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 - email@example.com is usually the best way to reach me.