'Powered By' Test Program Seeks Volunteers

Faculty and staff are invited to participate in the Intel “Powered By” beta test program. According to Dave Maki (AdIT), NMU’s partnership with the company gives the university access to the latest pre-released wireless hardware and software for notebook computers. In return, Intel is able to test its wireless products in a controlled, “real-world environment” to supplement continued testing in its labs.

By submitting reports on everything from installation and connection problems to performance issues, NMU volunteers can help Intel expose potential bugs before its products are released commercially to the public.

“This is a good deal for both sides and we need more people to sign up to test the new wireless cards and drivers,” Maki added. “The benefit in volunteering is that you’re able to use the latest technology that should offer improved performance. Another carrot is that you’ll be one of the first in town to get WiMAX. Intel keeps track of who’s submitting what and gives a $20 Starbucks gift card each month to the best bug reported. 

Even though the equipment and software being tested has undergone rigorous testing, some bugs and issues do occur when interoperating with the multitude of wireless equipment found on campus and at home.

'Powered By' users may experience some wireless issues every now and then. Most can be fixed by restarting the notebook computer. If the problem persists and can't be resolved by the Help Desk, any 'Powered By' user can withdraw from the program at any time."

To participate, go to “Powered By.” The NMU-Intel partnership also includes an internship program that started last summer. Two students are paid for full-time training at Intel’s Oregon facility so they can return to campus and serve as company contacts for the beta test program. They also help to debug wireless issues unique to NMU’s infrastructure.


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Updated: February 5, 2009

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