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Your complete guide to wireless Internet access on campus

Staying up all night to write a research paper can be stressful without a good wireless Internet connection. In addition, having the mobility to work from a comfy chair or bed instead of a desk chair with a 10-foot Ethernet cable can be a huge asset when time is running out.

To make Internet access more convenient for all students and staff, Eastern has established wireless Internet connections throughout its campus. Students can reach the web in Walton Hall, McInnis, Fowler Hall, Andrews Hall, HHC and the Gate House. Even the gym and dormitories offer wireless access, with the final adjustments to Gallup’s connection being finished the last week of September.

“All installations and configurations are complete,” said Mike Sanker, network, systems and web administrator for administrative computing.

According to Sanker, 80 percent of students come with PC’s or laptops, which typically are equipped with wireless cards. Making the campus completely wireless was the next step.

There are two different accounts students can use on campus: Eastern-guest and Eastern-full. The guest account is limited to web use only and is unencrypted. Full access can be reached by downloading Odyssey Access Client and entering one’s Eastern username and password.

Odyssey is only compatible with computers running Windows XP or 2000. Windows Vista uses the native program installed with the system and has a separate way of connecting. Mac users can also connect, but there is no written set of instructions yet to explain how.

A new, updated version of Odyssey was released on Sept. 20. Any students who installed Odyssey prior to this date are encouraged to uninstall the old program and install the new one. According to Sanker, the network will function best if everyone switches to the same program, however, Vista and Mac users can connect as they did before.

Students can either download the Odyssey program off of the new website administrative computing has set up or wait until a CD with it is distributed in the residence halls by RAs.

The help webpage, http://www.eastern.edu/helpdesk/wireless.shtml, was developed to answer student questions about on-campus wireless access. It contains download and upgrade instructions, FAQs and the latest information about the network.

“There’s always going to be questions on how to connect, since students bring in their own PC’s,” Sanker said.

One avoidable problem that students have discovered concerns the use of personal routers in dormitories. Such routers should not be used since they interfere with the Eastern network.

However, if there are still problems, do not be afraid to ask for help. “Being the first year in use, we’re still discovering what common problems [there] are,” Sanker said.

If questions cannot be answered through the webpage, students should contact the academic computing department at x1726 or x1499.

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