News & Announcements

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After 12 years of being supported by Microsoft, Windows XP went end of life 8th April 2014.

This means that Microsoft are no longer producing security updates for it (or Internet Explorer 8) leaving computers that are running Windows XP more exposed to security threats than more recent versions of Windows. Windows XP is now quite an attractive target for hackers, as any security vulnerabilities which are found in it will go unfixed.

IT Services strongly recommends that if you’ve got a Windows XP computer, you think about upgrading it as described by Microsoft themselves here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/end-support-help

When it comes to ResNet Wired (or eduroam Wireless), we’re not actively blocking XP computers from connecting. However the IT Service Desk or the Student Laptop and Mobile Clinic are no longer providing support for XP on ResNet Wired or eduroam.

If you encounter problems connecting to ResNet Wired with your XP computer, IT Services will be unable to give you much help in the way of troubleshooting.

If you have a Windows XP computer which you desperately need to connect to ResNet, are not going to be using it for processing university data (doing so would contravene the University Mobile and Remote Working Policy), and are willing to accept the risks of doing so – the setup instructions are still available here: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/it-services/resnet/help/connectionguide.pdf

ResNet Wired, ResNet Wireless, eduroam on campus, 3 systems, 2 setup tools, 2 sets of instructions… that’s all a bit confusing, perhaps it’s time we simplified all that.

This summer, we’re going to wave goodbye to ResNet Wireless and make eduroam available in the halls of residence.  This will mean that you only have to set up your computer/phone/tablet once, and it’ll work in halls and on campus.   Much simpler for you, and much easier for us to support!

We’ve made the first step in that direction already, and the eduroam wireless signal is now available in halls.  If your computer is already set up to use eduroam when you’re on campus you’ll find you can already use eduroam in your room!  Somewhere around 12% of the devices we normally see connecting to ResNet Wireless are already connecting to the eduroam signal.

We’ve still got a bit of work to do to transition fully to eduroam in halls, but the timeline looks a bit like this:

  • 7th May 2013 – we added the eduroam (and Bristol-WiFi-Setup) signals to the wireless coverage in halls
  • 17th June 2013 – we’ll start contacting those who haven’t migrated, so that if they’re staying on in halls they don’t lose out
  • 24th June 2013 – we switch off the ResNet Wireless signal

Somewhere in between those two dates we’ll be launching a new version of the connection instructions for new users, updating the website, and making sure that anyone who hasn’t moved over to eduroam does so. The IT Service Desk will be laying on some additional telephone support (starting on the 24th June) for anyone who needs help migrating – we don’t want to leave anyone stranded with no internet!

The super-high-speed ResNet Wired service will be staying around, and will not be changing.  At some point in the future (probably 2014/2015) we’d like to make the setup of the wired service the same as eduroam.  The idea being that you set up your computer once and use it on the wired or wireless, seamlessly – but that’s a little way off yet!

We’ve not sent one out in a while, so it’s ResNet Newsletter time again!  This time round, we’re making wireless easier to use, changing the way we do bandwidth limiting, and recruiting some new student staff!

Work for ResNet!
Each year a large number of students join the team which run ResNet. A job with ResNet offers competitive pay and excellent experience whilst working with, and helping other, Bristol students. It can be hard work but it is enjoyable, a chance to develop your technical, interpersonal and professional skills, and great experience for future employers.

Jobs start in September and much work takes place around Freshers’ week and the start of the Autumn term. There is the opportunity for a few hours per week during term time for the rest of the 2013/14 academic year working in the Student Laptop and Mobile Clinic. Also, we are often looking for interns to help us with specific projects over Easter and/or Summer vacations.

The closing date for applications is 10am, Monday June 10th 2013, for more information and an application form, see our jobs page: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/it-services/resnet/info/behindscene/vacancies13.html

eduroam is coming home
This summer, we’re going to wave goodbye to ResNet Wireless and make eduroam available in the halls of residence.  This will mean that you only have to set up your computer/phone/tablet once, and it’ll work in halls and on campus.   Much simpler for you, and much easier for us to support!

We’ve made the first step in that direction already, and the eduroam wireless signal is now available in halls.  If your computer is already set up to use eduroam when you’re on campus you’ll find you can already use eduroam in your room!  We’ll be shutting down the ResNet Wireless signal after the end of term on Monday 24th June 2013 but don’t worry, we’ll have lots of lovely instructions and extra telephone support available for anyone staying in halls after that date to help you move over.

Bandwidth Limits
As part of the move towards eduroam, we’ve taken the bandwidth limits off of Wireless ResNet.  We’re still counting how much data transfer you do on ResNet Wireless (and Wired) but we’re no longer taking any action based on the wireless data so use as much as you like, within reason!  The bandwidth limits are still in place on Wired ResNet, so if you use both you’ll still want to keep an eye on My ResNet: https://my.resnet.bristol.ac.uk to see how much you’re using.

We will be doing some routine maintenance on the Langford Residential Network on:

  • Tuesday 9th April
  • Wednesday 10th April
  • Thursday 11th April
  • Tuesday 16th April
  • Wednesday 17th April
  • Thursday 18th April

Any disruption to the network should be less than 1 minute.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

See Update 11:16

This morning we lost the network link to Stoke Bishop at approximately 8:20. As a result, ResNet wired & wireless, eduroam and internal phones are not working.

The exact cause of the outage is not yet known, but our networks team is actively working to restore service.

We will post an update here when we have more information.

Update 09:46 by Mark, ResNet Manager – We are very confident this is a power outage in our comms room.  We are now waiting for Estates to visit and restore power to our equipment.

Update 11:16 by Mark, ResNet Manager – Power has been restored by the Estates Team and all networking has been restored to the Stoke Bishop area.

 

Over the coming weeks we will be starting a programme of upgrades to the Residential Network (ResNet).  These upgrades will cause some disruption to subscribers’ Internet connections although these disruptions should be short.  A full list of dates and areas concerned is available below…

  • Completed – Tue 19th Feb 2013, Hawthorns – 15 minute outage from 06:00 for both Wired and Wireless ResNet
  • Completed – Tue 26th Feb 2013, Stoke Bishop Residences – 15 minute outage from 06:00 for both Wired and Wireless ResNet
  • Completed – Tue 5th Mar 2013, Goldney Hall, Clifton Hill House, Manor (Manor House, Richmond House, Sinclair House, Tottenham Place)  – 15 minute outage from 06:00 for both Wired and Wireless ResNet
  • Completed – Tue 12th Mar 2013, Deans, Woodland, Unite, Chantry – 15 minute outage from 06:00 for both Wired and Wireless ResNet
  • Completed – Tue 19th Mar 2013, All other location – 15 minute outage from 06:00 for both Wired and Wireless ResNet

Canceled – In addition to this there will be an outage to ResNet Wireless connections in all locations on Tuesday 5th March 2013 between 07:30 and 09:00.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Over the Christmas period we’ve been busily installing additional wireless points to improve some of the gaps in our ResNet Wireless coverage.

  • Churchill – we’ve installed 4 new wireless points at in MPQR block, doubling the coverage in that building.
  • Goldney Hall – we’ve installed 14 new wireless points.

Customers in those locations should see an improvement in signal strength and reliability as a result of this work.

We’re aware that there are still areas of poor coverage elsewhere on ResNet, and work is underway to close up the gaps.  Most notably, we hope to be installing additional wireless points in Deans Court (26 new wireless points) and Unite House (36 new wireless points) in the near future.

Most people are using ResNet Wireless this year, probably because it’s really convenient (who doesn’t want to be able to lie on their bed and watch endless videos of kittens on youtube?) but did you know that ResNet Wired is up to 5 times faster?

Internet speeds are limited by the slowest technology in the path in the chain.  At home that’s usually the bit between your broadband router and the internet, but on ResNet Wireless our connection to the internet is so blisteringly fast that the bottle neck can be the wireless technology used by your laptop.  There are two main wireless technologies on ResNet Wireless, 802.11g and 802.11n

We have the newer, faster 802.11n technology in place on about 80% of ResNet, and in our tests the speeds work out something like this:

802.11g

802.11n

Although these tests were done using an actual ResNet Wireless connection, your wireless connection might well be slower.  Our tests were done at a quiet time of day, and we were sat in the same room as the wireless router.  If all your flatmates are using ResNet Wireless at the same time as you, or if there are any walls between you and the access point then you can expect your wireless speeds to be a bit slower than ours.

However, neither of those factors effect the ResNet Wired service!

ResNet Wired

Blimey! That’s a bit quick that is!

To set up your computer to use ResNet Wired, just plug your computer into the ResNet socket in your room using the cable provided and follow the connection guide we gave you when you moved in.  If you don’t have a cable or a connection guide, ask your hall office or senior resident.

ResNet Activations

This year has been to smoothest start for ResNet subscribers with nearly 4900 people activating their connections – this is over 98% of our customer base.  For the first time we’ve seen a significant shift towards wireless usage with over 3100 (62%) of you choosing to only use ResNet Wireless.

Here is a pretty graph from last week:

http://www.bristolresnet.net/2012/10/02/4675-customers-connected/

ResNet Wireless v ResNet Wired

The ResNet team have worked hard over the summer to complete the roll-out of ResNet Wireless to every Hall and House – we are now at 100% coverage http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/locations.  In an ideal world we’d want every room to have a really strong wireless signal but unfortunately reality is different.  We really want customers to be happy with ResNet and if you are one of the small number of people that is struggling with a slow wireless connection speed then please consider using ResNet Wired.

What is the speed difference between ResNet Wireless and Wired?

This is a difficult one to answer because of the different wireless technologies we are using but a good 802.11g speed is about 30Mbps and you are sharing the wireless with 5 or more people in the area.  ResNet Wired will give you 100Mbps download and upload and you are not sharing this with anyone.  Basically for a fast and reliable connection please use ResNet Wired.

We’ve got an interesting post about the speed of ResNet:

http://www.bristolresnet.net/2012/10/08/how-fast-is-your-resnet-connection/

You too can test your speed by visiting http://www.speedtest.net

Wireless Printers

Every year we get lots of requests to connect wireless printers to ResNet.  Unfortunately our wireless network is significantly more complicated than the home wireless networks these printers were designed for and so do not work well on ResNet Wireless.  Please see a forum post on this topic.

http://askit.bris.ac.uk/uob/topics/how_can_i_connect_a_wireless_printer_over_the_resnet_wireless

Regards,

The ResNet Team

 

Freshers Week 2012

It’s 3pm on the Tuesday of freshers week, and we’ve already got 4675 customers set up and connected to ResNet!  This is our fastest freshers week ever, and we’re almost 300 active connections ahead of where we were this time last year.

The graph in this post also shows how many of those 4675 customers have only ever used their wireless connection (3140 people!) and how many have only ever used their wired connection (only 587 of you!) which is a pretty big swing compared to last year which was mostly wired connections.

Wireless is clearly going to be a big thing this year, but if you want a much faster connection than the wireless provides, you really should give ResNet Wired a spin.  We’ll post more details about that in the near future, but lets just say that at 100Mbps download/100Mbps upload – it’s the fastest ResNet connection we’ve ever provided and even under ideal conditions it’s over twice as quick as the fastest the wireless network can provide.

Good news for residents in Langford’s Hostels – We’ve added ResNet Wireless so you can now connect your computers, smartphones and tablets more conveniently!

Here is some info on how to connect…

http://www.bris.ac.uk/it-services/advice/homeusers/resnet/connect/wireless

 

Summer work with IT Services – Positions have now been filled
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You may be aware that in the academic year 2012/13 the number of students attending Bristol will be increasing by 600.  This is in response to the lifting of the cap on numbers for those students that achieve ‘A’ level or equivalent grades of AAB and above.

Senior University management have identified IT-equipped study spaces across the University (including foyers, catering outlets and common rooms) as a key priority for improvement.

IT Services are looking to recruit 2 full-time student casual staff for the summer vacation. They will be tasked with:

  • Refreshing our PCs in student study spaces
  • Reviewing current machines in computer rooms and other areas, installing replacements where needed
  • Producing a set of webpages for students describing all our IT-equipped study spaces
  • Improving notices and signage in computer rooms – e.g. the location of other nearby study facilities, fault notification procedure, opening hours, regulations for use.

For more information and to apply for this position please visit:

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/it-services/advice/homeusers/resnet/about/behindscene/studentit12.html

This is the third ResNet newsletter of the year sent to ResNet subscribers.

Jobs With ResNet from September 2012
Each year a large number of students join the team to help run ResNet and the Student Laptop Clinic. We are now recruiting for technical positions for the 2012/13 academic year.

A job with ResNet offers competitive pay (£11.56 per hour) and excellent experience while working with and helping other Bristol students. It can be hard work but is very enjoyable, a chance to develop your skills, and great experience for future employers.

Jobs start in September and continue during term time for the rest of the 2012/13 year.

The closing date for applications is 10am, Monday 11th June. For more details or to apply please see:http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/resnet/about/behindscene/vacancies12.html

Over the last few months the ResNet team have been working with cabling contractors on a plan to install ResNet Wireless in the smaller student houses. Starting on Monday 30th April and continuing until Friday 4th May our contractors will be on-site installing cabling and over 20 Wireless Access Points to flat hallways – access should not be required to your room so the disruption should be minimal.

Adding wireless to these properties will increase Residential wireless coverage to just over 96%

For more information on ResNet Wireless please visit <http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/wireless>

If you have any questions then please get in touch by email but please check <http://www.bristolresnet.net> before doing so as progress updates will be posted there.

 Update 8/5/2012 by Mark

Our contractor was hoping to have this installed by now but we’re having supply issues with the wireless access points and switches.  On Friday we received the majority of the WAPs so the cabling contractor can now crack on with the install.  Watch this space for further updates.

