Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I visited the Memorial Library InfoLab on Monday from just before noon to around 2:00. This is what I noticed:

- There is a line for computers right after classes are dismissed, and the lab opens up 5 or 10 minutes before the next round of classes start. It seems that a lot of students must come here between classes.
- IBMs are far more popular than Macs. Many people choose to wait in line for an IBM rather than hopping right on a Mac.
- Nearly a third of the people in the lab are either in the WiscMail program or have it minimized.
- No cell phone rings are heard in the lab, but a few people can be seen quietly speaking on their phones. So, either they called people, or they had their phones on vibrate and answered them.
- Several people bring coffee and water bottles into the lab. They walk right past the lab monitors, who don’t seem to care, even though it’s prohibited in the lab.
- Overall, the lab monitors don’t do much. They talk amongst themselves or surf the internet for the majority of the time. A few times, a person comes to the front desk with a problem, and the monitor goes with them to their computer. They seem to be relatively helpful in these cases.
- One person plays Yahoo! Games for the entire two hours that I am there. It makes you wonder why some people bother coming to the computer lab.
- Another person sits in front of a computer and reads the newspaper for a half hour while people are waiting in line for a computer. Seems rude to me.
- Three or four people can be seen buying clothing online, while about 10 people are searching for flights online over the two hours at sites like expedia, orbitz, Travelocity, etc. Probably buying tickets for spring break.
- About a third of the people have headphones on, presumably listening to music.
- Many people are logged on to Webct, working on online classes.
- Only about 25% of the people in the lab ever work on a paper.
- I don’t see one person using Netscape. Everyone uses Internet Explorer.

That’s about it.

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