Get Connected 2003
NO. 6 SPRING 2003
What’s Inside:
Welcome ...................................... 1
New Student Checklist .................. 2
Your Digital Community
Buying a Computer
(or bringing your own) .................. 3
Transporting a Computer
to Campus .................................. 4
Microsoft Student Select ............... 4
Computer Virus Protection ............ 4
Get Control (Internet Safety 101) .... 4
NUIT Anti-virus/e-mail CD 2003 ...... 4
E-mail .......................................... 5
Your Electronic Identity ................. 5
Make A Connection
Residence Halls Access ............... 6
Access Outside Residence Halls ... 7
Online Tools
Course Management System
(Blackboard) ............................... 8
CAESAR (online registration) ........ 8
Plan-It Purple ................................ 9
HereAndNow Online ...................... 9
NUTV ......................................... 10
Student Videoconferencing .......... 10
School Requirements ....... 11
Purchasing Guidelines ..... 12
Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQ).......... 13-14
Glossary ........................... 15
We are pleased you have selected Northwestern
University (NU). A substantial part of your academic life
at NU will involve using computers to explore resources on
both Northwestern’s network (NUNet) and the Internet.
Our organization, Northwestern University Information
Technology (NUIT), is here to help you use and learn
about technology. You can get started on this journey by
visiting our Web site at
The goal of this newsletter is to explain the University’s
computing standards, to introduce you to your new electronic community, and
to assist you in purchasing a computer. Our goal is to connect all students to our
network prior to the first week of school. The computer purchasing guidelines
contained in this newsletter will give you the information necessary to ensure
your connectivity to NUNet.
A comprehensive list of online services for students can be found on the NU
Information for Students page at
Frequently used University services can be found on the HereAndNow student
home page at HereAndNow offers
centralized links to services that affect students’ everyday lives both on and
off campus.
This newsletter also provides exciting information about NUNet’s community,
such as Virtual Private Networking (VPN), which allows you to connect to
NUNet from off campus; wireless capabilities, which are available in many
buildings and areas across campus; and NUTV, the innovative NUIT system
that delivers television options to undergraduate residence halls via the network
and students’ computers.
Northwestern is committed to supporting your exploration of digital resources
within your electronic community. Suggestions and comments are encouraged at
Getting Connected 2003
Produced by Northwestern
University Information Technology
Editorial Staff
Mark Reynolds, Manager,
Support Services
Julie Moeller, Manager,
Laurie Glaser, Web Designer/
Audrey Rosen, Senior Publications
Robyn Suthard, Useability
Editorial Review
Rachael Bild, Lynne Jeffers,
James Mustard, April Krukowski
and Wendy Woodward
NUIT Information Center
Kresge Centennial Hall, Room 56
1859 Sheridan Road
Evanston, Illinois 60208-2212
© 2003 Northwestern University
Information Technology
All Rights Reserved.
No portion of this document may
be excerpted, copied or
reproduced in any manner without
the express written consent of
Northwestern University.
Northwestern University Information Technology
New Student Checklist
Information about these items can be found in this “Getting Connected”
Before you arrive on campus…
Have you activated your NetID? (page 5)
Have you accessed your Northwestern e-mail account? (page 5)
Have you visited the online virtual store? (page 3)
Have you checked your school’s computing requirements? (page 11)
Have you reviewed purchasing guidelines and minimum operating systems
supported? (page 12)
Have you determined which (if any) computer you are bringing to campus and
ensured it will be compatible with University resources? (page 3)
Once you’re on campus…
‰ Have you met your ResCon? (page 6)
Have you registered your computer on the network? (page 6)
Have you installed NU’s Symantec anti-virus software? (page 4)
If you have a wireless laptop, have you accessed the network using wireless?