Update 21/5/2012 by Mark

You’ve probably noticed that the WAPs are being installed.  You’ve also probably noticed that when they are installed they don’t seem to work.  There’s a good reason for that.  We are still waiting for the switches to be delivered so that we can plug the WAPs in.   The order for the switches went in nearly 5 weeks ago but there seem to be supply chain issues, the result of which is long lead-times on the switches we need.  I’ve asked our supplier for an update and I will update this blog when I know more.

Update 21/5/2012 @ 11:20 by Mark

Our supplier has told us that we should expect the switches this week.  We then need to configure them and install them in the cabinets in the houses.  I’d love to guarantee working wireless this week but this totally depends on when the switches arrive and how much time we have to configure/install them.

Update 30/5/2012 @ 11:20 by Mark

Switches are in but we are waiting to have them configured.  If all goes well we’ll be installing the switches this week.  I know we’ve had a few prompts from people eager to have wireless, and I’m really sorry it’s taken so long, but we are getting there!  I’ll update the blog and email everyone when the installations are complete.

 Update 01/05/2012 @ 16:30 by Mark

We’ve finally installed and configured all WAPs in Student Houses – just in time for the Jubilee!  We are now at over 98% wireless coverage in ResNet and we’re planning the install of the last 2%.  Sorry things took a little longer than expected but we got there in the end.

 

Wireless added to more residences
We’ve been busy recently rolling out ResNet Wireless to more locations.  You can now use ResNet Wireless in Unite House and Chantry Court.  We’re also busy rolling it out to Langford and various student houses over the spring term which will bring us up to 99.3% of student bedrooms covered by ResNet Wireless!

To set up ResNet Wireless on your laptop/tablet/smart phone, connect your computer to the “ResNet-Setup” wireless network.  Then open a web browser and follow the on screen instructions.

121 Redland Road and 97 Woodland Road
The connections to these two properties have been unusually unreliable this year, and to be honest we’re as fed up with it in the office as you have been when trying to use it.

So we’re pushing the boat out and running new fibre optic connections to these properties, which will give those properties the same high speed reliable connections that everyone else enjoys, as well as ResNet Wireless!  Hurrah!

Help us improve the wireless
According to our collection of maps we currently cover 96% of bedrooms, but we’re aware that in some halls there are blackspots which don’t get the wireless coverage that we think they should.

We don’t quite have the resources available to check the signal strength in all 5000 bedrooms plus all the common rooms, kitchens etc individually – so we want to focus our efforts on places which have been reported as having poor wireless coverage.  If you don’t report it, we might not visit it!

So it would really help us out if you could fill in our short 1 page survey.  As an incentive we’re giving away 5GB of extra bandwidth allowance to anyone who completes it:  https://www.survey.bris.ac.uk/it-services/resnet-wireless-coverage don’t forget to enter your UoB username in the last question to claim your 5GB topup.

Identity Theft – Who is Alex Davies?
Keeping our identities safe is not something many of us think about, but have you considered how much personal information you give away on a daily basis?

The UK’s independent regulator of information rights – the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – has launched a nationwide campaign to help students protect themselves from identity theft. Advances in technology have made communication quicker, easier and more effective, but have also made more of our personal information available and easier to access.

You can take some simple steps to protect yourself, and it could save you time, money and a lot of hassle in the long run!  Oversights such as not checking bank statements unfamiliar transactions are common, but can prove extremely costly.

For tips on how to avoid identity theft and keep your information safe visit http://www.facebook.com/therealalexdavies

 

Over the last few months the ResNet team have been working with Unite and cabling contractors on a plan to install ResNet Wireless in Unite House and Chantry Court. Starting on Wednesday 11th April our contractors will be on-site installing cabling and over 50 Wireless Access Points to flat hallways – access should not be required to your room so the disruption should be minimal.

We do not have a completion date but hope the installation will be completed before the end of the Easter Vacation.

Adding wireless to these properties will increase Residential wireless coverage from 80% to just over 95%

For more information on ResNet Wireless please visit

This post will be updated with any useful information as and when we have some.

Update 23/4/2012

We currently have all but 2 of the 51 wireless access points installed in Unite House and Chantry Court fully working.  We are working on the 2 that are not happy and hope to have them up soon.  We can see that 171 of you have used the wireless already which is great.  If you’ve not used ResNet wireless then you can do so by connecting to the ResNet-Setup wireless signal and visiting go.resnet.bristol.ac.uk.

Update 8/5/2012

Okay, all wireless access points in Unite House and Chantry Court are up and running – they were last week, I just forgot to update this post.  If you are having any problems connecting then we have pages to help connect.  If you’re having problems with signal strength then there is a survey that will help us identify problem areas.

 

Over the last few months the ResNet team have been working with A2Dominion and cabling contractors on a plan to install ResNet Wireless in Woodland Court.  Starting on Thursday 8th December our contractors will be on-site installing cabling
and 21 Wireless Access Points to flat hallways – access should not be required to your room so the disruption should be minimal.

We do not have a completion date but hope the installation will be completed before Christmas 2011.

Adding wireless to Woodland Court will increase Residential wireless coverage from 75% to just over 80%

For more information on ResNet Wireless please visit <http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/wireless>

This post will be updated with any useful information as and when we have some.

Update 20-12-2011
The cabling contractor has now completed their installation. We are waiting for the switches to be configured so we’ll update this post as soon as we have more info.

Update 21-12-2011
The wireless should now be alive and ready to use. Connect to the ResNet-Setup network and open your web browser. Go to http://go.resnet.bris.ac.uk to activate your ResNet Wireless connection.

Merry Christmas to everyone at Woodland Court!

Over the last few months the ResNet team have been working with A2Dominion and cabling contractors on a plan to install ResNet Wireless in Deans Court.  Starting on Friday 18th November our contractors will be on-site installing cabling
and 30 Wireless Access Points to flat hallways – access should not be required to your room so the disruption should be minimal.

We do not have a completion date but hope the installation will be completed before the end of the term (16th December 2011).

Adding wireless to Deans Court will increase Residential wireless coverage from 68% to just over 75%

For more information on ResNet Wireless please visit <http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/wireless>

This post will be updated with any useful information as and when we have some.

 Update 09-12-2011
All cables have been installed but only some have been terminated. Swicthes are installed. We are a waiting for completion of cable termination which we expect to be next week. Looks like we are on target for completion by the end of this term 🙂

 Update 20-12-2011
The installation of Wireless ResNet was completed late last week and 28 of the 30 access points are now up and we’ve seen over 60 people using them already. We are looking into fixing the two that have never come alive either today or tomorrow. We hope you enjoy using Wireless ResNet.

MyResNet

MyResNet is a control panel to manage your ResNet connection. With MyResNet you can transfer your connection if you move rooms or get a new computer, check your usage, print receipts, connect a wireless console, and buy top-ups for your connection, such as an upgrade to ResNet Max or additional transfer allowance.

Go to http://my.resnet.bristol.ac.uk to try it out!

AskIT – community IT support

AskIT! is a new way to get help with ResNet, wireless, and your own IT equipment. AskIT is particularly suitable for less urgent or more specialist problems. If your ResNet connection doesn’t work please give us a ring, but if you can’t get email on your mobile try AskIT. AskIT is a community support site, so you can contribute your own expertise and help other people who own the same equipment as you.

To try AskIT go to askit.bris.ac.uk

MyMobileBristol – campus info on your mobile phone

MyMobileBristol is a mobile webapp for the University. It includes info useful on the move, such as maps of the campus, locations of wireless hotspots, and live bus departure info for the whole city. It is designed for recent smartphones such as the iPhone and Android devices.

To try MyMobileBristol go to m.bristol.ac.uk on your mobile.

After an unexpected initial delay we are now pleased to announce that ResNet wireless at Wills Hall is now fully functional.  To setup your wireless devices please connect to the ResNet-Setup wireless signal, open a web browser, and follow the on-screen instructions.

We are still waiting for the cabling contractor to finish at Churchill Hall but we expect to have this fully functional before the end of Freshers week.

Well, it’s 3:30pm on the Monday of Freshers’ week and we have 4100 customers connected to the ResNet service which is about 95% of all people with a valid subscription.  This is 17 hours quicker than last year which is really great.  Hopefully people have found connecting easier because of this year’s new wireless activation system.  Wireless ResNet has over 1400 distinct customers connected and wired ResNet has over 2600.

Our team are still taking lots of calls but the main problem seems to be passwords, which we can’t deal with.  If you cannot remember your password (or username) then please visit the Service Desk in the Computer Centre with photo ID.

 

ResNet logo
ResNet is now live for 2011!

If you are a new student arriving in Bristol everything will be ready for you to get online when you arrive.

Connection instructions for ResNet are either waiting for you in your room or available from your Senior Resident / Hall Office.The connection instructions cover both the ResNet Wired and the ResNet Wireless service (available in 70% of student bedrooms) Just follow the instructions for the connection method you want to use!

It helps if you can pay online before you get here, but if you can’t don’t worry – you can still connect immediately with a seven day free trial.

It’s easy to connect, but if you need help give our special ResNet start of term hotline a ring – 0117 928 9001, or 89001 free internal call from your room. We’ll be glad to help.

Welcome to Bristol!

While we already compare favourably with commercial broadband providers (on price, speed and bandwidth quotas) there’s always room for improvement – so we’re rethinking how much bandwidth we give you on ResNet.

Making your usage quota easier to understand

Currently you have two bandwidth quotas, one for off-peak and one for on-peak times of day.  Going over either quota lands you in a slow network for the rest of the week – at all times of day. This is confusing, and terribly inconvenient if you want to skype your friends back home during peak hours…

So, we’re getting rid of peak-time!

We’ve combined the on and off peak quotas to give you a single quota of 48GB per week (For ResNet Standard) or 81GB per week (For ResNet Max) – no more worrying what time it is!

We’ve been trialling this change since 23rd May and it’s been going pretty well so far.  The My ResNet control panel, and the Bandwidth Gadgets don’t fully know about the change yet, so your on-peak usage is being reported as zero.  If the trial continues to work out ok, we’ll have to see about fixing that!

If 81GB per week isn’t enough for you, you can still buy extra chunks of quota through My ResNet.

Making your connection even faster!

Not content with making things easier, we’re making them faster too!

Starting Monday 13th, we’re going to increase the speed of ResNet wired connections to 50Mbps symmetric – That’s 50Mbps download speed, and 50Mbps upload speed.  Once we’ve made that change, ResNet connections will be faster than BT Infinity Broadband (which gives you 40Mbps download speed, and 10Mbps upload)

Why is this awesome?  (Apart from it being obvious that faster is better!)

Well it means you can take full advantage of cloud based storage/backup solutions such as iCloud, Windows Live SkyDrive or Ubuntu One. It makes uploading photos or video to facebook/vimeo/flickr/youtube super quick, but most importantly – whatever cool new internet functionality is coming round the corner, we want your ResNet connection to be ready to handle it.

At this stage, we’re not making any changes to the speed of the wireless network.  We can make it a bit faster than it is at the moment, but we can’t make it quite as fast as the wired network.  So to take full advantage of the speed boost you’ll need to use your wired connection.

“With great power comes great responsibility” – Spiderman

Once your connection is faster than a very fast thing going downhill on rollerskates – it does mean that it’s easier to use up all your bandwidth quota.  We’ve done some sums and we think a bittorrent client serving up something popular (like an Ubuntu Linux DVD image) left unchecked could rip through the ResNet Max weekly limit in under 4 hours – on upload traffic alone!

If you’ve got any filesharing software on your computer, you might want to limit how much it can upload to the internet.  Most programs allow you to specify a maximum upload speed – we suggest setting this as low as you can get away with!

Not-that-small-really smallprint: All the features mentioned above are being trialled, we reserve the right to end the trial at any time if things start to melt.  We’ll make a decision about what next years network speeds look like based on the results of the trial, so the above features may or may not be available for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Oh, and they apply to ResNet only.  The VisitorNet service got an 8 fold increase about a month ago but that’s as far as we can push that for the moment.

Questions?

If you’ve got any questions or comments about the trials mentioned above, hit the comments below!

This is the fourth ResNet newsletter of the year sent to ResNet subscribers.

Jobs With ResNet from September 2010
Each year a large number of students join the team to help run ResNet and the Student Laptop Clinic. We are now recruiting for technical positions for the 2011/12 academic year.

A job with ResNet offers competitive pay (£11.51 per hour) and excellent experience while working with and helping other Bristol students. It can be hard work but is very enjoyable, a chance to develop your skills, and great experience for future employers.

Jobs start in September and continue during term time for the rest of the 2011/12 year.

The closing date for applications is 10am, Monday 13th June. For more details or to apply please see: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/resnet/about/behindscene/vacancies11.html

Leaving halls? Get broadband in private accommodation

If you’re moving into private accommodation next year you’ll want to sort out an Internet connection. Unfortunately you can’t get ResNet, but we have a guide to help you choose a broadband provider: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/broadband/

Important maintenance work on the power supply to the Stoke Bishop area will be taking place on the 7th and 8th April 2011 between 8am and 4pm.

This will affect building power, ResNet, Wireless (all wireless, including ResNet & eduroam services), Admin network and telephone connectivity throughout Thursday 7th and Friday the 8th.

Your hall office should be able to answer any further queries that you may have.

7th April 2011

The following locations will have no power, network (ResNet, Wireless, Admin Network) or telephones:

  • University Hall
  • Durdham Hall
  • Haitt Baker
  • Wills Hall (Including The Holmes)
  • The Downs Workshop
  • The Grounds and Gardens offices etc

The following locations will have power, but no network (ResNet, Wireless, Admin Network) or telephone connectivity:

  • Churchill Hall
  • Badock Hall

8th April 2011

The following locations will have no power or network (ResNet, Wireless, Admin Network).  The phones should stay up.

  • Badock Hall
  • Churchill Hall

This is the third ResNet newsletter of the year, also sent by email to ResNet subscribers.

Using a router to connect more than one device to ResNet

If you want to use more than one device with your ResNet connection, and you’re in a hall covered by ResNet Wireless, it’s probably easiest to use that.  For more information about ResNet Wireless, see the ResNet Wireless pages.

