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Published by Kelly GIles
Layout appeared in January '07 issue of Blue & White magazine. Features information about new technology.
Layout appeared in January '07 issue of Blue & White magazine. Features information about new technology.

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Published by: Kelly GIles on Apr 20, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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January/February 2007
Lite-Brites were the coolest new gadgets money could buy? What about when watching a VHS was much coolerthan reciting the ABCs and DVD wasn’t even in ourhome entertainment vocabulary?But with technology advancing to unoreseenheights and becoming a substantial part o everyday communication and interaction, it comes as little sur-prise that educational institutions around the nation are jumping on the technological bandwagon.“Since 1982, technology has become increasingly more important in a student’s education,” said JohnGorsuch, director o the Ram Shop.With the help o Fred Brooks, a pioneer in computerscience, UNC-Chapel Hill established its computerscience department in 1964. Te department considersitsel the second reestanding, Ph.D.-oering computerscience department in the nation.Tough the department initially attracted muchattention, time took its toll, and both the dot-com busto the 1990s and ears o job outsourcing took prece-dence in the minds o prospective majors, resulting indwindling enrollment.“Computer science was a really hot major in the1980s and ‘90s, but then there was a big drop nation- wide,” said Steve Weiss, a proessor in the departmento computer science. “It was a hard major that got you agood job. Ten it just became a hard major.However, Weiss explained that enrollment has onceagain begun to increase and that, despite statistics andgures, technology on campus and throughout society in general is an important aspect o daily lie.Figures show that the technology industry hasbecome a multi-million dollar business, impacting virtu-ally every American household.In act, more than 22 million adults in the UnitedStates currently own iPods, while the number o Ameri-cans who own computers is even more staggering at 70million households, or 62 percent o the population,as reported by the 2003 U.S. Census Bureau. Tis is anearly sevenold-increase rom 1984, when computeruse seemed like a luxury reserved or a segment o thepopulation.Tough the 1990s were certainly characterized by 
tech rocks
“ET, phone home”? Try “ET, text home.” And we may not have spaceshipsthat whip whatever we most desire out of thin air a la “Hitchhiker’s Guide tothe Galaxy,” but phones booths are definitely out of style. And when lightning strikes, let’s all just hope it’s not attracted to your wireless connection....
the technological and Internet boom (and subsequentbust), it still remains an amazing eat that society has be-come a virtual playground or the technologically savvy and that daily lie can now be measured in gigabytes andRPMs.College students in particular seem to be bombardedby an endless stream o new technology, as thousands o campuses now have wireless Internet access and requirestudents to have laptops on which they can check Websites and where databases assign homework and admin-ister exams.“Te University is behind the curve in terms o acili-ties; it’s all because o money,” Weiss said. “I think the[Carolina Computing Initiative] was a dramatic, boldand positive move.Gorsuch pinpointed 1999, the year CCI was intro-duced on campus, as a watershed moment or both theRam Shop and the University.He said that there were originally hopes that approxi-mately one-third o all incoming reshmen that year would jump on board with the plan. However, ofcials were pleased by a more than 50 percent participationrate that year alone.Te Ram Shop, one o the oldest college computerstores in the United States, has grown substantially overthe past two decades, expanding to three locations oncampus. In May 2007, the Ram Shop hopes to open aull-service computer department in Student Stores.While the topic o computer innovation promptssome to retreat to a sense o nostalgia, a longing or atime when daily lie seemed much more personal andun-digitized, most realize that such a transormation hasbecome necessary in society.“I believe American lie has become way toodependent on technology nowadays,” said Early Yu, asophomore computer science major rom Cary. “Forme personally, every time I get in my car and realize Idon’t have my iPod, I run up to my room and get it. I wouldn’t know what I would do without my cell phone,laptop and car.”Whether with open arms or through gritted teeth,not all have been so quick to embrace digitization intheir daily lives.Much to the dismay o many native Chapel Hillians,the town council last year decided to reject a proposalby council member Laurin Easthom that would haveprovided or the establishment o a committee to inves-tigate making Wi-Fi technology available throughoutChapel Hill.Tough viewed as somewhat o a setback to technol-ogy enthusiasts, businesses in and around Chapel Hillhave slowly begun to incorporate wireless Internet con-nections and other technology into their establishmentsto provide an added convenience or customers, many o whom rely heavily on their ability to check e-mail orto sur the Internet or inormation.Four Corners, Jack Sprat and Panera Bread all oercustomers the chance to utilize wireless technology. While these establishments have chosen to embrace

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