(page 7)
Have you registered for your classes using CAESAR? (page 8)
Have you checked to see if your classes are in the Course Management
System? (page 8)
Have you visited the “Get Control” Web site so you can learn how to
protect your data and computer when on campus? (page 4)
Have you checked out the popular student Web sites “Plan-It Purple,” and
“HereAndNow?” (page 9)
digital community
Buying a Computer
For a list of what to shop for, go to page 12. A new computer will allow you to take full advantage of streaming video,
NUTV, and wireless capabilities. Those of you who are bringing laptops with wireless cards can use the wireless network on
campus. To make computer purchasing easier, refer to the Computer Purchasing Guidelines (page 12), and access the
NU Virtual Store at
Bringing an Older Computer
If you plan on bringing an older computer to school, please review the minimum supported configurations below.
If your computer does not meet our minimum specifications, consider upgrading it or purchasing a new one. Outdated or
less powerful computers may frustrate you or hamper your ability to perform necessary tasks. The NU Virtual Store is a
convenient electronic resource to help the Northwestern community find information and possible sources for purchasing
computer and networking equipment, in addition to software. Northwestern does not endorse any particular vendors. By
purchasing a computer through the virtual store, you can take advantage of educational discounts.
Computers that operate below the minimum supported configurations may work within the University’s network
environment, but we will not be able to support them fully. Again, we recommend you upgrade your computer to meet the
minimum requirements or take this opportunity to buy a new computer.
Minimum Supported Configurations
Pentium III, Pentium 4, or Celeron
processor (or equivalent)
Power Macintosh with PowerPC G4
processor 533 MHz or faster
128 MB*
128 MB*
Hard disk
20 GB*
40 GB*
32x or better CD-ROM
(or 4x or better DVD-ROM)
Microsoft Windows 2000*
Mac OS 10.x*
10/100 Mbps Ethernet card
Operating System
* Equivalent or better
digital community
Transporting a computer to campus
Computer Virus Protection
We strongly recommend that you bring your computer to
campus with you. If this is not possible, you may ship your
computer to the University Computer Warehouse (not your
residence hall) at the address below. Computers should be
shipped to this address between September 1 and 19 only.
More information is available at
Computer viruses are a threat to us all. NUIT provides antivirus software licenses at no charge to all members of the
Northwestern University community. This software is
available either via the NUIT Anti-virus/e-mail CD, or by
downloading the software from the network. If you have
other virus protection software on your computer, you must
uninstall it before installing the free Symantec software
provided to you. Once you install Symantec, you will need to
keep your virus definitions updated and set your computer to
autoscan for viruses weekly. For more information about
virus protection at Northwestern, please see
Ship to:
Student name (NOT PARENTS’ NAME)
c/o Northwestern University Computer Warehouse
2020 Ridge Avenue, Dock #1
Evanston, Illinois 60208-4303
When you arrive on campus, go to the warehouse with a
photo ID to claim your computer. Parents who wish to claim
a computer for their Northwestern student will be asked to
show a photo ID and a paid invoice with shipping information.
Assistance will be available for those transporting computers
to student residences. After Tuesday, September 23, call
Ellen Barnes to schedule an appointment for pick up
and delivery.
The warehouse is open at these times during New Student
Friday and Saturday, September 19-20 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 21
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Monday and Tuesday, September 22-23 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Any concerns about viruses or setting up your anti-virus
software should be directed to the NUIT Information Center
at 847/491-HELP (1-4357).
Get Control (Internet Safety 101)
Since most of us spend time online daily, there are many
things to consider when on the Internet. From virus
protection and spam prevention to privacy/security and
harassment, this Web site offers information on a variety of
Internet safety topics. It offers tips on avoiding addiction to
the Internet and how to secure your machine, and also warns
users of potential virus threats with Virus Alert updates. For
guidance in conducting yourself on the Internet, check out
If you have any questions or concerns about transporting your
computer, please call Ellen Barnes at 847/491-3274 or
University Services at 847/491-7568.
There are many ethical dilemmas you may confront when
using the Internet. At Northwestern, you are responsible for
upholding the standards of the University. Please familiarize
yourself with the “NUIT Rights & Responsibilities for the
Use of Central Network and Computing Resources” policy
Microsoft Student Select
NUIT Anti-virus/e-mail CD 2003
NUIT will be contracting with an Internet-based e-commerce
provider to handle the software licensing and delivery process
for students who want to purchase certain Microsoft software
products at a discount. At that time, you will be able to access
the site, identify yourself with your Northwestern NetID and
password, agree to the license terms, and provide a credit
card for the fee. You will be sent this CD via registered mail.
