Telnet users charged to keep accounts

David Hyland

More than 7,000 University students checking their e-mail this week learned they can’t get messages in the same way for much longer.
Before March 1, all students who use the Telnet application to view e-mail and other Internet functions will have to pay to maintain that account or convert to a free, more basic program.
Students who have messages saved on Telnet and do not pay the fee could lose them. University technicians said students will be able to retrieve messages for an unspecified period after March 1.
Those students that use POP mail will not be affected by the change.
Space constraints on the University’s servers prompted the change, said John Pearson, manager of Users Services in the E-mail Accounts Office. Telnet eats up a lot of server space and with dwindling users it was more economical to limit access to those who pay.
“What we’re trying to do is to pay for the resources that are used to provide these extra services,” Pearson said.
Previously, the University offered students two types of e-mail accounts free of charge. The Client/Server account allows students to connect to the University’s server and view e-mail through POP mail or use World Wide Web browsers like Netscape. These accounts will remain the same.
The Interactive account is for students who use Telnet. It allows users to log onto the server and access numerous programs like chat lines and personal Web pages.
The new Interactive or premium accounts will maintain all the features of the current version. It will also allow students to use 20 megabytes for storage and for their own Web space at a cost of $10 every three months.
“It’s less than three-tenths of a percent of your total tuition; that’s nothing,” said Adam Brodal, a civil engineering junior who works in a campus computer lab.
Fees for using the new e-mail accounts will be charged to the user’s STARS account.
Pearson said some of the affected students responded to the e-mail his office sent out. Some complained about the additional computer fee, others expressed confusion, he said.
The new fee for the Interactive account is different from the computer lab fees that Institute of Technology and College of Liberal Arts students pay, Pearson said.
Computer science senior and lab technician Keith Nguyen said the conversion will affect students in colleges like CLA more than IT.
IT students pay for an additional computer account, which provides access to many of Telnet’s programs.
Despite the additional fees, Pearson said there are some advantages to having the new Interactive account besides the additional programs. The new account allows students to keep their e-mail stored on the University’s central computer, allowing access from various locations.
With the Client/Server accounts, students can preview their new messages from various locations but must save and store their messages on their own computer or on a disk.
For students who want to initiate a Client/Server account, the software to run programs like POP mail and Netscape are available for $6 at University computer helpline locations.