Clean Out Your Computer Day (February 10th)

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Computers can be finicky, daunting little machines whose sole purpose is to confuse you with weird errors and problems out of nowhere. However, you don’t have to be some kind of tech wizard to save your computer (and your sanity). As with anything you use, your computer needs to be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. While this may seem equal parts boring and scary, it actually isn’t as hard as you might think. That’s why we have put together a list of resources to help you help your computer. And since February 10th is Clean Out Your Computer Day, you can really get into the techie holiday spirit.

  • Our lovely friend Wired Magazine’s all purpose computer physical and digital cleaning guide.

  • Cleaning your computer’s guts (with pictures!)

  • Maintenance tasks for Windows that you should do more often.

  • When computers rebel: basic repairs you don’t have to pay anyone to do.

  • The all purpose resource to just about every common computer problem

Book Review: “The Terminal Man” by Michael Crichton

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If you’ve been watching popular movies for the last few years, you’ll know that the Jurassic Park franchise continues to inspire and terrify millions of viewers. But did you know that the Jurassic Park movies were based on books by Michael Crichton?

Michael Crichton was a Harvard Medical School graduate who started writing books (and later directing films) instead of practicing medicine. Due to his scientific background, many of his books include detailed accounts of medical procedures and the science behind genetics, psychological disorders, and new technology. While not as popular as the Jurassic Park series, Crichton’s 1972 novel, The Terminal Man, is still a great example of Crichton’s medical knowledge and his writing expertise.

The Terminal Man is the curious story of Harry Benson, a man who suffers from intense seizures where he attacks others and mental delusions as the result of an accident. Benson is taken to a hospital for a new “stage three” procedure, where eager Doctor Ellis will perform surgery to implant a computer in Benson. This computer is expected to calm Benson’s seizures. However, there is great concern from his psychiatrist, Doctor Ross, that Benson will not be cured and may in fact grow more violent and mentally ill than before. To complicate things even further, Benson’s specific delusions are that computers and technology are actively trying to take over mankind- yet he agrees to having a computer placed in his body.

The “stage three” procedure is described in detail, but Crichton’s writing makes it easy to read and understand even if you’re not a Harvard Medical School student. Crichton also writes from the the third person omniscient point of view, so you can catch a glimpse of several characters’ motivations and worries throughout. It’s a fast-paced read, and the sense of dread surrounding Benson’s odd situation will keep you turning each page until the end. What will happen to Benson? Could his violence have an agenda? What are the philosophical implications of making a computer’s terminal out of a man? Will the new technology help or hurt others?

If you’re interested in this science fiction thriller, you can check it out from the library. View our catalog to see if it’s available!

The Best Books To Learn Programming Languages

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Learning to program? Looking for help on a specific language? The library has some books- both in print and online- that can help!

Listed below are some of our best books on popular programming languages. Click their links to see where they are located in the library (or to read them online, if they’re eBooks)!


Learning C#…

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This eBook introduces the C# language, how it connects to other languages and shares elements with them, and explains processes like remoting & creating intranet applications.

 

 

 

  • For those who already know some C#, we recommend C# In Depth.

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This book covers C# from version 2 onward, so if you’re looking for older versions, this may not be the book for you. However, it’s a great resource for more up-to-date developments. C# In Depth also moves at a faster pace since it assumes that you are not starting from scratch, which may be a plus for more experienced developers. The author writes with the tone of someone who knows and loves what he’s talking about, making this manual an enjoyable- as well as instructional- read.

 


Learning Java…

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This guide has definitions for everything, from algorithms to vectors and everything in between. It is written at an easy-to-understand level and explains the basics without embellishment.

 

 

 


Learning JavaScript…

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This bestseller takes you from your very first JavaScript script to document object model essentials. It’s a large book, but the descriptive chapter titles make it navigable. Interactive examples and exercises will have you understanding JavaScript in no time.

 

 

 

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With a tagline like “Rich, fast, versatile- JavaScript the way it should be!,” you know the authors concentrated their full efforts on streamlining jQuery. This book contains in-depth examples on various jQuery UI components, the jQuery UI library, event parameters, and more.

 

 

 


Learning Objective-C…

If you want to write applications for Apple products, take a look at Objective-C for Absolute Beginners. The library has this book in both print and eBook form.

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Equally helpful for new programmers and those who have never used OOP languages, this book allows you to learn in a visual manner. With a focus on debugging to really learn the language, Objective-C For Absolute Beginners will help you understand what you are doing each time you write an algorithm.

 

 


Learning Python…

Python Programming Fundamentals  provides both practice exercises and solutions for learning Python.

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From installing Python programs to get started, to emphasizing creativity in your programming, this manual does it all. It also takes into consideration the differences (and similarities) in using Python on Macs vs. Windows. Finally, there are even games you can play to increase your Python knowledge.

 

 


Visit the library for the programming manuals you need! We may have just what you’re looking for.

Spotlight on the Large Lab

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It’s spacious and quiet. It has a whiteboard wall, windows, and a printer. Its rows upon rows of computers have all been updated this summer.

What is it?

Welcome to the Large Lab!

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The Large Lab is located on the library’s first floor, in the hallway just past the elevators and bathrooms, and is also called “Room 131.” It’s a prime place for quiet computer use. Recently, the IT department brought in new Dell computers for the Large Lab; each of the computers operates with Windows 10.

Union Faculty can reserve the Large Lab for special meetings or presentations through the library website. For example, several library workshops will be held in the Large Lab this fall! However, when not reserved, the Large Lab’s door remains open for students in need of study space. Take a seat in the Large Lab the next time you visit the library- there’s plenty of room!

 

Tech Update: Windows 10

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Tech update: the library’s computers now operate with Windows 10!

Not much should be different for our patrons, other than logging off.

To log off with Windows 10:

  1. Access the Start menu.
  2. Click the profile icon (instead of the power icon).
  3.  Select to sign out.

 

For a brief introduction to Windows 10 as a system, check out the Microsoft website. For IT help, submit a help request at help.uu.edu.

 

Available Technology Programs

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The library’s technology lab, located on the first floor between Modero and the Circulation Desk, offers a variety of software available for student use. Included on the lab’s computers are the following programs:

  • Comsol 4.4 (no longer available in the library, but available in White Hall)
  • IBM SPSS Statistics 23
  • PTC CreoParametric 3.0 MO 20
  • Wolfram Mathematica 10.2
  • ChemDraw Professional 15.0 (no longer available in the library, but available in White Hall)
  • Adobe Creative Suite CC (no longer available in the library, but available in the Art Department)
  • Perkin Elmer Chem Office Pro 2015 (no longer available in the library, but available in White Hall)
  • Python 3.27
  • Microsoft Visual C++

Students can use these resources free of charge.