• Chad M. Olson

Minot State gets new tech

Minot State students, faculty, and staff now have access to 189 refurbished HP laptops that can be checked out for the duration of the semester for free.

According to Minot State Computer Support Services Director George Withus, the computers were donated by the Hess Corporation in December 2020.

The laptops have been configured for student use and come with a Windows 10 operating system, Office 365, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom. The computers are also equipped with a camera and microphone for use with Blackboard.

Those in need of a computer can visit IT Central, located in Old Main Room 108, to check one out. Students must be up to date with billing and must fill out a brief form to borrow a laptop.

“We used to have 15 laptops for checkout, and we had a two-week waiting period or a two-week using period. The reason we had this is because other students would come in and need a laptop,” Withus said.

“This donation, it came at a great time. A lot more people are going online with their classes, and things like this just give them another tool that they can use where they don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money to get hooked up to be part of a class again. This was a great donation for us.”

For students that require specialty software such as the Adobe Suite, they can use remote-access computers on campus that have those programs. Students can log in with the laptops using MSU remote access. Withus explained that once a student is using remote access, they are using the speed of the computer on campus instead of their laptop.

The IT department also has software available that can be installed specifically for nursing and math students. The laptops come standard with either eight or 16 gigabytes of RAM and have updated hard drives and memory. Although the laptops are between five to seven years old, they are still usable equipment, Withus said.

Hess Corporation has been a long-time community supporter of Minot and the surrounding areas, including a $1 million donation to Minot flood victims in 2011 and a $100,000 donation to the Great Plains Food Bank in December 2020.

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