I wept because I had no G5…


When you hear me talk about how techno-centric the U of M is, do you ever think, “But what about the poor kids there on hardship scholarships who can’t afford a fancy laptop? What do they do? How can they ever bridge the digital divide?”

Don’t think that anymore. As you might expect, someone thought of it first.

Scattered around the campus are public computing centers like this, which is the largest, the Angell Hall “fishbowl.” They’re all stacked rafter-high with computers, a lavish assortment of powerful PCs and Macs, equipped with all manner of Zip drives, scanners and the like, with lesser models set up as e-mail-only centers. (The campus runs on e-mail; checking it hourly or at least several times a day is nearly essential.)

But I didn’t get really jealous until I wandered through the fishbowl this morning and saw half a dozen brand-new, smokin’-fast Apple G5 Macs, each one running with not one but two monitors. (People who run graphics apps frequently need the extra monitor, which works like an extension of the main one. If you’re doing photo retouching, for instance, you can blow your picture up big on one and keep all your Photoshop tables on the other.)

I think my last official act on campus may be to use my academic discount to buy one of those suckers. Or maybe not.

Posted at 1:14 pm in Uncategorized |

2 responses to “I wept because I had no G5…”

  1. jcb said on October 29, 2003 at 1:28 pm

    Photoshop ‘palettes’, not tables, but, yes. That’s the fun of two monitors. And with Panther, two monitors are a trip. Folks ask me (well, a couple) if I had to choose (and I don’t) between the Panther–Mac OS X 10.3–upgrade and a new G5, which once gives the best bang for the buck?

    Well, the software, actually. Although for my stuff (graphics-intensive rendering) the extra horsepower is way appreciated…and the sleek aluminum box looks nece in here, even with my various toys perched atop it.

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  2. mtk said on October 29, 2003 at 5:18 pm

    The ‘Fishbowl’ sure has changed in 15 years. It used to be a glass-walled connection that united three previously separated halls — Mason, Haven and Angell. It had benches, sometimes groups had donut sales for fundraisers, and people hung out to people-watch as the flood of bodies surged through all day long. Having a computer in the ‘Fishbowl’ would have been so off-the-charts uncool back then that you would have been shunned, Amish-style. Seeing the new millenium version of the ‘bowl is just plain startling. I was in the first freshman class to pay the $50 technology fee — fun to see where that all has led.

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