What should we buy?

If you are a grad student, you've seen the message that we've got an opportunity to upgrade some equipment and software. Please put your suggestions on this page:

Here are the recommendations so far (feel free to add yours to the end of the list):

  • The machines in the labs and offices seem pretty decent, but the monitors are terrible. I think we should upgrade everything to LCDs.
  • We only have one Windows domain server right now. I think we need another one so that people can set up their laptops more easily.
  • We need more laptops for when students go to conferences.
  • We need more disk space in NFS

-- MichaelSpear - 28 Mar 2006

LCDs in the offices > laptops > all else

I think the disk space issue would not be as much a problem if we each had our own quota, which was fairly partitioned across users.

-- BenjaminVanDurme - 28 Mar 2006

  • One more projector + laptop

-- GirtsFolkmanis - 28 Mar 2006

I really like the idea of having LCDs in the lab. I would also like to have a new mail server, but maybe that's not what the labcomm budget is for...

Other thoughts for the lab, in case the money doesn't just have to go toward equipment and software:

  • a large (as large as possible) whiteboard to go next to the big table in the lab (we have been told that we can get this) -- it'd be nice to have one as big as the ones in 703, or even bigger if possible.
  • maybe some more updated and framed posters and pictures to go around the lab, to make it look a little nicer
  • some nice wall clocks so you don't have to run to a computer to find out whether you're late for a meeting. It would be nice to position them so that no matter where you're sitting you can see one (this should be doable with two or three).

-- MattPost - 28 Mar 2006

1.We should certainly get more disk space (Very serious)
2. if possible, we might want to replace the old style office CRT monitors with the LCD ones (very serious)
3.please buy me a piano, and a baseball bat to beat the crap out of the rats in my apartment. (not so serious, but please consider)

-- ManuChhabra - 28 Mar 2006

I've gotten some feedback via email that I thought I would post here (names witheld to protect the wiki-phobic)

  • more whiteboards for the lab (727). This is something that we've talked the administrative staff about, and its in the pipe. This pot of money is actually geared for computing infrastructure, rather than office supply (or whatever) purchases, but I wanted to let people know we're working on it (and coat-racks)
  • microphones / headphones for the lab machines
  • CD-burners. The a## machines have them, but the capitols don't. Let us know if this is a priority.
  • more machines to run MS Office.

FYI - we have a new scanner in 727.

-- KirkKelsey - 28 Mar 2006

  • If considering CD-burners, probably DVD-burners would be better (but I guess that's what Kirk meant anyway)
  • A projector would certainly be good. At least a couple of times we had talks where an invited speaker or one of us had a presentation crashed because colors did not show up. As for the projector that is to be installed in 703: It is not our only class room... and it is not there yet smile
  • shake has recently been a good printer to us, but if we could get one that is faster/more reliable then that could be useful.

-- PiotrFaliszewski - 29 Mar 2006

  • Definitely more disk space. The batch I'm in (first years) has run out of space at least a half-dozen times this year, resulting in panic around deadlines.
  • Cheap monitors of any sort (LCD or CRT) so that people can have the option to have a secondary monitor at their desk or in the lab
  • Another copying machine that can handle transparencies

-- PaulArdis - 29 Mar 2006

Here are a few more I've received over email

  • Two years ago, I had a list of things that I thought we should get, including CD burners, a new color printer, and a scanner. So far as I know, Dali was the only one that we actually got.
  • You might consider going after more whiteboards for the lab and/or places in the halls, though this isn't really the right pot of money. One or two more Windows boxen for running MSOffice would probably be helpful to some.
  • If they're securable, microphones and/or headphones for the various lab computers might be an interesting option.
  • Also, replacing monitors in the labs with LCD flatscreens could be nice.
  • I would like to have more disk space, like Ben suggested.
  • I would like to put forth suggestion to buy a set of new server blades. Currently an AMD Opteron blade is of the order of 1000$. So I guess we can put in about 15 blades to start of, if we have that kind of money. Would be useful for the future.
  • It would also be great if the dept can afford a few macbook pros for general use.
  • We also probably need a new fancy projector, and replace all mouses with hopefully wireless or optical ones..

-- MichaelSpear - 30 Mar 2006

  • Get more disk space. Ideally at least 10G per person. /scrath + /tmp works but that definitely is not the best solution.
  • Currently we cannot mount USB drives (at least I haven't figured out how). Since the typical capacity of a jump drive is now greater than that of a CD-ROM, having those little drives will eliminate the needs for more CD burners. This is probably an admin issue rather than a shopping list item, but it is quite related.
  • A couple of powerful Windows PCs with "true" Office software. Some people need them to write powerpoint slides, produce word documents, and view web pages that are not viewable in firefox. Better have Adobe Premiere etc for process video processing.
  • Upgrade Matlab from 6.5 to 7.3, with statistics toolbox. OpenOffice from 1.1 to 2.0 (it is free).

-- WeilieYi - 30 Mar 2006

I'd like to second the purchase of a department Macbook Pro. I think it'd be pretty useful for presentations and related things, for that sizeable number of us who are mac users.

This isn't related to spending this money, but while we're on the subject of "grad requests" and "lab improvements", I'd like to suggest that we get rid of a large number of old and crappy desks, including, but not limited to:

  • the ones crowding the edges of the main isle (crossing the lab from the mail room)
  • extra ones in student offices

I know a lot of students feel they have at least one extra desk in their office; in my office, there are five desks and a desk-sized file cabinet that is not in use. I think this made a lot of sense when there was one computer per office, and now that that is no longer the case, it would be sensible to have a week where such things could be gotten rid of. I think it would have a strong positive effect on the number of publications produced by grad students...

-- MattPost - 31 Mar 2006

Edit | Attach | Watch | Print version | History: r14 < r13 < r12 < r11 < r10 | Backlinks | Raw View | Raw edit | More topic actions...
Topic revision: r13 - 2006-03-31 - MattPost
  • Edit
  • Attach
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform Powered by PerlCopyright © 2008-2017 by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding URCS? Send feedback