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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.

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

 

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

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

 

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.

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/

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.

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>

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