For more information about this program see http://
NU provides software tools that can assist you with
maintaining a secure computing environment. E-mail
software (Eudora) and virus protection (Symantec), for
both Mac and PC, is offered on a CD. You can download
the latest versions of the software over the network at http:// If you live in a
residence hall, you will receive the CD in a packet when you
arrive on campus. Otherwise, you can pick up the CD from
the Information Center, located at Kresge Centennial Hall,
Room 56, on the Evanston campus. Note: We highly
recommend you use the CD if you are connecting to the
network with a 56 Kbps modem.
digital community
Your Electronic Identity
Northwestern students are automatically eligible for a
University e-mail account. You can activate your account and
use e-mail over the summer.
A NetID is your electronic identity at NU, and is
automatically assigned to you when you enter the University.
You should carefully guard your NetID password, as it is the
gateway to University resources and your personal
information. A range of services is associated with NetIDs,
including e-mail, the electronic NU directory (Ph), login
access to computers in NUIT-managed labs, and access to
personal information such as grades. You can activate your
NetID prior to your arrival at NU, and use it to access your
e-mail, as well as other NU resources.
There are several ways you can access e-mail at
Northwestern. Although many computers are bundled with
e-mail software such as Microsoft Outlook or Outlook
Express, NUIT recommends Eudora, available free of
charge to the NU community. Eudora, which has been in use
at Northwestern for a number of years, has an easy-to-use
interface, multi-platform support, and useful word processing
and filtering features.
NUIT also provides access to your NU e-mail account via
WebMail ( If you
have a Web browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape,
you can access your e-mail account from anywhere in the
world. Be sure to check your e-mail periodically this summer
for news and information from NU.
You use Ph to look up phone numbers, addresses, e-mail
addresses, and other information for University faculty,
students, and staff. NU students may view and modify
billing, current and permanent addresses through
CAESAR (page 8). For incoming students, before August 1,
2003, you should send address changes to After that date, you can view
and modify your addresses on CAESAR.
If you have other changes, you can update your NetID and
learn more about NetID-managed services at https:// Further explanation and
documentation is at
snap/ph-user-doc.html#intro. If you have further
questions about your NetID, call the NUIT Help Line at
847/491-HELP (1-4357).
make a connection
Residence Hall Access
Student Telephone Services
NUIT provides telecommunications services to University
residence halls and some fraternities and sororities. Service is
available as soon as you check in, and there are no installation
fees or deposits necessary. Some features include unlimited
calling to other NUIT network phones on both the Evanston
and Chicago campuses, call waiting, discounted long distance,
and the ability to use calling cards. Charges are billed to
individuals, so you won’t have to divide charges with your
You or one of your roommates will need to provide a touchtone telephone, and, if desired, an answering machine.
Information about campus telephone service will be mailed
to you later in the summer. For further information, visit
Every student living in the residence halls benefits from the
“port per pillow” concept; each has a switched 10 MB
Ethernet connection to the network. Ethernet is a widely
implemented local area networking (LAN) standard that
supports data transfer rates of 10 Mbps (megabits per second)
and allows for more direct connections between hosts. This
allows students to view advanced digital media with ease, and
work online at a fraction of the time it takes with a traditional
dial-up connection. It is important that you remember to
purchase an Ethernet cable to connect your computer in the
residence halls. This cable costs approximately $25, and can
be purchased at any computer store. The cable should be a
25-foot 10BaseT Ethernet cable. A cable longer than 25 feet
may cause connection problems.
