Labs useful, despite glitches

Editor:

This letter is being written in response to the letter ("CCIT services poor, reflection of entire UA," Nov. 13 ) about the services of the CCIT Microsites. Who am I? I am the Lead Monitor for the Macintosh Microsites at CCIT. The fact of the matter is, the CCIT Microsites run exceptionally smoothly most of the time. True, this semester, there have been two or three major crashes and one downtime, but let's look at the statistics here. The one major downtime for the Shantz lab was to upgrade the IBM computers there from the Digital 486s to newer Pentium 90MHz computers. If students would rather use a lab with older, outdated computers, that's fine, but it seems rather ridiculous.

Now on to the point of lab crashes. People fail to understand that the computers in the labs run on networks i.e., the computers are all connected to one central "server" which holds all the software and runs everything. People want access to the Internet for E-mail, Net browsing, and various other things, as well as use of programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, etc. All this bogs down the servers, and, in time, the servers simply become overworked and crash. It happens. It is an inescapable fact of the labs. This semester the number of server crashes, however, has been exceptionally few. Anyone who expects to run any sort of computer system and have it completely flawless and intact is living in a fantasy world. No computer system is crash proof. We do all we can to prevent crashes, but sooner or later, it will happen. Yet even when it does, it is usually only a matter of restarting the server and reconnecting a few terminals, which in its entirety can be accomplished in between 15 minutes and a half hour. Keep in mind that a crash will usually only occur every three months or so.

The CCIT Microsites are for all students, staff, and faculty to use, and are not paid for by UA student tuition. They run smoothly most of the time and offer a variety of services from word processing to Internet access. Occasionally, there are problems, but when you look at the whole picture, instead of one little pixel of it, you see that the labs are a great resource to be used by anyone at the UA.

Christopher Alexander

English Senior

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