ITS Student Newsletter December 2011

Photo by Claudette Ferrone

December 2011 ITS 2011 Gift Guide Top 5 Tech Study Aides End of Semester Tips
Issue #3

We have recommendations for what kinds of tech gifts to buy for Christmas.

We have a top 5 list of the best academic technology aides around.

We have tips on how to end the semester on a good note.



In This Month's Issue:

We'll be winding down the semester with a gift guide and some tips to help you end the semester on a high note.

Need to Add Money to Your PaperCut Account?

Need to add money to your PaperCut account? While on a campus computer simply do the following:

  1. Click on the balance icon located in the dock (Mac) or system tray (Windows).
  2. Click Details...
  3. Sign in
  4. Click on Add Credit From Hill Card (located in the left-hand column).

ITS Help Desk & Computer Lab End of the Semester and Break Hours:

ITS Help Desk

Mon., Dec. 12 – Thurs., Dec. 15: 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 16: 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Sat. & Sun., Dec. 17-18: Closed
Mon. - Thurs., Dec. 19-22: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 23-Mon., Jan. 2: Closed
Tues., Jan. 3 -Fri., Jan. 6: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Sat. & Sun., Jan. 7-8: Closed
Mon., Jan. 9 - Fri., Jan. 13: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Sat. & Sun., Jan. 14-15: Closed
Mon., Jan. 16: Resume regular hours 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Multimedia Presentation Center (MPC)

The library, including the MPC will remain open 24 hours each day from Sunday, December 4, at 10:00 am until Friday, December 16, at 8:00 pm. Please note, during the 24 hour access period, lab consultants will be available to assist you Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 2 a.m. and Saturday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - midnight.

Fri., Dec. 16: Lab closes at 8 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 17: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 18: Closed
Mon. - Thurs., Dec. 19-22: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 23-Mon., Jan. 2: Closed
Tues., Jan. 3 -Fri., Jan. 6: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sat. & Sun., Jan. 7-8: Closed
Mon., Jan. 9 - Fri., Jan. 13: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sat., Jan 14: Closed
Sun., Jan. 15: 1 p.m. - Midnight
Mon., Jan. 16: Resume regular hours 8 a.m. - 2 a.m.

Camera Loans

Any cameras on loan must be returned by 10 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14. No cameras will be loaned for off campus use over the break.

Mon., Dec. 12 - Wed, Dec. 14: 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sat. & Sun., Dec. 17-18: Closed
Mon., Dec. 19 - Sun., Jan 15: Closed
Mon., Jan. 16: Resume regular hours

Digital Arts Lab (DAL)

Sun., Dec. 11 - Tues., Dec. 13: 9 a.m. - Midnight
Wed., Dec. 14 9 a.m. - Noon
Thurs., Dec. 15 – Sun., Jan. 15 Closed
Mon., Jan. 16: Resume regular hours

Photo used under Creative Commons (CC) License

ITS 2011 Gift Guide

It's that time of year, when everyone wants to get their hands on the latest and greatest of technology. However, do you really know what your friends and loved ones will want? Well, we're here to tell you with our 2011 Gift Guide. We think these are some of the best technologies released this year, and are sure to put a smile on your recipient's face:

