Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Techno geek FTW

In case you had not noticed, I am somewhat of a nerd. When I introduced myself, I already mentioned that I am always in front of a television or a computer (or both), which has made me very familiar with technical issues. The UU has a computer in every classroom that is attached to a beamer for presentations. It is built into a big box with confusing buttons. Confusing buttons always make me curious.

Unfortunately, it was not until my second year that I really got to play with them. I had a powerpoint and needed to handle the computer. The instruction pamphlet by the machine taught me the basics and the professor present, who was a bit of a geek herself, taught me the finer controls. It is nice to be able to help other students and even other professors when they are having trouble with it.

Anyway, I always carry my laptop with me to classes. This is firstly because I can type much faster than I can write by hand and secondly because digital notes can be distributed much more easily and can be shared online on my blog. Originally I just put them online with the idea of students coming along and discussing and correcting my work. Instead, it seems I am the go-to guy for skipping homework and finding the notes to classes people missed or skipped.

Most classrooms in the UU are fit perfectly for laptop use. Well, as long as there are only half a dozen laptop users. The buildings are pretty authentic and not build with an endless supply of electrical sockets. In fact, I often try to be the first one to enter a classroom so that I can make sure I am seated in one of the four of five seats that have the easiest time getting electricity. Lately I have been bringing an extension cord so that more laptops can be plugged in and I am guaranteed a worry-free class.

I have to say though, the technical assistance is amazing. There is standard documentation for most technical questions (like connecting to the protected wi-fi) and the few times I did have trouble, a quick e-mail to the IT crowd resolved the issues almost immediately. And Wi-fi coverage is extensive; I do not know of even one room in University buildings where I cannot connect easily to it.

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