Linux Journal: Linux in Academic Labs Revisited

“In this article, I would like to revisit the idea of
maintaining academic computing labs from the perspective of a case
study implemented at the Mark O. Hatfield Library at Willamette
University. In our case, we use an X-based client server model for
maintaining an internally consistent, standardized software model
in an academic lab with a heterogenous PC hardware environment.

“The Hatfield Library is an undergraduate research library based
at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. The library’s Systems
Division is responsible for maintaining labs that service a wide
range of client constituencies. We support a public computing
environment for accessing library services, such as catalog and
journal databases (OPAC); workstations for library staff and
student workers; a student computing lab; and an instructional

“Due to budget constraints, the library’s instructional lab
traditionally has been the location where PC hardware–staff
machines removed from service and antiquated systems division
servers–are recycled. As a result, the lab consists of very
different hardware running multiple versions of Microsoft Windows
(98SE, NT, 2K) and Microsoft application software. This collection
created significant maintenance problems for systems staff, as well
as widely varying user experiences on the lab computers. All of
this detracted significantly from the use of the lab as an
instructional tool…”


Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Developer Insider for top news, trends, & analysis