New ‘Take a Break’ system targets computer users

A new computer service has been launched to make it easier for students to take regular breaks whilst studying. The so-called ‘Take a Break’ system intends to prevent them from saving PCs for later.

The workstation service, which allows a student to leave their computer unattended for 20 minutes after clicking the ‘Take a Break’ icon, has been designed to free up computers during busy study periods.

If a student does not return to their computer within 20 minutes, the computer will automatically log out and will be available for another student to use.

If the PC is left without starting ‘Take a Break’, the computer will automatically lock after 10 minutes of inactivity before starting the 20 minute countdown.

The service was launched on January 6th in all university libraries and the Julian Hodge Study Centre following a successful trial and agreement from the Student’s Union.

Andrew Coleman, IT Business Services Manager at Cardiff University, said: “I think [the service] will be really positive in terms of freeing up computers to students at busy times.”

Many students forget to lock their computers when leaving them unattended but this service will protect students’ accounts and data from unauthorized access.

An Information Services spokesperson said: “The service was introduced in response to feedback from students and comments in the National Student Survey about the difficulty of finding free PCs.

“Students have told us that it’s frustrating, particularly at busy times, to find unoccupied workstations being left logged in, so preventing other students from using the PC.

“We’ve already increased the period before the automatic lock from five to ten minutes following student feedback and we would welcome more feedback on the service.”

Students are advised to save work regularly because work will be lost if the student does not return to the PC within the allotted time of 20 minutes.

‘Take a Break’ will run throughout the year but will be continually reviewed to ensure it is meeting the needs of Cardiff University’s students.

Katie Sands

News Writer