If your hall doesn’t have ResNet Wireless, then you’ll need to get a “broadband router” if you want to do this.  There are hundreds of models available, not all of them are suitable for use on ResNet. It can be really quite confusing trying to pick one out!

If you’re buying it from a shop such as PC World, ask for a router which is suitable for use on Virginmedia Cable Broadband.  If you’re buying online, look for phrases such as “cable broadband router” or “ethernet router”.  Avoid devices which say “ADSL” or which don’t mention the word “router” at all – as they’re unlikely to work.

If you’ve got a router which works on ResNet, or know someone who has – it’d be great if you could mention the model number on this AskIT thread: http://askit.bris.ac.uk/uob/topics/connecting_more_than_one_device_to_resnet_which_routers_work_on_resnet

New email and calendar service: come and see the options

Following feedback from staff and students, the University is planning to replace the current email and calendar systems (Mulberry, Squirrelmail and Oracle Calendar) with a new, integrated email and calendar service.

Information Services are holding an open meeting at 2pm on Wednesday 9th February in the Tyndall Lecture Theatre, Physics Building (on Tyndall Avenue) Representatives from Microsoft and Google will be there demonstrating “Google Apps for Education” and “Microsoft Live@Edu.”

Everyone is welcome, there is no need to book in advance. For more information, please see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/new-email

Free antivirus software!

Has your antivirus software run out? It’s essential to have anti-virus to protect your computer, but normally when you buy antivirus software it expires and stops updating after 12 months.

Luckily there is no need to pay for antivirus software. Microsoft Security Essentials is a good anti-virus package, and even better it’s free! Download a copy from http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/

ResNet bandwidth widgets revisited

Most students don’t need to worry about how much they upload and download on ResNet, as the weekly usage allowances in ResNet Standard & Max cover most people easily. We do have some very heavy users – if that sounds like you try the ResNet bandwidth widgets.

When we first mentioned them back in October, there were one or two problems with the Windows version.  If you tried it back then but couldn’t get it to work – have another go!

We’ve got official widgets for the Windows sidebar, OS X dashboard, and the web. We’ve also got a public API and some great widgets contributed by students, including apps for Android phones and iOS devices (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch)

Go to toys.resnet.bris.ac.uk to try them out.

If you’re lucky enough to get a new computer for Christmas there is a big temptation to get it connected to your network and start surfing.  However, it’s a really great idea to do the less interesting stuff such as updating your anti-virus and installing security patches before you get too carried away on the Internet!

For Windows:

  • First thing I always do in make sure my anti-virus (AV) application is up-to-date.  Most new computers come with a time limited AV package pre-installed that they want you to pay for at some point in time.  You can either uninstall this now and install <https://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials> or make sure the current one is up-to-date and worry about it when it’s due to expire – but never run a computer without up-to-date AV.
  • Second thing I do is visit Windows Update, this can be found under Start->All Programs
  • Lastly, there are always some essential applications that need installing. A great site called <http://ninite.com/> allows you to easily install many applications in one go.  I’d recommend installing Firefox, MSN Messenger, iTunes, Adobe Reader, MalwareBytes, and all the items under ‘runtime’.  Of course there are plenty of other things to install from <http://ninite.com> and it save a whole load of time.

For MAC OSX:

  • Second, go to the Apple icon in the top left corner and click Software Update.

I hope this helps you avoid some of the pitfalls of owning a new computer, but if you do get stuck and need a hand then the Student Laptop Clinic is open from Wednesday 12th Jan 2011.

We’ve got a new version of the ResNet bandwidth quota monitoring sidebar gadget, which fixes a problem experienced by Windows Vista and Windows 7 users, where the gadget refused to accept their keys.

If you tried the sidebar gadget and it didn’t work, upgrade to the latest version from http://toys.resnet.bris.ac.uk and give it another go!

Student Laptop Clinic

Computer running very slow, got a virus, or won’t start up? Take your laptop to the Student Laptop Clinic! We can’t fix all problems but will help as much as we can. Clinics are free of charge and first come first served.

For the latest times and locations of the laptop clinic see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/laptopclinic

MyResNet

MyResNet is a control panel to manage your ResNet connection. With MyResNet you can transfer your connection if you move rooms or get a new computer, check your usage, print receipts and buy top-ups for your connection, such as ResNet Wireless or extra bandwidth allowance.

Go to http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/myresnet to try it out!

Student IT Training Courses

Training courses in IT skills are available to book at http://www.bris.ac.uk/studentskills/

Courses cover a variety of subjects including Microsoft Office packages, web design and image manipulation. New titles this year include:

  • Word 2007: Using foreign languages
  • Excel 2007 level 3: Making the most of Excel.

There are also links to self-study resources for IT and information about other development opportunities in areas such as Careers skills and Information Literacy.

<http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/myresnet>

This is the first ResNet newsletter of the year, also sent by email to ResNet subscribers.

MyMobileBristol – campus info on your mobile phone

MyMobileBristol is a new mobile webapp for the University. It includes info useful on the move, such as maps of the campus, locations of wireless hotspots, and live bus departure info for the whole city. It is designed for recent smartphones such as the iPhone and Android devices.

To try MyMobileBristol go to m.bristol.ac.uk on your mobile.

AskIT – community IT support

Also new for this year – AskIT! is a new way to get help with ResNet, wireless, and your own IT equipment. AskIT is particularly suitable for less urgent or more specialist problems. If your ResNet connection doesn’t work please give us a ring, but if you can’t get email on your mobile try AskIT. AskIT is a community support site, so you can contribute your own expertise and help other people who own the same equipment as you.

To try AskIT go to askit.bris.ac.uk

ResNet bandwidth widgets

Most students don’t need to worry about how much they upload and download on ResNet, as the weekly usage allowances in ResNet Standard & Max cover most people easily. We do have some very heavy users – if that sounds like you try the ResNet bandwidth widgets. We’ve got widgets for the Windows sidebar, OS X dashboard, and the web. We’ve also got a public API and some great widgets contributed by students, including one for Android phones.

Go to toys.resnet.bris.ac.uk to try them out.

It’s 10.30am on Day 2 of Freshers Week. 4100 students have already successfully connected to ResNet! On the other hand if you are one of the 800 still to connect not being online can be frustrating.

This year we’ve found that a lot of new students can’t connect as they haven’t set or have forgotten their University username and password. If you don’t know what your password is, please visit the IT Help Desk in the Computer Centre, Tyndall Avenue. Come in person and bring some ID to prove who you are, and you can then set a new password on the spot. The IT Help Desk is open for visitors from 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday – Friday.

It’s very easy to connect to ResNet, but sometimes things go wrong and you need someone to help.

The first and easiest way to get help is to phone the ResNet start of term hotline. Open 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday, there are lots of extra staff at this time of year to help you out. Ring on 89001 internal from your room free of charge, or 0117 928 9001. If you ring us from your room with your computer in front of you we can sort out most ResNet problems there and then.

Another option is the Student Laptop Clinic. The next clinic is on Tuesday 5th October, and then there are more clinics throughout Freshers week and the rest of term. See the website for the time and location of clinics.

If you have forgotten your University username and password you won’t be able to get on ResNet. Visit the IT Help Desk at the Computer Centre to get a new password.

If your problem is less urgent, try our new website AskIT! There you can ask questions about any personal-owned and mobile IT equipment you would like help on. Answers on AskIT could come from anyone else at the university, not just the IT staff – it’s a great way for people to help each other out.

ResNet logo
ResNet is now live for 2010! If you are a new student arriving in Bristol everything will be ready for you to get online when you arrive. A cable and instructions to connect to ResNet are either in your room or available from your Senior Resident / Hall Office.

It helps if you can pay online before you get here, but if you can’t don’t worry – you can still connect immediately with a seven day free trial.

It’s easy to connect, but if you need help give our special ResNet start of term hotline a ring – 0117 928 9001, or 89001 free internal call from your room. We’ll be glad to help.

[update 16th Sept: when originally published yesterday this story had the wrong dates in it, we’ve now corrected them. Sorry for the mistake].

  • Returning students can now apply and pay for your ResNet connection online ready for the 2010/11 academic year.
  • New students can register online with the University and then apply for ResNet from 21st September.

There is a separate charge for ResNet, it is not included in your rent.  Different packages are available, depending on whether you are a light or heavy user. The ResNet Standard package costs 68 pounds for three terms. In some residences you can also get ResNet Wireless for an extra 5 pounds per term.

For more info see ResNet info for new students

It’s great if you can apply in advance it’s one less thing you need to do in Freshers Week. However if you can’t don’t worry – you can still connect  to ResNet as soon as you arrive in Bristol.

Most students bring their own computer to university – it’s a great help to connect your own computer to ResNet and wireless. If you’re thinking of getting a new one, see our AskIT community forum for some advice. For example:

AskIT is for Bristol staff and students, for help with laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile and personally-owned IT equipment. If you’ve got questions about ResNet, wireless, or what to please have a look or ask a question on the site. You can also give your own suggestions and help to other people.

You can sign in to AskIT with your Bristol username and password, but just for the moment if you haven’t got these yet you can create your own account on the site.

Congratulations if you received your A Level results yesterday and secured a place at Bristol for 2010!

If you will be living in University halls and houses you can use ResNet to connect to the Internet from your study bedroom. ResNet provides a high speed connection to the Internet, faster than you are used to at home.  Different packages are available, and you can pay for your ResNet connection before you get to Bristol (cost from £68 for three terms). Everything is available in your residence for you to connect the day you arrive. For more info see www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/newstudents

As of Monday 2nd August I’m glad to say that ResNet is now available for the first time in the university staff accommodation at Osborne Villas. This is in addition to the student accommodation at other properties on Osborne Villas, which were already connected.

We were able to connect these staff houses as they are adjacent to other buildings which already have ResNet, and we could extend the network to them at a reasonable cost. Unfortunately most small university-owned staff houses are more isolated, and connecting those is prohibitively expensive.

ResNet is of course already available in all student residences in the Accommodation Prospectus, and is available to new full-time undergraduate, Study Abroad and International Foundation programme students who meet the terms of the Accommodation Guarantee.

If in any doubt as to whether ResNet is available in your residence, please see where can I get ResNet?

We’re delighted to announce a major expansion of the ResNet Wireless service to more residences.

Over the summer vacation we’ll be installing wireless coverage for all study bedrooms at Badock, Durdham, Goldney, The Hawthorns, and University Hall. This is in addition to the flood wireless coverage we already have at Northwell House, 115 Queens Road, Richmond Terrace & Winkworth House. It means by this autumn 38% of university study bedrooms will have wireless coverage.

In the five new residences we’re also installing the latest 802.11n wireless access points. This means that if your computer supports it you’ll have even faster wireless access.

See the list of residences with ResNet to check if your hall has ResNet, wired or wireless. We are mainly putting wireless in the self catering residences first, so you can get access in kitchens and lounges as well as bedrooms. We are also doing those we can do relatively cheaply, which depends on the geography and building materials of the hall. Some of the older halls with big thick stone walls will be tricky, so we’ll do those towards the end.

If we aren’t covering your hall yet – sorry about that. You can set up your own wireless router in your room, provided you secure it carefully so no one else can use it. You can also use the free wireless hotspots in public areas of the halls, such as bars, JCRs and libraries.

It’s going to take another three years or so to complete the wireless rollout, as all this wireless kit gets very expensive. But our ambition is for Bristol to be the first big UK university to provide wireless in bedrooms across all its halls, just as we were the first UK uni to provide a wired service back in 1998. We think we’re some way ahead of other unis already!

It’s the last week of the summer term and the vacation beckons. Thanks for using ResNet this year! Whether you are staying or leaving, here’s some final info from ResNet and an opportunity to shape a new service from the university.

Have your say on a new email service for Bristol students

The university is looking to create a new email for life service for students and alumni. This would be provided under contract with the university by either Google or Microsoft. We’d like to know what you think about this. Please see http://www.bristolresnet.net/2010/06/16/new-email-service/ for more info and to comment.

Leaving halls? Get broadband in private accommodation

If you’re moving into private accommodation next year you’ll want to sort out an Internet connection. Unfortunately you can’t get ResNet, but we have a guide to help you choose a broadband provider – see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/broadband/

Staying for the summer? Watch the World Cup on ResNet with Freewire TV

With Freewire you can watch 25 channels of live TV including BBC1 and ITV1 on your computer on ResNet. Freewire doesn’t count towards your ResNet usage allowance. See
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/resnet/using/freewire/ to get started.

Regards,

the ResNet team

The university is looking to create a new email for life service for students (and in time alumni). This would be available to all new students after a certain date, while current students could opt in to it. We’d like to know what you think about this so we can plan the service accordingly.
The university is looking to create a new email for life service for students (and in time alumni). This would be available to all new students after a certain date, while current students could opt in to it. We’d like to know what you think about this so we can plan the service accordingly.
The key advantages include:
  • much larger mailboxes – eg 7GB or more
  • a friendlier and more modern webmail to replace Squirrelmail
  • you could keep the same email address after graduation, useful when applying for jobs

The email address would include your name (which you could choose), your year of entry, and ‘bristoluniversity’, though it wouldn’t be @bristol.ac.uk. For example Edward Smith who started in 2009 might be Ted.Smith.2009 <at> bristoluniversity.org.uk We haven’t decided on the domain after the @ yet, there are a few possibilities.

Separately you’d be able to choose at which address you want to receive official emails from the university. It could be at this new address or any other address you already have. Whichever is convenient to you, as it is important that you read these regularly.

There are two big firms offering this service to universities – Google and Microsoft. Both offer it free of charge, as they are keen to get students using their products. Quite a few unis already do student email this way, including UWE, Warwick and UCL. Emails aren’t stored onsite at the university, they are stored in a data centre run by the supplier. On the web you sign in through the portal, but then webmail functions like Google Mail or Outlook Web Access. You can also access email on your mobile phone.

