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This article first appeared in the June, 2005 issue of Benchmarks Online. It has been edited slightly for this issue. Also, the Helpdesk has a new resource, Quick Guide to Computing Resources at UNT . -- Ed.
By Dr. Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, Student Computing Services Manager
It is that time of year again: endless freshman, graduate, and transfer student orientations. Lots of students and parents to meet and greet and to inform about all of the many computing services available to them at UNT. After reading a general message to everyone about looking out for these students and helping them as they make their way in their new campus environment, I thought I would give readers a 'head's up' about some basic computing facts that every student needs to know. I give this presentation to all incoming students and their parents but any and all readers may get asked these questions also. Here is your Student Computing Guide for 2005!
The Computing and Information Technology Center and its associates offer a wide range of services to registered students. These include: Internet and E-mail accounts, the my.unt.edu portal for registering for classes and paying bills, the general access computer labs, extensive digital file storage resources, wireless networking, free virus protection, tons of computing training, and the every-ready helpdesk. In addition, Housing offers the high-speed ResNet residential computing network.
Every student is given an E-mail (EagleMail) account. This account is the official means of communication between the university and the students. EagleMail can be accessed at http://Eaglemail.unt.edu. All students should read their EagleMail regularly. If a student already has an E-mail account from someplace like Hotmail or AOL, they can easily forward their EagleMail to that preferred address by going to the Account Management Page at http://ams.unt.edu. This site is invaluable for many other student account services too like changing their enterprise password and checking to see when their current password will expire.
http://my.unt.edu is pretty much 'command central' for many of the registration-and-payment-related activities a student will do. This portal is designed to provide a central web location where UNT community members can access the Enterprise Information System (EIS) and other available online services using a single login. Current UNT Students can use my.unt.edu online services to register for classes, view their course descriptions and pay for tuition. UNT Admission and Financial Aid Applicants can check their admission and financial aid status once UNT creates and sends them an EUID.
Even if a student brings a computer to campus, he or she will most likely use the General Access Computer Labs. Students take advantage of the labs' free printing services and also use the labs to access expensive and highly-specialized hardware and software they may need for their major work. The UNT system has 14 general access computer labs including one at the Research Park and one at the Dallas Campus. The labs feature both Windows and Macintosh systems with the highest concentration of Macintosh computers being in the labs located in the Music and Art buildings. The standard software on all machines includes Internet Explorer, Netscape, and Mozilla Firefox browsers as well as the most up-to-date versions of Microsoft Office. A valid UNT student ID card is needed to access these labs. Students should not forget their ID card as they will not be allowed in the labs otherwise. Below is a listing of all the lab locations and some special information about some of them:
UNT Student Storage, located at http://untss.unt.edu, allows students to upload their documents to a centralized digital storage location for safe-keeping and for access to them at any and all other locations. For example, a student could finish writing a paper on their computer in their dorm room, upload it via the easy-to-use web interface to UNTSS, go to a general access lab, and print the paper on one of the lab's nice laser printers to turn in. The greatest thing about this is that it obviates the need for unreliable and virus-prone floppy discs. Each student has 100 MB of storage space.
ResNet is the residential ethernet network offered by Housing in all of the dorms and in many surrounding apartment complexes. The ResNet helpdesk number for more information is 940-369-7766 and their website is located at http://www.unt.edu/resnet. ResNet is quite easy to activate for most folks; all one needs is an ethernet card and cable (the cables are for sale in the dorms). Students are strongly discouraged from using this great high-speed service to download copyrighted materials! Hollywood regularly scans such networks and the ResNet folks will disconnect your machine if Hollywood calls them and tells them something like, "The computer with IP address 129.xxx.xxx.xx has 'Revenge of the Sith' on it!" A student may be liable for prosecution by Hollywood as has been evidenced by several high-profile cases at other universities. (just wait for 'Sith' to come out on DVD ok?)
The Eaglenet Wireless website located at http://www.unt.edu/wireless states: "The University of North Texas Computing and Information Technology Center is pleased to bring you Eaglenet, the wireless network at UNT. Eaglenet is available in selected buildings on the Denton Campus and in selected areas in the Research Park. Eaglenet supports the wireless IEEE 802.11b standard that allows you to connect your wireless network equipped laptop or other device to the network without cumbersome cables or wires at speeds up to 11Mbps." Access to the Eaglenet wireless network is accomplished by opening up a browser and logging in with one's EUID and iServices password.
Faculty, staff, and students can now download VirusScan 8 to use on their home computers. The software can now be downloaded from http://www.unt.edu/security/antivirus using their EUID and Internet Services (EagleMail) Password. It can also be purchased on CD-ROM at the university bookstore for $3.00. All campus wide virus alerts and other campus virus information can be found at this website. This site should be checked often by students. A frequently updated online manual on all security issues, computing issues and computer etiquette is available at http://www.unt.edu/security.
The super-powered UNT CITC Helpdesk staff is always ready to help university community members with their computing needs. New students and their parents are encouraged to contact the helpdesk before even coming to campus if they have specific computing questions. The phone number of the helpdesk is 940-565-2324. Their website is located at http://www.unt.edu/helpdesk and they can be E-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. They offer software support, tutorials, and help with all Internet and E-mail accounts. They are also the folks to call with questions about WebCT online courses. Folks are welcome to walk-in to the desk area in ISB 119 during regular business hours.
Many training opportunities are available to students also. Information about short courses in specific applications and printed tutorials can be found at http://www.unt.edu/training. Additionally, lots of online training in Microsoft, Adobe, and Macromedia products as well as the Linux operating system and several server-based utilities can be found on our computer-based training website at http://www.unt.edu/cbt. For more advanced students in statistics courses, help can be gained through Research and Statistical Support services. Check out their website at http://www.unt.edu/rss.
This article should provide all UNT community members with the facts they need to help incoming students and their parents during the summer orientations and in the opening days of fall. If anyone has any further questions, the best place to call is always our helpdesk at 940-565-2324.