Items for Consideration from February 2009 meeting of the Sciences Group


These are questions and suggestions that were raised in the Sciences Advisory Group’s February meeting.

1. Are there portable classroom solutions, eg, a portable smartboard which provides projection & writing surface?
Outcome: There is little funding now.  Carrie forwarded request to Shel for future consideration.

2.  Investigate Wacom tablets rather than tablet pc’s

  • There is little funding now
  • Shel says, “I have a Wacom tablet that any of you are welcome to try. I tried it out a couple of years ago and came to the conclusion that it was too imprecise and clutzy for my purposes. My opinion is that a tablet pc is a much better solution, albeit a much more expensive one.”
  • Ethan Murphy says, “We have a couple of the newer Wacom cintiq tablets that we use for animation and illustration. If anyone would like to try them out to compare them to the tablet pc we would be happy to help.”

3.  In 3 of 4 classrooms in Warner, switching to a non-computer source produces a black(blank) screen so that you can then raise the screen and write on the board.  In the other room (202 or 203), you get a bright blue screen.
Progress: HelpDesk responded: Can you give me some more details about which rooms have a blue screen? We have tried to switch ( if possible ) to a black screen though I believe some projectors do not have this option. We are in the process of including a ’screen blanking option’ in a newer programming change which will ultimately include all rooms.
Outcome: Frank checked the rooms. Good news! The projection has been either replaced or repaired. None of the rooms seems to do this anymore!  Carrie updated HelpDesk: Problem solved! Thanks!

4. Nwftp looks like an advertisement for netware and one of the links gets you to netstorage
Outcome: One side effect of the DFS project will be a replacement for Netstorage; shouldn’t have this problem after the changeover!

5.  Fix certificate issue.
Progress: Will check to see if anything has been done to remedy the problem.

6. HelpDesk could provide more assistance to users trying to access midd_secure.
Outcome: This will be brought up at next HelpDesk meeting

7. Biology had a request for a few classrooms to be converted to smart rooms.  Might these rooms be converted next year? Or are they out of the queue for good?
Outcome: The request still stands, but it is extremely unlikely to be filled in the next 2-3 years. There will most likely not be money available next year to add any new smart classrooms, and then additions will be slower after that.

8. Do not get rid of the Classes server and course folders. Please retain simple, non-Segue solutions.
Outcome: With the DFS project, LIS won’t get rid of Classes.  LIS will just move its function/files to a new server environment with equal capabilities and function.  We understand the virtues of a basic file server, and it is good to know that it is still useful and relevant for some.

9.  Students storing large data files cannot get the speed for read/writes that they need from Tigercat.
Outcome: This issue may be alleviated by the DFS project as load will be distributed amongst more servers

10.  Would it be possible for LIS to provide automatic file backups, similar to what the backup server in BiHall does?
Outcome: Someone should be able to come up with a creative solution to sync files to Tigercat or the new DFS environment in the future. There are external offerings that will be able to accomplish this type of function too.  Revisit this later.

11.  Track software updates in labs. Two issues:  a) All labs should have the same version of a piece of software so that classes can be scheduled in any lab that has the software, and b) License expirations should anticipated so that compatibility issues can be addressed before an old version disappears.
Progress: Shel will check on this.

12.  Revisit process for network computer registration.
Outcome: LIS is investigating other options.

13. LaTeX intro/support workshop for students would be useful (maybe Dave Guertin)
Outcome: Dave Guertin would be happy to provide LaTeX workshops.  Would need some notice to allow for preparation.  Carrie will share this with Sciences group.

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