We’ve got lots more info and FAQs (available to logged-on Bristol students & staff only).

We are at quite an early stage in this and we’d like to know what you think. Do you like the idea? Do you have any problems with it? What would you like to see in the service and how should it work?

Now is a great time to get in touch, so the plans can change according to feedback. You can comments on this blog, on the wiki, or email Nick.Skelton <at> bristol.ac.uk. Thoughts are welcome from anyone with an interest – current students, prospective students, alumni.

Thanks for your help!

It has been a long-term goal for the ResNet team to have a firewall placed between ResNet and the rest of the University’s network.  Over the past few months we have made the necessary changes to our infrastructure and today have made this live.  Essentially, nothing should have changed from a user’s perspective as all previous rules on the ‘main’ firewall have been copied to the ResNet firewall.

If nothing has changed then why have we done this?

The answer to this is greater flexibility in how we separate ResNet (a network of personally owned machines) from the rest of the University’s managed network.  Our intention is to give ResNet attached devices full access to the University’s educational resources but limit access to unnecessary things such as faculty desktops; something that has previously been impossible to do.

In the unlikely event that something which previously worked, now does not, then please contact the Help Desk via the usual channels.

Dear ResNet user,

This is one in a series of newsletters sent occasionally to ResNet subscribers. Please see the bottom of this message to unsubscribe if you wish. You can also read this newsletter on our blog at www.bristolresnet.net

Jobs With ResNet from September 2010

Each year a large number of students join the team to help run ResNet and the Student Laptop Clinic. We are now recruiting for technical positions for the 2010/11 academic year.

A job with ResNet offers competitive pay (£11.46/hour) and excellent experience while working with and helping other Bristol students. It can be hard work but is very enjoyable, a chance to develop your skills, and great experience for future employers.

Jobs available start in September and continue during term time for the rest of the 2010/11 year.

The closing date for applications is 10am, Monday 7th June. For more details or to apply please see

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/resnet/about/behindscene/vacancies10.html

Android version of the ResNet usage widget

Are you a heavy ResNet user? You may already know you can monitor your usage in MyResNet, or through the ResNet usage gadget we launched in ResNet Newsletter 2:

http://bris.ac.uk/slink/4cr4

Thanks to ResNet subscriber Dan Gilbert, you can now also use an Android smartphone to check your usage as well!  For more information about all versions of the usage monitoring gadgets, check out

http://toys.resnet.bristol.ac.uk

Dear ResNet user,

This is one in a series of newsletters sent occasionally to ResNet subscribers. Please see the bottom of this message to unsubscribe if you wish. You can also read this newsletter on our blog at www.bristolresnet.net

Laptop Clinics still running in new location

Our first newsletter introduced you to the free Student Laptop Clinic. In the first two terms we’ve helped over 800 people fix problems with their computers. It’s very satisfying to have helped so many students.

If you make use of this service we’d like to announce that it’s moved from the Hawthorn’s Refectory to the Priory Road Complex Cafe, which means we get to eat cake and fix laptops! It’s open from 2pm to 5pm weekdays, except bank holidays and Thursdays. For directions and more info see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/laptopclinic

What’s the fuss about Facebook and privacy?

At the end of April Facebook made some changes, and some people are very unhappy about it. What’s the fuss? Facebook has gradually shifted. It started as a tool to share stuff  within a group. Increasingly Facebook encourages you to share stuff with the world, but many people don’t realise this. Facebook classes some of what you put up as public information and makes it available to all – your family, future employers, anyone. This includes your profile picture and what pages you are a fan of.

Now is a great time to check your privacy settings on Facebook, and be aware of what you put up there. For more info and advice on checking your privacy settings see our blog – http://www.bristolresnet.net/2010/05/06/

Facebook has gradually changed. It started off as a tool to share information about yourself within a group of friends, or a community such as a university. Facebook’s privacy policy has changed several times over the years, making Facebook a more open and public network. It has reduced the control you have over your information, encouraging you to share information with the world. This is something to be aware of in how you use Facebook, especially as public information about you on the Internet hangs around for ages – indexed by search engines and marketing firms, available to future employers, family – anyone.

There’s nothing wrong with open networks, but there are some things you don’t want to be public. The important point is to be aware what information is public, and treat it accordingly. The annoying part is that Facebook keep changing the rules! Most people on Facebook think of it as a way to share info just with their friends, but that isn’t really true any longer.

Certain information on Facebook (your Name, Profile Picture, Gender, Current City, Networks, Friend List) is always public, you can’t hide it. So, don’t make your profile picture too embarrassing. Your friends list being public is an interesting one. On the Internet, as in the real world, people can make assumptions about you on the basis of the company you keep. For example students at MIT discovered that just by looking at a persons online friends they could discover if someone was gay.

If you become a Facebook fan of a Page (by clicking the blue Like button) this is also public information. Facebook calls it a Connection. You can show up on the Page, and these connections are shared with marketers. You might be OK with this, you might not – depends what you Like. The list of likes on your Facebook page is now assembled from your Connections – you can’t just type in what you choose any longer, so if you want to share your interests to your friends you also have to share them with the world.

Some of your information is not automatically public, but is visible to your friends (ok?) and any apps and Facebook partner websites your friends use (maybe not ok?). Review the settings for what friends can share and untick anything you’re not happy with. By default some pretty sensitive stuff like relationship status, photos you are tagged in, your birthday, and religious and political views can be shared this way.
Facebook’s latest feature is called Instant Personalisation. If you are logged into Facebook, this allows websites you visit to see information from your Facebook profile and customise themselves accordingly. If you don’t like this idea:
  • Go to the Instant Personalization privacy setting and uncheck the “Allow” button. Click confirm. Come back to this page.
  • Go to the page for Microsoft Docs, click Block Application on the page, click Block Application on the pop-up, and click Okay on the next pop-up. Come back to this page.
  • Go to the page for Pandora, click Block Application on the page, click Block Application on the pop-up, and click Okay on the next pop-up. Come back to this page.
  • Go to the page for Yelp, click Block Application on the page, click Block Application on the pop-up, and click Okay on the next pop-up. Come back to this page.

At the moment only these three websites are Facebook partners, but Facebook will probably add more later. Annoyingly therefore you’ll need to check back often to keep blocking new ones when they are added. You also need to keep checking the Facebook privacy policy – it has changed twice in the last six months.

One last thing: do check the privacy settings for your profile information. By default, lots of info is shared not just with your Friends, but with Friends of Friends. That’s a lot of people. If your friend is friends with your boss, then do you want your boss to see your photos?

More information

New ResNet widget to check your usage

Are you a heavy ResNet user? You may know you can monitor your usage in MyResNet. Today we’re launching a new ResNet usage gadget for Windows, Mac, iPhone/Android, or any RSS reader. We’ve also released the source code so if you’re a programmer you could even develop your own for other platforms. Go to https://manage.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/toys to try it out.

Access the university on your mobile

Do you have an iPhone, Android device or other mobile phone with Internet access?

The university has developed a pilot Mobile Campus Assistant – go to http://mca.ilrt.bris.ac.uk on your mobile to try it out. It includes useful information when you are on the move, such as events, weather, and how many PCs are free. If your phone has GPS then you can see live bus times linked to the campus map.

Please try this pilot out, and if you can please give your thoughts via the online survey. If you’d like to see this developed further your feedback may help in moving this pilot to a service.

Free antivirus software

Has your antivirus software run out? It’s essential to have anti-virus to protect your computer, but normally when you buy antivirus software it expires and stops updating after 12 months.

Luckily there is no need to pay for antivirus software. Microsoft Security Essentials is a good anti-virus package, and even better it’s free! Download a copy from http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/

Regards,

Nick Skelton, ResNet Manager, and the ResNet team.

Student Laptop Clinic

Got a problem with your computer? Running slow, can’t connect, or got a virus? The laptop clinic is here to help. Bring your laptop along and we’ll try and solve the problem while you wait. Clinics take place in The Hawthorns Student Refectory, and are currently running 2pm-5pm every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday until Friday 27th November.

See www.bristol.ac.uk/laptopclinic for more info

IT Training Courses for students

A basic level of IT skills is a must these days in most lines of work and study, and increasingly in life in general. Having more than a basic knowledge can transform your work.

To see the courses available to you free of charge visit www.bristol.ac.uk/studentskills

Be aware of Scareware – Fake anti-virus software

While browsing the web a window pops up on your computer. It looks professional and legitimate, and uses scary language claiming that your computer is infected. The message says that you should click here to download an antivirus package to fix the problem. The problem is – this is actually an advert from malicious scareware, not a legitimate warning warning. If you download it the programme can steal your information or do anything it likes on your computer. It will pester you with warnings and tell you to enter your credit card number to ‘buy’ something to fix the problem it created!

To avoid Scareware:

  • Make sure your computer is up to date with essential security patches for Windows and other software. Try ‘scan your PC’ at www.secunia.com to check for updates.
  • Install legitimate free anti-virus software from a trusted source, such as Microsoft Security Essentials.
  • Try using the free Firefox web browser from www.getfirefox.com instead of Internet Explorer.

If you get a fake scareware warning:
Don’t click on it, even on something that looks like a close button. Press Alt+F4 together to close the window.

If your computer is infected:
Wipe and reinstall your computer from your original manufacturers CDs, or come to the Laptop Clinic for help. Don’t use online banking or pay for anything online.

For more advice about safety and security online, see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/security/

Information Services are carrying out some essential systems maintenance on the 11th August 2009, 10:00-10:30 which affects the following ResNet systems:

  • My ResNet
  • ResNet in-room Registration System
  • ResNet Helpdesk troubleshooting tools (including those used by the out of hours helpdesk)
  • ResNet Network Monitoring system (the traffic lights on the ResNet home page)

All fully registered ResNet connections will continue to function normally throughout this maintenance period, so most people won’t notice anything.

There are several other University systems which are also affected by this maintenance, for more details see the IS News website: http://www.bris.ac.uk/is/news/2009/koi28july.html

Our current network devices have served ResNet well over the last 6 years but they are starting to get to the end of their useful lives.  In the past it has been possible for one compromised computer to disrupt access for many users in the same hall.  New switches have many more features that will help maintain the high availability that our users expect, even when other machines on ResNet are ‘misbehaving’.

We will be updating this blog post with progress several times per day during the phases so please check back for updates.

Phase 0 (Completed)

Starting on Monday 15th June and ending Wednesday 17th June we are upgrading one cabinet per morning in the Hawthorns.  Please consider the entire residence ‘at risk’ during these 3 days but we expect that users will only see a single 2 hour outage.

Phase 1 (Mon 6th July to Fri 17th July)

All other ResNet locations will be upgraded over two weeks starting Monday 6th July and ending Friday 17th July.  Again, please consider the entire residence ‘at risk’ during these 10 working days but we expect that users will only see a single 2 hour outage.

Residence Total Cabinets
Cabinets Complete Expected Start Expected End
University Hall 9 9 complete complete
Badock Hall 11 11 complete complete
Churchill Hall 9 9 complete complete
Hiatt Baker Hall 9 9
complete complete
Durdham Hall 4 4 complete complete
Wills Hall 9 9 complete complete
Unite House 5 5 complete complete
Winkworth House 1 1 complete complete
115 Queens Road 1 1 complete complete
Clifton Hill House 4 4 complete complete
Goldney Hall 12 12 complete complete
Manor Hall 7 5

(Access Problems in two cabs)

9th July unknown
2 Rodney Place 1 0 9th July 17th July
Chantry Court 3 3 complete complete
Deans Court 4 4 complete complete
Richmond Terrace 2 0 9th July 16th July
St Michaels Hill 2 2 complete complete
Osborne Villas 3 3 complete complete
121 Redland Road 1 1 complete complete
IAS 1 1 complete complete
29-33 St Michaels Park 1 1 complete complete
Hillside/Woodside 1 0 14th July 17th July
Woodland Court 3 3 complete complete
97 Woodland Road 1 1 complete complete
Langford House 3 0 14th July 17th July
Northwell House 2 2 complete complete
The Hawthorns 3 3 complete complete

For the last two weeks we have been logging users’ wireless ResNet usage and have just made this viewable (if you have any) via MyResNet

Because wireless, unlike wired, ResNet usage includes internal usage we are not yet including this in your weekly allowance – it’s just for information.  We will be monitoring wireless usage to make sure it’s not being abused by individuals.  We believe that our wired weekly usage allowance is very generous, so excessive use of the wireless should not be necessary.

As part of our on-going effort to make the internet a safer place for your computer to be, Information Services have started filtering out a list of 30,000+ websites which are known to host malware (spyware, adware, viruses etc) – This makes it harder for the bad guys to install unwanted software on your computer without your knowledge.

Most of the time this will happen in the background and you won’t notice it.  If your computer tries to visit a website which is on the list of sites that we filter, you may occasionally see a message which says that the site your computer is trying to access has been blocked.  If this happens, don’t panic, It’s a good thing!  The system has stopped your computer from doing something dangerous!

If you want to see an example of the type of message you would receive, see this link: http://blackhole.isys.bris.ac.uk/ (NB: This link is only available within the University Of Bristol network)

We’re doing our best to ensure that the list only contains websites which are dangerous, although with a list of sites this big it’s possible that we’ll make mistakes and block things that we didn’t intend to.  If you think we’ve blocked something by accident, the web page you see will contain instructions for getting in touch with us and we can lift the block on that site.

It’s important to note that we’re only filtering out websites which are known to install unwanted software on your computer.  We’re not making any moral decisions about page contents, or otherwise censoring legitimate sites, and you will not get in trouble for encountering a page on the block list. (Although if you generate a lot of blocked requests we might offer to help you clean up your computer!)

Technical details for those who are interested:
We’re importing a list of known-bad domains from several reputable sources, and collating them into one list.  This list is then being fed to the University DNS servers.  If your computer requests a web page from a domain which is on the list, the DNS servers provide you with the IP address of aserver on the University network instead of the real IP address.  The server on the University network then displays the message saying “we don’t think you wanted to do that!”

