Computers at MU
The Computer Services Department of the Office of Institutional Computing exists to aid students in the utilization of computer resources on our campus. We seek to provide an open environment where the rights and sensibilities of all members of the academic community are respected. In order to facilitate this goal, we are committed to promoting ethical and responsible use and allocation of computer, network resources, and security. Every student, faculty member, and staff person should read the Methodist University Computer Use Policy located at the end of this publication. Everyone who uses computer resources at Methodist University is bound by that policy and acknowledges its provisions by the act of using those resources and facilities.
Frequently Asked Questions about Computing at Methodist University
We hope that the following questions and answers will give you an idea of what to expect when using a computer at Methodist University.
Q 1: What is MUNET?
A: MUNET is the University's Internet access, carried by the fiber optic backbone that connects all permanent buildings on campus.
Q 2: I live in one of the residence halls. Do I need to have my own computer at Methodist University?
A: A personal computer is important to any student, but Methodist University students are not required to purchase one, unless you are attending one of the Business, PGA, or Graphic Design Programs that require the student(s) to have a laptop computer. There are computers in several laboratories on campus that are equipped with Microsoft Windows, Internet access, word processing capabilities, and are accessible for over eighty hours per week. Students majoring in graphic design have access to an Apple Macintosh lab—with current software from Apple and Adobe—for their studio course work. Nevertheless, many students own their own computers because it is more convenient to have one equipped as desired, available when needed, and loaded with personal software and data. Students in all permanent residence halls are able to connect directly to MUNET, using network jacks in their rooms or the wireless internet access.
Q 3: What kind of computer should I buy?
Computer Services recommends the following minimum computer configuration. An Intel or AMD multi-core processor PC/Laptop having a USB port, NIC (Network Interface Card), Wireless Card that complies with the "B", "G", "N" or "AC" Wireless Standards. Be sure that you ask about the warranty and technical support provided by the company you purchase your computer from. It is recommended that you get at least a 4-year warranty with on-site repair and parts. Computing Services "Highly" recommends when purchasing any model laptop to also purchase a case to carry your laptop around in. Not a book bag or knapsack.
For Business and PGA majors, other students, faculty, or staff interested in a Lenovo laptop, Methodist University's Featured Notebooks Computers. Complete your order online with a credit card. It does not come with any version of Office Professional; this is an additional purchase through Lenovo or Varsity Buys. You will deal directly with and through IBM for the laptop purchase, not Methodist University.
For Graphic Art Design majors and any other students, faculty, or staff interested in an Apple computer, Methodist University has an online store through the Apple website. Go to the Apple Store, then choose "Education Store" on the left side of the page. The site will ask for your designation as a student or faculty member and then for you to choose an institution. Choose Methodist University and complete your order online with a credit card. Recommended systems for graphic design majors will be added to the Methodist online store soon. Please contact the Department of Art with specific questions before ordering.
Q 4: Can I buy a computer through Methodist University?
A: No. You can only purchase the network cable (CAT V) from the University bookstore. You should make your own arrangements to buy the computer before you come to Methodist or buy it from a local (Fayetteville area) vendor. However, if you would like to purchase a laptop thorough Lenovo, see question 3.
Q 5: I don't want to bring my computer to school on the airplane or bus. Can I have it shipped to the University?
A: Yes, you can. You must notify Computer Services to expect the package. For insurance reasons, Computer Services must hold the computer as received. We will not break any packing seal. Once you arrive on campus, you should come to the Computer Services office with a picture I.D. We will sign the computer over to you as we received it. You should ship the computer to the following address:
Attention: Tom Marthers
5400 Ramsey Street
Fayetteville, NC 28311
Q 6: How do I get an Internet account at Methodist University?
A:Methodist University provides students with the ability to send and receive e-mail as well as access World Wide Web and network resources from laboratory computers and residence halls. Your network/e-mail/ Blackboard username and password are the same, but you MyMU Portal is different. New student user accounts are auto-generated once a student is "Accepted" to Methodist University. Once "Accepted" to the University, the Admissions Office will mail your network, e-mail, MyMu Portal, and Blackboard account information to you. If you have not received a letter from the Admissions Office, you can contact the Computer Assisted Composition (CAC) Laboratory at 910-630-7300 to obtain your username and password information, provided one has been created for you.
Q 7: I am a resident student at Methodist University. To whom do I talk concerning hooking my computer up to get E-mail and getting on the Internet?
