November 29, 1999

Campus Computing to ring in new millennium with new dial-in

by Josh Renaud
staff editor

No one is sure what confusion the dawn of 2000 might bring to the world, but here at UM-St. Louis, Campus Computing officials say that the new millenium will actually mean simpler, faster dial-in internet access for students.

The new dial-in procedure has been in develpment for more than a year as a joint project between UM-St. Louis and UM-Coumbia.

"For years, our accounts were always tied to various systems like 'Admiral' or 'UMSLVMA,'" said Dr. Jerrold Siegel, the coordinator of Campus Computing. "The process [of obtaining an i.d.] was always a little unclear in terms of student numbers and the like."

Campus Computing plans to phase out the old system around Dec. 22, when dial-in usage is low, and replace it with a new system. Students will have to reconfigure their computers, but the procedure for obtaining an I.D. is much simpler than before, Siegel said.

To get started, students must visit http://www.umsl.edu/~dialup. This webpage will allow a student to enter his student number and Social Security number. After entering this information, the webpage will display the student's new "Gateway I.D."

The next step is to enter a "magic" password -- the last two digits of his year of birth, the digits of his date of birth, and the last four digits of his Social Security number. The system will immediately allow the student to change his password to something easier to remember.

The student can then enter his I.D. and password into the appropriate internet set up program on his PC or Macintosh computer. A student will no longer need to enter lists of "DNS" numbers or other complicated TCP-IP settings, because the computer will figure it out for him, Siegel said.

"It will be a lot easier, especially if you have a Windows 98 machine," said Siegel. "You won't have to install special software because the software is already there. You won't be going through a series of screens [to set it up]. You'll only need the first screen that pops up and then you're done."

Siegel stressed that the new I.D. system is only for dialing in, and will not change the way students retrieve email or access their Admiral accounts.

In addition to changing the dial-in procedure, Siegel said that Campus Computing will be adding almost 100 new dial-in lines to the existing pool of 240.

"Three hundred forty is a good round number," Siegel said. "The students will also have access to new high-speed 56k lines. Those will be at a premium, on a first-come, first-served basis, so you'll either get a fast connection or a slower connection. We're going to be upgrading all the data lines to high speed over the next year or so, [though]."

Faculty and staff have been using a similar dial-in system with success for several months, Siegel said.

"We did it with the faculty, and if the faculty can do it, then the students certainly can," Siegel said.

For more information, students can visit the aforementioned webpage, Siegel said, or they can look for advertisements, fliers, and brochures that will be available across the campus in the next few weeks.

This article was reprinted with permission from The Current.


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