November 18, 2010
Last Monday, new computers for both staff and customer use were installed here at the Lee’s Summit Branch. Needless to say, this was very exciting for us at the library; and hopefully will be for you too! That said, there are some differences that you may have noticed if you’ve used the computers since we made the big switch, as well as some new features. Here’s an overview of some of the changes to get you off to a running start:
Our computers’ operating systems have been upgraded to Windows 7 (from Windows XP), so the general appearance of the computers’ desktops is just a little different than it used to be. I had not used Windows 7 prior to getting our new computers and was a little bit worried about the transition, but fortunately, so far I have found it very (even surprisingly) intuitive and easy to use.
Our Microsoft Office Suite (Word and Excel) has also been upgraded from the 2007 version to the new 2010 version. Again, things looks a little bit different, but nothing too drastic. The biggest (and best) change to our Office Suite is that all of our computers now have Microsoft PowerPoint! Our old computers just had PowerPoint Viewer on them; which meant that you could only look at a PowerPoint Presentation that had already been created, but not edit or create a new one from the library. So, this is an excellent development for students and other PowerPoint users out there.
Perhaps the biggest change for our computer users is that we now have new software for logging onto our computers and for managing documents sent to the print station. As a consequence, things will look a little bit different when you log onto our public computers or print station computer, but some great improvements have been made. Among the specific changes:
- If you have a computer reserved and a different one opens before the one you have a reservation for, you can now simply log onto that computer and cancel your reservation without staff assistance.
- At the end of your first hour on the computers, you can also now add time to your session in 15 minute increments (provided no one else is waiting for your computer) up to one additional hour from your screen. A window will simply pop up once you get down to 5 minutes asking you if you want to extend your session.
- You also now have the option of reprinting print jobs from the print station, provided it is done on the same day that the initial job was printed.
Lastly, a word of warning: Our new computers no longer have floppy disc drives, so floppy discs can’t be used to save or open files on our computers. The best option for saving from our computers is to use a flash drive or to email your documents to yourself as attachments. Should you need assistance with any of these changes, or the public computers in general, please don’t hesitate to ask staff. And don’t fear if you use the computers at a different branch, all of MCPL’s branches should have new computers by the end of the year!