Reference Computers Update

By , May 1, 2008 10:47 am

Here’s a brief update on the public-access computers, just to keep everyone in the loop.

Right now, the 18 PCs and 6 iMacs in the main Reference area are the only ones that are receiving the “lab image,” which gives them the formatting that is appropriate to lab-type computers. This includes Windows XP and admin rights for me to access the C: drive. The next time all the computers are reimaged, that lab image will be applied to every public-access computer in the library, including the upstairs computers and Room 119.

Part of that image will give each of those computers Windows XP. Another major part is that I.R. will have configured them all to reboot every night. Say, about 4:00am when we’re always closed. That configuration will include removing profiles as part of the restart process.

Note: every time someone logs onto a computer, it creates a profile for them on that machine, which contains their cookies, browsing history, My Documents, etc. When there are more than 10 profiles or so, that starts affecting the computer and making it slow down, especially during the login process. Many of our machines were not having profiles removed and I’ve manually removed 300-400 of them from some of the machines. That would DEFINITELY be affecting those PCs’ performance. Once profiles are being removed every night automatically, computer performance should stay higher more consistently. (That also means that people will HAVE to use BUFiles, since the computers will basically be getting wiped every night.

Another update to the new image will be Write-N-Cite III, a new version of the MS-Word plugin that connects with RefWorks (click the link for a demo of the new Write-N-Cite). Probably some other things that are being updated campus-wide in the labs.

I will also be asking for the Reference Desk PC to be upgraded to Windows XP this summer, so that we can more easily support the lab computers with a consistent interface.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

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