Residential Networking Assistance
Our residential networking program’s goal is to help you take
advantage of NUNet by assisting you with connecting your
computer to the network. Residential Networking Consultants
(ResCons) will help you use the network, protect against
viruses and connect to NUTV. For more information, see
Get to Know Your ResCon
If you are having difficulties getting connected to the NU
network, you can contact a Residential Networking
Consultant (ResCon). Our ResCons can help resolve most
network-related problems, as well as answer questions you
may have about setting up NUIT software, including Eudora
and Symantec Anti-virus. These fellow students are
dedicated to getting you connected so you can quickly be
productive online. They are completely backed by NUIT
professional staff. If you cannot locate your residence hall’s
ResCon, dial 1-HELP from any on-campus phone to place
a request for help. For more information, see
Over the summer if you have questions about your
Northwestern e-mail account, call 847/491-HELP (1-4357)
or write to
In Northwestern’s residence halls you are connected to
NUNet, the data network that connects your computer to
University resources. A network registration system
(NetReg) is used to register your computer with NUNet the
first time you connect. This system automatically directs
you to a Web page where you will enter your NetID and
password. After you have completed this one-time
registration of your computer, you will have full access
to NUNet.
NetReg allows NUIT to improve communication with a
student in the event the student’s computer becomes a
source of technical concern. An example of this is a problem
detected by NUIT systems, such as symptoms of a virus.
NetReg functions by creating a record of the hardware
address of the computer interface (also known as the MAC
address), and associating it with the NetID and IP address
assigned by Northwestern.
More information about NetReg can be found at
make a connection
Access Outside Residence Halls
Northwestern’s computing environment is constantly
changing with the times. In 2001, wireless computing was
introduced to the Northwestern community. Wireless access
allows you to utilize the NU network without being tied to
your desk in your dorm room or apartment. You can use
wireless networking in numerous locations both on and off
campus. Wireless computing requires Virtual Private
Network (VPN) authentication, which means it is a secured
As of spring 2003, there are over 40 wireless locations on the
Chicago and Evanston campuses. These locations were
chosen to assist in student collaboration, and include Norris
University Center, parts of the main library and some
residence hall eating areas. See http://
for a complete list of wireless locations at Northwestern.
Remember, if you have problems setting up either VPN or
wireless, you can always call 847/491-HELP (1-4357) or
contact ResNet for support.
Cable Modems and DSL
If you live off campus, there are a number of ways to get
connected to the Internet and NUNet. These days, the
preferred method is either Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or
cable modem access, rather than modem dial-up access over
a phone line.
Faster connections make sense for the Northwestern
community—especially students—for a number of reasons.
Choosing DSL or cable modem will give you noticeably
faster Internet service, access to graphic, video, and sound
resources not easily available over a dial-up connection, and
does not tie up the phone line or require a second line. In
addition, image-heavy Web sites will load much faster and
large e-mail attachments will arrive more quickly. NUIT
designed an entire Web site full of detailed information
on high-speed Internet access options at:
Computer Labs
Lab hours are typically 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but vary
depending on location. Hours are extended during Reading
and Finals Weeks. There are numerous public labs with both
Windows and Macintosh computers available on the
Evanston campus. The newest lab, NU MediaWorks, located
in the University Library, allows students to work with some
of the most powerful digital media applications.
You may find the labs useful for checking e-mail while on
campus. When not in use by a class, the labs are open to all
members of the Northwestern community as walk-in
computing facilities. Because the labs can become extremely
busy or may be unavailable, NUIT highly recommends
bringing your own computer. For more information, go to
When you are on campus, your data will always remain
private with Northwestern’s secure and robust network.
However, if you are using a wireless connection or
connecting to the network from off campus, you are on an
insecure network. NU requires that you use a Virtual
Private Network (VPN) client that allows you to “tunnel”
through the insecure network and make your computer
appear as if it’s at Northwestern, making a direct, secure
connection to the University network.
VPN clients are available for all NUIT-supported operating
systems, whether it’s the native (built-in/part of your
operating system) client or additional software you must load
on your computer. For Windows users, NU recommends
using the native client. For Macintosh users, it is
recommended to upgrade to Macintosh OS 10.2 (Jaguar)
and use the native client. For more detailed information
about VPN at Northwestern, please visit
online tools
Course Management System (Blackboard)
NU’s Course Management System (CMS), powered by Blackboard, provides an efficient way for instructors to communicate
with their students. Course handouts, syllabi, week-by-week assignments, and readings can be distributed electronically. In
addition, professors can use CMS to stream media, post discussion areas, send course e-mail, and give students access to
spreadsheets and other pertinent documents.
