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 general use computers and printers available to students in various labs around campus, many of which are open 24 hours, 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.

The College supports both Mac and PC platforms and educational discounts are available for Apple and Dell computers through their online stores. Laptops are preferred to desktops due to their portability and energy savings. All dorms have wireless access. Some public buildings including restaurants on Spring Street do as well. 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 prefer to be wire-connected for higher performance, you can connect to the internet jack in your room and/or the common room. All dorm rooms have a network jack to accommodate a wired (ethernet) connection. The jack is off by default in order to save energy, however it is easily activated by filling out a form and sending it to OIT. 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, instagram, 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).