Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Projectors Going Into Classrooms

With the goals of better physical, energy and time managment, The Teaching and Learning Center at the University of New Mexico Valencia Campus is proud to announce over the next two weeks we will be installing 18 new projectors through out the campus. Additionally, with our close working relationship with Epson we are upgrading our older Epson Projectors with new ones that meet our current plans.

All told by the end of this semester we should have 36 new projectors in place that will help us better manage our infrastructure and give us early alerts when bulb lives are nearing their end plus inform us when projectors need cleaning. The projectors all have slightly longer bulb lives than our current 8 year old projectors and have the ability to run at not only high altitude but also run in economy mode to conserve bulb life. With top loading bulbs and network mangability we will now be able to conserve support time by up to 60%.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Which OS Platform Is For You?

by Anthony Liu

It seems with new innovations and technology, there is also new ways to operate these devices. Today I am going to go over the OS choices available to operate the tablets of today.

The niche for tablets has grown increasingly popular over the last two years. In the beginning Apple introduced the iPad, which revolutionized the industry in what was going to be the new accessory for the social and professional individual. The device allowed users to connect to the internet via wireless or through 3g cell phone connection. This connectivity allowed users to be mobile for the first time with the ability to have any and all online resources available with just one unit. The ease convenience and versatility gave way to many new age workers that were now used to the virtual home office environments and remote options of being productive, without the technical headaches that usually followed after purchasing new age technology. Seeing the demand of the iPad, many other electronic companies followed in the tablet revolution and company after company produced similar looking units, but they lacked the main driving component of the device; the operating system. Here are your choices for operating systems today in the tablet arena.

IOS is the operating system Apple has produced to run the iPad, iPad2 and iPad HD. The environment is very similar to Leopard and is also found on all of the iPhones and iTouch family line. The familiarity of the iOS is the main driving component for the loyalty to the brand. If a consumer is accustomed to using an iPhone or is a Mac user at home, the decision to purchase an iPad is an easy one. The need to learn the new operating system on the iPad is not present. Owning a multitude of Apple branded products means that the Apple functionality is also similar in the way they connect to each other. This is something very important in the tablet environment. Because space is limited to the memory purchased with the model of the unit, having the peace of mind that the ease of connectivity to the unit to a laptop or desktop computer is essential to the use of the unit. If the unit is saturated with pictures, music and apps, the functionality is dramatically decreased due to lack of memory and lack of storage. Knowing that the iPad can connect to your iMac or MacBook compliments the use of the computer or laptop, but also gives the user flexibility on what is on the iPad itself, ranging from pictures to music.

Android is the next tablet option on the list. Android is the operating system owned by Google. This interface for the tablet is a very similar to the operating system on cell phone units that are using the Android operating system. If you are a consumer that has an Android cell phone and are in the market for a tablet, it is very enticing for you as a consumer to purchase an Android tablet because of the familiarity of the operating system. Just like any other software out there, tablet operating systems have different versions along with updates and newer version available for purchase. So, if your cell phone has an older version of Android, picking up a tablet with a newer Android version, you as the consumer will be able to operate the tablet with ease and also be familiar on how to exchange data from the tablet to either laptop or desktop. This will also give you the feeling of the new operating system and may persuade your decision to buy this version. But the ease of mind that you are not going to have to learn how to use your new tablet will also help make you decide on what to purchase.

Windows 7 and soon to be Windows 8 are slowly coming to market. Windows 7 was mainly used on PC’s and laptops with the ability to switch to tablet mode if your hardware allowed it to. All in one units and touchscreen desktops were the only way to access this tablet feature although the medium used was a conventional PC. Windows 6.5 Phone and later Windows 7 Mobile was the Microsoft version of the mobile OS market. Microsoft was an innovator with the use of social media and integration of the mobile market. What Microsoft did was allow the user the ability to connect to their own social network, Xbox Live, through their own software through a mobile device. Not only could you glance at your phone and see who was online, you could check your emails live, place a call and be able to connect to the internet through your phone. I know we are talking about pads here, but the medium that used the Windows 7 and Windows Phone were always PC’s and cell phones; a pad was not present for the market niche Microsoft was looking for. But wait. Windows 8 is on the brink of emerging as a new computer OS that has the ability to have a complement to the traditional PC; a touchscreen tablet. This OS is completely based on the idea that the OS will be used by a laptop or PC with touchscreen capabilities. The idea is that the tablet will complement the PC or laptop, not replace it. Until the official release is available, Windows 8 will have to wait.