CMS offers many benefits to students.
Students can share documents online,
either within study groups designated
by the instructor or with an entire class.
Both threaded discussions and e-mail
are easily facilitated through forums, so
students can collaborate on class
projects. Students can also check their
grades for any course assignment on a
secure, private site.
As CMS services continue to expand,
interest also continues to grow. As of
fall 2002, 700 courses were registered
with Blackboard, and 12,000 students
and 900 faculty members used CMS.
For more information, see
CAESAR (online registration)
CAESAR (Computer Assisted Electronic Student Access Route) gives students Web access to Northwestern’s Student
Enterprise System. Through CAESAR, students can manage their academic career, allowing them to register for classes,
search class schedules and course offerings, view enrollment appointments, view their student accounts, obtain unofficial
transcripts, view grades for any term, and more. For more information, see
Northwestern students are connected through CAESAR to the Office of the Registrar, the Office of Student Accounts, and the
various Financial Aid and Loan offices on campus. CAESAR also offers a range of services from the Financial Aid offices and
the Office of Student Accounts.
Students are able to check their degree
status, financial aid eligibility and
awards, and review and pay their bills
online using CAESAR. They can also
access the Course and Teacher
Evaluation Council (CTEC). This
allows users to view other students’
opinions of professors and class
curriculums while registering, making
the registration process more efficient
and meaningful.
online tools
Plan-It Purple (online calendar)
The Plan-It Purple online calendar ( is an engaging environment where students,
faculty, and staff can find all the information they need about activities at Northwestern. Users can view events by location,
date, groups, or event type, which includes arts and entertainment, athletics, lectures and meetings, and much more.
Users can view the date, time, cost, and a brief description of each event, plus useful links to related Web pages such as
academic calendars, campus maps, and entertainment guides for both NU campuses.
My Plan-It
You can customize Plan-It Purple to
create your own “My Plan-It” page
tailored to display specific types of
events and groups in which you are
particularly interested. This option has
the same design and database features
as Plan-It Purple, but it is customized
for you—the user. My Plan-It requires
user authentication on a secure server.
For more information, see
HereAndNow Online
HereAndNow Online (HAN) ( is a student-run Web site that provides important
resources for students’ online needs. Its main function is to provide links to Web sites that are relevant to undergraduates: the
University Registrar, CAESAR, WebMail Gateway, and Course Management System; local and campus entertainment and
maps; news; and search engine. Other features include dynamic content, such as updated local weather, breaking news, and
upcoming campus events. There are community links for students such as an area restaurant guide, current movies, and a
bulletin board of services. Students can search the online Ph directory, take part in book exchanges, and find information on
apartment sublets, and post “For Sale” or “Wanted” classifieds.
HAN offers student groups the ability
to publicize their events on Plan-It
Purple. This is updated each day, with
events advertised to thousands of
While HereAndNow provides links to
both frequently used University and
community resources, a more
comprehensive list of NU resources
is available on the NU student page
online tools
NUIT, in partnership with Student Affairs, implemented NUTV in response to student requests for expanded television access in
their individual rooms. NUTV is an innovative system of delivering these options to undergraduate residence halls via the
University’s switched Ethernet data network and students’ desktop computers.
To access the service, simply open a
Web browser, go to the NUTV home
page, and connect directly to any of the
available channels in the channel guide.
Channels are determined by student
vote. Announcements are updated
regularly on the home page, and a link to
FAQ’s is also available. There is no
need to download, set up, or maintain a
client utility tool to access the service.
