The University of East London School of Art and Digital Industries (ADI) has agreed to a three year contract with a London-based small computer business for the supply and maintenance of computer systems. The University provides course that relate to music, art, design, film, fashion, media and communication. Therefore, computers can be used to enhance the students learning experience. Currently, the university has a computer network with 200 computers. The computers have Windows XP operating system, dual core processors, and 2 GB Ram. The computers on the system need to run software such as 3D studio Max and Unity 3D.
The system specifications for ensuring that a software like Unity 3D runs smoothly is Windows 7 64 bit with 4 GB Ram and a 32 MB dedicated graphics card. Therefore, the system that the university has is out of date and need to be upgraded in order to ensure that students can be able to continue using the computers to learn without major problems. In addition, upgrades such as Unity 4 are already out and provide users with greater features and usability. The entire budget for the institution to acquire new hardware is 200,000 pounds. This report will critically examine the tasks provided with regard to the above scenario and will provide relevant information with regard to the tasks and scenario provided.
Part A: Task 1
In the last decade, the use of computers has greatly become a part of the education system. This is mainly because they offer teachers and students the opportunity to use technology in class to enhance the learning process. In addition, various specialized software have been developed to deal with problems in languages, sciences, history, and even mathematics. This software has helped to increase student participation in class as well as enhancing the ability of students grasping what is being taught in class. ADI could also use computers to enhance the learning experience in the school. From the information provided the school provide different courses to students that relate to music, art, design, film, fashion, media and communication. This course can be enhanced by the use of computers. In the classrooms, a teacher can have an instructional computer where he or she can store and retrieve notes for different classes.
In the laboratory, every student should be provided with a computer for practical purposes. The computers can have different software such as ArtRage, SketchBook Pro, and Corel Painter for art and design students, Optitex and C-Design for fashion students, music software for music students, and film software for film students. In addition, hardware such as electronic keyboards for music students should be provided in the laboratory for students who are studying music. In addition, hardware devices have also been used to enhance the learning experience in schools. For example, disabled students have various assistive technology devices have been designed and implemented that aim to assist children with disabilities to learn better. The institution could also adapt some of the assistive technology and provide it for students with disability within the school. From analysis of the needs of the institution, the best computer system is a Dell Inspiron. This machine can easily allow the institution to upgrade it if need arises.
For the mentioned scenario, a robust working network is necessary. The two hundred networked computers require a number of hardware and software to achieve this. Each department requires their computer networked appropriately. For networking purposes, switches and routers provide the solution to the problem faced. The routing process is not an easy task, and therefore a server is required. The routers also run software in them that make them intelligent. This allows them to maintain routing tables between departments thus minimizing network traffic. The computers in the network run a windows 8 operating system. All these features interlock thus provide a good solution to the networking problem in the case scenario.
First, the computers in the network require the windows 8 operating system. This is a good operating system. It provides the networking capabilities of a modern day computer. Most of the networking features that a single computer requires are in the operating system. It also provides the graphical capabilities necessary to run the programs offered by the university. The computers require a standard 40 GB hard disk for the operating system only. The use of secondary hard discs for local storage is optional. The best solution however is to have one single hard disk. Partitioning of the hard disc has one area for the OS and another area for local storage. The most readily available such hard disk has a total space of about 250 GB.
Another hardware aspect of the system is the wiring. The conventional unshielded twisted pair cable is suitable. It is both cheap and easy to acquire. It also provides the network connection for a network that is small as this case scenario. Connecting the computers to a switch uses the cables terminated properly. The switches connect to each other and to a central server via the same cables.
The use of the above hardware and software provides a solution to a problem that would otherwise cost much. Buying the system named above from HP roughly cost $ 300 apiece. Buying it from the Dell Company costs $ 250 apiece. The latter is easier to use as the computer already have the windows operating system installed on them. The HP computers have better computing power but the fact that one has to buy the OS separately increases the total cost. This increases the operating capital when using such computers. It is therefore better to acquire the dell computer. The recommended desktop computer is a Dell Inspiron 660s, which comes with a pre-installed Windows 8 package, 4 GB Ram and 250 GB hard disk space. The desktop also comes with a Core i5 processor and costs $ 279. In addition, the tower is compact and stylist and thus helps to save on space in the laboratory.