Next OS on the market for a tablet is Web OS. Web OS is an operating system that was developed by Palm. The operating system was purchased by HP and used in all their touchpads. The touchpad was introduced in the early stages of the tablet revolution and HP decided to withdraw from the tablet niche and dropped the touchpad. The touchpad is very simple to use and had its own following in applications and uses. The largest attraction for these units was the price. When HP announced the decision to not enter the tablet market, they dumped their inventory to the public and sold the units for $99.99 for the 16 gig and $149.99 for the 32 gig. Regardless of the lack of presence of familiarity of the Palm OS, many people jumped to purchase this because of the price. The unit had all features expected of a pad; WIFI, GPS, touchscreen and ability to read MS documents. This flexibility and generous price makes up for the unfamiliar OS. These units can still be purchased second hand and at a reasonable price. On a positive note, these devices have an open source code which allows the end user to use applications designed by everyday users without the limitations of the original OS.

Alternatives to the tablet are also available. The Kindle Fire is a reader priced at $199.99. What makes this unit different form the other units is that it is considered an e-reader. Essentially, it was developed to house digital books and digital reading material. It also has the ability to connect to WIFI and use a conventional web browser along with the digital reader. The unit has touchscreen capabilities and also a large number of applications for download. Another option available for consumer purchase is the Nook. It is also considered an e-reader and priced below $199.99 depending on the model you purchase. It is mainly used as a digital reader for the digital book-worm. It has WIFI, but again is more for the digital book environment consumer. If entertainment is the main reason for your tablet interest, one of the two listed above may fit your needs better than a tablet and also your budget.

The tablet market is not an easy market to enter. Looking into the different OS options can be confusing, but being informed about specifications on what you desire as a consumer will help you determine the best fit for you needs. The one factor that may weigh the most in considering a tablet will be the cost of the unit initially and the cost of a data plan. Purchasing a tablet without cellphone connectivity will limit your freedom because WIFI is not always available and sometimes it may require a password to get onto the network. This can be addressed by purchasing a tablet with the ability to have 3g or 4g LTE coverage. This option allows data to be accessed by the unit at any time anywhere cell phone connectivity is available. This option is an add-on to the tablet and also carries an extra charge from the data carrier as a data plan to the tablet. The iPad family has 3g and 4g LTE along with WIFI connectivity available through AT&T and also Verizon. The Android tablets that have carrier capabilities are marketed through the data providers. For example, the tablets that are available through T-Mobile have a data plan along with the purchase of the unit, which usually has a two year contract. Or the tablet can be purchased outright with no contract. HP’s touchpad does not offer 3g or 4g LTE connectivity; neither do the Kindle Fire or Nook, but these units are purchased outright and are not committed to a data contract. Windows 8 tablets are not available yet, so we will have to wait to see the options on these tables. These options are up to the consumer, so be wary of your tablet purchase and please don’t purchase for the sake of a purchase. These are luxury items and if finances do not permit, purchase a unit later into the year and be mindful of what you need and not what you want.

Apple iPad new 4G 32gb $729.00
Apple iPad new WiFi 32gb $599.00
Apple iPad new WiFi 16gb $499.00
Apple iPad2 WiFi 16gb $399.00
Lenovo Ideapad Tablet K1 64gb $519.00
Samsung Galaxy 32gb $469.00

The matrix above lists prices for available units. Remember that the prices listed only reflect the cost for the unit, not the cost of operating the unit with a current data plan. As stated before, these are considered luxury purchases not essentials.

Welcome to the Teaching and Learning Center

Welcome to the
Teaching and Learning Center
At the
University of New Mexico Valencia

By Philip Leimbach, MCT

Things are changing again at the T&LC. Last October we were awarded a new Title V grant from the US Department of Education. This new grant is a Co-Op with New Mexico State University Grants in Grants, New Mexico. The scope of this grant is primarily two fold. First, it is set to help us reach more students via online teaching initiatives. Second, the grant is designated to help us start a Game Design and Simulation degree program. The new grant also meant we added new people to the department.

Online Teaching Initiatives are designed to increase our campuses online visibility with not only an increase in online classes but also an online advisor and online senior tutor. By increasing our online class offering, we are making a dedicated effort to bring a high degree of quality instruction to our students. While this might not be easy for the students at first, the program should arm the instructors with knowledge to overcome many of the obstacles that our lower income students face. With the new online advisor and tutor, the students will have even more tools to excel in the world of higher education.