This is similar to how the ResNet registration network works, where whatever website you try to access, you get redirected to the ResNet registration page.

The Student Laptop Clinics will be starting again on Friday 9th January and will run until Friday 20th March. As usual we are in the Student Refectory in the Hawthorns from 2pm to 5pm Monday to Friday.

For more information please see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/help/laptopclinic/

Please read on for an important message to all ResNet users – even if you’ve left Bristol for the Christmas vacation.

Shortly before the end of term we had an outbreak of a nasty virus on ResNet, called DNSChanger. DNSChanger hijacks your Internet settings and redirects your traffic to malicious websites under the control of the attacker. For example, you might think you are going to Google, but actually you are going to a malicious website which will take control of your computer, try to steal your credit card numbers and bombard you with adverts. The virus spreads by passing on malicious configuration information to other computers on the same local network, like ResNet.

Even if you’ve left Bristol, please check now to see if your computer has a problem with this virus:

  1. Click Start (then Run in Windows XP), then type cmd in the box. A black command window should open.
  2. In the black command window type nslookup google.com
  3. Something like the following should be displayed:

Server: newsapphire.resnet.bris.ac.uk

Address: 137.222.223.236

Non-authoritative answer:

Name: google.com

Addresses: 209.85.171.100
72.14.205.100
74.125.45.100

We’re interested in the numbers on the second line (137.222.223.236 in our example). If you are on ResNet then these should start with 137.222 (the range for University of Bristol). If you are at home then they could start with anything.

If the address starts 85.255 then you may have a problem. This is a block of addresses in the Ukraine which the attackers are using. Do this further check:

  • Click Start (then Run in Windows XP), then type ncpa.cpl in the box.
  • Under the LAN or High-Speed Internet section, right-click the Local Area Connection and select Properties.
  • Highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 (for Vista) or Internet Protocol (for XP) and select Properties.
  • Click Advanced…
  • Click the DNS tab

If you saw 85.255 in nslookup but the DNS server addresses box is blank or has other numbers then the good news is that you are not infected (by this particular virus version). You did see 85.255 in nslookup though. This means that another computer on the same local network has passed on the wrong settings and websites you visit may not be what they appear. Shut down your computer and restart it later. Go back to the command prompt and type nslookup google.com – if the 85.255 address has gone you are now OK.

If you have any entries in the DNS server addresses box and they begin with 85.255 then unfortunately the DNSChanger virus is on your computer. Your computer is under remote control and you can’t trust any websites you visit – definitely don’t type in any credit card numbers as these will be monitored and stolen.

The only way to recover from this DNSChanger virus is to wipe and re-install your operating system from the original manufacturer’s CDs. We’ve not found any antivirus tools that can clean the system once infected (some tools do claim to clean DNSChanger, but only work against older versions, not this one). First backup any documents and other important work you need to keep, then follow the manufacturer’s instructions to wipe and reinstall. If you don’t have the original CDs phone the manufacturer – they should send you copies for a small postage charge.

General advice for all ResNet users

Before you come back to Bristol next term, please make sure your anti-virus software and Windows Updates are up-to-date. Go to Control Panel, Security Centre, and make sure everything is marked green.

Find your manufacturers recovery CDs while you are home for Christmas and bring them back to Bristol, just in case you need them.

Generally be suspicious and careful when using the Internet – is this website, email or instant message what it appears to be? If in doubt please ask. You can contact the IT Help Desk 24 hours a day, even over the vacation, on 0117 928 7870.

Update by Mark 18/12/2008

FAQs

Q1)    I have MAC OSX, does this affect my computer?

A1)    In general, OSX is unlikely to be compromised by the DNSChanger as it’s a Windows Virus but it’s possible to be using the rogue DNS servers if they were assigned to you by a compromised computer on your local network.  On ResNet requests to external DNS servers are now blocked so you’ll just have a computer that won’t connect to any web sites, including this one!

It’s a good idea to check your current DNS server settings though:

  • In Finder, click Applications
  • Under Utilities, click Terminal
  • In the Terminal window, type one or both of the commands below until you get some information returned:
  • ipconfig getpacket en0
    or
    ipconfig getpacket en1

  • Look for the domain_name_server ip address. Anything starting 85.255 is bad.

Two days into Freshers Week and we already have 4000 students connected to ResNet!

If you need help connecting please give us a ring on 89001 free from your room. Phone lines are now open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It has at times been difficult to get through, especially in the early evening. From 8am-5pm calls are answered by the ResNet team and from 8pm until 8am by the out of hours Help Desk.

If you’ve rung and found lines engaged or been kept in a queue we’re sorry – we are answering as many calls as we can at this very busy time of year. Everyone wants an Internet connection immediately to stay in touch with friends and family, and we want to get people connected as soon as possible.

If you prefer we can also arrange room visits to come out and help you connect up in your room, at a cost of £16. We can fix many problems for free over the phone though, so please try calling first.

Welcome to ResNet for all new students!

Can’t connect to ResNet?

Please phone us on 89001 free from your room (0117 92 89001) if you need technical support.

From 8am-5pm Mon-Fri calls are answered by the ResNet team.
From 5pm-2am and at weekends calls are answered by the Out of hours Help Desk – they can also help with ResNet.

Most people connect up to ResNet with no problems. Everyone wants Internet as soon as they arrive, so this is a very busy time for ResNet. We take on extra staff and answer as many calls as we can, but please accept our apologies if you have difficulty getting through. Lines are open 8am-2am, so please try later (or earlier!) Please don’t bring any laptops in to us – we don’t have the resources to look at them at the moment.

For the very latest info and tools to help with ResNet see our knowledgebase

Need to pay for ResNet?

You can connect first if you haven’t already paid – everyone on ResNet gets a 7 days free trial (longer for students at Langford). Then pay in person by cheque, cash or card at the Computer Centre, Tyndall Avenue. Unfortunately online payments aren’t available – we’re working on them but they aren’t ready for the start of term. You can print an application form and return it by post if you prefer.

New packages – ResNet Standard and ResNet Max
New for ResNet this year are two different ResNet packages, ResNet Standard & ResNet Max. We recommend ResNet Max to people who do a lot of video and other downloads. If you don’t know if you are a light or heavy user try ResNet Standard—you can upgrade from Standard to Max later if you wish.

New Freewire phone

Freewire Phone provides cheap calls to landlines and international numbers, and free calls to other Freewire users. It is a piece of software available for Windows & Mac. You need speakers + mic or a headset to use it.  Freewire phone will work anywhere – so your friends and family can also download it to keep in touch free of charge.

Problems with Freewire TV?

Freewire TV provides BBC1, E4, Film4 etc to your computer over ResNet. It is now available in almost all residences, and the signal is turned on to all rooms by default. If you have any problems with Freewire:

ResNet available in more residences

The ResNet service is now available at Hillside/Woodside for the first time. We’ve also extended ResNet to more of the houses on St Michaels Hill and Osborne Villas.

ResNet Wireless extended

The trial ResNet Wireless service is now available at Northwell House, Richmond Terrace, Winkworth House (with 115 Queens Road within the next few weeks). ResNet wireless is not as fast or reliable as wired ResNet, but is very convenient. We’re testing wireless  to gain experience before gradually providing it to more residences in future years.

Don’t know your username & password?
Go to StudentInfo/new or visit the IT Help Desk at the Computer Centre, Tyndall Avenue, 8am-5.30pm Mon-Fri with some ID.

Remember that all new students need to change their password soon after registration.

Laptop clinics coming soon
With funding from the Alumni Foundation we have a new student laptop clinic which will be coming soon. Laptop clinics start weekday afternoons from Wednesday 8th October and  can advise on laptops which run slow or have similar problems.

The summer vacation has now started, and during this period only we can provide ResNet to students from other universities staying in Bristol accommodation over the summer. There is a charge of £20 for this for any period from 30th June to 22nd September.

NB: Unfortunately we can’t provide ResNet to holidaymakers or other people with no educational status.

To get ResNet, see ResNet over the summer for details and an application form.

Each year a large number of students join the team to run ResNet. We are now recruiting for both technical and administrative positions for the 08-09 academic year.

A job with ResNet offers competitive pay (around £10/hour) and excellent experience while working with and helping other Bristol students. It can be hard work but is very enjoyable, a chance to develop your skills, and great experience for future employers.

Jobs available start in September and some continue during term time for the rest of the 08-09 year.

The closing date for applications is 10am, Thursday 22nd May. For more details or to apply please see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/resnet/about/behindscene/vacancies08.html

Student Laptop Clinics on Fridays

The Student Laptop Clinics before Easter were very popular and we are running them again this term. Due to a lack of space clinics this term are on Friday afternoons only; however we will have lots of staff available to help. We can’t fix all problems but will help as much as we can. Clinics are free of charge.

Clinics will be held in room TRF on the first floor of the Computer Centre from 2pm to 5pm starting Friday 25th April.

Pay for print credits online

You can now add credit to your printer account by making an online payment. See the “File & Print” tab in MyBristol http://portal.bris.ac.uk or go to http://www.bristol.ac.uk/online-payments/

Student IT Skills training

Information Services are offering the following training courses for students over the next feww weeks:

  • Preparing images using Photoshop – Thursday 1 May 14.00 – 17.00
  • Basic Web Authoring – Thursday 8 and 15 May (2-part) 14.00 – 17.00
  • Further Web Design: Cascading Style Sheets – Thursday 1 May 14.00 – 17.00

Courses are free. To book a place go to http://www.bristol.ac.uk/studentskills/cobs/

Please note that sessions may be filmed for inclusion in a Student Skills online video.

This newsletter is being emailed to all current ResNet users and is also available on the ResNet blog at http://www.bristolresnet.net/2008/02/26/

Read on for information about longer help desk hours, free software from Microsoft, and your chance to comment on the ResNet service.

Help Desk now open until late seven days a week

Information Services is now providing help with ResNet and other IT problems by phone from 8am until 2am, seven days a week. We’ve combined the ResNet Help Desk with the IT Help Desk and extended the hours. Help is also available during vacations, on days when the University main buildings are closed, and on most bank holidays.

The number to call is 0117 928 7870 or internal 87870 free from your room. The previous number dedicated to ResNet (89001) still works and redirects to the same phone line.

We know that students are working and using computers at all times – we hope having someone to call until late will be very useful.

Free Microsoft developer software

Microsoft have just announced a scheme which provides some completely free software to all taught students. Included are Visual Studio Professional programming tools and several graphics, server and web editing packages.

To get hold of a copy go to the Microsoft DreamSpark site https://downloads.channel8.msdn.com/. When you download the software the Bristol Single Sign On page will pop up, enter your username and password to prove you are a student.

We hope this will be helpful, but please note:

  • Many of these packages are not in use within the University, and so the IT Help Desk won’t be able to offer any assistance with them,
  • Server versions of Windows (eg Windows Server 2003) are not suitable for use on ResNet,
  • Microsoft Office, Windows XP and Windows Vista are not included in this deal, but there are other ways to buy student licences for Office and Windows, see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/software/

ResNet celebrates 10 years

We think Bristol was the first University in the UK to provide Internet access to study-bedrooms in all halls. ResNet started as a small pilot in one block of Hiatt Baker Hall in the spring term 1998. Over the summer vacation a team of university staff and students installed hardware, wrote the docs, set up the servers, designed a logo, stuffed envelopes and did everything else so that ResNet went live across all nine halls of residence for Freshers’ Week, 1998. The student houses followed soon afterwards. We haven’t looked back since!

We’d love to know what you think about 10 years of ResNet. If you’d like to wish us a happy anniversary, say what you think about the service, or suggest what you would like to see from ResNet in future, please leave a comment at <http://www.bristolresnet.net/2008/02/26/resnet>. Here’s to the next ten years!

The ResNet service is 10 years old this term!

We think Bristol was the first University in the UK to provide Internet access to study-bedrooms in all halls. ResNet started as a small pilot in one block of Hiatt Baker Hall in the spring term 1998. Over the summer vacation a team of university staff and students installed hardware, wrote the docs, set up the servers, designed a logo, stuffed envelopes and did everything else so that ResNet went live across all nine halls of residence for Freshers Week, 1998. The student houses followed soon afterwards. We haven’t looked back since!

10 years ago things were very different:

  • Only about 30% of students had a computer, and most of those were desktops with Windows 95, or even Windows 3.1
  • Fast, always on Internet like ResNet was almost unheard of – at home people had dialup if they had Internet access at all
  • Computers didn’t have a network adapter built-in: you had to open the case and fit a special ethernet adapter.

We are very proud of ResNet. It’s been great fun working on something that provides a real service to students and people seem to appreciate (even the Epigrump column likes ResNet 🙂 )

If you’d like to wish ResNet a happy anniversary, say what you think about the service, or suggest what you would like to see from ResNet in future, please leave a comment below. Here’s to the next ten years!

The ResNet team.

This newsletter is being sent to all ResNet users and is also available on our blog at www.bristolresnet.net

More channels and Apple Mac version of Freewire TV

We’ve just made some improvements to Freewire TV on ResNet. We’ve added several international channels to the lineup today, including Al Jazeera, TV5, DW-TV, PCNE & Zee Music. Freewire is also now available to Mac users for the first time.

If you want to use Freewire first go to My ResNet www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/myresnet and turn on the signal for your room. Then go to www.freewiretv.com and download the software for either Windows or Mac.

New free Laptop Clinics every weekday afternoon

  • Slow, unwell computer?
  • Can’t connect to the Internet?
  • Computer viruses or spyware?

At the Student Laptop Clinic we’ll look at your laptop while you wait, and fix it if we can, free of charge. The clinics are running from 2pm – 5pm every weekday until Easter. Please bring your laptop (and power supply) during those times to the IT Help Desk at the Computer Centre, Tyndall Avenue.

We can only fix software and configuration problems (we can’t repair physically broken hardware). Even with software problems we can’t fix everything, but if not we can provide advice on what to do next, information to help you fix the problem yourself or suggestions about who else you can contact.

