We now have a place where UMW student media producers can go to get creative. Announcing 4 new iMacs at our Simpson Library (near the circulation desk)!
We’ve certainly had Macs available before to students, but they have been within specific departments. The Arts Complex – duPont (Theater and Dance), Pollard (Music), and Melchers Halls (Art & Art History) has long had Macs available for THEIR OWN students. However, when a student from an “outside” department wants to use a Mac, their weren’t many (any?) options. I wrote about these Macs at the end of last year and put forward the argument that Windows machines were mostly inferior for digital media projects. Now with these Macs accessible to any student (a UMW login is required), and software such as Final Cut Pro X, and Adobe Photoshop available to use, I can sleep better at night.
We still have some configuration issues we want to work out such as giving users a common “Dock” that has all of the software visible. I also am working on documentation for media production to help students who are new to this stuff. It’s interesting to see that these machines are being used, because more and more people are getting comfortable with them, and bringing them to campus. I have overheard student’s excitement about it.
Of course, all of this is a precursor to opening up the IT Convergence Center next Fall, and providing those spaces to work on digital media projects. Our library already offers up for loan some digital cameras as well as iPods and iPads, and more of this will happen in the new building. I also feel a bit funny still touting Macs over Windows machines, but I don’t think anyone can argue that Movie Maker is better than something like iMovie. And, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Final Cut Pro X is THE best video editor out there.
Finally, for you geeks out there, here are the specs on the iMacs as well as the software that is available:
- 21.5″ iMac w/ 3.1 GHz i7 processor
- 16GB of RAM
- 1TB Fusion Drive
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 512MB video card
- Apple Mouse and Extended Keyboard
- Apple Final Cut Pro X
- Apple Motion
- Adobe Production Premium Suite CS6 – Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator, Flash, After Effects, and more
- MPEG Streamclip
- Miro Video Converter
- Evom Video Converter
Follow up – It should be noted that there are Mac’s (complete with Final Cut and Photoshop) in the Media Suite in Monroe Hall for students who are taking classes in the building.
I should also state how much I appreciate the Simpson Library staff for getting these up and running (in concert with our IT Support staff) and having the vision that this is a necessary addition to the library space.