A computer is open for access

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    By JENNY RICKS

    While many Open Access Computer Labs remain busy as ever, there are options for students wanting to avoid lines and find a computer fast.

    The Student Athlete Building’s Open Access Computer Lab is one of these options.

    Found on the third floor, this lab boasts 43 computers available for student use. Large windows provide a beautiful view of the mountains, creating a relaxing atmosphere.

    Perhaps one of the most inviting characteristics is the fact that, most of the time, students do not have to wait in line for a computer.

    “Since we moved up to this lab there haven’t been long lines,” said Rebecca Salyards, Open Access lab assistant for the Office of Information Technology.

    The Student Athlete Building’s Open Access Computer Lab opened earlier this year, during Winter Semester.

    “The main people who use it are the athletes, but it is open to everyone,” Salyards said.

    One reason this lab might not be as busy as the others is because of its location.

    “As a general rule, we find that the labs that are closer toward the center of campus are the busier ones,” said Scott Hunt, manager of Open Access Labs for OIT.

    The busiest lab on campus is in the Wilkinson Center, and the labs in the Harold B. Lee Library come in a close second.

    Another lab overlooked by students is in the Knight Magnum Building. There are 115 computers in the KMB, however not all of them are always available for student use. Many of the computers are in classrooms, but the open lab contains 30 computers always available for student use.

    “I like it because there is always a computer available and people don’t know about it as much as other labs,” said Emily Hilton, a junior majoring in psychology.

    Students off campus or at home also have the option of checking the status of computer labs on campus. Students can go to labs.byu.edu, and click on “seat availability” found on the left-hand side of the screen.

    “You’ll get a list of how many machines are being used in each lab, and how many are open,” Hunt said.

    This feature may prove especially useful as midterms and finals approach, when lab usage tends to increase.

    Hunt explained Open Access Labs actively track information such as total log ons, average log ons per user and average time spent per user.

    He said the average amount of time per user is generally higher in labs closer to the center of campus, and lower in outlying areas and housing labs.

    Monday is consistently the busiest day in Open Access Computer Labs. Each day thereafter tends to drop off a little, with Friday and Saturday typically being the least busy.

    Hunt called 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. “peak utilization time.” Within this time period, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is usually when labs are busiest during the day. After 5 p.m., usage tends to drop off in most labs, with the exception of the Wilkinson Center.

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