  • Nook Simple Touch: This entry-level e-reader is great for the book-lover in your family! It has Wi-Fi access for quick downloading of books, a touch screen to make reading that much easier, and the ability to transfer other ebooks to the Nook with a MicroSD card. With 2GB of storage, it can hold up to approximately 1500 books, which can be greatly expanded with a MircoSD card, which can bring the total storage of a Nook to 34GB (2GB internal + 32GB MicroSD). What gives it the advantage over the Kindle Touch is its faster page-turning and ability to read ePub documents, the most common ebook type. $99.
  • iPod Nano: Apple’s latest edition of the iPod Nano is by far its smallest yet, and small enough to serve as a wristwatch. It has up to 16 different clock faces (Mickey & Minnie included), and has a built-in FM radio. It also has built-in Fitness+ capability, meaning that it can serve as a pedometer for you while you wear it on your wrist. Its only major drawback is its lack of Bluetooth, meaning that you have to wear a wired headset while listening to music. Starting from $129.
  • Kindle Fire: The Kindle Fire is Amazon’s big entry into the tablet market with 8GB of internal memory, cloud storage, a 7-in screen, and an Android OS, it serves and the first excellent budget tablet, making a powerful strike against Apple’s market dominance. Of course, it does more than just books; it has mail access, movies, music, and a new (cloud-enhanced) web browser specifically designed for the Fire. It also has the ability to read PDFs and other documents, as well as the the ability to borrow books, with an Amazon Prime subscription. Its major drawbacks are the lack of 3G, the small storage size (8GB), the lack of a physical home button, and a sometimes unresponsive UI, which make it slightly more difficult to take on the go. Still, given the cost, it's a steal. $199.
  • iPhone 4S: What can we say about the iPhone 4S that hasn’t been said already? It takes the already-great iPhone 4 and makes some marginal upgrades to it, improving its processor, camera, antenna, and adding the voice assistant Siri. If your contract is up, we recommend it, but only if you don’t already own an iPhone 4. Even without an iPhone 4, you may want to wait for the inevitable iPhone 5, rumored to come out in October. Starting from $199 with a 2-yr contract.
  • iPod Touch: the iPod Touch is effectively the little brother to the iPhone, with all of its features, except the phone. It also lacks the enhanced processor, camera, and Siri of the iPhone 4S. However, if you don’t have an iPhone, or are still in contract to a network without an iPhone (AT&T, Verizon, & Sprint are the only US networks with iPhones), we recommend the iPod Touch. Starting from $199.
  • iPad 2: The iPad 2 remains the premier tablet on the market. With 16GB+ of storage and integration with iCloud, Apple’s suite of apps, music players, and other features, it remains the tablet to beat. Of course, it has the drawback of a very high price. Additionally, given the possibility of an iPad 3 within the next several months, super-techies may want to wait, but for most people, we recommend it. Starting from $499.

  • Academic Tips

    End-of-Semester Tips

    Here are twenty steps to ensure that you end the semester successfully!

    1. Remember that academics come first! (i.e. before parties/extracurricular activities)
    2. Make smart choices. Don't let your friends convince to put your work behind anything else.
    3. Avoid trying to complete final projects late at night; give your professors your best work.
    4. Organize your schedule for finals week in advance to avoid stressing out at the last minute.
    5. Be sure to let your professors know ahead of time what your schedule for finals is so that you don't become overwhelmed with multiple exams.
    6. Write out a list of due dates for important paper or exam dates. Google Calendar on HillConnect can help you do this!
    7. If you have an on-campus job, let your employer know what your schedule looks like prior to finals week.
    8. Know your limit; if you can't balance work and studying for exams there is no shame in taking time off.
    9. Remove distractions when doing work (friends, Facebook, etc.).
    10. Always remember to back up files on the Hamilton Student Storage Server (SSS) in case of a computer crash.
    11. Periodically save your work in order to avoid losing information.
    12. Be sure to get plenty of rest and eat as healthy as possible.
    13. Avoid becoming sick.
    14. Dress warmly! Winter is Coming.
    15. Stay in contact with your professors and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
    16. Take full advantage of any extra time/extensions that you may receive.
    17. Form study groups and help your friends out if they need it.
    18. Divide your work into hourly sections and give yourselves breaks in between assignment completion.
    19. Remember to encourage each other and to stay positive.
    20. Most importantly, set aside time for both work and to relax; you’re almost done!

    Top 5 Technology Study Aides

  • RefWorks: An online citation manager that allows you to store/organize references while searching the Web. Managed by the Hamilton College Library, RefWorks is excellent for making sure your paper follows the necessary rules of any citation style (APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.)
  • Studyblue: A Web program which enables students to upload class study materials, make electronic flashcards & take self-made practice quizzes that can be accessed online or on mobile phone applications. It also allows you to make prep materials that you can use with your friends for group study, or by yourself for self-quizzes.
  • iStudiez: An academic Swiss army knife: it can manage your assignments, organize your schedule, (roughly) calculate your GPA, and sync with your iCal. It also keeps your information in a cloud, and can sync with its mobile app. Its only drawback is its price: $10.
  • iCal & Reminders/Google Calendar: Keeps a schedule with all your daily events in order to manage your time wisely during crunch time for finals. iCal and Reminders also sync with your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), and can give you notifications about these events. Google Calendar can also sync with your iCal.
  • Subject Guides: The Hamilton College Library offers a subject-based online database that provides numerous resources which are usually not available to students outside of Hamilton, useful for students in any department.
  • The future of technology on campus is an interesting new frontier for Hamilton College, if not all colleges. We would be interested in hearing your questions and feedback on this topic. Email to give us your thoughts. We’ll discuss them further in the coming issues.