Middlebury Student Guide to Technology
This guide is provided to help you get started with computing and library use at Middlebury College. You are welcome to take full advantage of any of our many services which are briefly described in the next few pages. This document also provides guidance for using computing and library facilities at the college.
- 1 See also
- 2 Getting started at Middlebury College
- 3 Connecting to the network
- 4 Using and maintaining your computer
- 5 General advice: protecting yourself, your computer, and our network
- 6 LIS Service Points
- 7 The LIS Website
- 8 Technology Helpdesk
- 9 On-Campus Training
Getting started at Middlebury College
Welcome to Middlebury! This section overviews what you'll need to do to get started on our computer network.
Before you arrive
- Set your BannerWeb PIN.
- This is a 6-digit number which you use (along with your 8-digit ID number) to access BannerWeb, where you can register for classes, see your schedule, update your personal information, view your employee pay stub, and more.
- A few months before you walk up to our ivory gates, you should receive an informational packet that gives you instructions on how to set your PIN. You'll need your PIN to register online for your first classes at that time.
- Set your account password. This is the password which you use along with your Middlebury username to access Middlebury email, file servers, and other resources.
- Your password is a little complicated and consists of letters and numbers and punctuation marks. Think of a very short sentence or phrase. See Password Guides for more help on choosing a password and an explanation on how they work.
- You need your user ID and PIN in order to set or change your account password. Generally, students set their password well before coming to Middlebury, so that they can check their email online.
Student Tech Checklist
Here are a few items that will come in very handy when dealing with the technology at Middlebury.
- Ethernet cable. Wireless access is available in many parts of campus, but it can be weak (especially during peak usage hours) and is much slower than a wired connection in any case. If you don't have an ethernet cable, you can get one at the Middlebury bookstore for $10.
- USB thumb drive. Many students learn the hard way that they should always save their documents in more than one place. Thumb drives are cheap, accessible, compatible with most computers, and very compact. They are on sale at the Middlebury bookstore if you don't have one.
- Operating system install CDs. If your Windows or Mac OSX computer crashes and you need to reinstall your operating system, we can't help you unless you have the original CDs that came with the computer. (Exception if you bought the computer through the college.) Students have had their computer out of commission for weeks because they can't reinstall the operating system.
- In your room, connect your computer to the wired network using an Ethernet cable. If your computer reaches the network correctly, when you try to go to any website you should be redirected to our Network Registration page.
- Register your computer on our network. (See below, "Registering your computer", for help.)
- Write down the address to our documentation website: go/docs. That's the online address for all our technology help and documentation, and we hope it will be a good resource for you.
If you need help...
Stop by the Helpdesk. That's why we're called the Helpdesk. We're in the Main Library, main floor, room 202 and we love visitors. You can also call us at extension 2200 (802 443 2200) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out more information about us below.
Connecting to the network
To connect to our network, your computer / device must have either an Ethernet port (NIC), or a wireless network card. This hardware is standard for any computer purchased in this millenium. Most laptops have both Ethernet port and wireless card.
Students may NOT:
- Set up personal computers as servers that might interfere with or "confuse" our network.
- Use personal wireless routers. Sorry, but these cause us lots of headaches.
- Connect using dial-up.
Connecting to the wired network
A standard double room has two network outlets in it, usually on opposite sides of the room. (If you can't find you outlet, look under your desk or behind your bed.) Each outlet has 2 jacks in it. Generally the red jack connects you to the harsh truth of reality, whereas the blue jack leaves you in blissful ignorance. If the red jack doesn't seem to work, try the blue one next.
Caution: In the Ross dorms Kelly, Lang, Milliken, and Hadley, the two jacks are labelled "DATA" and "VOICE". Do not plug into the "VOICE" jack, as this carries an information current that could potentially confuse and/or damage the Ethernet hardware on your computer!
If you aren't getting a connection or you want help, feel free to call the Helpdesk. It's possible that the wall jack is broken, in which case we'll send out a request to get it fixed.
(Technical information: If your computer is connected to our wired network, its IP address should begin with either 172.17 (it needs to be registered) or 140.233 (it has been registered and is all set).
