New Support Center Improves Technical Support

The Wake Forest University community now has easier access to computer services and technical support.

Students will find a new computer “help desk” with expanded services in Reynolda Hall, new printers in every residence hall, computer-savvy advisors in freshman halls, and other improvements for the start of the fall semester.

Prompted by student suggestions and survey results, the new center expands upon services offered last year in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library. Trained support consultants answer calls and streamlined telephone menu choices replace voice messages and call-backs for service. The telephone number remains 759-4272.

“We wanted to improve the support service we provide to the university community,” said Lynda Goff, support services manager. “We believe that this new support center, staffed with trained support consultants, will provide faculty, staff and student users a single point of contact and improved service performance.

“All these changes mean better computer support, better communications and better access for everyone.”

The new center opened Aug. 5 in Room 17B near the east entrance of the Reynolda Hall cafeteria. Telephone and walk-in service is available in the new center from 8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, and 4 p.m. to midnight Sunday. Some loaner ThinkPads are also available for those whose model 360XD and 365XD Thinkpads require repairs.

Freshmen will comprise the majority of ThinkPad users this year. Each will receive ThinkPads for the start of the Plan for the Class of 2000. By 1999, all students will have the machines.

Weekend support remains in Room 203 of the library, which supplied all support and printout facilities last year. The hours are noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m Sunday.

Printers in Room 203 have been moved in front of the service desk so students can get their own printouts anytime, instead of waiting for desk service. The distribution of printers campus-wide has eliminated the help desk’s role as the primary site for computer printouts.

The installation of 51 new printers this summer makes hard copies of documents available in every residence hall. Each undergraduate will be given a printing account, with 200 free copies per semester. Additional copies can be purchased through the University Stores Service Center.

In preparation of the arrival of the Class of 2000, the university also implemented the new Resident Technology Advisors (RTA) Program. It provides two student RTAs in each of the six freshman residence halls to provide ThinkPad support. Their hours will be posted in prominent locations.

For upperclassmen and students who have computers other than IBM ThinkPads and IBM’s new desktop model sold on campus, the University Stores Service Center will provide support on a fee basis. Technicians from the National Technology Group will be available on campus the first three weeks of the fall semester to assist with any connection problems and respond to requests received by the service center.

The new service center is in Poteat Residence Hall, formerly the site of a computer lab. In addition, the Vegas and Poteat computer labs have been replaced with labs in Taylor and Davis residence halls.

The National Technology Group will offer repairs through the service center throughout the school year. The service center is also responsible for students’ printing accounts and maintaining the networked printers in residence halls. The service center will also offer computer backups, memory upgrades, networked color printing and copying and computer rentals.