Availability problems in computer labs

Availability problems in computer labs

Kelly Smith

This topic is probably something that falls under the category of common knowledge, but I really feel I should at least give my take on it.

Have you ever needed to print something out or do some research on a computer only to find that all the computers are taken? What do you do then? Some people may still have other less convenient options, but then there are others who are completely out of luck. While situations like these are sometimes inevitable, we can still reduce them.

I admit I’ve put myself in these situations before. One thing we can do is to avoid putting ourselves in such situations in the first place if we can.

I speak to myself as much as to everyone when I say that we should make sure we plan ahead if we need to research and/or print. That way, we could always plan around the obstacle of not having any computer to work with on a given day.

There are numerous public computers throughout campus. The chances of every single one of them being used during your free time are slim to none. Speaking of numerous computers on campus, it’s also good to know where the nearest computer labs are and what times they’re typically not as busy. This way, you could plan around the “computer rush hours” and know in advance where you’re going at what time.

Another good strategy is to buy your own computer and printer if you can afford them. Having a laptop or computer with a printer right there in your room should immediately solve any problems you may have with not finding any available resources on campus.

This way you can skip the filled computer labs and long lines at the printer and do what is needed at your leisure. Of course, there are some people like myself who prefer to leave these electronics at home and still use a computer lab between classes. That is where it helps to plan ahead as to what needs to be done online at the end of the day at home.

Now, what if you’re on a computer, not really doing anything productive, and someone else needs a computer for something? This is something else I’ve been guilty of from time to time.

Basically, my recommendation is, if you’re planning on logging onto a computer not necessarily to be productive, go to a lab that will likely see less of a rush with many other computers still available. Either that, or try to at least do something worthwhile on the computer so you’re not selfishly taking up valuable space that someone else may need.

The bottom line is, no one can prevent availability problems entirely and chances are that many people will sometimes find themselves stuck without a computer for various reasons. What we can do is basically be conscious of our own computer needs as well as the computer needs of others. After all, who wants to not have their paper ready on the day that it’s due?