Technology Team busy with upgrade, sale of computers

By Rick Moreci

Computer technology currently is undergoing an extensive upgrade throughout the residence halls.

There are five residence halls which house computer labs. All these labs are now in the process of being updated with new equipment.

To fulfill this goal, the university department of student housing formed what they call the “NIU Technology Team.”

Linda Tillis, supervisor of the team, said, “This is a way to generate funds to continue to update our facilities and also to offer lower prices for faculty, staff, students and departmental purchases.”

The team was formed in an effort to meet computer equipment needs for faculty, staff, students and departments within the university, Tillis said. The main functions of this team will be to sell Apple Macintosh computers and software at a discounted price and service the products purchased by members of the NIU community.

All profits acquired by the NIU Technology Team will go toward the upgrading of all computer systems in labs where improvement is needed, Tillis said.

The money used will come from the fees paid by students who use computer labs. As new computers are sold, money will be placed into the computer lab funds.

The Apple Macintosh company has chosen to do this type of program with many institutions of higher education. A contract has been signed between NIU and Apple which will last for two years. Tillis said either party can dissolve the contract at any time if the program is not working up to the team’s expectations.

The coordinator of the program is Keith Halfman, a graduate assistant and a certified Apple computer technician. Halfman will be in charge of running this program. He also has four years of experience with Macintosh.

Also included on the NIU Technology Team are several student employees. These students work part time in the regular residence hall computer labs, with some of that time devoted to working for the team.

Informative classes will be available for anyone who is interested in purchasing one of these computers. This class will make the potential buyer familiar with the capabilities of the computer and software available from Apple.

There also will be classes available for those people who have already purchased a computer or software and want to learn how to set it up and use it.

These classes are free of charge and will begin as soon as all the equipment arrives on campus. There will be a mass mailing in the near future to announce the grand kickoff of this new program, Tillis said.

The NIU Technology Team has already begun to receive calls on a regular basis. There also have been about 10 orders placed by different departments for new computers.

The NIU Technology Team is located in the northeast corner of North Neptune Hall. Hours of service are from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., Friday and special hours on Sunday from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

“We have hope this will be an advantage to all areas of the university, students, faculty, staff and departments,” Tillis said.