The laptop clinics are a new trial service for all students. They are available from Monday 11th February until Thursday 28th March. We are running these clinics as a trial this term to see how useful and popular they are. If successful we’ll consider how to provide further help next year.

Changes to ResNet fair usage policy – new offpeak allowance & second chance system

We’ve made two changes to the ResNet fair usage policy http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/resnet/about/usage.html

  • From Monday 11th February we now have weekly allowances of 35GB off-peak (midnight to 6pm) and 5GB on-peak (6pm to midnight). Previously there was no explicit limit off-peak. It is very unlikely this will affect you, as in the last two weeks only 19 people on ResNet used more than 35GB off-peak.
  • We now have a ‘second chance’ system so that if you accidentally go over the allowance you have an opportunity to carry on as normal. You can use this second chance once per year.

To view your own usage see My ResNet www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/myresnet

This is the first part of a news story from the BBC.  Full story on the link at the bottom.

Severed cables disrupt Internet

Internet services have been disrupted in large parts of the Middle East and India following damage to two undersea cables in the Mediterranean.

There was disruption to 70% of the nationwide network in Egypt, and India suffered up to 60% disruption.

UK firms such as British Airways have told the BBC that call centres have been affected by the outage.

Industry experts said it could take up to one week to repair the damaged cables and resume full service.

International telephone calls, which have also been affected, are being rerouted to work around the problem.

Full story…

If you’ve looked at MyResNet recently you’ll have noticed that the off-peak weekly allowance cell in the Network Usage table has changed from ‘unlimited’ to 35GB. Currently we are not automatically restricting users based on their off-peak usage but we are working towards this goal.

Looking at this table you should be able to work out that if either the off-peak allowance OR the on-peak allowance exceed 100% AUP then your connection will be moved into the restricted network. Clever usage will allow up to 40GB weekly traffic (35 off + 5 on).

As I said before, the off-peak allowance is not active yet, but will be in the near future. The on-peak allowance is still in operation as it has been all year.

From current usage statistics, we anticipate that less than 1% of our users will be affected by this change. For example, last week 0.56% of users transferred data in excess of 35GB off peak and the week before it was just 0.33% (although term only started on Wednesday of that week).

Currently off-peak is midnight to 6pm (18 hours) and on-peak is 6pm to midnight (6 hours).

As always, we welcome constructive feedback.

Dear ResNet subscriber,

This is one in the occasional series of ResNet newsletters sent to all subscribers.

Get your computer up to date

Welcome back to Bristol if you’ve been away for the Christmas vacation. Now you are back this is a great time to check your computer has all the essential security updates for Windows. To check and install updates go to Microsoft Update http://www.update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/ or open Control Panel, Security Center.

It is essential you stay up to date: if not you put your computer and others on ResNet at risk. To protect other people we may suspend your ResNet connection if your computer is not up to date (but we’d give you a warning about that first).

For more advice on computer security see Protect your computer, your data, and yourself: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/security/

Changes to fair usage allowance

During the vacation we temporarily increased the weekly peak time fair usage allowance from 5GB to 10GB, as the network was very quiet. Now term has started again we’ve returned to our normal limit of 5GB a week, peak time (6pm-12 midnight).

Extended ResNet Help Desk opening hours

As it’s busy at the start of term we’ve extended the ResNet Help Desk opening hours. For the next two weeks if you need help with ResNet you can now ring us on 89001 internal, 2pm-8pm weekdays.

Free software for students

As a student at Bristol there is lots of free or very cheap software available for you. For example you can:

  • Download McAfee Anti-Virus from the University free of charge,
  • Buy, rent or get free (some departments only) student copies of Microsoft Office,
  • Get free Desktop Publishing software from Serif,
  • Get free Autodesk CAD software.

To download free software or find out more about student discounts see software for home users: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/software/

Well it’s Christmas and lots of students have disappeared for the holidays so it’s only fair that we increase the usual 5GB weekly peak-time usage to 10GB.

Peak-time is unchanged, 6pm to midnight.

The limit will be reduced back to 5GB per week from Monday 7th January 2008 so try not to get caught out 😉

Mark

ResNet will be ten years old in 2008! It all started with a small pilot at Hiatt Baker in the spring term 1998.

To celebrate the ten years we are planning a reunion event and trying to get in touch with everyone who has worked for ResNet over the years. If you will be anywhere near Bristol at the end of February we hope you can join us. If you can’t we’d still love to hear from you and find out what you’re up to.

Please get in touch by emailing resnet-help@bristol.ac.uk and we’ll send you an invitation.

cheers,

Nick.

We have had quite a few reports that some / all sites in China are running really slowly or not at all.

This is not a ResNet, University, JaNet or UK problem.

chinalatency

 

Above (click to make bigger) is a graph of latency (ms) and packet loss (colour) to jupiter.sina.com.cn we are currently seeing a 550ms ping time and 95% packet loss. This is not good. The packet loss is generally happening in the link between USA and China – and obviously we have no control over that!

This page will be updated when we have more info.

Update Tuesday @ 8am

Below is the new latency graph. It shows that there are still problems, again totally out of our control – sorry.
China Latency 2

Update Thrusday @ 11am

It seems that the packet loss today has dropped below 25% which is much better than the 95% we have been seeing. Sites are loading much more reliably now

china3.bmp

My ResNet upgraded

We’ve just upgraded My ResNet to a newer, faster, prettier version. With My ResNet you can check your network usage (now with graphs), move your connection to another room, connect a different computer to your socket, and lots more.
Go to My ResNet http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/myresnet to try it.

We’d love to hear from you if you have any ideas for improvements to My ResNet. What information would you like, or what tools would be useful? Please comment on our blog http://www.bristolresnet.net/2007/11/19/

Student Skills

Have you seen the new Student Skills website? There you will find ways to enhance your study skills, including IT Skills. Visit Student Skills http://www.bris.ac.uk/studentskills/ to see the many learning opportunities provided free of charge by the Students’ Union, Careers Service, Information Services and others.

Back up your data

Imagine spilling a pint of beer over your laptop, perhaps destroying the hard disk in the process. What would you do if your 10,000 word dissertation was due in the following day, or you lost your entire collection of digital photos? There is no need for this to happen: make backup copies of your data to keep it safe. Backing up is easy to do. You can store backup copies on a USB pen drive, an external hard disk, on recordable CDs/DVDs, or elsewhere on the network/Internet.
For more advice on backups, see Backing up your data http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/security/protectcomp/owncomp/backup.html

Regards,

Nick Skelton, ResNet Manager, & the ResNet team.

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve upgraded My ResNet to a newer, faster, prettier version!

The main improvements that you’ll notice are:

  • A new look and feel
  • The main page loads much faster than it did previously
  • “Check my network usage” is now much easier to understand than it was previously, and has interactive graphs!

If you notice anything that’s not working quite how you would expect it to, or have any comments about the new version (good or bad!) please get in touch. If it’s broken we want to fix it!

We have more improvements planned for My ResNet, but what we’d really like is some ideas from you, so if you’ve got any ideas let us know! some things you might want to think about include:

  • What information would you like which is currently missing?
  • What do you currently have to phone the helpdesk about, which we could make easier for you by giving you tools to do it for yourself?

-Paul

Update: To save you the trouble of having to email us your feedback, we’re opening up the comments on this one! Let us know what you think of the new My ResNet using the form below…

Update 2008-03-25: Comments are now closed on this post, as the spammers have noticed it. Please email us your comments instead.

This is the first in an occasional series of newsletters sent to ResNet subscribers. Please read on for useful tips about ResNet and other IT services at Bristol, including free TV channels on your computer.

My ResNet – look after your ResNet connection

With My ResNet you can move your subscription to another room, connect a different computer, track your usage, turn on the Freewire TV service, and check how long your subscription lasts.

Go to My ResNet http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/myresnet/ to try it.

Freewire – Free digital TV to your room

Freewire provides digital TV over ResNet to your computer. Included are all the BBC channels, Channel 4, E4, Film4 and many more. It is free of charge, but you do need a TV licence to use it. For more information see

TV on ResNet http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/tv/

NB: If you receive a message ‘channel off air’ on all channels, make sure you have turned on the TV signal to your room using My ResNet http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/myresnet/

My Bristol – the University portal

New this year is the University student portal. You can access webmail, tutor announcements, your Blackboard courses, StudentInfo, your library account, registration details, Students’ Union info and more.

See My Bristol http://www.bristol.ac.uk/portal

Change your initial password

All new students are given an initial password as part of registration. If you haven’t already done so, you need to change your password to something only you know. If you don’t change your password your account will be locked. You can change your password before or after your account is locked – but it’s a good idea to do so beforehand.

Go to Change UOB domain password https://wwws.cse.bris.ac.uk/cgi-bin/uob-passwd.pl

Best wishes,

The ResNet team.

Freewire TV

Frewire TV provides multi channel digital TV over ResNet to your computer. If you want to try Freewire TV, please:

If you receive a message that ‘channels are off air’ on all channels then make sure that Freewire is available in your residence and you have switched on the TV signal with My ResNet.

Problems with the ResNet security checker on some Windows systems

The ResNet security checker seccheck.exe does not run correctly on Windows XP 64-bit edition and some, but not all, non-English language versions of Windows. In particular we have seen problems with Hungarian and Polish versions of Windows, but there may be others.

We’d like to fix these problems and are working on it, but it is tricky as we don’t have access to all the foreign language Windows versions. In the meantime, please see ResNet knowledgebase article 23 for some instructions to do it manually.

If you need help, please phone the ResNet Help Desk on 89001 from your room. It is now much easier to get through than it was earlier in the week.

10.30am Tuesday October 2nd: only two days into Freshers’ Week 3600 students (out of about 5000 in halls) have now successfully connected to ResNet and are up-and-running!

Now term has started the ResNet Help Desk is open longer hours – from 2pm to 8pm Monday to Friday. If you have any problems connecting to ResNet please first read the troubleshooting guide in your ResNet pack. If you still need help please give us a call from your room, free on 89001 internal.

We have as many people answering the phone as we can, but it is inevitably very busy at this time of year. Sorry if you don’t get through straight away. It is often easier to get through after 5pm.

3170 students (out of about 5000) successfully connected to ResNet on their own before the Help Desk even opened on Monday. If you’ve already connected to ResNet and have a query which isn’t urgent you might like to email us – resnet-help@bristol.ac.uk

ResNet is now up-and-running for autumn 2007! Many international students arrived this weekend, and several hundred have already connected to ResNet successfully.

ResNet packs have been delivered to Unite House, Chantry Court, Deans Court, Woodland Court and the nine halls of residence. Packs will be delivered to the student houses later today. If you need a pack please ask your hall office or Senior Tutor.

The pack contains everything you need to connect to ResNet.

If you need to pay your ResNet subscription, please visit us at the Computer Centre, Tyndall Avenue (10am – 5.30pm Mon-Fri.). You can connect to ResNet first and pay afterwards.

If you have any problems connecting, please telephone us on 89001 internal or email resnet-help@bristol.ac.uk.

During the vacation period (starting on Monday 25th June) we are increasing the peak-time usage 10GB per week as the network is less busy. We may review these limits throughout the vacation period.

Off-peak periods remain unlimited.

Peak-time is 6pm to 12 midnight and off-peak time is 12 midnight to 6pm

Enjoy 😉

This is the final newsletter of the academic year sent to all ResNet subscribers. You can also read this on the web at www.bristolresnet.net

Win a PlayStation Portable

The ResNet survey is your opportunity to say what you think about ResNet over the last year and give us ideas for improvements. Everyone completing the survey also enters the prize draw – top prize is a PlayStation Portable, and there are also 8 lots of £10 print credits to win.

Please go to http://www.survey.bris.ac.uk/is/resnet07 – thanks!

ResNet over the summer vacation

Many people will be moving out of their rooms at the end of June. If you are staying in residence and haven’t already paid for the summer vacation period you will need to do so. You can check your current subscription by going to http://manage.resnet.bris.ac.uk For more about ResNet over the summer please see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/slink/93rq

Internet access in private accommodation

If you are moving out into private student accommodation you may want to arrange your own broadband Internet access (ResNet is only available in university residences). We have a guide to help you choose which might help: see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/slink/gjtg

Best wishes,

the ResNet team.

This is part of the occasional series of newsletters sent to all ResNet subscribers. In this edition: Peak usage limits increasing to 5GB per week; ‘Second Chance’ System; Jobs with ResNet

Peak usage limits increasing to 5GB per week

We are pleased to announce that from Monday 21st May 2007 the weekly peak-time usage allowance is to be increased to 5GB.

It has always been our intention to let ResNet subscribers use any spare capacity. We are confident that we have enough spare network capacity at the busiest time of day (6pm to midnight) to allow this increase.

We are constantly reviewing the peak and off-peak usage so that the best possible quality of service is maintained for the often conflicting needs of ResNet subscribers.

For more information on the peak-time system see

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/slink/dr8r

‘Second Chance’ System

We are developing a ‘Second Chance’ system that can be used once per term to allow restricted subscribers back onto the ‘normal’ network. An announcement will be made on our blog when the system is in place. If you are moved to the restricted network, and the ‘second chance’ system is in place, then the email we send you will contain information on how to use it.

Jobs with ResNet

There are still a few days to apply for a number of technical and non-technical positions available for full-time work this summer vacation and part-time work from Freshers’ week onwards.

To apply, please see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/slink/ktui

The closing date is 10am, Monday May 21st.

Best wishes,

The ResNet Team.

Update 2007-06-19: Comments are now closed as there have been no genuine comments submitted recently, only spam. If you want to comment on this article, please contact the ResNet Helpdesk.

This is part of the occasional series of newsletters sent to all ResNet subscribers. In this edition: apply for a job with ResNet; iTunes Music Store and more now working; update on ResNet traffic levels.

