Chapter 10: Computers, Phones, & the Network

15147458390_f2afaa3180_mThe Office for Information Technology (OIT) has some great resources available on their website.  Be sure to check it out!)

As one might imagine, the personal computer is an integrated part of the educational experience at Williams. Faculty members correspond with students via e-mail, materials are distributed through the network, and some assignments are turned in via the net. Williams College makes computers and printers available to students in various labs around campus, but most students find that it is an advantage to be able to work in their rooms or other comfy locations around campus, especially during crunch times such as midterms and finals when the labs are busy.

Williams recommends buying a computer for the fall sometime during the summer. If you purchase too soon, you may be paying too much since prices continue to drop. If you purchase too late you may not receive the computer before the first day of class. The College supports both Mac and PC programs, and personal computers can interface with other College computers through the network. By the number of laptops we see in Paresky, we’d guess that most students prefer laptops to desktop models. Laptops conserve much more energy than desktop computers. Since most of the campus is on the wireless network (and even some restaurants on Spring Street), bringing a laptop may be your best bet. Some students also make use of tablet computers, though mostly as a secondary tool rather than a primary one at this point.

For those of you who still prefer to be wire-connected, you can connect to the internet jack in your room and/or the common room. The Internet jack is next to the phone jack (the phone jack is labeled VOICE, the Internet one is labeled DATA). We know you got into Williams and could have undoubtedly figured this out but it never hurts to state the obvious – plus we get a call or two every year…  Again, most places on the Williams Campus have wireless access.

Moving on to phones, all student rooms are equipped to accommodate a land-line phone. For information about land-line phones, click here. The reality is that most students no longer make use of them, instead walking around campus on their individual mobile device of choice, looking like zombies while they text, tweet, snapchat, check-in, update their Facebook status, or tell their parents on the phone how awesome Williams is (seriously folks, as important as it is to let the Twitterverse know about your most-recent latte purchase at Tunnel City, be polite & look up from time to time to use your words to say Hi to someone you’re meeting on the sidewalk… or at least to avoid running into them). If you’re going to bring a cell/smart phone, check with your provider about coverage. Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint have been known to work here in town (partially thanks to the towers mounted on our own power-plant smokestack).