New Workstations in the Reference Area
Over Spring Break we have implemented 8 of the 20 new workstations in the first floor reference area. Four stations in the "U" and four stations in the "zoo" areas have been replaced. The machines in the "zoo" are still using 17" tube screens, but are new computers, and all new units are blazingly fast. Take a look and see what you think of them, and let me know of any problems or suggestions before I roll out the remaining units. The desktops follow the same friendly layout as before although the operating system is now Windows 2000. The desktop now features both CD-ROM and floppy icons to facilitate opening and saving from those locations. Note that our CD-ROMs are READ ONLY, and cannot save/burn CD disks. We have also added Quicktime player and Windows Media Player to the list of programs that can browse web content, to allow the machines to view the multimedia content on CD's (ie, Sincich) which on reserve. This does NOT include executable files that load programs.
The Netscape browser has been replaced on these new machines with Internet Explorer 6, which has been locked down by the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK). You may notice a slight lag as the browser is first started- this is the IEAK doing it's job and implementing the locked down system policy. This lag occurs only upon opening the browser and is NOT a networking problem, as you will see all subsequent pages are much faster loading. Other upgraded programs include LitLink for Scifinder Scholar and the Acrobat Reader 5.0 plugin for IE.
Limited Word Processing Capablities Planned for the Public Area
After our public use area has been replaced, we will have a surplus of older GMT+133 machines. In the last librarians meeting it was decided that we would implement a 3 station word processing area for STUDENT use only, to be located in the reference area. Look for more information in the next issue of the Systems Team News, as this project is scheduled to take place after our Windows 2000 migration is complete. The intent of this new area is to give students the ability to print documents in a pinch when other facilities are unavailable. It is intended as a STUDENT ONLY area, and is not part of our upgrade to Windows 2000.
Pharos Software Upgraded for Public Area Printing
During spring break, we upgraded our Pharos UnipriNT software to accommodate printing from Windows 2000 desktops in the public use area. Thanks to Deb Henry for her help to accomplish the upgrade without a single hitch! Not only were new clients added to the new Windows 2000 desktops, but the older desktops were upgraded and re-imaged as well to provide a fault tolerant fallback plan.
Windows 2000 Server Migration Plan Begins
As mentioned in the prior installment of the System Team News, the library will begin to slowly migrate to Windows 2000, a newer version of the Windows operating system. A tough decision was made whether to remain independent in our computing infrastructure, or join the Tampa campus in their migration to Windows 2000. The Systems Team, with the help of Director decided after much thought that we would continue our independent approach to computing, although one consequence of this is that we will change our email system away from Microsoft Exchange. A change was inevitable as the main campus will no longer support our local use of the new product, and our campus as a whole neither uses nor supports the product. A note of comfort, however- is that the current client side application that runs on the desktop, Microsoft Outlook for PC and Macintosh, can still be used to attach to other (read UNIX-based) email servers. The look, feel and nearly all of the function will stay the same. Berrie will demonstrate the product and potential changes at the next Library meeting.
New software Installed and Tested in the VIP workroom
The office of Student Disabilities Services has donated an upgraded software package for use on the VIP station in the multimedia/VIP workroom. The VIP machine has also been upgraded to from Windows 95 to Windows 98 to support this new product. The product, Zoomtext Xtra 7.0 Level 2, not only magnifies the screen for users but will also READ the screen and works with 99% of Windows based software. This promises to be a great benefit to our students! Our two offices are working to provide a demonstration for all librarians in the coming months.