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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!

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.

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

 

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.

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!

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

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!

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.

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?

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.

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

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

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/

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.

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 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

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.

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 😉

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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 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.