Wasted money, wasted resources

[email protected]

[email protected]

A few years back, throngs of inmates ran miles of wire and installed hundreds of Ethernet ports in campus buildings — like the library, for instance.

After taking all necessary steps with the computer support people, I headed over to the library. But none of the ports I tried worked. None in the basement. None on the top level. None on the main level.

So I asked, What am I doing wrong?Nothing, I was told. We only have four active ports, the librarian said, on the main level.

Despite having hundreds of the things, the library only permits the use of four Ethernet ports. This is due to cost — cost imposed by ITS. Costs so prohibitive as to render them useless. The university cannot even afford to do business with itself.

I cannot believe the insanity of this. Even the wireless network in the upper level of the library is so proprietary that only an esoteric, costly, wireless card will work on it. The standard 802.11b wireless cards, like so many people have in their homes and dorms, cheap, plentiful, cannot be used.

The problem lies not with the library, but with the computing support departments on campus. What must change:

*Activation, at no charge to the library, of a sufficient number of Ethernet ports on each level of the library.

*Installation of an 802.11b wireless network on the main level and upper level.

*Increased publicly accessible, to off- and on-campus students, wireless and wired networks in all campus buildings.

*Reassessment of the essential paradigm. Is it to confine internet access to a small, tightly controlled corner, or to facilitate learning? It seems more the former than the latter.

Failing this is to have foiled the point of wiring campus buildings and wasted an incredible amount of taxpayer money.

The university bought the car, but now they cannot afford gas, insurance, parking, or maintenance.

Nathan HopperSeniorEnglish


1027 N. Main AveApt 6BBrookings, SD 57006