For more information on NUTV, see
Student Videoconferencing
Northwestern’s network connections enable high-quality videoconferencing from our campuses to hundreds of research
universities around the world. As of summer 2003, student videoconferencing is available via a workstation in the NU
MediaWorks lab, located on the lower level of the University Library. Students can use the videoconferencing units for
everything from job interviews and class presentations or projects to chats with friends and family. Non-educational use is
accommodated as long as it does not conflict with academic activities.
The videoconference unit is set up in a private, enclosed area within MediaWorks. Students are encouraged to schedule
videoconference times, but the unit is also available on a “walk-in” basis if it is not already scheduled. Students who would like
to schedule a videoconference or who have questions about videoconferencing should e-mail
For more information on Northwestern’s videoconferencing services, see
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The following is a list of schools that may have additional specific computer requirements. These requirements tend to meet or
exceed NUIT’s expectations for new computer purchases. Please see the guidelines on page 12 for more information.
McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science
The McCormick school requires computer use by all students. Computer ownership is very strongly recommended for
McCormick students. McCormick students are responsible for their own computing needs, including word processing, Internet
access, and other tasks. For more information, see
Medill School of Journalism
Windows and Macintosh computers are used in various journalism classes at Medill. Specialized software for class-specific
projects is available for student use in Medill’s computer labs. For more information, see
School of Communication
The School of Communication encourages entering students to use computers. Students will arrive to find a highly interconnected
community of scholarship where computers are used in day-to-day classroom and research activities. Computers are important
for communicating with faculty and advisers, and many classes will use computers for both course materials and also for direct
production of student work—written, artistic, and scientific. Most students in the School of Communication find it convenient to
have their own computer. For more information including suggested computer configurations, see
School of Education and Social Policy
The School of Education has no specific guidelines other than what NUIT recommends. Please use page 12 for your reference.
School of Music
The School of Music maintains both Windows and Macintosh platforms in its labs with a rich array of music software installed.
In addition, the School recommends strongly that all entering students have a personal computer. The core curriculum in music
theory and history makes extensive use of the Internet and streamed audio files from central servers at Northwestern; a personal
computer that is equipped to play back streamed media with software such as QuickTime and RealAudio is encouraged to allow
preparation for courses that demand a fair amount of listening. A good pair of headphones or a small sound system is
recommended. For keyboard skills work and for many other courses, a small MIDI keyboard would be a plus. Music printing
software to augment the usual word processing titles would be helpful in preparing papers. For more information, see
Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences
The Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences encourages all students to use computers. Computer connectivity, including Web and
e-mail fluency, is vital for communicating with faculty and advisers, for obtaining information on academic programs and courses,
for course registration and review of academic records, for completing course work, and for receiving important announcements
from the Dean’s Office and academic departments. Computer ownership is strongly recommended. For more information, see
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Computer Purchasing Guidelines (2003-2004)
Table 1. Recommended PC Configurations
Computer Processors and Speed
2.53 GHz or faster Pentium 4
or equivalent processor
2.4 GHz or faster Pentium 4,
or equivalent processor; 1.6 GHz or
faster Pentium M
at least 256 MB
at least 256 MB
Hard disk
at least 60 GB
at least 20 GB
CD-RW or combo drive
CD-RW or combo drive
Operating System
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
(on or off campus) or Windows XP
Home Edition (off campus only)
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
(on or off campus) or Windows XP
Home Edition (off campus only)
Ethernet Cards
10/100 Mbps Ethernet
10/100 Mbps Ethernet
Wireless Cards123
802.11b built-in or separately purchased
56 Kbps
56 Kbps
Table 2. Recommended Macintosh Configurations
Computer Processors and Speed
iMac G4 800 MHz, eMac G4 800 MHz,
or PowerMac dual-G4 1.25 GHz
tower or faster processor
iBook G3 800 MHz, or
PowerBook G4 867 MHz
or faster processor
at least 512 MB
at least 256 MB
Hard disk
at least 60 GB
at least 30 GB
RW, combo drive, or SuperDrive
CD-RW, combo drive, or SuperDrive
Operating System
Mac OS X 10.2 “Jaguar”
Mac OS X 10.2 “Jaguar”
Ethernet Cards
10/100 Mbps Ethernet
10/100 Mbps Ethernet
Wireless Cards123
802.11b built-in or separately purchased
56 Kbps
56 Kbps
These are the minimum recommended requirements. Purchasing guidelines are updated periodically by NUIT.