Jobs with ResNet this summer and autumn

Each year a large number of students join the team to run ResNet. A job with ResNet offers competitive pay and excellent experience while working with and helping other Bristol students. The student staff are an absolutely essential part of the team with helps make ResNet both a successful service and an enjoyable place to work.

We have a number of technical and non-technical positions available for full-time work this summer vacation and part-time work from Freshers week onwards.

To apply, please see our vacancies. For more information, call in to the ResNet help desk for a chat.

The closing date is 10am, Monday May 21st 2007.

iTunes Music Store and more now working

We’ve been able to upgrade the ResNet network so that it is no longer necessary to use our webcaches. We’ve done this as there are some popular applications which didn’t work with the webcaches. One example of this is iTunes Music Store, which is now working fine on ResNet.

If there is anything else which you previously tried but didn’t work on ResNet, please try it again – you might well find it is working for you now.

See configuring applications for more info.

Update on ResNet traffic levels

With the new fair usage policy we’ve seen congestion on ResNet drop significantly, in particular during the peak evening period. This means that sensitive applications like gaming and telephony are now working much better.

We’ve had a lot of helpful comments on fair usage, both for and against, thanks for all of these. One of the most common comments was that the on-peak allowance should be higher. We’re reviewing it, and hope to be able to raise it soon.

During the Easter vacation ResNet helpdesk is closed on Friday 6th April, Monday 9th April and Tuesday 10th April. We are open again on Wednesday 11th April from 2pm.

This is part of the occasional series of newsletters sent to all ResNet subscribers. In this edition: as the Easter vacation starts information about two useful services when away from the University.

New Squirrelmail webmail

New webmail software, called SquirrelMail, was made available at the start of January, and is now being used by approximately 2000 users every day. It has a more modern look and greater functionality than the old webmail, Silkymail, and reactions from users have been very positive.

To use SquirrelMail, go to https://webmail.bris.ac.uk

You can also use Mulberry or other methods to read your email. See accessing your email remotely for details.

New offsite proxy

When away from the University over the vacation you can still access electronic library resources and other restricted materials that are usually only available within the University network. To do this use the new offsite proxy. This is much easier to use than the authenticated proxy service we had before.

For information on the offsite proxy and other resources useful when working remotely see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/offsite

If you take a computer from ResNet and then connect it to the Internet somewhere else you may find that it is already set up to use the offsite proxy (because we also use the same system as an onsite proxy on ResNet). You might notice this as a prompt to log on that pops up when you visit the Bristol website. You can simply enter your standard UoB username and password to carry on; however if you prefer to get rid of this permanently see how to set your computer to stop using the University web proxy.

Warning about upgrading to Vista

If you buy a new computer with Windows Vista you can now connect it to ResNet. To do this use the normal in-room registration system http://register.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/ and follow the instructions.

Do not run the ResNet security CD on Vista! Doing so can cause serious problems. Instead use the in-room registration system. This will give you a new version of our McAfee AntiVirus which is Vista compatible.

If you are thinking of installing Vista on your current computer – don’t! It will cause old systems to run incredibly slowly and some of your existing hardware and software will break. It is best to wait for several months for problems to be fixed – or the easiest option is to wait until you are ready to buy a brand new computer.

For more info on Vista see the ResNet blog at http://www.bristolresnet.net

New wireless hotspots in halls

Wireless hotspots are now available in many of the halls of residence. They’ve been installed in central areas such as bars, libraries & study rooms. Hotspots are working now in Badock, Durdham, Hiatt Baker, Manor and University Hall. Hotspots for Churchill, Clifton Hill House & Goldney are also on the way.

Hotspots are free to use for all members of the University (you don’t need a ResNet subscription). Each hotspot only covers a limited area though – they don’t provide wireless in your own room.

For precise locations and connection instructions see http://www.wireless.bristol.ac.uk

Win an iPod video for your views on IT services

The University is conducting a survey of all students to get your views on IT services and facilities. What would you like us to do and how could we do it better?

There is a prize draw for all completed surveys – the top prize is an iPod video worth £180, and other prizes of iPod shuffles and print/copier credits are also up for grabs. If you prefer not to enter the draw the survey is completely anonymous.

Your feedback is essential to help us provide the IT services that students need and want to use. Please got to http://www.bristol.ac.uk/student-itsurvey to let us know.

Well so far we have a whole 8 people connection to ResNet with Windows Vista and we have had (that I know of) two people needing to rebuild their systems. Both rebuilds have been caused by running the ResNet Security CD and installing the old version of McAfee VirusScan Enterprise (8.0i).

How can ResNet let us accidentally install the wrong version of McAfee VirusScan I hear you all asking.

Well, when the ResNet security CD is run, we check to see what version of Windows is being run, if it is not 2000 or XP, we exit the installation. Vista (in its infinite wisdom) then pipes up saying something about running the install in compatibility mode, emulating (probably) XP, so the installation can continue 🙁 After McAfee VirusScan is installed, your system will either blue screen and crash or not allow updates to the VirusScan definitions file – either way this is not good. Currently we have not been able to resurrect these dead machines.

Please, please, please do not run the ResNet Security CD on Windows Vista or your Vista installation may get fried.

To register your Vista system simply visit <http://register.resnet.bris.ac.uk> and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you are considering upgrading an existing computer to Vista – don’t. Give it a few months before spending your hard earned cash on something that will probably make an older machine run like a 3-legged donkey 🙂

Well we said that Windows Vista could be unleashed on ResNet in February and we were almost right, March 1st is pretty close 😉

To get Vista through the registration process you will need to visit http://register.resnet.bristol.ac.uk and follow the on-screen instructions. At some point you’ll have to phone the ResNet helpdesk to get a registration shortcut code. The phone lines are currently open from 2pm to 5:30pm Monday to Friday

We are working on making the Vista registration process more slick but currently it’s a bit manual – sorry about that.

If you have any feedback about Vista, good or bad, then please drop us an email resnet-help@bristol.ac.uk

The University is conducting a survey of all students to get your views on IT services and facilities. What would you like us to do and how could we do it better?There is a prize draw for all completed surveys – the top prize is an iPod video worth £180, and other prizes of iPod shuffles and print/copier credits are also up for grabs. If you prefer not to enter the draw the survey is completely anonymous.

Your feedback is essential to help us provide the IT services that students need and want to use. Please use the survey to let us know. The closing date for the competition is 23 March 2007.

We are advertising a newly created full-time job for a Systems Specialist (Wireless & VPN). The job will be working alongside the rest of the ResNet team, but concentrating on our wireless services on campus rather than ResNet in the halls.

If you or anyone you know is interested you can apply at http://www.bristol.ac.uk/vacancies Closing date is 9.00 am on 05 March 2007

If you are interested in part-time jobs with ResNet (working on the help desk, visits or admin support) we’ll be advertising for those during the summer term, to start in the autumn.

Noticed any changes to the icons in your system tray?

As part of a virus scanner management (ePO) agent upgrade, your anti-virus system tray icons have changed from (notice the red circles) McAfee and ePO Agent V3.5.5 to McAfee and ePO Agent V3.6.0

When you click the new RED M, you can see the old familiar icons.

3.6.0 Image

The management agent helps to ensure your machine is up-to-date with anti-virus definition files and that your Microsoft patches are also up-to-date.

The upgrade to the agent was necessary in order to get new virus scanning software functioning on Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows Vista.

The anti-virus software that you are running has not changed and will continue to update in a timely fashion.

Microsoft released its new OS, Windows Vista, to consumers on Tuesday 30th January 2007. New machines are only just shipping with Vista installed so there can’t be many of these wanting to connect to ResNet just yet. We are however getting an increasing number of requests from people wanting to upgrade to Vista from XP.

We have been ‘playing’ with pre-release versions of Vista for many months and have found it to run quite sluggishly on even high end hardware so would discourage people spending their money at this time as they may be disappointed. BTW, the released version is not too sporty either 😉
Another problem, as the title of this blog suggests, is that McAfee have only just release a production version of Virus Scan Enterprise (VSE) 8.5i, which supports Vista. We are currently testing VSE 8.5i with Vista, XP and the management agent, ePolicy Orchestrator so that we can be confident that there won’t be any problems.

Once the testing of VSE 8.5i has been completed we need to modify the registration process to allow Vista onto ResNet. If testing goes well then we should have a solution during February but please do not upgrade to Vista before we have published the latest version of VSE 8.5i

The University is looking for feedback from students – please help us with either of the following and get something for it 🙂

Spare an hour of your time and earn a £10 Borders voucher

We’re looking for volunteers to help evaluate a new University service
for students. If you’re chosen to take part in the evaluation,
we’ll give you a £10 Borders voucher!

To volunteer, you need to be:

  • A student at the University of Bristol
  • Free (and fairly flexible with your time) for an hour on either
  • February 21st or February 22nd 2007

The evaluation will take place at a central location in the University.

If you’re interested, please send your name and contact information
(email address or phone number) to Stuart Church at
stuartc@pureusability.co.uk (Pure Usability have been hired by the University for this evaluation)

Privacy
We promise that your name and contact information will (i) be kept in strict confidence, (ii) never passed on to anyone else, and (iii) only used for the purposes of this evaluation.

Complete IS web survey and win a book token!

The IS website has recently been redesigned. In order to make sure that users are happy with our new site, and check that we have achieved our aims, we need your feedback!

Therefore we would really appreciate it if you could complete our online survey. All who do have the chance to enter into a prize draw for a £10 book token. The survey is open to all staff and students across the University, so please feel free to forward the survey link to friends and colleagues.

The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and the closing date is Thursday 22 February.

It’s that time of year when everyone returns to Bristol all bright and refreshed after the new year break! 😉
Some of you will have brought a new computer with you, and find that you’re having problems getting on ResNet. If that’s you, scroll down for some tips that should help.

If you’re having any other problems with your ResNet connection, our telephone helpdesk will be open 2pm-8pm Monday-Friday and we can fix a lot of problems over the phone.

We’re expecting it to be very busy on the phones next week (We’re expecting over 4000 people to try to connect at the same time!) so if you have trouble getting through to us, we’re very sorry, but please keep trying, we answer calls as quickly as we can!
How to reset your connection to work with a new computer

  • Use a friends connection to visit Manage My ResNet (http://manage.resnet.bris.ac.uk)
  • Log in using your UoB username and password.
  • Scroll down to “Connect a new computer to ResNet” and click the link. This will reset your connection to work with your new computer.
  • Switch on the new computer and go to http://register.resnet.bris.ac.uk/ to get it all up and working!

If you can’t access web pages, or only internal web pages

You may find that you can use Mulberry, MSN Messenger, etc but only access internal web pages (and if your home page is something from outside the university this will look as if the web is completely broken). This can happen if your computer looses the web proxy settings. It is easy to fix – see configuring your web browser to use the proxy server

The ResNet help desk will be closed on Tues 19th December. Apologies for any inconvenience.

We will be open:

Wednesday 20th December 2pm – 5pm
Thursday 21st December 2pm – 5pm

and then closed Fri 22nd December – Tues 2nd Jan inclusive when the rest of the University is also closed.
After that we will be open weekdays from Weds 3rd Jan 2pm – 5pm.

Please visit in person to pay, or phone 89001 internal or 0117 928 9001 for technical support. For less urgent enquiries please email resnet-help@bristol.ac.uk and we will respond on our return.

Accessing your email when away from the University

If you are going home for the Christmas vacation you can still access your email and other computing facilities, from anywhere with an Internet connection. For email, use webmail http://webmail.bris.ac.uk or Mulberry both of which are available within and outside the University. For other services, such as electronic library resources, see remote access to University resources http://www.bristol.ac.uk/offsite

ResNet help desk over the vacation

The ResNet help desk will be open over the vacation but with reduced opening hours. Latest hours will be available on the voicemail message on 89001, or on the ResNet blog http://www.bristolresnet.net. The help desk will be closed completely for the period between Christmas and New Year, when the rest of the University is also closed.

Moving rooms or getting a new computer?

Remember even when the ResNet help desk is closed you can still use Manage My ResNet http://manage.resnet.bris.ac.uk to transfer your connection to another room, connect a new computer, or other common tasks.

Higher usage allowance over Christmas

From Monday December 18th to Sunday January 7th we are increasing the fair usage allowance from 10GB a week to 40GB a week. We are able to do this as demand on ResNet over the vacation is lower.

Best wishes and Happy Christmas from everyone at ResNet.

From Monday December 18th to Sunday January 7th we are increasing the fair usage allowance from 10GB a week to 40GB a week. This means you can use up to 40GB offsite bandwidth per week. From Monday January 8th the usual 10GB a week limit will return.

We are able to do this as most people are not in residence over the vacation so demand on ResNet is much lower than normal.

If you track your usage with Manage My ResNet it will show your correct usage in GB, but may have the wrong figures for your usage as a percentage of your allocation.

As we said before, due to the recent problems we’ve had with our script we won’t be enforcing the penalties for excessive usage for the next three weeks – so if you exceed the 40GB allocation in this period you won’t be placed in the special network segment for heavy users *in this period*. However if your usage is higher than 40GB in this period you might be placed in the heavy users network from Monday 8th January onwards.
In short please use less than 40GB a week between Monday December 18th to Sunday January 7th. Very very few people use this much bandwidth in any case.

If you are going home for the Christmas vacation you can still access your email and other computing facilities, from anywhere with an Internet connection.

For email, use webmail or Mulberry both of which are available within and outside the University. For other services, such as electronic library resources, see remote access to University resources or read the remote access leaflet (printed copies available in libraries and at help desks).

If you won’t be reading your email you might want to set up a vacation message to let people know this. Please see using SmartSieve to set up or change a vacation message.

If you are staying in your room in University accommodation over the vacation you can carry on using the ResNet connection in your room. You can use Manage My ResNet to transfer your connection to another room, connect a new computer, or other common tasks.

The ResNet help desk will be open over the vacation but with reduced opening hours (details to follow). It will be closed completely for the period between Christmas and New Year, when the rest of the University is also closed.

