By Chelsea Tirrell, Columnist
For the fall semester, Hammer Lab has introduced a few new gismos in order to up its ante. From the computers to the printers, the software has been updated and, debatably, improved. However, no longer are student employees gathering papers from the printer and separating them for your convenience.
Upon entering the lab for a quick print between classes, I noticed that every computer was occupied. There were Computing Service's technicians wandering around, assisting frustrated students. When I was finally able to hop onto a computer, I realized why.
One of Hammer's most notable "improvements" is the Windows 7 software. Sure, it makes the screen look nicer and the programs are more developed. But you have to wait over five minutes just to get to your homepage. The slow server makes getting in and out difficult, but apparently, once you've logged onto a computer, it wont take as long to sign on if you use that same exact computer next time.
What are the chances, though, of having access to that in the middle of the day when every student is in a rush to print and go? Therefore, students have no choice but to sit and patiently wait for the program to load each and every time.
And if that doesn't already take up enough time, figuring out how to use the new printing system will – especially the first time around. Hammer Lab is now utilizing all Pride Print printers, meaning every student must swipe in order to receive their print jobs.
This wouldn't be a bad thing, except for the fact that the printer area gets backed up and you must wait as student's create, enter, and reenter their pins while trying to figure out which button leads to what.
When the jobs finally do come out, many students are confused instead of satisfied. Multiple pages are no longer confined to front and back automatically anymore. If students want this, they must select that specific option on the printer menu. However, by the time students realize this, they've already wasted the printer credits.
Granted, Hammer has allotted 40 additional printer credits. Instead of starting out with $80.00 for the year, Hammer is giving $120.00 – applicable from now until August of 2012.
And the other benefit of this new printing system? It doesn't take your printer credits until you approve it at the printer. Therefore, if you mistakenly hit the "Color Print" option, it won't take your credits unless you accept the print at the station.
With change comes confusion and a dire need to return to the norm. As students, we expect consistency and efficiency – neither of which Hammer has provided. Yet, given time, we may see the benefits Student Computing Services has set out for us to reap.
So while you're waiting for that computer to load, consider why they made the changes in the first place – for the best interest of us, Hofstra University students. Trust me, you have all the time in the world.