July 16, 2008
Written by Zachary Conley
RaiderPCMart is part of the "PC-Cradle to Grave" initiative, a joint effort between the CIO and Operations Divisions.
The green movement is on a role and Texas Tech is playing its part. Fast-paced technology improvements in the ever-changing computer world mean frequent upgrades and a surplus of old equipment. In an effort to promote computer recycling, the IT division has created RaiderPCMart.
The Office of the Chief Information Officer, in partnership with the Operations Division, is opening communication between departments looking to recycle usable personal computers and peripheral equipment. The new online application allows departments to notify each other of outgoing material.
Users can easily browse for items, post information and print necessary forms for equipment transfer or removal, find out the item's age, condition, price and even view a photo. RaiderPCMart also offers a weekly e-mail notification to keep interested users up-to-date on current posts.
Some departments are able to upgrade their computers every one to two years while others have systems that are five to six years old. RaiderPCMart is designed to create a system where departments that are better situated can help those that need newer computers. The alternative is sending the used computers to Property Inventory where they are processed and sent out to non-profit and educational groups.
Chief Information Officer Sam Segran recommends that departments replace their computer systems every three to four years.
“If we can get a good, useful life of about four years out of a computer we are doing well," said Segran. "I hate seeing computers bought with university funds get released out of the university in two or less years."
According to Segran, keeping the latest operating system and downloading recommended security updates is a good way to protect against the threat of worms, viruses and hackers, and meet the requirements of today's demanding software.
RaiderPCMart is a voluntary program. Thus far it has been successful and has experienced a good amount of activity on the Web site, said Segran.
“As long as people are recycling computers through the university departments we get a better usage out of them,” said Segran.
The IT Division suggests using KillDisk to ease concerns about disclosing the previous owner’s data to the new owner. KillDisk is a hard drive eraser program that effectively overwrites all information on the system several times, making it nearly impossible and extremely difficult to access the old data. Network site coordinators from any department can access KillDisk free of charge from the NSC site.
The TTU Office of the CIO developed the Safe Computing Practices Campaign for Texas Tech University and the surrounding communities to raise awareness and promote education. Our goal is to empower people with knowledge and tools to combat Internet-based security threats.
In December 2005 the TTU Office of the CIO was recognized as Business of the Month by the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce for Safe Computing Practices related activities. The TTU Office of the CIO was awarded the Cyber Presence Award for this Safe Computing Web site at the April 2006 Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Technology Luncheon.
Learn more at the Safe Computing Web site.