We’ve made a few changes in Lyons over the summer months, so I thought I’d give an update, even if some of this isn’t quite complete:
Of course, this is on the top of my list! We just received an Ultimaker 2 3D printer this week! Although it’s not quite ready for student-use, we’re feverishly working toward getting it ready for September. This is thanks to the Student Life Enhancement Fund (SLEF); more on this soon!
We’ve Gone PC
Some of you may be relieved to hear this and still others may not be happy about it, but it’s true: we switched from Macs to PCs this summer. There are still a couple more machines that need to be swapped out, but the 12 in the main room have already been done. The old Macs were just that: old. They only had about 6 GB of RAM and were quickly proving to no longer meet the ever-growing needs of our media-producing students, staff and faculty!
In order to get more “bang for our buck”, we switched to Windows-based machines to help ensure that the Lyons equipment gets updated and upgraded on a regular, on-going basis — to stick with Mac products would mean to not update or upgrade as often as we should. This will help us meet your increasing demands for better, swifter media-producing machines.
The next time you’re by Lyons, please check out the new HP Z1 machines. They’re pretty slick-looking and from the people who have had the opportunity to use them this summer, we’ve been told they’re “crazy fast”! At 32 GB of RAM, I should hope they are! 🙂
IMPORTANT NOTE RE: EXTERNAL STORAGE DEVICES
If you’ve worked in Lyons in the past and have an external hard drive or USB drive that has been formatted to work on a Mac solely, you may find it difficult to get the new Windows machines to recognize your hardware. If you wish to use a Mac at home and the PCs in Lyons for a single project, you will need to store it on a storage device which has been formatted to FAT32, which is recognized by both Mac OS and Windows. One problem: FAT32-formatted devices do not allow you to transfer files larger than 4 GB onto them. Please keep this in mind.
With a completely new operating system will come completely new software! We still have Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 and Comic Life on all the computers (production premium in the main room and master collection in the Edit Suites), but in addition, we’ve gained the following apps:
- Audacity (free software; to replace Garage Band)
- Blender 3D (free software; by popular demand!!)
- Gimp (free software; Photoshop alternative)
- Inkscape (Illustrator alternative)
- Movie Maker (to replace iMovie)
Bookings Just Got Easier…
We realize that our booking systems have not been the easiest to deal with. For most of the bookable rooms, you just use the online booking system and show up when your booking time arrives. With the Green Screen Room / Classroom, you had to fill out a webform and get your booking request approved, then show up like any other booking. And then finally, there was a third booking system of emailing the LNMC Manager for equipment such as cameras, portable soundbooth, etc.
We’ve reduced this to only TWO systems: the self-serve room system will stay the same, and now not only is the Green Screen Room done via a webform request system, but now, so is the equipment we loan out! No more emailing. No more chances of emails getting lost or missed! Unfortunately, we have to have the two systems at this point, as the rooms are handled much differently than the Green Screen Room and equipment, but we hope this will help alleviate some confusion that was occurring.
Equipment that can be booked includes:
- 24-hour loan cameras (video cameras and photo camera)
- 24-hour loan tripods
- a portable green screen (fabric with frame and carrying cases)
- the portable sound booth and Nessie mic (to be used with an Edit Studio booking)
Additional equipment will be added to this form over time. All booking forms can be found via our Bookings page!
That’s it for this update. If more happens, we’ll let you know here!
~ Kelly, Library Media Specialist