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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!

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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.

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.

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