What is the difference between the laptops and desktops at Gottesman Libraries?

| October 6, 2011

It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at the Gottesman Libraries as we welcome both new and returning students to the library.  The start of a new school year brings many members of the TC community to the first floor services desk asking for assistance in navigating the library and Teachers College. In an effort to bring more information to the community about library services we are going to answer frequently asked questions right here on Pressible! Of course you are still welcome at all times to stop by the desk and ask your questions.

Eric, our helpful I.T. expert, wrote an interesting post on the differences between using the desktops at the library and borrowing a laptop. Thanks for the information Eric!

Let’s talk about the computers at Gottesman Libraries (or TC Library, depending on who you ask). There are three options for using the internet:

1) Bring your own PC or MAC. You can attach to the LAN connections at various ports near select tables or jump on the “TCWIFI” network with your machine (no password is required).

2) Use any desktop in the library. There are PC machines on the first floor (42 machines),  second floor (22 machines), and third floor (2 machines). Recently, 6 Macs have been added to the 2nd floor in the back. There are also 4 Macs on the 2nd floor behind the big desk near the center of the room. There will be even more Macs coming to this floor soon. No password is required to access any of these machines.

3) Using your TC ID, check out a laptop and power charger for 6 hours.

So, what are the main differences between desktops and laptops?

Desktops can print to any machine in the library. You cannot save a document to the “My Documents” folder or the desktop. A USB stick is required for saving. This is also true if you are trying to email the document to yourself. The way around that is to copy your document into a Google Documents folder when you sign in to your Gmail account.

Laptops cannot print to any machine — but they have a few advantages. You can save anything you want anywhere you want. You can even install a program without hassle. The one thing to keep in mind is this — everything is erased as soon as you restart the machine. This means everything — documents, programs, temporary Notepad files, or any program modifications — will be erased.

Laptops also have newer versions of programs: Adobe Suite CS4, Office 2007, SPSS 19, and Skype. Skyping is possible on a laptop by checking out and attaching a USB camera. The software is already preloaded on laptops for these devices.

If you need the laptop for more than 6 hours, you can always call down and renew it from within the building.

Regarding attachments, desktops have 2 USB ports in front, 6 in back, a DVD-ROM / CD-R/W drive, and headphone inputs in back and front. Laptops have 2 USB ports in back and 2 on the right side near hte back, a DVD-R/W +R/W / CD-R/W drive, and headphone inputs on the left side.

Here is the breakdown of all the programs available on each:

LAPTOPS
* IBM SPSS Statistics 19
* Microsoft Office 2007 Suite: Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word, and InfoPath
* Video LAN 1.11 (Note: this is the program for playing DVDs, not Windows Media Player)
* Adobe Design Premium CS4  (Distiller, Acrobat 9 Pro, Bridge, Device Central, Dreamweaver, Drive, ExtendScript Toolkit, Extension Manager, Fireworks, Flash Pro, Illustrator, InDesign, LiveCycle Designer ES 8.2, Media Encoder, Photoshop, Pixel Bender Toolkit)
* Adobe Media Player
* Adobe Reader X
* Logitech Webcam Software
* Roxio Creator Premier
* Mozilla Firefox 7
* Internet Explorer 8
* Safari 5.1
* Windows Media Player 11
* RealPlayer 14
* Windows Movie Maker
* 7-Zip
* antivirus / antispyware software

DESKTOPS

* SPSS Statistics 17
* Microsoft Office 2003 Suite  (Access, Excel, InfoPath, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word)
* Adobe Premium CS3  (Distller, Acrobat Pro 8, Bridge, Device Central, Dreamweaver, ExtendScript Toolkit 2, Extension Manager, Flash Pro, Flash Video Encoder, Illustrator, InDesign, LiveCycle Designer 8, Photoshop, Stock Photos)
* Adobe Reader X
* PuTTY
* Quicktime Player
* RealPlayer 14
* VideoLAN 1.11 (Note: this is the program for playing DVDs, not Windows Media Player)
* 7-Zip
* Inspiration 7.6
* Windows Media Player 11
* Windows Movie Maker
* Internet Explorer 8
* Mozilla Firefox 7
* Google Chrome
* antivirus/antispyware software

So feel free to drop in and use one of our desktops or borrow a laptop from our first floor services desk!