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Transcriptions envisions a near future in which higher-education humanities departments will need their own small computing studio within close physical proximity and under local control. Such studios will:
  • Supplement, rather than compete with, larger central campus computing facilities,
  • Hold a small but high-quality pool of hardware and software resources,
  • Be shared workspaces to which students and faculty can walk before, during, or after class to build projects together,
  • Allow the department or program to set the policy governing access to the server (without needing to go through the system administrator of a large campus server with many constituencies to serve and much higher risks to protect against),
  • Create an atmosphere akin to that of an architect's or artist's "studio" rather than computer "lab."

As a prototype of such a studio, Transcriptions began building in the fall of 1998 a facility in the English Dept. at UCSB. The now completed studio holds computers at one end and a seminar table at the other so as to create a hybrid space of intellectual and practical use. Currently, the studio contains six workstations (450-500 Mhz PCs with 19-inch and 21-inch monitors running Windows 98), a high-performance laptop for mobile classroom and conference presentations, a scanner, two printers, a mini-DVD camcorder and graphics capture card (for video work), and a multimedia projector. An additional multimedia projector purchased by the project is installed in the English Dept. seminar room for class use. These machines are networked to a dedicated, dual-processor server (running Microsoft's Windows NT, Internet Information Server, and Exchange Server). The server also runs the database program, Filemaker Pro, which allows users to access and enter data through the Web.

The networked environment of the Transcriptions project provides for a high level of resource-sharing and collaborative authoring. Students, faculty, and staff working on the project or on one of its courses can share documents with each other in organized fashion, "show" each other things, respond to each other privately and publicly, and build Web resources together.

The primary software on Transcriptions the studio computers currently includes:

Blueprint of Studio
  • Operating System
    1. Currently: Windows 98. Planned: Windows NT.
  • HTML Editors
    1. Macromedia Dreamweaver
    2. Allaire Homesite
  • Graphics Programs
    1. Adobe Photoshop
    2. Macromedia Fireworks
  • Graphics Programs
    1. Adobe Photoshop
    2. Macromedia Fireworks
    3. Extensis Photoframe
  • Video Editing Programs
    1. Adobe Premiere
  • Database Programs
    1. Filemaker Pro (with Web Companion)
  • OCR Programs
    1. Omnipage Pro
  • Programming Utilities
    1. PerlBuilder (CGI-script wizard)
  • Internet Utilities
    1. Linkbot Pro (link checker)
    2. WS-FTP (FTP client)
    3. NetTerm (Telnet client)
  • Other Utilities
    1. Norton Systemworks
    2. WinZip
    3. MS Powerpoint (plus the usual MS Office word-processing and spreadsheet programs)
    4. MacOpener
  • Security Programs
    1. Norton AntiVirus

The primary software on the Transcription's server currently includes:

  • Microsoft NT 4.0, SP 4 (including Internet Information Server responsible for Web and FTP service)
  • Microsoft Exchange Server
  • Filemaker Pro

Physical security in the Transcriptions studio is enhanced by:

  • Location on the second floor of the building
  • Monitored entry to room
  • Monitored optical-fiber security cables affixed to machines
  • Firmware security for high-value, portable equipment in the room (cable locks, etc.)

Transcriptions has future plans for:

  • Real-time "chat" in its courses
  • Streaming video and audio media
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View of Transcriptions Studio (Reverse View)

And there is also the secret life of technology. . . .
This page created by Alan Liu for the Transcriptions Team, 1/26/99 (revised 12/23/99)
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