A: You do not need to contact anyone in order to hook up your computer for Internet or email access. We have ethernet or wireless internet access. If you use ethernet access, you will need a network cable (CAT 5) cable and depending which residence hall you are staying in, you may need a cable at least 50 feet long to connect from your computer/laptop to the network jack in your residence hall. You can purchase this cable prior to coming to Methodist, at a local store in Fayetteville or MU bookstore.
Q 8: How long is my account Active/Valid once I graduate or no longer attend classes at Methodist University?
A: Your account will be Active/Valid until two (2) weeks after you graduate or no longer attend Methodist University. If you have files/e-mails that you wish to save after leaving or graduating, it is your responsibility to forward the files/e-mails to your personal e-mail account. Do not wait to forward your email that you want to save after graduation, as we are unable to restore files/e-mails after the account has been deleted.
Q 9: What if I already have a CAT V cable for my computer/laptop?
A: We recommend the network working cable (CAT V) to be a least 50 feet so that you can connect to the network jack from anywhere in your room. See question 8.
Q 10: What can I do on the Internet?
A: You can send and receive email and have access to the world of resources that resides on the Internet. Be careful, though, because anything as powerful as the Internet can get you into trouble. At Methodist University, Internet access is granted for Educational Purposes Only. Using campus systems and networks for commercial gain, or pornographic, racist, or abusive purposes is strictly prohibited. Good taste and discretion must be exercised on the Internet. You must not engage in any conduct that might hurt someone else. A good rule of thumb is, if in doubt, don't do it. Methodist University will under no circumstances be responsible for financial obligations incurred by students using the Internet facilities of the University.
Q 11: What if I already have an Internet Provider?
A: If you already use an Internet provider such as AOL, you can use this system at Methodist University if you would like. Using the modem will tie up the telephone in your room and access time will be about 50 times slower than MUNET.
Q 12: What if I have a laptop computer?
A: As long as your laptop meets the specifications listed in question 3, you will be able to hook it up to MUNET.
Q 13: Are there any restrictions concerning programs that I can run on my computer connected to MUNET? How about Instant Messenger and Internet file sharing programs like KaZaA or Morpheus?
A: Such activities as downloading of huge files from sites such as KaZaA, Morpheus etc, take big chunks of the bandwidth that you share with everyone else on MUNET. We accept no responsibility as to how well or fast such programs run or whether they run at all. Furthermore, Peer to Peer software can spred VIRUSES. We will not install, configure, or support any peer-to-peer file sharing programs including KaZaA, Morpheus, LimeWire, eMule or problems these software programs may cause by installing them to your computer.
Q 14: What sort of software resources do I have access to on the campus network?
A: As far as software resources, you will not have any access to download software. You have access to Microsoft Office Professional in all/most labs as well as Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox. Different labs and library computers have additional software available to students.
Q 15: Do I have access to a laser printer on MUNET?
A: There are laser printers in the CAC lab, Clark Hall lab, and Library. You can print your documents on one of them whenever the labs or library is open. You can't use the laser printer from your room, you have to go to the lab or library. We ask that you do not abuse this privilege.
Q 16: I sit down in my room in Weaver Hall to bring up my paper that I was working on in the CAC Lab but I can't because I don't have Microsoft Word or any of the Microsoft Office suite that is in the CAC Lab.
A: The software programs installed on the computers in the labs on campus can't be used across the network. If you want to use Microsoft Word or any other licensed software program on your computer in your residence hall, you must purchase that software for your own use. You can purchase software from Varsitybuys at a student reduced rate. For information on Student, faculty or staff purchases go to Varsity Buys for more information, or click on "Students & Educators" and follow the prompts.
Q 17: What if I already have Word Perfect loaded on my computer?
A: Microsoft Word is the Methodist University's word processing program of choice. That means that you will probably use Microsoft Word in the CAC Lab for word processing. If you use Microsoft Word in the CAC Lab, you will have to convert your document to Word Perfect format in order to access it from your computer/laptop in your dorm room. You can also save your documents in Rich Text Format (RTF). If you don't save your files in RTF, you can go back and forth between word processing programs, but it is cumbersome.
Q 18: I have an older version of Microsoft Office, which is different from what you have in the lab. Will this cause problems?
A: It can. If you save your documents in Rich Text Format (RTF), you should not have a problem. If you are having a problem, check with the CAC lab assistant. He/she can convert your documents for you and/or show you the format to save documents in to move between versions.
Q 19: Where on campus are Wireless Access Points located?
