity issues. Previously, Xboxes in the lab, which are used for uploading and downloading games, were having “loop back” problems when they were wired into the network.

The new network drops.

Matt Suprenant, a Sr. Analyst for Information Systems, described the problem this way: “If the cable going in and the cable going out both connect to the building switch then the building switch shuts off all connectivity to the eight port switch. Then all devices attached to the eight port switch lose connectivity to any network resource.”

With the new network drops, this issue should be resolved.

This lab is generally used by programmers for everything from Xbox to iPhone programing. These changes will continue to improve this lab for students and professors.

Photos by Sam Maslak

Meet a Media Services Tech

Ian Savage is a graphic design major going into his senior year at Champlain. He has worked at Media Services for almost three years. When I talked to him, he was designing signs for the new loaning pool storage in the basement of Rowell Annex.

1. What are your favorite jobs to work on at Media Services?

Working at events. A lot of our employees have graduated in the past few years, so I’m one of the techs who has been here the longest now, which means that I take on a lot of events. The really important events are still kind of nerve-wracking though.

2. What is your current media or technology obsession?

Streaming media. I’ve recently started streaming Netflix from my computer and Xbox and I love it.

3. Any tasks you’ve worked on for Media Services that you wouldn’t have expected when you got the job here?

(Laughs) Probably moving the entire office from the Ireland building to the Annex via cart. That’s how we’ve been getting all the equipment here for the past two weeks.

Final Cut Pro X Released

Apple has recently released the new Final Cut Pro X and claims that this version of the professional video-editing software is “the biggest advance in Pro video editing since the original Final Cut Pro.”

While some are skeptical that this update will bring Final Cut back into competition with Adobe Premier CS5, Apple boasts that new features such as a “magnetic timeline” which uses a trackless editing approach and 64-bit support, which makes the application able to use additional memory space in Mac OS X Snow Leopard and the upcoming Mac OS X Lion, “streamline every step of the process.”

The software also comes with a more attractive price tag, $299.99 in the Mac App Store, compared to the Final Cut Studio price of $999.99 in 2009.

This video highlights some of the features:

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Click to read more from mashable.com.

New Computers in Foster 100

Foster 100 before

Foster 100 after

New Dell OptiPlex 990s have gone into the Foster 100 lab this week.

New external hard drives for Foster 100

On Monday morning, Matt and Nate began replacing the towers for the computers, which especially benefit Digital Forensics majors who will work in the lab.

This is because the machines have been modified with an external SATA (eSATA) backplane to allow two eSATA drives to be connected. This means that by using an external hard drive, DF majors can plug in a virtual computer to use during class. When students start up their virtual machine to perform digital forensic analysis, the external hard drive will function at the same speed as the internal hard drive. This will be much faster and more stable than a USB external disk.

The hard drives that have been installed into the weibeTech external drive enclosure is a 500GB Western Digiatal Scorpio black. The Scorpio Black is a 7200 RPM 2.5″ disk.

Set up was completed on Wednesday and will be ready for DF majors this fall.

Matt opened up one of the new towers to show how the eSATA adaptors were installed.

Specs

Processor: Intel Core i7

Operating System:  Windows 7 Professional

Memory: 16GB

Monitor: Dell Professional 22”

Meet a Helpdesk Tech

Jack Donovan is a Junior in the Game Programming major. He has been working at the Helpdesk for the past two years.

Jack is the guy to ask for virus help on campus.

1. What’s your area of expertise at the Helpdesk?

My specialty is cleaning viruses off computers. A couple of months ago, I wrote a piece of software that will clean viruses off of campus computers, and we distributed it throughout campus on flash drives. So now I’m the virus guy.

2. What’s your latest technology or media obsession?

Linux. It’s a free open source operating system, that allows maximum user control and customization. It’s much more challenging to use than Mac or Windows, though. Users have to type commands into a terminal, instead of (for example) clicking a link that says, “download.”

3. Last week we investigated why all of the Media Services techs have metal lunch boxes. Any Helpdesk office jokes?

Ya. Andrew Smith and I want to make a Helpdesk musical. He’s really good at changing the lyrics of rock songs into tech support-related lyrics, so he’s going to write Tech Support: The Musical for us.

4. And what about the golf club hanging on the door frame?

That’s our Technology Appreciation Club.

Meet a Media Services Tech

Emily Haggett is a Junior Digital Film major working at Media Services this summer. She has been working as a technician at Media Services for the past year and a half. Today when we spoke to her, Emily was working on converting some VHS tapes that had been in storage to DVD.

1. What do you think of Support Services’ recent move to Rowell Annex?

“It will be nice to have more space. Definitely it’s going to be easier in some ways and harder in some ways, but I’m looking forward to having everything in one place. I think people who use the loaning pool will have more of an understanding of what we do here, since now they can see that there is more to the operation than just us at a front desk.”

2. What’s your favorite part of your job here?

“I like working on the equipment. Most people here are into computers, but I’d rather be working on fixing equipment.”

Emily and her metal Cookie Monster lunch box.

3. What is your new technology or media obsession?

“Right now my laptop is dying, so I want to get a new Macbook Pro with Final Cut.”

4. What’s the deal with all the Media Services techs having metal lunch boxes?

Interjection by Harry Boltz: “I started the trend. Then Emily got one and Ed got one. Three out of the four techs have them now, but Ian will never get one. He’s sticking with the same paper Boloco bag every day.”

 We have many students and staff working in the Support Services department and we’d like to introduce them all to you. Look for more “Meet the Tech” posts in the future. (Helpdesk is up next!)

A Tour of Windows 7 (Video)

Have you recently made the switch from XP to Windows 7?

You may have noticed that the operating system has some slight changes, including the new Aero features, Libraries, and updated start bar. If you’d like to familiarize yourself with Windows 7 and learn about these new features, check out this brief “tour” of Windows 7 created by the Helpdesk.

If you’d like to learn more about organizing your files in the new Libraries feature, watch this quick video.

Updates from the President’s Office Rennovation

President Finney's office under construction.

Just last Monday, Helpdesk and Media Services techs were moving computers and equipment out of the Freeman 300 President’s office. Now, demolition is underway, and until August 8th, the President’s and Provosts’ offices will be temporarily set up on the third floor of Joyce. The classrooms have become almost unrecognizable as the staff have moved in with their furniture, equipment, office materials.

The renovation will make space for a new, open environment office with more conference room space.

Most of the technology in the President’s office is already up-to-date, so Support Services is helping transfer the equipment and set it up during this transitional phase.

Diana Agusta describes the plans for the new office.

President Finney has packed up his basketball and moved in to his new office in third floor classroom in Joyce. Photos by Sam Maslak.