4/13/09 Ask Charlotte Answers

Question: Are we allowed to have small turtles in our dorm rooms?

Answer: No. The only pet(s) allowed in residence halls are fish, suitably enclosed in an aquarium. Please be aware that small turtles are also carriers of salmonella, and should be handled with caution.

Question: My printer, issued by the school, was great for almost 4 years but unfortunately recently gave out. I was wondering, are there any places on campus I can print out something in color?

Answer: According to my friends in the Copy Center, they can make color prints for students. Pricing can be found on the Copy Center Web site.

Electronic files to be printed (with instructions) can be sent to copycenter@hartwick.edu or they can copy color prints directly from their machine.

Question: How do I un fat myself?

Answer: If you are referring to losing weight, I would suggest you look at my column of February 23, in which I referred to a Web site, along with some brochures that may be helpful. Healthy eating, taking in fewer calories, and exercising more are key!

Many thanks to my friends in IT for responding to the next three questions:

Question: Why don't we have wireless Internet in the dorms? I know we have it in academic buildings, but even there the signal strength is not very good. It would be very convenient to have wireless Internet in the dorms, especially when studying with other students. When you go to someone’s room only two people can use the Internet at once.

Answer: In 1995, to provide network access to the entire campus, we wired all buildings–all residence hall rooms, but not all classrooms. Wireless networking came along after that and struggled for a few years with emerging standards, low speed, and lack of security. Once IEEE 802.11g became common, we deployed some unsecured wireless access points around campus for convenience, especially near unwired classrooms, the Commons, and the Library. We are in the process of adding additional, secured wireless access points in the classroom buildings, although progress has been slower than expected as we sort out some technical issues. In 2007, we added secured wireless access points to the residence halls in selected “common areas,” usually the lounges, again for the convenience of students working there. You may look online for a list of the access point locations. Students living in rooms near these “common areas” can use the wireless signal while, unfortunately, those living further away cannot.

The current configuration for the wired network permits two computers at a time to use each jack, so that, in a double room, four computers could be connected at once. In order to take advantage of this, you need to use a small Ethernet switch (not a router). Plug the switch into the network jack, then plug both computers into the switch.

Question: Is there a printer in Golisano that students can connect to through the wireless network and print on? If not I think there should be.

Answer: There is no printer in Golisano Hall for general use by students. Having such a printer available to students is a good idea, but was never posed as part of the building design.

Question: Why is it that in Golisano Hall you can get wireless Internet, but only to move around the Hartwick Web site? I can't even log into Blackboard in the building.

Answer: The wireless network facilities in Golisano Hall, like those in the residence halls, are secured–both authenticated and encrypted. This restricts who can connect to the wireless network access points and encrypts all data sent through the air. We use the network access control feature of Sygate to perform both the authentication and the encryption so that only those computers that have the Sygate program, a valid user certificate, and a valid antivirus program installed can connect to the wireless network. Computers that lack any of these three components or fail the authentication process in a timely fashion are placed into an “UnAuthorized” network where they have limited access to Hartwick servers (excluding Blackboard) for the sole purpose of acquiring the missing required components.

In the residence halls, computers that fail to authenticate are presented with a Web page reading “You have been directed to this Web page because your computer does not conform to Hartwick College’s network use policies.” However, at the present time, the Golisano network does not have the means to notify the user of the authentication failure and leaves the user stuck with partial network access. We hope to correct this access problem soon.

Some computers that have all the required components in place and functioning properly will still fail to authenticate. We have been working with both the networking hardware manufacturer and the owner of Sygate to identify and alleviate the reasons for these failures, but have yet to be completely successful.

When you find that your computer fails to connect to the Golisano wireless network, try disabling, then re-enabling your wireless adapter. Often, this will allow your computer to connect.

Question: Dear Charlotte, fount of 'Wick wisdom: How did Strawberry Field get its name? I have never seen any strawberries growing up there. Answer: Aside from the obvious allusion to the song by the Beatles, I’m afraid that the answer to this question has eluded me, as well as the many individuals whom I queried regarding it. So I will redirect the question to my readers: Can anyone enlighten us regarding how ‘Strawberry Field’ received its moniker?