Like fireflies to a porch light, students seem drawn to the sleek new machines in Dunn Library’s computer lab.
In 15 minutes, nine students walked into the lab. All nine picked a seat in front of the new flat-panel display Gateway computers. Some of the computers already show signs of love and abuse from students’ hands. An image featuring protestors holding anti-war signs graces the background on one computer, while somebody put a shortcut to an Internet gaming site on the desktop of another.
“They are nice; they’re fast,” said Simpson senior Aimee Walther. “The picture on the screen is a lot clearer.”
The new computers in Dunn cost $1334 a piece according to Vice President of Information Services and Chief Information Officer Kelley Bradder.
According to Rita Watson, computer lab supervisor, the sleek looking new machines in Dunn Library were installed during the second week of the semester. The computers they replaced were the most outdated, said Watson.
Information Technology Services replaced nine computers in the Dunn Library. At the beginning of the fall semester, they replaced 26 computers in one of the West Des Moines Division of Adult Learning computer labs with the same Gateway computers, said Watson.
“Every year we review what needs to be rolled out,” said Watson. She said the lab computers typically serve the students for three years before they are replaced.
The new Gateways run Windows XP, the standard operating system for all IBM-compatible PCs on campus. They use the latest available Pentium IV processor chip technology and run at speeds of two gigahertz, twice as fast as the fastest personal computers available two years ago. The computers come with compact disk drives capable of reading CDs and DVDs and Iomega zip disk drives.
“Information Technology Services puts the old computers in storage,” said Watson. “When somebody on campus requests a computer, the old computer is cycled out to fill the request.” If a computer is too out of date, it is sold at a garage sale.