Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Audio & USB Patch Cables Provided at Desktop of Public Workstations

For many public workstation users, online access to content today increasingly means listening as well as viewing content. It also means using peripherals, such as flash drives, external hard drives, digital cameras, and other similar devices that are connected through the workstation’s USB port. Providing both audio USB cables at the desktop is a big customer convenience.
All of the University Libraries’ 350 public workstations provide a set of audio and USB patch cables directly to the desktop near the monitor and keyboard. This means that customers can connect their peripherals easily, and listening to content is as simple as plugging headphones into the audio cable to hear instructional videos, DVDs, iTunes, podcasts, Ruckus music, or the latest CD from the University Libraries’ Music Collection.
Providing these cables saves time for those who maintain the equipment, too. This is because many of the public access computers have audio and USB ports that are located on the backplane of the computer box, making access difficult. When customers move computers and unplug cables, connectivity is often interrupted, requiring that the unit be serviced to restore its operation. Bringing these popular cables directly to the desktop is a service to students and removes reasons for customers to try to plug into the computer box.
At the Libraries iMAC stations, the cable set also includes a Firewire cable for students and others who need to transfer rapidly digital video and other large amounts of data.


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