A: Wireless access points are located in the following areas: Medical Science Bldgs (PA), Bethune Art Building, Trustees Classroom Building (1st and 2nd floor) Davis Memorial Library (1st & 2nd floor), PGM classroom, Allison Math & Computer Science Bldg, Cape Fear Commons Community Bldg, Chris' House, Nimocks Fitness Center, Clark Hall, Riddle Center, Berns Student Center, Science Bldg, and all floors of residence halls (Garber, Sanford, Cumberland, Cape Fear Commons, McLean, West, Pearce, Weaver, and Greek Village), Stout Hall, Soccer Bldg, Roger's House, Reeves Auditorium (1st and 2nd floor).
There are also outdoor access points located on the Library, Berns Student Center, Trustees Bldg, and Horner Administration building. There is wireless access outside these building to include the entire quad area between these buildings.
Q 20: What if I have a problem configuring my computer to access the Internet?
A: We do proceed from the assumption that your computer is operating properly before you attempt to connect it to MUNET. If it is and you still cannot get it to connect, then call us at 7300 and we will attempt to troubleshoot your problem over the telephone. If this doesn't work, we may then need to dispatch a technician to your room to take a look at it. Be advised, we do not make same day appointments. You will have to make an appointment for a technician for the following day. When the technician first enters your room, he/she will evaluate your computer to determine if it is working properly and meets the specifications mentioned earlier. This means that your computer must be out of any container or box, set up, plugged in, with the monitor, keyboard and mouse attached and the computer/laptop turned on. If not, you will have to make another appointment after you set up your computer. We do not set up any other devices to include, printers, scanners, zip drives, etc. If you are having a problem with your computer, you will have to contact your original vendor for support/repair or local computer vendor for support/repair. If you have trouble after that, we will check the network jack in your room to verify that it is working properly. The network up to the wall network jack is MU responsibility. The computer is your responsibility.
Q 21: What if I get a virus? Spyware, Adware etc.. on my computer and it won't work anymore?
A: Be very careful about loading diskettes, CDs, or programs into your computer. Be careful about opening email messages or attachments from people you do not know. We strongly advise that you purchase and install one of the current virus protection software packages on your computer and keep it updated. They are available at almost any store that sells software. The University bookstore sells anti-virus software as well. Be warned, the University does not provide or install any anti-virus software on student computers. This is the individual user's responsibility as well as keeping it updated.
Q 22: I think I picked up a virus from MUNET. What do I do?
A: That is not likely. MUNET is just the medium used to access the Internet. There is no software involved when accessing MUNET. If you are worried that you have a virus on a drive, bring it to the CAC lab and the lab assistant will take a look at it for you. We monitor our servers for virus-like activities to ensure that viruses do not appear or spread within our network. If we determine that your computer has a virus that is affecting MUNET, we will disable your account until we determine what the problem is. If your computer has a virus, we will not reactivate your account until you purchase an anti-virus software program and install it. When you install the virus program, update the virus definitions and scan your computer. Call (910) 630-7300 and advise the lab attendant that you have completed the above steps and we will then check and re-activate your account.
Q 23: What, besides my computer and printer, can I connect to my wall computer network jack?
A: Residence hall connections to MUNET are for a single computer or laptop use only. It is against University policy for a user to connect any device to the campus network that will allow additional equipment to be connected. Such devices may include, but are not limited to: wireless access points, bridges, routers, switches, hardware and software servers, transceivers, converters, hubs, printers, concentrators, etc. You are not allowed to attach anything to our network that we don't authorize to include Wireless Access Points. If it is found that you have connected a wireless access point in your residence hall and it is interfering with others ability to access the Internet, your connection (port) will be disabled. You will need to contact the CAC lab attendant for further guidance to re-enable your Internet port.
Q 24: I want to share devices such as drives, printers and modems with other users over the network. How can I do that?
A: It is a violation of University policy to share computer devices over the network. You should not configure a device that is attached to your computer, such as a printer, scanner, or hard drive in such a manner that makes it visible or usable by anyone else on the network. If you need to share files, use floppy disks, usb thumb drives, CD-writer, CD-rewriter, DVD-writer, DVD-rewriter, USB External Hard Drive or zip disks.
Q 25: Can I let my roommate use my computer for his or her E-mail?
A: Yes, but you must have a valid account (See question 6).
Q 26: Are there any times when MUNET won't be available?
A: For system maintenance, upgrades and user management, MUNET will be unavailable during these time periods: Monday - Sunday, class schedule dependant. During the summer, we conduct maintenance on MUNET. While the system will be up most of the time, we cannot guarantee the same level of service that we maintain during the regular spring and fall semesters, and any students living in the residence halls during the summer can expect periodic fluctuations and outages at any time.