Using the wireless network
Middlebury has 2 wireless networks that exist side-by-side:
- midd_secure is our recommended wireless network for students. It is secured, meaning that it would be hard for your web information to be spied on / stolen while using it. While on midd_secure, you can connect directly to file servers, our email server, and other campus resources, just as if you were plugged in with the wired network. However it takes a little effort to set up and it requires you to sign in using your Middlebury username and password.
- You can find detailled midd_secure setup instrutions at our Wireless page.
- midd_unplugged is our "guest" network. It is unsecured, meaning that it adds no protection to your online transactions beyond that already offered to you by the websites you connect to. From midd_unplugged you cannot access our servers et al. directly; you must use the web interface NetStorage for file servers, or WebMail for email. Midd_unplugged takes no special set-up or sign-in; you can just connect and go.
Not all buildings on campus have access to our wireless network. We try to ensure that all public spaces and classrooms have wireless access; dorms are a lower priority for us (however, every dorm room should have access to our wired network, which is faster in any case). You can use your computer's default wireless network browser to view midd_unplugged and midd_secure and see how strong of a connection there is from where you are. You can then select either of these networks to connect to. (As noted, midd_secure takes extra effort to set up. See our Wireless help for instructions on connecting to midd_secure.)
Registering your computer
The first time you connect your computer to our network, it is treated as a stranger and must be "registered" to gain full access to our network and to the outside world. Here are the steps, in a nutshell.
- Connect your computer to our wired network using an Ethernet cable.
- When you open up a web browser, you should be automatically directed to our Registration page. (If not, you can go there manually at this address: go/netreg.)
- Click on "Faculty, Staff, and Students" (NOT the "Guests" link), and follow the subsequent "Continue" links after reading the information.
- Enter in your Middlebury username and password, choose your device type, and click "Submit".
- You will be asked to download a small program named Bradford. Download and run it, and it will register your computer for you.
The registration process encourages you to install all system updates on your computer and also to make sure some antivirus program is installed. You can do these later; see the "Setting up your computer" section below for more help. Also, see Registration Help for troubleshooting help and more information on what registration does / why it's useful.
X-boxes, Playstations, Wiis, and Netbooks are fine to use on our network. However you might have trouble registering these devices without our help. Call us at the Helpdesk (see our contact info above) and tell us the device's MAC address and we can register it.
Using and maintaining your computer
The Middlebury Software Suite
Middlebury offers some basic software for free to all students. You can install this software at any time. You are not required to have or use this software. However, many classes will expect you to have an advanced word processor / office suite such as Microsoft Office or OpenOffice. Similarly, we don't mind if don't use our antivirus software, but we do expect you to have some updated and effective antivirus protection on your computer, particularly if you use Windows.
- Microsoft Office 2003/2004 is available for both Windows and Mac OSX. To install it, ask for an Office install CD at the circulation desk in the Main Library. If you need help with the installation, stop in at the Helpdesk and we can guide you through the process.
- Symantec Antivirus (corporate edition) can be installed on any computer that is going to spend significant time on campus. To install it:
- On Windows XP / Vista, open Internet Explorer and go to the address go/sav. Follow the links to go through the install process. If you are using Windows Vista, take care to click on the special "Vista" link. Please note that this supports 32-bit Windows only, not 64-bit.
- On a Mac, open Firefox or Safari and go to the address go/sav. Click on the link for the Mac install page and download then open the DMG install file.
Using foreign languages
Maintaining your computer
Here are some tips to keep your computer secure, safe, clean, and fast. I'd recommend doing them around once a month for best results. In (parentheses) I indicate why each tip is useful.
- (Security) Update your antivirus program. Most AV programs "hide" as a small icon next to the clock on the taskbar. Double-click this icon to open the program window and look for an option to update it. If you don't do this, you may be vulnerable to any new viruses that come through the internets.
- (Security) Update Windows. Many virus infections could be prevented if the users kept Windows properly updated. To do this, open Internet Explorer and click on Tools -> Windows Update. Or better yet, set Windows to do this automatically.
- (Speed) Run a disk cleanup utility. Windows has a simple disk cleaner pre-installed; you can also install CCleaner, which is a great, free, fast cleaning utility. Such cleaning programs will sweep out "temp" files, empty your trash, and so forth.
