University of Virginia closing computer labs

According to a University of Virginia Web site, 99 percent of the entering freshman class brought at least a laptop with them, if not also a smartphone which can check e-mail and surf the Web. Because of this, the university has begun the process of shutting down many of its computer labs because they are becoming redundant and left unused.

The dream of a $100 laptop is not far from reality. The prices of netbooks are dropping rapidly, thus making portable computers with Internet and word processing capabilities more available for the masses.

While this may become a norm for larger universities, that is definitely not an option for Washburn University. During most of the weekdays, the desktop computers in the main area of the library often have students using them to write papers, research or print off information from classes. However, Washburn needs to start working on a few things as portable computers become increasingly present on campus.

The most important is how abysmal the wireless Internet is in most buildings on campus. Sometimes, one’s laptop connects to tsunami and sometimes to WUPublic. Whichever one is connected, it is slow, especially in the library where it is sometimes unusable.

We hope ISS is prepared for what is likely to be a massive influx of personal computers bogging down the wireless Internet.