The University Record, September 9, 1998

Improved computing package announced

By Linda Hancock Green
Information Technology Division

A much improved Basic Computing Package has been designed for faculty, staff and students that will better meet the computing needs of the University community, says Jose-Marie Griffiths, university chief information officer and executive director of the Information Technology Division (ITD).

(Details on the new package are in the box below.)

Announcing the new package in late August, Griffiths said: "As we continue to move into an era where technology is a way of life rather than a privilege, we are pleased to offer enhanced services to our faculty, staff and students. I'm sure you will agree that the improvements we've made to the Basic Computing Package will benefit the entire University community."

The enhancements are the result of informational meetings held with students and negotiations with the Office of the Provost.

Members of the Student Advisory Committee, Griffiths said, provided valuable insights on issues related to student computing and helped determine appropriate service levels for shared information technology resources at the University. The Office of the Provost agreed to provide additional funds to partially help finance the improvements.

Joe Bernstein, a member of the Student Advisory Committee commented on the new package: "The Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) has worked diligently to provide ITD with a complete and concise list of students' computing needs and desires. I am glad to see that our work has come to fruition. MSA and ITD must continue to work together to ensure continued improvements in the computing facilities and services for all students. "

Based on initial feedback, other students are pleased with the enhancements as well. One student from the committee said: "This news makes my day . . . I'm absolutely thrilled. Thank you. This is great for students, it is great for the U-M community . . .and everyone involved should be happy and proud!"

The package, effective Sept. 1-Dec. 31, 1998, includes use of e-mail and 10 megabytes storage in your mailbox, assistance from the Help Desk, a listing in and access to the Online Campus Directory (X.500), Login Service for access to Unix systems, access to the Web and Conferencing On the Web (COW), 10 megabytes of file storage on the Institutional File System (IFS), Confer U and Usenet. It also includes 400 pages of laser printing at the Campus Computing Sites and 100 hours of peak-time dial-in access through MichNet per term. A detailed description of the package, as well as charged-for ITD services, can be found on the Web at Those who need more or specialized technology services can purchase them via student, departmental and other accounts on an as-needed basis.

Those eligible for the package on the Ann Arbor campus are all students (anyone registered for at least one credit), doctoral candidates and pre-candidates, all faculty, and all full- or part-time staff with a regular appointment.

Temporary staff (who are not students), visiting fellows and other guests of the University should talk to a manager in their department about making arrangements for the computing services. In some cases, access to these services will be handled in the department; in other cases, individuals will be directed to the ITD Accounts Office (on the lower level of the Michigan Union, 764-8000 or via e-mail to to make their own arrangements. Service arrangements for the Flint and Dearborn campuses also are handled by the ITD Accounts Office.

Any additional services required by faculty and staff will continue to be paid by departmental computing allocations, legacy University account numbers, and, in some unique cases, self-funded accounts. Faculty and staff with questions or those with needs in excess of those provided in the basic package should check with their departmental fund administrator to determine if departmental funds are available and whether funding arrangements are already in place.

The ITD Accounts Office can answer questions about computing accounts, eligibility, subscriptions, passwords, accounting and billing matters and subscribing and unsubscribing to services. The consultants at 764-HELP can help answer questions about the services included in the Basic Computing Package. To comment on these service changes, please send e-mail to

Detailed information about the package and all ITD services can be found on the Web at or in the brochure "Computing @ Hands-on Guide to ITD Services," available at the ITD Accounts Office.

Components of package better than last term

• MichNet dial-in: 100 hours (20 hours more than last term) of peak-time (3 p.m.-midnight) MichNet dial-in at no charge per term. After that allotment is used, peak-time MichNet dial-in will be charged at $0.40/hr. This is the same rate per hour as last term. There will be no charge for dial-in used during off-peak hours (midnight-3 p.m.). Last term, off-peak hours were billed at $0.20 an hour. The "no charge" non-peak dial-in access refers only to MichNet dial-in access. Use of the Merit for-fee 800 service, NetworkTwo (formerly ADP/CREN) or the Merit Global Service (MGS) is not included in the Basic Computing Package. Information about dial-in services can be found on the ITD Dial-In page,


• E-mail: E-mail now includes up to 10 megabytes storage for messages (from 3 megabytes last term).


• Laser printing: Laser printing in Campus Computing Sites now provides up to 400 pages at no charge (from 120 pages last term). Additional pages can be printed for $0.05 per page. This is a price reduction from $0.08 per page last term.


• IFS: IFS now provides up to 10 megabytes file storage at no charge (from 5 megabytes last term). Additional IFS space can be purchased in 5 megabyte blocks for the same price as last term, $0.45 per month.


• ConferU: ConferU organizers will be charged a fee of $20 per conference per term, which includes 5 megabytes file storage for each conference (from $24 last term). As before, there is no charge to students and others who participate in ConferU conferences, but a subscription is required.


• COW: COW conference organizers will be charged a fee of $16 per conference per term. The COW service was in pilot stage last term, so there was no fee associated with the service. There is no charge to students and others who participate in COW conferences, but a subscription is required.


• Lotus Notes: Lotus Notes Domino Web access to department-sponsored databases is free to students who need it for academic purposes, but a subscription is required.


• Statistics, computation: Statistics and computation software continues to be free to students who need it for academic purposes, but a subscription is required.

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