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Linux Journal: Linux in Academic Labs Revisited

Jan 14, 2004, 13:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Salvador Peralta)

"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 lab.

"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..."

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