Windows Vista, the replacement for Windows XP, will soon be available from Microsoft.

If you are considering upgrading your existing computer on ResNet to Vista – please don’t yet. Although we’ve already looked at beta copies, we need to do more work to make sure Vista works OK on ResNet. In particular, we don’t yet have a version of our McAfee VirusScan software that runs on Vista (and without McAfee we won’t let computers on ResNet, so if you upgrade now you won’t be able to connect).

From around February, new computers will be supplied with Vista. By that time we hope to have a version of McAfee available. There may be other software in use within the University that is still being tested even then.

View your network usage

We have added a Check my network usage page to Manage My ResNet http://manage.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/ . If you are concerned that your ResNet traffic usage may push you over the ResNet fair usage policy, have a look. It seems very fashionable to have Beta software and Check my network usage certainly is (beta not fashionable) ;-) . We are in the process of enhancing it but for now it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Discounted laptops for students

Are you thinking of buying a new computer at Christmas? We have selected a range of Toshiba laptops we think are suitable and good value for students. These are available from our supplier at the same discount that the University gets. Most importantly you get a three year warranty with the laptop – this gives you peace of mind if anything goes wrong, and is normally an expensive extra from most suppliers.

See StudentStore http://www.studentstore.co.uk/bristol/

Preview of new University student portal

An online survey and test of “MyBristol”, the new University Portal, will open in January. The survey feedback will be used to further improve the Portal, which will be released for the autumn term 2007.
If you would like to test the portal and give your feedback to improve it, please send an email to majordomo@bristol.ac.uk with the following body text (no subject required):

subscribe portal-test-student

and you’ll receive details when it is open for testing. For more info see the Portal Project Website http://www.bristol.ac.uk/ips-projects/portal/student

As promised, we have added a Check my network usage page to Manage My ResNet. It seems very fashionable these days to have Beta software and this certainly is (beta not fashionable) ;-). We are in the process of enhancing it but for now it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Mark

Update 20-02-2007 : Comments are now closed as there have been no genuine comments submitted since December, only spam. If you want to comment on this article, please email the ResNet Helpdesk

Just one item in this ResNet newsletter. It won’t affect 95% of people on ResNet, but we want to make sure everyone knows what is happening. We also want to get your views on the changes.

We are introducing a new fair usage policy for ResNet. This specifies the total amount you can upload or download per week on your ResNet connection. We are setting this at 10 Gigabytes of data transferred a week. This will only affect a small number of the very heaviest ResNet users (less than 5% of people on ResNet)

We are doing this to help us provide the best service we can to everyone. At the moment 5% of people on ResNet use as much of our Internet traffic as the other 95% of people put together. This puts a strain on the limited capacity of our Internet link. Bringing this traffic under control a little will improve the performance for all. It should particularly improve the connection for people using Skype, other Internet telephony systems, and online gamers, as these are all time sensitive and suffer most if there is congestion.

Please don’t worry about this. Remember that most people aren’t affected by it. In any week if you are one of the heavier users and go over the limit, you will receive an email to let you know this, so you have a chance to reduce your usage the following week.

If you want to read the details, see the fair usage policy
If you would like to give your views, please email us or post comments on our ResNet blog www.bristolresnet.net . We would welcome thoughts from people both for and against, and suggestions for changes. Please read the details of the the fair usage policy first as many questions are answered in there.
As well as the fair usage policy, we are (as always) taking other steps to improve ResNet performance. Over the summer we put in gigabit connections to all the large halls, and upgraded the raw connection speed to each room. Over the next few months we are trialling a new bandwidth management system, and we have plans to increase the total capacity of our Internet link.

Best wishes,

Nick Skelton, ResNet Manager, & the ResNet team.

Update 27-11-2006 @ 16:15: We are working on a page that you can access from Manage my ResNet. We hope to have this up and running in a basic, but informative, way in the next couple of days. You don’t have to worry about your usage too much this week as you will get a warning email on Monday 4th December giving you a week to reduce your usage – we will have your usage statistics pages in place before then.

Update 20-02-2007 : Comments are now closed as there have been no genuine comments submitted since December, only spam. If you want to comment on this article, please email the ResNet Helpdesk

This email is being sent to all ResNet subscribers with tips and advice to get the most out of your connection. You can also read it on the ResNet blog – http://www.bristolresnet.net

FLUFF – transferring large files

Ever need to send a large file to someone else within or outside the University? If the file is too large you can’t send it by email. Instant messaging is another option, but it can be slow. We recommend using FLUFF, the Facility For the Upload of Large Files. Using Fluff it is easy to send files up to 100MB in size to anyone else, or to large groups of people. See Fluff http://www.bristol.ac.uk/fluff/ to try it out.

Your personal information on the Internet

People work, play, shop, date and arrange their social life on the net. We don’t often think about the long-term implications. What tracks do you leave behind? How much information about you is available out there? Would you want a future employer to see your Facebook entry?

For some advice on personal information on the Internet, see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/security/personalsafety.html

Backing up your data

Imagine spilling a pint of beer over your laptop, perhaps destroying the hard disk in the process. What would you do if your 10,000 word dissertation was due in the following day, or you lost your entire collection of digital photos? There is no need for this to happen. Make backup copies of your data to keep it safe. Backing up is easy to do. You can store backup copies on a USB pen drive, an external hard disk, on recordable CDs/DVDs, or elsewhere on the network/Internet.
For more advice on backups, see Backing up your data http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/security/backups.html
Regards,

The ResNet team.

This email is being sent to all ResNet subscribers with tips and advice to get the most out of your connection. You can also read it on the ResNet blog – http://www.bristolresnet.net

Manage My ResNet

Did you know that from our website you can view and update your ResNet account details – check your subscription period, move your ResNet connection to another room, or connect a different computer to your socket? Go to Manage My ResNet http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/myconnection/ to try it.

Spyware

Do you know what is really running on your computer? Without your knowledge you may have spyware. If so your computer may slow down, get lots of pop up adverts, extra toolbars, your home page keeps changing or you get sent to unwanted websites.

The main purpose of spyware is to give you extra advertising. As part of this it collects and reports back your personal information such as what websites you visit, invading your privacy. Sometimes it breaks your Internet connection completely.

To avoid spyware only download software from sources you trust, keep your system up to date, and don’t click on links in spam or pop-up ads. You can also install free anti-spyware software such as WindowsDefender http://www.microsoft.com/windowsdefender/ For more info see our Spyware advice page http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/security/adware.html

Firefox – a better web browser

Most people use Internet Explorer to browse the web. Why not try Firefox – a better web browser, and it’s completely free! For starters Firefox is much better protected against spyware than Internet Explorer. Get a copy of Firefox from http://www.getfirefox.com or from the CD in your ResNet pack.
To get Firefox to work on ResNet you need to tell it to use our web proxy server – we have an easy tool that does this for you. See configure your browser http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/resnet/connect/config/web.html

We now have over 4000 students successfully connected to ResNet. That’s about 85% of the total in residence, within the first two weeks.If you haven’t yet connected, please ask your hall office, porters lodge or senior resident for your ResNet pack and use that to connect. If you need any help connecting, you can phone the ResNet Help Desk on 89001 (free internal call from your room).

ResNet uptake - first two weeks

ResNet Chat

ResNet Chat is new for ResNet this autumn. It’s an instant messaging program especially for Bristol students. There are chatrooms for each hall, and a special Orbital (students out of hall) room for the student houses. You can add your friends as private contacts, see when they are online and message them. See www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/chat to try it out.

Changing your initial password

If you are a new student you will have been given an initial password as part of registration. If you haven’t already done so, you need to change your password as soon as possible to something only you know. If you don’t change your password your account will be locked – you will need to change your password at Change UOB domain password before you regain access to computing facilities. You can change your password before or after your account is locked – but it’s a good idea to do so beforehand.

Friendlier email addresses

Did you know that you can choose an easy to remember personal email address at the University? For example, instead of having jd5432@bristol as your mailname you could be Jon.Davies.05@bristol. To choose your own personal mailname go to Request for personal mailname

Yesterday was pretty busy, but we now have 2899 people registered on ResNet, which is pretty good going as most people only arrived on Sunday. If you’re having trouble connecting, please read the connection and troubleshooting guides then contact the ResNet help desk. If you’re having difficulty getting through, please do keep trying – we have three lines going at any one time and are taking as many calls as we can. If your problem is less urgent, please email us, or if you’d rather have a visit we can arrange that for you instead.

If you asked for a visit

If you asked for a visit on your application form, we’ve written to you in your hall/house with the contact info for the ResNet team member who will visit. Please ring them to arrange an appointment.

Some of these letters got misprinted, with the wrong contact info on them – on Monday we texted the people affected with updated info, so please check your phone. Sorry about that – and really sorry to some of our staff from last year who have left but got the phone calls! 🙁

Hotfix 3 not installed

We had a problem (fixed on Monday) if you had Windows XP and Internet Explorer 7 Beta on your computer where the security checker wouldn’t let you register, with this error message. This was fixed Monday – if you’re still having problems make sure you are using a fresh version of the security checker from the registration system (don’t use an old one copied on to your system). Alternatively uninstall IE 7 and use IE 6 instead.

Wills Hall: more ResNet packs delivered

If you were one of about 20 people at Wills who didn’t get a pack on Sunday, we delivered some more on Monday afternoon – please pick up your pack from the hall.

Acer laptops

If you have a brand new Acer laptop and WindowsUpdate doesn’t work – please contact us for help. Internet Explorer on these system was horribly broken and we’ve seen two like this now (pretty bad for a brand new system). The solution to this involves installing Firefox and/or IE 7 instead.

We’re now at the end of our first week of ResNet for 06/07 and we have 700 people, mainly overseas students, hooked up already. Now comes the real challenge.

This weekend most of the Freshers move in. If that’s you, everything should be ready for you. ResNet packs are available in your hall or house – either already in your room, or ask your senior resident, hall office, or porters.

If you asked for a visit to connect you to ResNet we’ve sent you a letter to your hall/house with the contact details for the person who will visit you – please phone them to make an appointment.

Most people can get themselves sorted on ResNet by following the instructions in your packs. If you have any problems, please have a look at the troubleshooting guide (stapled at the back of your how to connect guide). Our help desk isn’t open over the weekend, but will be open 2pm-8pm Mon-Fri every week for the rest of term.

Have a look at ResNet uptake stats if you’re really interested to see live how many people are successfully connected to ResNet.

ResNet Chat is something new we’ve come up with that lets you chat to people in your hall and elsewhere on ResNet. There are chatrooms for your hall or house, or you can add your friends as private contacts, see when they are online and message them. It’s an instant messaging program (like MSN Messenger), but especially for the community of Bristol students. There are chatrooms for each hall, and a special Orbital (students out of hall) room for the student houses. Think of your chatroom as the online equivalent of your hall bar (though sadly without the cheap beer!).

If you are a new student unfortunately you can’t use ResNet chat until you are given your UOB username and password – these are dished out for most people as part of registration on Tuesday of Freshers Week.

Tech bit: ResNet chat is a customised version of Pandion and uses the Jabber / XMPP protocol.

Some students moved in at the weekend, (especially overseas students at Unite House, Chantry Court, Deans Court and Woodland Court) so today is the first full day people have been hooking up to ResNet.
At time of writing we have 172 people successfully connected, and over 2000 application forms processed. For the latest figures live have a peak at ResNet uptake stats if you want.

If you are having problems connecting to ResNet please phone our tech people on our ResNet Help Desk number – 89001 free of charge from the phone in your room. We have a team of people answering the phone but it does get busy, especially for the first half hour or so after we open at 2pm – if you don’t get through at first please keep trying and you will get through later.

The ResNet service for the new year is now ready. Please ask your hall office, porters lodge or senior resident for your pack (contains cable, CD and instructions). Then follow the instructions in your pack to connect.

To pay for ResNet, you can either send us an application form with a cheque, or visit to pay in person by cash or credit card. You can connect to ResNet before paying, and use ResNet for a seven day free trial.

We’ve just upgraded everyone’s ResNet connection from 10Mbit to 100Mbit.
What does the upgrade mean in practice? Maybe not much at all. Typically when using ResNet you want to access sites outside the University, and the speed for external access hasn’t changed at all this time (though we’re always trying to improve that too). However for internal traffic, such as accessing resources on Blackboard or sending a file to a friend using Fluff transfers should now be quicker.

If you find that your ResNet connection has slowed down, that might be because your ethernet adapter is hard set to use 10Mbit connections, and can’t cope with the change. It should be set to Auto, so it will work on either a 10Mbit or 100Mbit network. Contact the ResNet help desk for advice, or see How to test the speed of your ResNet connection

We’ve been able to do this now as the switches that provide ResNet were already 100Mbit capable – we haven’t had to throw them out and replace them all. We’ve replaced the equipment one level up the chain. Before your hall might have had a 100Mbit connection for the whole hall, so there wasn’t the capacity to provide 100Mbit to each room. Now the busiest 100Mbit links have been upgraded to Gigabit, so we should be able to provide 100Mbit to each room.

At the moment this is just a test – we might need to adjust it and make further changes – but we hope it will all work out over the next few months and we will be able to make this a permanent change.

We’ve decided that it would be a good idea for the ResNet team to have a blog, hosted outside the University, that we can update as and when there is scheduled maintenance or unexpected problems on ResNet.

This means that even if (very rarely we hope!) our internal network gets completely hosed, we can still update you about what’s gone wrong and what we’re doing to fix it. You can read it on your mobile phone with Internet access, or anywhere else, independent of ResNet.

We’ll also use the blog to discuss any tricky changes we make to ResNet – so you can comment and give ideas. So, if we propose to replace your ResNet connection with tin cans and wet string you can tell us we’re barmy. More seriously, if there are controversial issues – like how much we should restrain the small number of heaviest ResNet users in order to speed up the service for everyone else – we can debate it here.

Go to http://www.bristolresnet.net/ from anywhere to read the blog.