by Jennifer Contreras
Accessing the Internet will be more convenient to residents of the Oaks Residence Halls. The Computer Science Club has received the green flag to connect residents of the Oaks to Ethernet through a fundraiser.
Departments that had to be persuaded into the connection of Ethernet were the Office of Housing and Residential Life and the Office of Information and Technology (OIT), the computer department.
According to Computer Science Club president, senior computer science major Kyle Young, the Housing Office was more difficult to convince than the OIT. Members of the Computer Science Club, junior Jason Opdycke and senior Nick Van Der Wende tried out the service in the C Building at the Oaks, and pushed it through the departments until it was approved.
“It just took Nick and Jason calling and calling and pushing it a lot for them to finally say OK,” said Young.
Currently the Internet access in the dorm is a standard Internet network, like America Online. The disadvantage of this type of setup is that it ties up the phone lines because of the way phone lines are set up in the dorms. With Ethernet, service is a lot faster.
The Ethernet connection will be available to Oaks residents with the exception of the F building, due to unknown logistics with the wiring in the building.
“As far as I know all the Pods are accessible, except for maybe the new one, just because no one knows exactly what’s in there wire-wise, the other problem is, some of the wires might not be good, they were never tested when they were put in,” said Young.
The club will do the connection for a cost of $30 for the set up. The $30 pays for the network card, the card’s installation and the cable for this service.
“They don’t have to go through us they can actually do all this stuff themselves. But if they don’t want the hassle of having to go and buy the cards and all the other stuff, they can just go through us,” said junior computer science major, Emerald Yeo, Event coordinator of the Computer Science Club.
The Computer Science Club will be using this project as a fundraiser to raise money for their club. Proceeds will go toward organizing a group to go to the Jet Proportion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, a company that works with NASA and that is responsible for putting the Pathfinder on Mars. Also, proceeds will be put toward sending members of the Computer Science Club to Comdex, an annual computer science conference in Las Vegas.
The Ethernet connection will only be available to residents with tower computers. The network can not be hooked up to laptop computers. The charges to get Ethernet on laptops are costly.
“It’s a good idea to get Ethernet. It’s better than hooking up with the regular Internet, which blocks your phone line and doesn’t let you know if anyone is calling,” said junior broadcast major Rene Luna.
I pay enough already for tuition and it’s more expensive for laptops. If my roommate pays only $30 and I would have to pay more, that would suck. It is a better network though,” said Luna.
Stu-Han and Brandt resident halls will not be able to connect to the Ethernet because of the wall space and wiring of the buildings.
“The buildings are older, they are not wired. Being the brick that they are, there is not enough space in the walls to get the cables hooked up,” said Young.
The Computer Science Club has been talking of other ways to get these buildings hooked up.
“If we went wireless for those buildings, it would be very costly for the students. The card you would need would cost about $200. So OIT is just waiting it out,” said Yeo.
Advertisement for the Ethernet setup has been circulating in the Oaks. Applications for Ethernet are available in the Housing Office. Once a student applies, the Computer Science Club will inspect the applicant’s’ building, wiring and computer to make sure the connection is even possible. Once the inspection is done and approved, then the connection can be made.
No connections to Ethernet have been made as of yet. The Computer Science Club is still hammering out the details and preparing the Oaks for the connection.