Q 27: I take my computer home at Christmas (or next summer), use it, and bring it back to University at the end of the break. It won't allow me to login or access the internet or email when I plug it in. How come?
A: If you have changed your configuration or added programs such as Instant Messaging service, dot-net, Peer to Peer file sharing programs or other software or hardware, your computer may not connect. You will need to contact the vendor of the software or hardware that you have installed, or just remove it, to restore the computer back to its original configuration. You may have also installed a Maleware/Spyware/Adware program with or without your knowledge and can be a cause of not being able to connect to the network. You will need to install a Malware/Spyware/Adware program to remove this type of software
Q 28: I am an athlete and will be moving in two or three weeks earlier in August than other students. Can I get my MUNET connection hooked up early?
A: You sure can. Follow the instructions in question 8. One warning, though--You should be aware that we still may be performing regular summer maintenance on MUNET during the time before classes start in the fall, so you can expect periodic fluctuations and outages at any time.
Q. 29: Are there space limitations on the MUNET Student GroupWise E-mail servers?
A: Yes. You should be aware that you can only have 50 megabytes of email stored on student email server at one time. We ask that you keep your email mailbox cleaned up and delete any unnecessary email. If you wish to save attachments, save them to your C: drive. We conduct mailbox maintenance throughout the year, and if you haven't saved your files to your C: drive, they may be deleted due to space limitations on the email server.
Q. 30: I have a laptop that came with a internal wireless card. Will it work with the Methodist University Wireless network?
A: If you currently have a laptop that came with an internal or external (PCMCIA) wireless network card, you will need to find out if it is compatible with the University's wireless access points. The University uses wireless access points that are "B", "G", "B/G", "N" or "AC" compatible. If your wireless network card supports one of these standards, then yes it will work with Methodist University Wireless network.
Q. 31: Can you install Instant Messenger or network paging on my computer?
A: Due to bandwidth capacity limitations and risk of spreading viruses, we will not install, configure or support any Instant messaging services (AOL, Hotmail etc..), network paging services or file sharing programs on computers connected to MUNET.
Q. 32: What are Computer Services' responsibilities?
A: Computer Services' responsibilities include:
- Maintaining MUNET so as to maximize the time it is available for all users.
- Monitoring systems to assure that individuals are not using the system without express authority. The activities of MUNET users may be monitored at any time to insure that the use is consistent with the guidelines spelled out in this publication. To use a system on MUNET is to consent to such monitoring. If such monitoring reveals possible evidence of criminal activity or violations of University policy, system personnel will provide the evidence of such monitoring to both University administration and to law enforcement officials.
- Strictly adhering to and informing our users to adhere to, copyright laws.
- protecting the integrity of your work by providing a secure computing environment, including network server anti-virus protection, assuring reasonable confidentiality of correspondence, and making backup copies of materials stored on servers.
Q 33: What are the Student's responsibilities?
A: Your responsibilities include:
- You are not authorized to install or configure such devices to connect to MUNET which may include, but are not limited to: wireless access points, bridges, routers, switches, hardware and software servers, transceivers, converters, hubs, printers, or concentrators. You are not allowed to attach anything to our network that we don't authorize.
- NEVER INSTALL A WIRELESS ACCESS POINT; it is a violation of the University network policy
- Installing and configuring your own printers, wireless cards, network cards, zip drives, jazz drives, scanners and speakers to your computer, never using another person's account.
- Never attempting to read, modify, copy, or destroy another user's data files, diskettes or other materials without the permission of the owner. All members of the electronic community have ownership rights to their own intellectual work.
- Never harassing other users by altering computer software or computer system, by propagating viruses and other damaging software, sending malicious, annoying, or offending messages.
- Accessing your own account to read and remove mail at regular intervals so that ample storage space remains on the systems for all users. Each user will have an assigned storage quota for storage of essential data.
- refraining from tying up resources by staying on the Internet for long periods of time, or by using bandwidth hogging programs such as Instant Messenger services or File Sharing programs. Each user will be logged off by us after a maximum of 8 hours.
- Never allowing others to use your account and always select passwords that cannot be guessed.
- Strictly adhering to copyright laws.
- Once you graduate or no longer attend Methodist University, forward any and all email from your student account to an off campus email account. Accounts are deleted two (2) weeks after graduation or when you no longer attend Methodist University. Once the email is deleted, we can not restore the email or the account, the information will be gone and no longer available.
Q 34: What if I have problems and need help?
A: Call (910) 630-7300 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q 35: What if I want to connect my Methodist Student E-mail to my smartphone?
A: Please see information on Connecting Student E-mail to Smartphone page.