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May 19, 2008 at 8:34 pm #585
What kind of internet access is available at McM? Is it worth the trouble (and weight) to bring a laptop or should I just connect with the machines that are already there at the station? I use my machine daily for photos, video, music, etc anyway, and having access to the internet/web would be a real bonus. What do you think?
-=CHMay 19, 2008 at 9:21 pm #5623
Is the internet access wireless? Or only wired?May 19, 2008 at 11:54 pm #5624
[font=Geneva, Arial, Sans-serif:oqz9aq6m]Wireless is available for Grantees ONLY. [/font:oqz9aq6m]
For us that are ‘other than Grantees’, we have to literally plug-in to the network at one of the locations Roxannie mentioned.[/font:oqz9aq6m]
Sorry, not IT’s fault – the NSF controls the airwaves down there.[/font:oqz9aq6m]
May 19, 2008 at 11:57 pm #5625
Hey Atlas —
Are cables provided? Or do you need to bring your own? Is the net still very slow? I remember reading somewhere that they recently increased the capacity.
MikeMay 19, 2008 at 11:59 pm #5626
[font=Geneva, Arial, Sans-serif:825kuzwd]Oh, BTW, if you do bring a laptop down, it’ll have to get scanned before being allowed onto the network. The scan will check to see that you have current virus protection software, and that its .dat files are up-to-date. It will also check that you have an approved operating system (i.e. XP SP2, Vista, Mac), and that updates are installed.[/font:825kuzwd]
Scanning is typically done during your orientation – just drop it off with the techs, and it should be ready by the end of the day.[/font:825kuzwd]
So, before you leave home, update EVERYTHING. It won’t be as easy once you’re on the road. [/font:825kuzwd]
May 20, 2008 at 12:02 am #5627
[font=Geneva, Arial, Sans-serif:emtl1ybl]It’s always good to provide your own cable, but…[/font:emtl1ybl]
In the 155 kiosk area, as well as the library, cables are already attached, and ready for use.[/font:emtl1ybl]
The Coffee House used to have a LAN-line-loan program, but I believe we semi-permanently attached the cables directly to the ports, last summer. [/font:emtl1ybl]
Still, I’d bring down my own 10-footer…[/font:emtl1ybl]
The bandwidth was over tripled, last summer. Now running about 10Mbps. Not great by your cable modem/DSL standards, but excellent by ours. [/font:emtl1ybl]
May 20, 2008 at 2:35 am #5628SciencetechKeymaster
> Wireless is available for Grantees ONLY.
It would be interesting to see the memo justifying that decision.May 20, 2008 at 2:44 am #5629
[font=Geneva, Arial, Sans-serif:uth8h482]Let’s ask BT.[/font:uth8h482]
May 20, 2008 at 4:57 am #5630Been_ThereMember
I believe the justification is based on the lack of enough office space for all grantees at McMurdo and their need for internet access 7/24. We all know that grantees only use the internet for official business and scinece activities! Besides, they whine more to the higher ups at NSF.
Actually I believe the long range plan is to have all of McMurdo wireless and giving acess to the science community provides a test bed. Right Atlas?
BTMay 20, 2008 at 5:02 am #5631
[font=Geneva, Arial, Sans-serif:o22zv029]To quote my favorite German Nazi prison guard…[/font:o22zv029]
“I know noth-ing”[/font:o22zv029]
May 20, 2008 at 8:16 am #5632Been_ThereMember
In all honesty, I thought everyone had wireless access at McMurdo. Every year that funny IT guy just showed up at my office the morning after I arrived, took my laptop away and came back after lunch and said I was ready to go. Guess it helps to know the right guys, even though I would not give them their own personal truck.
BTMay 20, 2008 at 8:35 am #5633thepooles98Keymaster
Here is the story I was told about wireless for the community. I have no idea if this is true or not, but it sounds good.
For several winters, the overwintering staff was given wireless rights in order to test the system. Mostly it worked fine.
There would be times when the entired internet bandwith would slow to zero as the system was being used. The funny thing is that it was during work hours. Somebody decided to turn off the wireless and boom the available bandwith soared back to normal.
The supposition is that people were downloading huge files. (movies? ) in their rooms in the mornings and would go to work leaving the laptops downloading all day.
There was a second incident with a grantee who logged on and spread a virus.
The powers that be decided it was better to restrict everyone than deal with being police.
mMay 20, 2008 at 2:05 pm #5634SciencetechKeymaster
Hi Mike. That may be what happened. But the thing is, that policy won’t change anything… People can download movies and viruses whether they use wireless or not.
My real objection, if what Atlas says is true, is that wireless privileges were somehow allotted to grantees only. (How would you do that when anybody can share a WEP key? Perhaps they only put wireless in Crary, which already has lots of LAN ports, go figure.) The concern is that McMurdo has a chronic problem with the social separation of grantees and employees. Every time special privileges are given exclusively to the grantees it only breeds further resentment, especially when there’s no reasonable explanation for it. If you’ve worked at the other stations then you know it doesn’t have to be that way.
glennMay 20, 2008 at 7:39 pm #5635thepooles98Keymaster
Maybe, but it’s a lot easier to set it up in your dorm room and walk away for the day, that it is to carry a laptop with you to work. I would have reservations about leaving my laptop unattended at my desk in the warehouses. We don’t really have a theft problem, but laptops have gone missing before and I wouldn’t want it to happen to me. I’d just as soon it stays locked up in my room.
As to wireless, I’d love it, but people have abused the privilige in the past. Maybe with the larger bandwith it won’t be a problem. My guess is that once we have more bandwith, more people will use the system and it will still bog down. Atlas would know more than I.
Segragation=BT would know better, but I think separating the grantees from the population was an NSF driven initiative. Grantees were complaining that their staff was dispersed all over the base and they needed to be more consolidated. My first year was the end of the Cape Roberts Project. All those geologists were in the 210 dorm with me. It was great, I learned a lot about what was going on by hanging out with them in the dorm lounge. I miss those days.May 20, 2008 at 7:43 pm #5636
Grantee laptops are setup by the Crary Techs. They never know what the WEP code is, and therefore, can’t share it. Even being in IT, I don’t have access to the wireless in my own dorm. If I need to get on, my option is dial-up, or a trot over to the Coffee House.
Of course, I believe everyone should be treated equally, but our capabilities don’t quite support that, just yet. I understand that Grantees are down there for a limited time, and work crazy hours, often from their dorm rooms (including the roommate I had for part of the year last summer, who’s keyboard I would hear clicking away at 2a.
It goes both ways, too – While the support community may not embrace the science personnel, it’s also true that the science side doesn’t seek to become a part of the community. They’re focused on getting their work done in the limited time they have.
Exceptions? Of course! And that’s wonderful, but I don’t think it’ll ever be a 100%, hand-holding, koom-by-ya kind of place.
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