Friday, November 07, 2008

when computing was news

A few of us created the project (one of the first of its kind in the U.S.) through which undergraduates received "front-line" computing support in their residences. House calls, as it were. It was, at the time, a revolutionary approach: after all, think, circa 1994-96, of how "computing support" was conceived. You have a problem with your computer, you pick up and carry it to a centrally located "Help Desk." But by '95 and '96 the first issues were those of connectivity - not something well done away from the connection! And then of course, after a while, students need less strictly technical help - and more in the way of guidance about using software, connecting with academic materials on this newish thing called the web, and playing, sandbox-like, with the new tools. We needed people who wouldn't mind getting sand on their hands and knees. Thus: the ITA, Information Technology Advisor. At some point KYW Radio (all news all the time) got wind of this and did a super-quickie little radio story about it. Very slight and barely broke the surface. I recently found the cassette they sent me after airing the story and now have converted it digitally, so here it is.