- (Speed) Defragment your disk. You can use Windows' preinstalled disk defragment utility, or install Defraggler, which is a great, free, fast defragmenter. This "reorganizes" the way files are stored on your hard drive so they're easier to access, which lets programs start up more quickly.
- (Security) Regularly check for system updates. Mac conveniently funnels most of its system updates through one tool, which you can reach by clicking on the Apple menu -> Software Update.
- (Speed) Shut down your computer often. Some people prefer to always use "Stand-by" because the computer starts up quickly afterwards. This is convenient, but it can leave your computer sleep-deprived and irritable. Shut down your computer fully at least a couple times a week.
- (Long life) Don't move or jostle your computer while it's on. The hard disk is like a mini record player, constantly spinning. When it's jostled, the head can jab into the disk surface, causing scratches and bringing your hard disk one step closer to dying or breaking. Turn your computer off or put it to sleep before moving it around.
General advice: protecting yourself, your computer, and our network
- Protect your identity and personal information.
- Change your password often; keep it private.
- Use secure web sites when providing credit card or bank numbers.
- Protect your image.
- Be aware that what you post on a website or Facebook may be searchable and public.
- Protect your own files.
- Back up your important files.
- Use your personal file server folder for your papers, assignments, and research.
- Protect your computer.
- Register your computer on the campus network.
- Use anti-virus software. (This protects us, too.)
- Avoid opening attached files from people or organizations you don't know.
- Respect the rights of others; don't risk a lawsuit!
- Don't use your computer, email or the Web to harass others.
- Don't share music and videos you haven't legitimately acquired.
See also Virus and Malware Street Smarts for more thorough information.
LIS Service Points
- The Main Library is located on Storrs Avenue, across the quad from Old Chapel and is home to the main collection (including the video collection) and the Technology Helpdesk.
- Armstrong Science Library is located on the first and second floors of McCardell Bicentennial Hall and is home to the science and psychology collection.
- The Music Library is located on the first floor of the Mahaney Center for the Arts and is home to the music and dance collection.
- Information Desk (Main Library – general info) 443-2000
- Technology Helpdesk (computing & media services) 443-2200
- Main Library Circulation Desk 443-5494
- Main Library Reference Desk (research questions) 443-5496
- Armstrong Science Library Circulation Desk 443-5449
- Armstrong Science Library Reference 443-5018
- Music Library Circulation Desk 443-5218
- Music Library Reference Desk 443-5785
The LIS Website
Many services are available to you from our main webpage. To find the LIS website type go/lis in the Address field of your browser and press . For specific information about the services of the Technology Helpdesk type go/helpdesk in the Address field of your browser. There is also a shortcut to the LIS website on the college home page.
GO is a utility that gives easy access to registered pages on the Middlebury College website. To use this utility from outside the Middlebury network, enter http://go.middlebury.edu/destination instead of go/destination.
The Technology Helpdesk is the group to contact with any technology-related questions. Highly-trained consultants answer your calls and work with you to solve problems with software, troubleshoot a hardware problem, or help with any other computing-related issue. If your question requires more in-depth assistance, the Technology Helpdesk contacts the appropriate resource to solve your problem or provide you with training.
You may contact us to request assistance in the following ways:
- Call the Technology Helpdesk at 443-2200.
- Send an e-mail to email@example.com.
- Visit us in the Main Library, main floor, room 202. (We're friendly! Come say hi.)
Helpdesk hours of operation
During the academic year, the Helpdesk is normally open:
- Monday through Thursday, 8 AM -> 12 PM.
- Friday, 8 AM -> 6 PM.
- Saturday, 12 AM -> 6 PM.
- Sunday, 12 AM -> 12 PM.
During the summer, the Helpdesk is normally open:
- Monday through Friday, 8 AM -> 10 PM.
- Saturday, 10 AM -> 6 PM.
- Sunday, 10 AM -> 10 PM.
Our hours vary during breaks.
LIS offers a number of computing workshops throughout the academic year. Faculty, staff and students may attend, free of charge. In the Address field of your browser, type go/techworkshops and press to view the list of offerings. This schedule is constantly updated with workshop information. Please check back often. Customized workshops may also be arranged on request, time and resources permitting. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call x2200 to register for a workshop. Seating is limited and is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Some workshops are scheduled by request for specific academic classes. Seating may not be available in these workshops.