A Them Days Wishlist

Today I’m ordering a new computer for the administrator’s office. Anyone who has had the privilege of using the current computer knows just how tedious it can be to work on it. It is slow, doesn’t always respond, and is pretty darn frustrating. It’s about eight years old, so it’s put in its time. (My computer is similarly old, but it’s had a hard drive upgrade, so it’s still decent. A new computer is probably going to have to come soon, though.)

We’re able to buy this new computer with the help of a few generous donors who heard we needed a new computer and decided to contribute with the provision that it go towards a new computer. (Thank you!)

That’s got me thinking about all the other things we need in this office. We make-do with a lot of things around here that wouldn’t be up to scratch in a normal (ie., not non-profit) office.

Here’s a short list:

  • Speakers. We don’t have a working set of speakers for any computer in this office. The laptop ones work, thankfully. But on the main editor’s computer, it would be very handy to be able to listen to audio without headphones.
  • Headphones. Good quality ones. Believe me, it makes all the difference. I bought a pair of what I thought were good quality headphones, and they’ve ended up being our office headphones. They’ve been here for about five or six years. I suppose I can barely call them my own at this point. Then I was given a pair of reallllly nice headphones as a gift. Of course, they are here at the office too, but I would really like to take them home as they are my own personal headphones and I don’t want them to get broken and I would also like to be able to use them at home. I brought them in because they really make all the difference in being able to transcribe interviews.
  • Tape player. We’ve worn out two of these already with digitization efforts, and we desperately need to digitize the rest of the tapes. The tapes degrade over time, and they need to be done sooner rather than later. Already, they don’t sound great (though we discovered that at least part of that was due to the quality of the tape players before they crapped out).
  • Tablet. With technology moving so fast the way it is, a tablet would let us take payments at craft tables and fundraisers with a wifi connection (or a sim card) and also help us take our digital offerings into the future! We want to offer digital magazines in the future for people who don’t want to get paper copies (or just get them in addition!) AND for our sold-out issues. Tablets also make it easy to make videos, etc. We could also scan our tickets for our tours. We also hope to develop an app in the future. We could also very easily bring photos and other documents safely with us wherever we go. We could also use it for our social networking. For example, you can’t use Instagram without a mobile device like a tablet or a phone. Right now, I use my own cellphone or our students use their phones, but this is not ideal for obvious reasons (one of which is that I only have 50 mb of data on my plan so if I go over, I have to shell out of pocket).
  • Portable scanner. When I do interviews, I copy pictures from my sources to go with the story for the magazine. This would be much easier and also scan at better quality than just taking a picture of a picture.




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