Home > computing, historical perspective > Tech Setup, 12 years later

Tech Setup, 12 years later

Every April the Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Computing (UROC) program at Georgia Tech holds a research symposium where students show off their work. We take over the picnic area of the college’s main building, and set up live demos. When we first started in 1998, this was a herculean effort on the part of of our Technology Services Organization (TSO). Large computers and monitors were borrowed from labs. Cables were run for net access.  Project requirements had to be matched to borrowed hardware. Project one needs more RAM, but project two needs the better video card…. It was complicated.

Today was our planning meeting for UROC 2010, and our loyal TSO rep showed up as always, ready to do battle. And we couldn’t find anything for him to do. Not a thing. Computers?  Well, almost everyone’s project runs on their laptop. Net access? We have wireless. Here was our final technical to-do list: have some extra ethernet cables handy, in case someone wants to switch to a wired connection.  That’s it.

A bit of perspective on how things have changed!

  1. beki70
    April 4, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Lovely post as usual.

    It’s a nice example of how the contexts of computing have changed. We’ve moved the responsibility for computing out of the institution and to the students… of course that’s been accompanied by changing computational literacies and expectations about who can afford the technology.

    But I think it’s also a story about how OIT has changed the infrastructure at Georgia Tech. It’s moved from being accessed by a class of professionals who mediated and managed its distribution to others as needed. Its become end-user mediated infrastructure, (I guess with the exception of the occasions when a high speed connection is desired, presumably that’s why some folk wanted Ethernet cables).

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