The Physical Science Computing Lab (PSCL) was opened in the fall of
1989. The PSCL was the brainchild of physics instructor, Rick
Guglielmino. Prof. Guglielmino spent over 3 years testing programs
(primarily MS Excel) writing and rewriting his labs to take advantage
of the 8MHz processing power of the Apple MacIntosh computer.
The lab was originally located in PB 110.
Conceived as a computing laboratory, the PSCL was utilized by
different departments (Astronomy, Chemistry, Geology, Oceanography,
Physics departments and the Mathematic Division) to analyze
experimental data, graphically represent mathematical equations,
provide interactive video science materials, etc. With no budget for computer technology the Physics Lab Technician, John Gerz, was chosen to supervise the lab. At that time the 36
Mac Classics was the largest computer lab run by a physics department
in the state of California.
By 1993 Mathematics had its own computer labs and except for a few drop in classes by Chemistry and Astronomy the PSCL was largely a physics domain. The PSCL was open about 20 to 25 hours per week for student use, and this was before there was internet connectivity. Initially, students would volunteer their time so that the lab could be open. By 1994 the PSCL had become a gathering place for science students. S\It had become a place for studying, experiments, audio & video projects, etc. Also, students were being paid to log-in/log-out & maintenance.
In 1996 the 36 Classics had dwindled to 22 working Macs, and were replaced by 17 Power Computing Mac clones. The internet had arrived. At the end of 2000 the lab was relocated to a bungalow in the north parking lot for the remodel of the PB building. By 2001 Markus Smalling was hired to help run the lab and the Power Computing clones were replaced by 17 Quicksilver Mac 733 Mhz PowerMacs. In winter 2003 the PSCL reopened in CR 146. In late 2003 the Physics Department purchased 13 iBook G3's to help with the computing needs of our lab students. In 2005 the Chemistry Department purchased 20 iBook G4's, thus distancing their need to utilize the PSCL. Starting in 2006 and ending in 2009 the Quicksilver Macs were replaced by various flavors of the MacMini. Also in 2009 the Chemistry purchased 4 MacBook and Physics purchased 3.
As of September 2009 the Chemistry and Physics departments have 42 laptops, 17 desktops, and 1 Mac server. This system of computing is still run by John Gerz and Markus Smalling.
Last updated: 8/12/2009 1:31:34 PM