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Department of Geography


Audio Visual Aid provision in the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge

Audio Visual Aid provision in the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge

This short guide explains the availability of audio-visual equipment in the Department, how to make use of it and who to contact in the event of difficulties.

Equipment available for your presentation

  • Computer/Video projector, resolution up to WXGA
  • Desktop PC, as detailed below
  • Carousel slide projector; Seminar Room only
  • Overhead projector
  • Kensington Wireless Presenter

Guidance for each area

Details of each individual room's setup is available on the Intranet.

Further details about the desktop computers

  • The Operating System on each computer is Windows 7 Pro.
  • Microsoft Office 2016 is installed. Material created in older versions should work on this.
  • A CD/DVD drive is present on each machine.
  • As a precaution it may be useful to bring presentations on more than one media type.
  • The machines are connected to the Internet, via the Department's network.

Other software:

If your presentation is particularly large or complex using software packages not listed above, then it is probably best that you bring your own laptop (see below).

If you find the machine switched off when you arrive:

The desktop computers are checked each morning that they are switched on and booted up. However it is possible that the machine will be turned off when you arrive for your lecture. If the machine is off, please:

  1. Switch on the computer. After a minute or so it will have gone through its loading process.
  2. Log on to the machine, by pressing the Control+Alt+Delete keys altogether. If you are a member of staff then you will already have an account on GEOG enabling you to logon. If you are a Visiting Lecturer you will require a userid and password, available from the General Office, the Undergraduate Office Administrator or the Computing Staff in the Main Geography Building and Kate Gilbert or Toby Benham at SPRI.
  3. You can then select the program(s) you require, found on the Start menu.

This process takes about three minutes.

Laptop users

It is best practice to connect cables and then to switch on afterwards, projector first, but this is not always possible. If you find that the projector is already on, connect it to your laptop and boot up.

Remember to use the laptop power supply and use it from the mains; this prevents the embarrassment of the computer going to sleep as the battery depletes.

When the laptop is finally booted and the presentation selected, there may not be evidence of a display, even though the projector bulb is lit and the cable connected; this is most likely to be caused by a lack of signal to the external monitor socket of the laptop. Function plus the F key with the screen logo on it (the actual key varies according to the laptop) will normally rectify this and if the laptop screen disappears, then try once more as it is a three-state function. Alternatively, you may need to configure the computer's display properties (Start > Settings > Control Panel > Display). Notes for Macintosh users are below.

If you have videos embedded in a PowerPoint demonstration, please note that absence of this information when also using the projector is sometimes caused by inadequate monitor output memory. The temporary solution is often to close down the laptop screen to enable the computer to use all of its video memory for the external screen.

Macintosh users

A variety of Macintosh laptop computers have an external monitor socket which can be connected via an adapter to our computer projectors, although this is not always the case. If 'composite' video signals are used, this can cause a de-focussed result.

Who to contact - Who does what?

Ensuring the equipment is present

We try to ensure that equipment is available during all timetabled slots in the appropriate room. If you need equipment you think will not be automatically available or you need equipment for an ad-hoc seminar/presentation you must let Shane Harvey ( or 01223 (3)33390) know as far in advance as possible.

Technical issues and advice

The computing staff will be happy to help with any technical issues that may arise, although we do ask that you avoid leaving things until the last minute. Likewise, the computing staff can advise you, in advance of giving your presentation, on whether it will run on the Department's equipment.

If you have any further enquiries, please contact the computing staff:

  • E-mail: or
  • Telephone: 01223 (3)33390

If you encounter problems during a presentation, please kindly contact him so that a list of the most frequently encountered problems - and what do to - can be developed.