Computer replacement to be less frequent


The frequency of computer replacements at UNF has been increased from three years to four years due to government restructuring of the university’s budget allocations in the Information and Technology Services department.

ITS’ annual $1.3 million budget has remained the same as previous years. However, most of the money allocated will be considered non-recurring as of July 1, meaning the money will not be guaranteed for 2010.

In previous years, most of this money was considered recurring, said UNF’s Chief Information Officer Lance Taylor and ITS Coordinator Alison Cruess.

The computers UNF purchases have a three-year warranty. Because of this, hardware maintenance is covered if the machines are replaced often, Taylor said. But because use of the computers is being stretched to four years, the older machines not covered under warranty need to be maintained with direct money from the budget, though the cost is nominal.

Software upgrades are done throughout the year, and money for the upgrades is calculated into the budget as well. These upgrades are partially determined by student feedback collected every semester by Cruess. As of the current semester, Cruess said the software and operating system in all of UNF’s computers is compatible.

So far, overall performance of the computers has remained relatively unaffected. The general purpose computers in the Building 15 computer lab were replaced in July 2008, so those machines are relatively new. The computers in the Library and in its lab are about one year old as well.

Dennis Meyers, senior communication major, and Fatima Kalaca, senior math major, said the computers fit their needs in general, and they have no problems using them.

But Kevin Eaton, sophomore education major, complained the computers in the classroom are a little slow and that the Library computer monitors aren’t quite as nice as the ones in the computer lab, he said.

UNF computers that are four years old are disposed of in various ways. Most of them are given to university employees who are full-time workers, not professors or not associated with the administration or student services, Taylor said.

Professors and administration and student services employees are included in the new computer budget.

Some old computers that come from the Library’s labs are dedicated for use in the Library’s catalogues to look up books, Library computer technician Nick Sartor said.

Other machines are given to non-profit organizations or are auctioned off. The auctions are handled by UNF’s purchasing department, Taylor said.

E-mail Jonathan Haney at [email protected]