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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hands-On Tech: University of Michigan CAEN

I had the opportunity today to stop by the CAEN library at the University of Michigan. Boy, is the technology impressive. The whole place seems wired. Students abound with laptops and are pampered with Wi-Fi and widescreen monitor hookups, and for those without their own computers, the desktop machines are the awesomest I've seen for a public lab.
We're talking the Dell Optiplex 745, armed with Core 2 Duo E6400 processors, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, GigE, Radeon X1300 Pros...the works. The IT dudes are obviously smart people (they know to run XP instead of Vista, after all!) The software loadout consists of some heavy stuff - Matlab, literally DOZENS of CAD/MCAD applications such as Autodesk, and Carsim, as well as stat software including S-PLUS 7.0 and R.
There is also an amazing selection of multmedia apps like Maya, Photoshop CS3, Premiere Pro, 3dsmax 9, Dreamweaver, Flash, etc. For us Linux geeks out there, there's Cygwin. Firefox lovers are covered with version 2. All in all, a very impressive loadout - just think of how much the licensing for all these apps must cost!

The whole place has a nice modern feel which is obviously well supported by all this technology. My geekiness feels challenged now :(

This is definitely a serious, high-powered place for students of similar quality. I am quite impressed.

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