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Back to August 2013 ITS Newsletter

Classroom Upgrades

By Chris Forte and Tim Hicks

We replaced Mac computers with Mac minis in a number of classrooms this summer. The minis will work significantly faster than their predecessors. Computers running the Windows operating system were upgraded to Windows 8. Finally, some AV systems were upgraded or adjusted.

Please visit your classrooms before Aug. 29

We strongly encourage you to visit the classrooms you'll be using before the start of classes to acclimate yourself to the changes. Minimally, you should log into the computer and test the podium system before your first class.  Even if computer hardware was not changed, all computers got a fresh new image. The first time you log in to a newly imaged computer will take a little longer. Future logins on the same computer will take less time since the computer will "know you."

If you'd like some help familiarizing yourself with the system, please contact Claire at cskjelle@hamilton.edu or x4120 to arrange for a technician to meet you in the room.  Remember, while in the classrooms, dialing #600 will get you priority support for technology problems.

Mac only minis (running OS X Mountain Lion):

  • Burke Library 2nd Floor Seminar Rooms: 209 & 213
  • Couper 111
  • KJ 005
  • List 106
  • Molly Root 112
  • Root Hall 201, 202, 204, & 310
  • SCCT G042, 1004, 2015, 2048, 2072, 3021, & 3039
  • Schambach 108 & 201

Dual-Boot minis (running Windows 8 and OS X Mountain Lion):

  • Benedict Classrooms
  • CJ Classrooms
  • KJ 125 (Bradford Aud) and 127 (Red Pit)
  • Molly Root 116
  • SCCT 3024, G027, & G041
  • Wellin Museum 201 (Overlook)

Windows only (running Windows 8 with no hardware change):

  • Burke Library 2nd Floor Seminar Rooms: 211 & 215
  • Couper 207
  • KJ Classrooms: 101, 102, 103, 104, 109, 110, 123, 124, 142, 201, 202, 203, 224, 236, & 250
  • Root Hall 203 & 205
  • SCCT 3019

AV Upgrades

  • Benedict 104, 105 & 207
    • High Definition projector and wide format screen which will give you a bigger, brighter image.
    • A new podium that contains both a Blu-Ray deck and a Code Free DVD deck, but no VHS deck.  More information about the future of VHS decks.
  • Benedict 201
    • A second projector that projects the computer and document camera to a screen located above the blackboard.
      • This will allow classes that require both the blackboard and a projected image better functionality.
      • The movie system will still project the computer as well as all the media playback devices on the large screen at the north end of the room. 
    • All equipment resides in a new podium.
  • CJ 101 now has a full podium system.
  • KJ classrooms with annotation screens were replaced with new wide format monitors. This allowed AV to make some changes in the computer signal for the projectors.  The computers will be projecting in wide format as well.
  • AV is still working on replacing nearly a dozen High Definition projectors in the Science Center labs.  Along with the projectors, new HDMI cables are being installed to improve the image quality.

Frequently asked questions about the new hardware and software

How do I play a DVD or CD on the Mac mini?

Since Apple no longer includes DVD drives with minis or iMacs, you'll either need to use the DVD deck in the room or, if that won't work for your particular needs, connect a USB DVD drive to the mini. Faculty who need such drives can request one from Desktop Integration Services (dis@hamilton.edu). Drives can also be signed out from the Help Desk for short-term use.

How do I plug in my USB key, or DVD drive, or external drive, etc. on the Mac mini?

We provided an extension cable with a USB 3.0 plug for your USB devices. Simply plug your USB device into the big blue blob.

How do I plug in my FireWire hard drive on the Mac mini?

The new minis have USB 3.0 ports that work faster than previous USB connections and older FireWire 800 connections. We recommend that users of external hard drives abandon the obsolete FireWire connections and start working with faster USB 3.0 connections.

How do I get to the power button on the mini?

The power button is on the backside of the mini. With minis mounted on the top of a podium, reach around the right side as you're facing the front to get to the power button. With minis mounted sideways, it will be on the top corner above the cables.

How do I get the image to display on the projector when all I see is an empty background picture on the projection screen?

You may have to configure the settings for the displays to be mirrored or duplicated. If you don't know how to do this, please contact the Help Desk for assistance from the classroom you're trying to use.

How do I learn more about Windows 8 and Office 2013?

View or read the materials listed below:

You can schedule a one-on-one tutorial with a member of ITS through the Help Desk.