Articles by Nick Skelton

Assistant Director IT Services (Infrastructure / Operations)

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.

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