Workstation Feature – Instructor Mode

Student grades have finally been elevated to the CRS (that’s the university’s management system) and whenever there is the need to get a lot of things done, my workstation often transforms into this, with subtle variations each time:

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That’s the Asus Zenbook UX31E, the Logitech Alto, a Logitech M280, and an Acer P166HQL

Why the Asus Zenbook UX31E?

This would’ve been the HP Probook had I not gotten the UX31E (else if something more graphic intensive were being created). But the sheer resolution of the Zenbook (1600x900px) is around the sweet spot for viewing expansive spreadsheets without having to scroll about as much compared to when using conventional commercial resolutions.

Why the Logitech Alto?

Readers will probably find this technology “retro” already, but the Alto is so much more than just an external keyboard.

First off, whenever there is a need for numerical entry, there’s just no beating a numpad – hands down, its the fastest entry method available.

Grading requires plenty of numerical input… a whole lot of it, and while it is possible to just plug an external numpad, the feel of a full keyboard that isn’t influenced by heating, like the laptop keyboard is, and one where you’re absolutely certain where the numpad will be at all times gives you further efficiency. The Alto also has a dedicated calculator key, which you really wont find anywhere else these days… I found that I’ve been hitting it a lot during this activity.

The Alto elevates the main screen to eye level, which relieves strain from the user’s neck as opposed to an unmounted tilted laptop screen that makes one bow down a bit to match its angle – this is always important for posture and wellness when not using a standing desk (even when ^^)

Another benefit of the Alto is it acts as a USB hub providing access to three (unpowered) USB slots from the single one that it connects to… that’s plenty especially for ultrabooks.

Seeing as the Alto is the only mechanical keyboard I have – the tactile response feels great as an indication that work is actually being completed XDD

Why the Logitech M280?

The M280 is a no-nonsense wireless mouse that does what it’s intended to do exceptionally well and uses only one battery at that! It is part of the Logitech Unifying system so it plays well with peripherals of its generation. I do have a few technically superior mice around but for “grunt” work – the M280 is a contender.

Why the Acer P166HQL monitor?

There’s really no reason, any monitor would work with this setup, as long as it fits in the table. The advantage of working with a dual monitor system is in the ability to have a reference up at one screen while working on the other – especially useful when cross examining data and evaluation. Of course a bonus would be if the resolution of both the main screen and the extended screen match up against one another that screen elements wont suddenly become larger when they proceed to the other screen.

That’s the lowdown of the system that I’ve been working with for at least two days, nothing too fancy but purposeful and efficient. Maybe at the end of 2017 if this becomes a requirement again, let’s see what updated hardware we can find ^^

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