University offers computer support

Juliette Crane

All incoming students will be sent a free University Internet Toolkit and gain access to more than a dozen public computer labs across campus.
Included in the Internet Toolkit is a “Welcome” compact disc that acts like an interactive University guide. The toolkit also contains software and instructions for connecting to the Internet as well as additional Internet programs like Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
The kits can also be purchased for $6 through the University Academic & Distributed Computing Services in Shepherd Labs, room 152.
The kit automatically installs Internet software onto your computer and configures your connection software. Students dial in to the University system to get connected to the network and instantly have Internet access.
If students have problems with the setup, the University provides technical assistance through the University Computer Service. Employees will answer questions about connecting to the Internet, using computer hardware and software, e-mail and other Internet applications.
Students may also bring their computers into the lab for service, or have UCS go on-site to solve the problem, said Nick Eigen, a University student who works for both UCS and the Internet Help Line.
The Internet Help Line is an additional service available through the University. Students can call the help line for answers to technical questions regarding computers and the Internet.
“Typically, students have problems connecting to the University network,” said Internet Help Line employee Jonathan Pui.
Students have issues with configuring their e-mail and using their modem, he said.
Employees at the help line will also answer nonrelated Internet questions.
They offer modem testing at Shepherd Labs and can solve problems with computer hardware, software, programs and printers.
The help line is provided through ADCS, a service that is also helping students get connected to the Internet even faster.
By the end of the summer all University residence halls and apartments will have a direct Ethernet connection, providing high-speed access to the campus network. The Internet Toolkit includes the necessary software for connecting to and using the network. Students can subscribe to the service via the University’s Residential Networking Web site at www.resnet.umn.edu.
All computer labs on campus also offer Ethernet connections. Jerry Larson, head of Academic Computing Labs on the East Bank, said the computer lab in Lind Hall, room 26 has 25 newly installed G-4 Mac machines with high speed, 100MB network connections.
The lab also contains 24 PC machines and is one of the busiest on campus. More than 8,000 students used the facility in April, he said.
The largest facility on campus, however, is located on the West Bank at the Humphrey Center, room 50. The lab has more than 100 available computers and is open most days until 10 p.m.
Copies of all lab hours are available at each facility, as well as online at http://www.publabs.umn.edu.