The University of Pennsylvania's Online Computing Magazine
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January 1997 - Volume 13:5
by John J. Mulhern III
Tips for the new year
by ISC Staff
Modem updatePenn has taken the following steps to alleviate the number of busy signals that users receive when dialing-in to PennNet.
All modems in the 60-minute PPP pool (573-4777) and the 30-minute express PPP pool (573-9773) are now capable of speeds up to 33.6 Kbps. Further details can be found on the web page "Planning for Remote Access to PennNet via Modem".
- Negotiated fee-based dial-in access with a local service provider; see Penn DCANet Dialup Program below.
- Added 128 modems to the 60-minute PPP modem pool, bringing the total in that pool to 384 modems.
- Revised Penn's PPP software and documentation to allow modem users to switch easily between different modem pools. Software and documentation are available at the CRC, 3732 Locust Walk.
Penn DCANet Dialup ProgramFor-fee dial-up access to PennNet and the Internet is now available to the Penn community. The University has contracted with DCANet, a local Internet provider, to offer Penn users a full range of services and support at very attractive rates. The highlights of the Penn DCANet Dialup Program are:
While the program provides an attractive alternative to those who wish to avoid Penn modem pool busy signals and session limits, or who have been paying long-distance charges to access PennNet, it does not currently permit access to all University services. FinMIS, NetNews via a graphical client, some Library services, and some School and departmental services cannot be accessed from a DCANet account. DCANet subscribers will need to dial in to a Penn modem pool whenever they need to access such services. Because the DCANet service and Penn's modem services use the same PPP software, switching among services is easy. NetNews access to Penn newsgroups from DCANet is currently possible by telnetting to a Penn host computer and then using a host-based newsreader, such as tin.
- No session limits.
- No busy signals.
- No toll charges from Philadelphia and suburbs, South Jersey, and Delaware.
- Fast connection rates: modem speeds up to 33.6 Kbps and ISDN speeds up to 128 Kbps via a dedicated connection between PennNet and DCANet.
- Low prices: The regular access plan includes 90 hours of modem connect time per month at $14.95/month, and the extended access plan includes 180 hours of modem connect time per month at 16.95/month. ISDN connect time accrues at a different rate. A $14.95 startup fee is charged for each new account.
- Same PPP software that is used to access Penn's modem services.
Penn users can sign up for the Penn DCANet Dialup Program from DCANet's Web site. Those who cannot sign up online should contact DCANet at 302/654-1019 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A PennNet Network ID and password are required in order to sign up. Software and documentation are distributed at the CRC, 3732 Locust Walk. Technical support is provided by DCANet; please see the DCANet Web site for details and additional information.
ISC support servicesISC has reorganized and renamed several of its support services.
- ISC's First Call help line and CRC walk-in support services have combined to form the ISC Client Services Group, headed by First Call's founding Director, Michael Kearney. The new group consolidates all of ISC's direct client contact operations, placing walk-in, telephone, and electronic-mail help services under one organizational umbrella. It completes a two-year plan to unify these activities across the ISC, streamlines client contact operations, and aligns these services for future development under the campus computing restructuring plan. The ISC Client Services Group will continue to provide services through existing channels. Clients will continue to receive telephone support at 573-4778 (57-FIRST), e-mail assistance from "help@isc", and walk-in services at the Computing Resource Center, 3732 Locust Walk.
- ISC's distributed staffing program, which places computing specialists at client sites under tailored contract arrangements, serves as the foundation of a new group, ISC Support-On-Site, headed by former CRC Director Don Montabana. The distributed staffing program has incubated within the CRC for the past two and one-half years under Don's leadership. It now serves 1500 computer users in 4 organizations across campus. The campus computing restructuring plan emphasizes the benefit of placing computing support close to computer users, and campus units interested in exploring the possibility of contracting for support services at their location are encouraged to contact Don at 898-7205 or montaban@isc.
- ISC's Technology Learning Services, or TLS, headed by James Gist, has changed its name to ISC Training Group. The group continues to provide a range of resources to assist individuals and organizations in acquiring and maintaining technology skills. Services include instructor-led courses and self-paced tutorials at the Computing Resource Center on Locust Walk, technology learning needs assessment, and customized training programs. Contact the Training Group at 573-3102 for further information.
Penn Printout OnlineSee Penn Printout Online for an article about Open Transport, as well as a page of tips -- including how to get Netscape to print the URL of the page you are viewing when you print text; tips from ISC First Call from their frequently asked questions file; and a pointer to the newest additions to the web from the Penn Web Providers Team.