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SU Libraries computers receive upgrades

An update in technology at university libraries will allow computers to perform faster for the student body.

After receiving numerous complaints from students, Syracuse University Libraries updated its computer system by replacing the hard drives with solid-state drives and streamlining the start-up scripts in the hopes that computer speeds will be faster, said DeAnn Buss, director of information systems at SU Libraries.

Library Information Technology staff and K. Matthew Dames, interim dean of libraries, helped to come up with ways to improve the system and put the upgrade into place, she said.

Despite the cost of the upgrades, Dames approved the purchase to meet students’ needs, Buss said.

“We know that our students’ time is very precious,” Buss said. “By reducing the amount of time it takes to boot up a libraries’ computer, by less than half the time or more, can only be beneficial.”

The main differences between the former hard drives and solid-state drives are speed and reliability, according to a Sept. 27 SU News release.

With the streamlined start-up scripts, computers will restart twice as fast. The upgrades will also allow library employees to perform ongoing maintenance and security updates, according to the release.

Solid-state drives use the same type of memory found in USB devices and they are able to store a large amount of data into a small space, as well as access it at a faster speed than hard drives. This leads to an increase in the overall speed of the system, according to a May 20 PC Magazine article.

Before the upgrades, SU Libraries said that they received complaints from students who were frustrated with the speed of its computers.

Stefan Vercelli, a sophomore information management and technology major, said he noticed an improvement in the amount of time it took to boot up, log in and open files on library computers.

“If you were in between classes trying to get something done, it was not really worth it,” Vercelli said. “Now it’s a bit less of a hassle.”

The upgrade has added to previous technological improvements in the past for library computers, Buss, director of information systems at SU Libraries, said.

The combination of the hard-drive updates and the changes to the computers’ physical network path from 10 megabits to one gigabit made the overall changes more noticeable, Buss said. The upgrade provides the physical network with more than 100 times the memory than it previously had.  Before the most recent upgrades, any changes that were made were limited by the slow physical network connection, she said.

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