Our program manager Dr. Najib Manea who is using his Masters in Computer Science is heading the Game Design and Simulation degree program. With the help of the Digital Media Arts program Dr. Manea is trying to design a program that will not only prepare students for jobs in the exciting field of game design but will also give the students a firm foothold in achieving higher academic success once they have finished their Associates Degree. With plans to give the students both strong backgrounds in Game Art and Game Programming, the hope is that our students will provide future employers with a top quality employee.

We have added many new names to the Teaching and Learning Center. Besides Dr. Najib Manea and Philip Leimbach, MCT we have added Jennifer Abers as our Program Coordinator, Maisie Baca as the Online/Dual-Credit Advisor and Anthony Liu as our new User Support Analyst II. However, we are waiting to add more including a new Online Tutor and a Game Design and Simulation Faculty member. We hope they are in place before the end of this school year.

So as the Teaching and Learning Center at the University of New Mexico Valencia continues to grow, we hope you like the changes and that the changes we implement lead to a higher quality of education.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Quick History of Microsoft Windows

By Philip Leimbach, MCT

For those who are not Information Technology people and who do not know the basic history of Microsoft Windows here is a simple breakdown of the different versions of Microsoft Windows over the years.

The 1980’s brought us Windows 1.0 through 2.1x, while Windows at this time was still a huge experiment a few new ideas had made their way to the public eye. Multiple Windows allowing for cooperative multitasking was one of these ideas. But, since Windows was barely a dream the Apple II (MAC System Software 1.0-3.0) ruled the roost.

The 1990’s quickly changed the Desktop Operating System game with the introduction of Windows 3.x systems. Like many long time Windows users, Windows 3.11 was my first real foray into the Windows systems and began a long term work relationship. In 1995 Microsoft began what would become the biggest breakthrough in Desktop Operating Systems when it introduced Windows 95 to the general public. Windows 95 was the first real effort at Plug And Play devices (PNP) with the idea you could take any printer or other device and simply plug them into a computer and “poof” it would magically work. While it was a great idea, it still doesn’t always work like that.

Home computing continued on through the year 2000 with the introduction of Windows 98 which had some improvements over Windows 95 and of course the dreaded Windows ME.

Enterprise computing is where Microsoft would make their biggest splash with the 4th edition of Windows NT called Windows NT 4.0. Windows NT 4.0 quickly gained favor over a then flag bearer of Novell Netware who at the introduction of Microsoft NT server had a 90% market share. Microsoft was able to quickly outpace Novell not only because of an outstanding marketing campaign but also because Microsoft used TCP/IP networking protocol which enabled Microsoft to easily connect to the internet. In 2000 Microsoft introduced Windows 2000 which was an upgrade of the Windows NT 4.0 system and had a much cleaner feel to the user interface as well as other enhancements.

Now where it gets confusing for most people is with the introduction of Windows XP in 2001. Windows XP introduced different flavors such as XP Home and XP Professional. One obviously made for general consumer while the other was made for an enterprise environment. Since Windows XP has been the vanguard of the Microsoft Desktop Operating Systems for ten years now it was not without its issues when first released and by many accounts was not considered a stable platform until after its update called Service Pack 2. Once Windows XP became a “stable” platform it became the Operating System of preference to most standard computer users and is still one of the more popular operating systems.

In 2006 Windows Vista was released and quickly shocked the IT world. After our first install of Windows Vista many IT professionals quickly had flashbacks to Windows ME, it was a huge resource hog that liked to crash just because it could. Many of us who had tested the first Beta version of Windows Vista were quite shocked at how unstable Vista turned out. In fact many IT Professionals, especially Small Business consultants recommended companies not move up to Windows Vista unless they were buying a new computer.

2009 brought us Windows 7, what many believe Windows Vista should have been from the beginning. Windows 7 is much more resource friendly and so far appears to be much more stable. It has many enhancements built to the operating system to make it much prettier than Windows XP but more user friendly than Windows Vista. Windows 7 is much nicer to laptops especially netbooks and has been ported over to cell phones in an attempt to match Apples iPhone and Google’s Android Phone System. With Windows 7, pretty much just drop in a couple of gigabytes of RAM (Random Access Memory) on an average video card and your good, Vista just was not that kind.

What I forgot about the servers, no, not really. After Windows 2000 the servers and the desktops had a parting of the ways. Servers are now called by the year they are supposed to have been released. As of today while a majority of Servers are still Windows Server 2003, the most current flavor is Windows Server 2008 R2. Oh and trust me there are still plenty of Server 2000 systems in the enterprise. But does any of this matter to a non IT guy, no really does it?