Part B: Task 5
The use of computers has created an impact on the various sectors of our human way of life. Some of the sectors that have had a positive impact from the use of computers include the health sector, and the telecommunications sector. Each of these two sectors has seen a great leap from previous technologies that greatly limited their operating capabilities. The health sector now has the capability to use computer in assisting in the monitoring of the recovering patients. Telecommunications are now intelligent offering solutions to problems without human intervention. Computers have moved from an added feature to a great necessity.
In the health sector, it was always about the skills of the doctor and his tools. The coming of the computer into the field improved the functionality of the doctor. For instance, a pregnant mother has the option to get scans that provide crucial information about the baby growing within her. Such information allows the doctor to make decisions that improve the survival chances of both the mother and baby. Computers also allow the doctor to follow up on the growth of the baby from early stages thus preventing problem such as wrongful implantation of the fetus. The computer also helps in monitoring a recovering patient. With the computer connected to specific’s parts of the patient’s body, a nurse is able to tell whether the patient’s health is improving or not. Such systems prove the doctors using them an advantage.
In the telecommunications sector, the use of computers has grown. Mobile phones are miniature computers. They enable individuals to communicate over long distances. Computers used on conventional networks also provide users with the ability to share pictures and videos. Computers have revolutionized the communication system I way that servers to improve people’s lives. The use of mobile phone for communication wirelessly has served to increase the mobility of its user. It enables the user to move and yet be accessible. This mobility provides the mobile phone user flexibility that allows him to use it to his own advantage.
The social network deserves special mentioning. Social networking which is computer based, allows people to share life events with their networks on an unprecedented level. Social networks have served to improved individual connectivity, as well as company profiles. Marketing has never been easier. It is easier to reach targeted consumers through this means of telecommunication than any other employed using computers in the past.
The lab demonstration was successful. The upgrading of the OS, upgrading of hardware as well as installation of installation of Unity 3D was successful. It was also an excellent learning experience on how to upgrade both software and hardware. As stated earlier after installation of Windows 8, I run an upgrade of all added hardware. This included the graphics card and the additional Ram. This provided an excellent learning opportunity on how to use Windows to upgrade hardware. In addition, I was able to learn about device compatibility. This is mainly because in the lab exercise I made sure that there were no devices having compatibility issues present. This was done by using the Device Manager tool provided by Windows to check whether all hardware and software has been installed correctly.
Lastly, I was able to learn how to install software and install license keys. As mentioned earlier I installed Unity 3D in the machine used for the laboratory report since it is the software that game development students use. I was also able to learn the importance of system maintenance. I learnt that the maintenance that should be carried for computers should include disk checking, deleting temporary files, checking for viruses, changing system passwords, file backup, checking for system performance and cleaning the computers.
Data backup is an important part of any computer system. This is mainly because it allows the user to be able to recover data in the event that data may become corrupt. Windows operating system allows for easy data backup and restores using the Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Backup and Restore option available on the control panel.
Edmodo is a social networking tool that allows parents, teachers and students to interact. In the classroom, Edmodo has been applied in a variety of assignments ans well as classwork. This is mainly because the website allows teachers to post and students to post any questions that they may have with regard to the assignments. Teachers can also create quizzes for students, upload video and digital reference material, and grouping students into learning groups. This makes learning more interactive process through which students can receive assignments quickly as well as getting their teacher’s response. Parents can also use the website and can be able to monitor the progress of their children.
Drop box as well as other cloud storage services is largely becoming common in the education field. This is mainly because it allows teacher and students to easily share files online. This saves time for students to walk to a teacher’s office to drop their assignment. Rather they can easily submit their assignment to their teacher’s drop box account. The teacher can also easily share files with the student. For example, before a lecture the teacher can easily upload class work and lecture for students to review before the lecture.