When we reopen... a computer lab

Reserved post to put info from jim,jimmy,doug,raffi.

Lab will have quantity 8 student computers plus the instructor station. Specs below:

Dell Precision workstation towers with 16GB DDR4 RAM and an quad core Intel Xeon CPU. Nividia K2200 workstation cards
256GB solid state drives
1080p Acer monitor

Furniture to change after we reopen.

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Are these the computers donated to DMS from your company, @dougemes?

It looks good!

no, DMS procured them.

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This is cool.

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Exciting, too. Imagine being able to go through set up for a class yourself instead of troubleshooting other people’s machines. Or even automating that process.

Imagine showing up to a class and being able to focus on learning and not staring at a progress bar.

Imagine being able to connect to any student’s screen from your machine to help them, and switching between screens quickly and easily?

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Ya you could have pre installed IDE’s on all of them or photoshop pre installed.

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You could set up little challenges for them so they’re engaged as soon as the sit down

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they actually already have VS Code and Eclipse installed; can install other items on request.

For adobe we’d need to get more licenses, but that’s on the table for discussion

EDIT: here’s just the software off the top of my head we preinstalled:

  • clean version of windows 10 (@yashsedai thanks for removing the bloat!)
  • LibreOffice
  • Gimp
  • Inkscape
  • Notepad++
  • PuTTY/WinSCP
  • VS Code
  • Eclipse (plugins still TBD)
  • Python / JDK
  • VLC
  • IfranViewer
  • Blender
  • Foobar2000
  • 7zip
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Very welcome

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does the VScode have emmet?

Please block Facebook on them.

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I personally don’t use vscode, so no idea; but I know a lot of people do so I put it in the base image

The laptops (Dell e7440’s, i5’s with 128gb SSD and 8-15gb ram) ultimately were disallowed by my mgmt. The good news for those machines though is we are redeploying them to be remote PC’s for virtual labs for our training centers due to COVID-19 regulations (I have 5 company training centers across the US that we shipped the laptops to)

I am extremely thankful the BoD was able to take the input from infra and from computing committee and outfit the DMS training lab. Great things will happen post the pandemic.

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Thanks for the clarification.

When we’re all back, is there a way to ghost the computers as part of class setup so we can ensure there isn’t any malware that may have mysteriously appeared between classes?

I’m asking because I would like to teach classes where logins will be necessary (Google drive, LinkedIn, etc.)

Part of my plan is a solution such as Deep Freeze or similar; I want to see a clean slate for each class with minimal overhead. Crowdstrike is also now being deployed to all of our workstations as our new EDR for malware protection.

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What a great addition to DMS!

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The occasional LAN party/tournament with old games would be awesome!

Could use portable versions as to not make them a permanent addition/distraction from their intended use.

Just a thought :).

Would be a way to promote the new space and encourage people to check it out.

Or maybe I just Wana kick butt at: Unreal tournament, quake, CS 1.6, age of empires, you can even play roller coaster tycoon 2 multiplayer now (30 min 4v4 best park sounds intense), and many more options.

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Thanks to @dougemes and all others involved in this fantastic project! However I will not be using it for my Arduino-ish classes. Why? About 25% of students in my classes have issues getting the Arduino IDE running on their laptops. I consider that one of the main deliverables in my classes is that students leave with their laptop configured so it will work when they get home. (I do bring a backup laptop and make that available to anyone who forgot their own.)

It is likely that others will use the lab for microcontroller classes which use the Arduino IDE so I will throw out a recommendation. The teacher should prepare a Portable Arduino IDE zip file with the IDE, libraries, class projects and documentation. It works great with personal laptops as well as a lab environment and does not require the IDE to be installed.

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I think that is very fair. Part of the skill you are providing is how to get your local environment running and optimized for your at home/work use.

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Personally, I think there is not much skill involved in installing Android Studio for making Android apps. Having used the Adruino IDE I think Android Studio is simpler to install. I’d rather have students focus on learning the concepts of Android app development, probably some configuration of the IDE, like setting up a virtual Android device or running their apps, but that can all be done post install and Android Studio is a pretty lengthy install, especially if you’re targeting the after-work-before-bed schedule for classes.

I think focusing on the coding aspect of app development and showing them they can get something on the screen pretty quickly will motivate them, and I think that’s very valuable in the beginning.

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