Touted by Apple as the world’s fastest personal computer, the Power Mac G5 is now available for student use at University computer sites. The new machines’ most noticeable advantage over their predecessors is a second monitor that gives users more desktop space.
Since the end of Fall Break, Power Mac G5s have gradually been replacing the older Macs in the Angell Hall computing site. By Nov. 4, the Fishbowl will have 79 Power Mac G5s for student use. The School of Education’s media center has also added 19 of them to its collection of computers.
Adding the new Macs to computer sites allows the University to keep up with computer technology, said Bob Jones, the Fishbowl’s computing site manager. “G5s are very fast computers, a top-of-the line machine,” Jones said. He added that the computer comes with better hardware that can operate the newest software.
When first using the Power Mac G5s in Angell Hall, LSA junior Chris Cornelio said, “I noticed that the computers were much faster.” He also noticed that each one in the Fishbowl had two monitors rather than one. The Power Mac G5s in the School of Education also each have an extra monitor.
“The (second) monitor provides users with extra desktop space,” said Jeni Spamer, a consultant at the School of Education’s media center.
The classes Education students take use a lot of animations and graphics, Spamer said, and an extra monitor would provide more convenience for these programs to be used. “Users can also edit on one monitor, and preview (their results) on the other monitor,” she said.
Jones said Macs are the best graphical design computers, and the extra monitor was included for the purpose for graphical design programs such as Photoshop.
Adding the extra monitors on the Power Mac G5s were inexpensive, Campus Computing Sites Manager Steve Sarrica said. The second monitors “are the old displays from the G4s that were replaced. We chose to reuse them on the G5s instead of sending them to Property Disposition. The only additional cost to us to do this was a $99 video adapter for each machine.”
“The convenience of having (another) monitor outweighed the costs,” Jones said.
But the PCs in the Fishbowl will not have the luxury of another monitor, said Jones.
“The cost of (buying monitors for the PCs) would be more severe,” he said, with costs in the hundreds of dollars.
The Power Mac G5s in Angell Hall have received many compliments, said Jones. “One student told me that it was the most impressive thing he’s seen.” He added, “The University is very fortunate for these computers. It’s high quality stuff.”
The new computers and extra monitors in the Fishbowl also impressed LSA freshman Jennifer Metes. “When I’m on the Internet I can put one program on one screen and another on the second,” she said.
“(The second monitor) is probably not necessary, but it’s probably helpful to other people who have multiple programs running.”
Other students were more ambivalent about the addition. “It’s a convenience that doesn’t need to be there,” LSA senior Anthony Nguyen said. “The fact that its there means it’s going to be used. It’s neither a plus nor a minus,” he said.
Kinesiology senior Ben Gravlin said, “It’s handy. I can keep an eye on the baseball score with it and have my homework on the other monitor.”