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Going Digital

By Sean McLachlan
Arizona Summer Wildcat
July 28, 1999
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Arizona Summer Wildcat

To compete in today's job market, knowing how to use a computer is essential.

Employers want their workers to know how to use a word processor, do research on the Internet, and navigate within Local Area Networks.

An increasing number of professors are making sure their students have basic computer knowledge by assigning online projects.

Many freshmen are comfortable with personal computers, but for those who don't know the difference between a hard drive and a modem, the University of Arizona Center for Computing and Information Technology (CCIT) is there to help.

In addition to offering free e-mail accounts and Web pages to all registered students, they maintain more than a dozen computer labs around campus and offer free classes for beginners. Classes are held several times throughout the semester and cover everything from using e-mail to creating a Web page.

For more advanced users, CCIT offers the Multimedia and Visualization Lab, located in room 303 of the Computer Center Building at the corner of East Speedway Boulevard and North Mountain Avenue. The lab has several computers equipped with Adobe Photoshop, Quicktime Digital Video, Web-based audio and, 3D Studio and Dreamweaver software.

Students can receive free copies of many kinds of software at the CCIT Support Desk in room 218 of the Computer Center.

CCIT has also been working to get all of the UA computer systems ready for the year 2000.

"All of our major systems are Y2K compliant," said Thomas Kelley, senior systems analyst for CCIT-User Support.

Major systems include e-mail, administrative systems, employee records and grades.

An emergency power supply will keep the computer systems working in case of a campus-wide power outage. An array of batteries will give system operators time to shut down their systems without losing data.

This does not help the individual user when the lights go off, warned Kelley, so any work should be saved - regularly.

A free booklet titled Computing on Campus provides information on getting connected, computer terminology and information on the wide variety of facilities on campus. It is available at the Memorial Student Union information desk, all computer labs and the Computer Center. Every dorm resident also receives a copy.