Focus On: Penn
As a Penn student, faculty member, or staff member,
you have access to an array of information
technology resources to support your academic
and professional activities. Here's what you
need to know to get started.
Computing Information. In Penn's
decentralized environment, technology information is provided locally,
by Schools and departments, and centrally. It's a good idea to familiarize
yourself with your departmental or School
computing web site to find out about the facilities, services,
and resources available to you, and how things are done in your
Support. End-user support is delivered
locally by Information Technology Advisors (ITAs) in on-campus student
residences and by Local Support Providers (LSPs) in Schools and
business offices. They typically provide advice on hardware/software
purchases, assist with installation, and troubleshoot software,
hardware, and network connectivity problems. Check the Primary
Support Services page to find out how to reach your LSP or ITA.
For faculty and
staff needing support for home computers, the University has
negotiated special rates with an outside vendor.
Email. Schools and departments provide
email accounts to their affiliates. Several different email
clients (software used to read and send email) are supported
on campus and are distributed free of charge. If you're affiliated
with a School, check the document Email
Specifications by School to find out which clients are recommended
in your School; staff in central business offices should check
their LSPs. Email addresses, personal web site URLs, phone numbers,
and campus addresses for faculty, staff, and students are listed
in the Online Directory.
Departmental email addresses can be found on departmental
web sites. You are responsible for keeping
your directory information up-to-date (PennKey required).
Network Access. You can connect to
PennNet, Penn's gateway to the Internet, in several ways:
- Wired access is provided in campus offices, residence rooms,
and fraternity/sorority houses as well as in selected off-campus
offices. To find out how to get set up, faculty and staff should
contact their LSPs. Students living in residence should contact
their ITAs or see the College
House Computing web site for information.
Links to setup information are also available from
the Network Access
- Many public computer labs
are available across campus.
- Wireless access is available
in many campus locations. Requirements vary by location.
- For off-campus access, faculty,
staff, and students need to sign up with a commercial Internet
Service Provider (ISP). Note that Schools and departments have different IT policies, resources, and procedures for at-home work.
To facilitate network use, a suite of networking
software (web browsers, email clients, secure telnet clients,
newsreaders, etc.) is distributed free of charge.
PennKey. A registered PennKey and
secure password are required for accessing many widely used online
resources and for wireless connectivity in some parts of the University.
A PennKey Setup Code is required
to access the PennKey registration site. See the
PennKey Web Site, for details, guidelines for developing a secure
password, and registration links.
Viruses & General Security. To
protect your privacy, your data, and the University's IT resources,
be sure to do the following:
- Install antivirus software on your Mac or PC and update it regularly.
You can download supported antivirus software for Macs
and PCs free of
- Apply free security patches to your operating system (OS) regularly.
- Assign a strong administrative password to your computer.
- Activate your system's built-in firewall
(Windows and Mac).
Additional information on these and related topics can be found on the Security web site and the Virus
web site. Students residing in College Houses should see the College House Computing Web site for security recommendations and details. Other students should see the CRC site.
Policies. Each person with access
to the University's computing resources is
responsible for their appropriate use and by
their use agrees to comply with all applicable
University, School, and departmental policies
and regulations. University computing and privacy
policies are listed on the Computing
Policy web site. The Policy
on Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources (AUP), the Computer Security Policy, and the
Policy on Unauthorized Copying or Use of Licensed
Media are three key policies that affect
Hardware & Software. Both Macintoshes
and Windows PCs are supported for general-purpose computing. Specifications
for recommended hardware configurations
are published each year. but it's wise to check with your School
or department for specific recommendations. An FAQ
with purchasing advice for students and the Purchasing
Services Buying Guide for institutionally owned computers are
available for reference.
A set of supported desktop and networking
software is widely used on campus. Again, it's wise to check
with your School or department for specific recommendations. Supported
networking and antivirus software is distributed free of charge
on the PennConnect DVD or can be downloaded from the Supported
Products web site. Site
licensed software for special purposes is also available.
Commercial software, computers, and peripherals can be purchased
at the Computer
Connection, Penn's on-campus retail store. Hardware repair services
are offered by the Computer
Fixer on Campus.