Douglas R. Bowie is the ECT Technology Manager and is in charge of BNIC, a biweekly event that usually has pizza and gives students more hands-on experience with technology. Students work on their projects or seek casual conversation between staff and students. BNIC is now done virtually over Teams, thanks to Bowie. He answered a few questions about BNIC, as well as his personal take on the quarantine.
Q: If you’re comfortable sharing, what is your current remote situation?
A: I have a full remote setup. It's similar to my office setup, but not as quiet as I have three children. :-) Multiple PCs, monitors, servers, switches, NAS devices, etc. I can usually remotely control the equipment that I need to work with. I've had to go into the office about once a week to physically touch something for some reason.
Q: What game servers does ECT currently provide?
A: Minecraft (Survival), Team Fortress 2, Conan Exiles, Citadel Forge of Flames, in planning is a Minecraft (creative) using Ohio University GIS topo data to build Ohio University in Minecraft.
Q: What is BNIC?
A: Bobcat Network Innovation Center is a student group that I created to give students more hands-on experience with technology. It's a venue for students to interact on a more casual basis with faculty and staff. We work on student projects and faculty projects. Often students have brought in classwork that they have questions about.
Q: What sort of successes have you seen with this?
A: BNIC has been the birthplace for several interesting projects. For example, the FLiR-Pi (mobile and stationary installations), Liker-Pi (social media display board) and we are currently working on a nerf tank.
Q: What advice do you have for instructors or/and students in the current environment?
A: Be nimble and creative in your thought process to find a solution. There usually isn't just ONE solution in our line of work. (Dogs playing poker and all). Learning is a lifelong process that won't end when formal school ends. For most of the seniors graduating the real learning is just beginning.
Q: What games do you currently play?
A: The Division 2 has been my "stay home and play" go-to with several of my online buddies around the country. I also play Dungeons and Dragons Online (oldie but fun), Minecraft a bit and Ghost Recon Breakpoint with my sons. I play a variety of paper and pencil games that have transitioned to Roll20. A VTTs (Virtual Table Top) which allows us to continue playing with my usual in-person group even when we all have to stay him. At home, we have been playing Uno and Massive Darkness which is a tactical fantasy dungeon crawler loot-shooter game I got on Kickstarter a while back.
Q: Do you have anything you want to add?
A: Students are always welcome to reach out to me if they have issues or questions. Email/Teams - firstname.lastname@example.org is usually the best way to reach me.
BNIC enhances our information technology classes, providing assistance for class projects, as well as personal projects. The Information Telecommunication Systems major is part of the McClure school; check out our program here! Doug Bowie and Brandon Saunders provide substantial career advice and are essential staples to BNIC.