I am writing in response to the opinion piece “New Dell Computers Create Complications” in the October 9 edition of the UltraViolet. There are several errors that I would like to comment on; I believe this is my responsibility, as I am the “administration” referred to in the article.
• I would like to remind students that the old Mac laptops consistently had basic problems with login, printing and web browsing, as well as with applications such as iMovie. I don’t think a day went by when students did not have issues. I would also like to address a few points from the editorial more specifically:
• “The old Mac computers did not print to the Academic Resource Center (ARC) printers, but neither do the new Dell computers.” Although this was true for the first two weeks of school only, the problem had been fixed when the UV went to print. The computers have been available for printing every day, with no issues, since the third week of school.
• “Since we cannot print from the new computers, we have to use the old Dell computers, which are extremely slow. In the rush of printing out our papers before getting to class on time, it is difficult for us to wait 10 extra minutes while the computers start up.” As mentioned in my previous point, the new Dell computers can print. Furthermore, the computers in D216 (the older machines) are always on, so there is no need to wait for them to turn on. It takes about one minute to log in.
• “Additionally, if the administration was looking for a less expensive alternative to Macs, why did it purchase touch-screen computers, which are generally more expensive?” iMacs are actually more expensive than the touch-screen Dell computers.
“Students dislike the fingerprints that are all over the computer screens.” I would like to invite students into the lab to see if there is a fingerprint issue and to notify me if they believe it is a problem.
• “In response to these problems, the UltraViolet staff strongly encourages the administration to provide tutorials for students on how to navigate their applications.” I like this idea, but when we have had student technology workshops in the past, nobody attends. I would welcome ideas from students to increase attendance.
The ARC Team works very hard to provide technology that supports the faculty and students at Marlborough. We always welcome feedback on how we can do better, and we thank the UltraViolet for its continued coverage of what is happening in the ARC. In general we feel that both popular operating systems (Windows and Mac) offer similar functionality, and neither limits or enhances the experience; rather it is the tools (the majority of which are web-based) that make the difference.
Stuart Posin, Director of Academic and Administrative Technology