The student council has launched an app which shows where there are PCs available. This aid should help reduce the frustration that builds up when looking for a work station.
It is a common source of irritation among students. You come to the Forum to study, only to find all the computers occupied. Frustrated, you trail around all the computer rooms in the hope of finding a free machine somewhere. Happily, this frustration is about to become a thing of the past: the student council presented the available pc app at its New Year drinks party on 14 January. The app enables you to see for each building on your smartphone how many of the 1675 WUR PCs are free.
Besides the Forum, Orion and the Leeuwenborch, buildings such as Gaia and Radix are included in the system too. The details are clearly shown per room and even per corridor or corner. To keep it up-to-date, the app gets a signal from all the computers on campus every 10 minutes. The app also uses timetable information to block out rooms in which lectures are going on.
Using a Facebook poll, the student council discovered that there was a real need for this kind of app in Wageningen. Similar apps are already in use in other university towns. Most of the students we asked in the Forum confirmed that they were going to use the app. So the student council hopes for a large number of downloads. ‘I would be very happy with 2000 downloads,’ says chair Anneloes Reinders. ‘which would mean one third of the student population would have it. Then we’ll treat the IT department to cake.’
The available PC app was created by the IT department of Wageningen UR, and funded – to the tune of 25,000 euros – by the department of Education, Research and Innovation. While it was under development, the student council served as a sounding board, brainstorming in advance and giving feedback on interim versions. Creating apps is becoming more and more important for IT, says Ronald van der Meulen, who is responsible for applications: ‘In 2012 we still did hardly anything in the field of apps but last year we concluded that this is going to be important.’
You can download the available pc app free from the App Store and Google Play Store.