The future holds some interesting avenues. I have seen snippets of Windows 8 and to me it really looks like Windows Phone 7 in many ways, many are speculating with the extreme and sudden popularity of Tablets that Windows 8 is being geared toward Tablet and Cloud Computing. Of course there is the “Cloud” where very little of your data resides locally. With you having such a small local footprint the devices you are using can be smaller as long as they can get to the internet in order to access the cloud. With AT&T having bought T-Mobile to have immediate access to a much faster network (read 4G network) and all wireless delivery companies building cellular devices into Tablets, the cloud is right around the corner. Don’t worry we are sure Microsoft has a solution for better Tablet Computing (I’m guessing Windows 8 will be their start), heck what do you think Windows Office 365(live) is doing? With all the changes that have happened over the last 30 years all I can tell you for sure is to either love change or hang up the keyboard, because I’m sure in 30 more years the 32 gigabyte thumb/flash drive will have gone the way of that super-fast 1.4 megabyte, super small 3.5 inch floppy disk.

Better computing to all

Thursday, July 15, 2010

FREE-ACCION – Small Business Workshop

FREE-ACCION – Small Business Workshop

Please join us on July 15th for a no-cost, informative presentation about Accion and how they may provide access to capital for your business. Money Management International will also have a presentation on financial education and the services they offer. Accion is a nonprofit organization that invests in the community’s most important asset – human potential. They increase access to business credit, make loans and provide training to help emerging and existing entrepreneurs realize their dreams. They service small businesses in more than 150 communities throughout New Mexico. They have term loans from $200 to $150,000.

WHEN: Thursday, July 15, 2010 TIME: 10:00am – 12:00pm

WHERE: UNM Valencia Campus, 280 La Entrada Rd., Los Lunas, NM 87031, CSCC200

CALL: 925-8980 FOR ENROLLMENT or email Ruby,

FREE-ACCION – Small Business Workshop

FREE-ACCION – Small Business Workshop

Please join us on July 15th for a no-cost, informative presentation about Accion and how they may provide access to capital for your business. Money Management International will also have a presentation on financial education and the services they offer. Accion is a nonprofit organization that invests in the community’s most important asset – human potential. They increase access to business credit, make loans and provide training to help emerging and existing entrepreneurs realize their dreams. They service small businesses in more than 150 communities throughout New Mexico. They have term loans from $200 to $150,000.

WHEN: Thursday, July 15, 2010 TIME: 10:00am – 12:00pm

WHERE: UNM Valencia Campus, 280 La Entrada Rd., Los Lunas, NM 87031, CSCC200

CALL: 925-8980 FOR ENROLLMENT or email Ruby,

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Welcome to a new decade.

Welcome back to a new decade and the start of the Spring 2010 semester! We hope you like some of the changes we've made, in part with help from the STEM grant.

Classroom/Lecture Capture - We have installed 31 Classrooms with Lecture Capture devices, called Media Site this product is from Sonic Foundry. These classrooms have been setup with stationary cameras and microphones. All you have to do is setup a schedule with the Teaching and Learning Center and teach like normal. In addition we have 3 rooms on campus which have stationary cameras and microphones but are setup for mobile capture devices. This is a great tool to help your students study and we at the TLC are more than happy to get you started.

Podiums - 9 Classrooms now have new podiums. We have installed (we feel) easier to use podiums in rooms that had limited instructor areas before. The new podiums were installed in 2 science labs in the Academics building and the remainder where installed in the numerous Computer Classrooms in the Business, Occupational and Technologies Building. These podiums match what we had previously installed in the Vocational and Technical Building.

New Projectors - With all of the technology upgrades going on we were also to install and add new projectors to some rooms. This will really help the campus in the future as we have streamlined our makes and models of projectors to just a few. Additionally the new projectors are much more energy conscious than the projectors they replaced and the bulbs should last twice as long. Wow, a little more green and much more cost effective, what more could you ask for?

New Document Camera - Yes, we had to replace some of the old Canon and Elmo Document cameras. We chose a brand called AverMedia. Most of the AverMedia Document Camera have a much smaller foot print and will be less intrusive into the teaching area while still delivering a high content Doc. Camera.

Online Learning Platform - The Teaching and Learning Center is aggressively working on an Online Teaching Certificate for current faculty. With Dr. Najib Manea, PhD working on theory and design, Philip Leimbach, MCT is working on applications and tools. Call us today to find out more 505-925-8556

We hope you all have a great semester! If you have any problems please do not hesitate in calling us 925-8556