For the latest recommendations, please visit the purchasing guidelines Web site at
The wireless Local Area Network (LAN) is available in some areas of the campus. For more information see
A wireless card is not a substitute for a standard Ethernet card.
802.11b is the standard for this environment. Future releases of the 802.11 standard are not currently supported by NUIT.
12 | N O R T H W E S T E R N U N I V E R S I T Y G E T T I N G C O N N E C T E D 2 0 0 3
frequently asked
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Computer Viruses
Q: How does Northwestern handle computer viruses?
A: We provide every student with anti-virus software. If you get a computer virus, we have trained consultants who will
come to your room on campus to assist you with cleaning and updating your virus definitions. Even though viruses are
rampant, some common sense will help keep your computer clean. First, update your virus definitions regularly—set your
anti-virus software to update them at least once a week. Second, if you get e-mail from an unknown person or a strange
e-mail from someone you know, delete it. Last, if you check your e-mail using WebMail, you can delete an e-mail
containing a virus before it ever enters your machine. Northwestern’s Get Control Web site offers information on a
variety of Internet safety topics including up-to-date virus protection information at
E-mail Access
Q: What type of e-mail access does Northwestern offer?
A: Every student at Northwestern is assigned an e-mail account. You can check your e-mail in many different ways. You can
use the e-mail software that came with your computer such as Microsoft Outlook Express or Eudora, the software NU
provides. For convenience, you can use WebMail to check your e-mail anywhere in the world. You have ample but limited
online (server) space, and will need to move your messages to your personal computer on a regular basis.
Web Hosting
Q: What type of Web hosting does Northwestern provide?
A: Each student has access to 4 MB of space on our community server, pubweb. More information is available at
Windows or Macintosh
Q: What should I purchase - a Windows-based PC, or a Macintosh?
A: While most students use Windows machines, we support both Macintosh and Windows personal computers. The decision
between Windows and Macintosh operating systems is a matter of personal preference. Check the NUIT school requirements
(page 11) to see if your program recommends a particular platform.
Ethernet vs. Modem
Q: My computer already has an internal modem and no Ethernet card. I may only be in a residence hall for one year,
and then I plan to move off campus. Will buying an Ethernet card be worth it?
A: Our advice is to use Ethernet, even for one year. The speed difference between Ethernet and modem connections is
substantial and will easily make an Ethernet card a worthwhile investment. In addition, you may wish to use DSL or cable
modem service when you move off campus, and then you will need an Ethernet card.
AOL or other Internet Service Providers (ISP)
Q: I have been using AOL. Will I be able to continue using it when I am at Northwestern?
A: More often than not, software from other providers cause conflicts when you try to configure your computer for service from
another ISP. You may need to remove any other ISP’s Internet software in order to connect to NUNet.
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frequently asked
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Student Jobs
Q: Are there “techie student jobs” available in NUIT?
A: NUIT offers a variety of student job opportunities. There is an electronic application and more information about the types of
jobs available at
Computer Store
Q: Is there a computer store on the Northwestern campus?
A: No, because the computer market changes so rapidly, and because purchasers are increasingly able and willing to buy over
the Internet. If you are interested in purchasing a computer online and taking advantage of educational discounts, you can access
the NU Virtual Store at
Q: How can I get help?
A: There are various ways to get computing help:
1. If you live in a residence hall contact your ResCon. See posters in residence halls or visit
2. If your school provides a help desk for computing problems, call them.
3. Contact the NUIT Information Center help desk:
a. Via e-mail to
b. Via phone at 847/491-HELP (1-4357)
c. In person at Kresge Centennial Hall, Room 56 on the Evanston campus
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The Associated Student Government is an organization that
represents undergraduate student interests on campus.
Computer Assisted Electronic Student Access Route. It is the
gateway to online student services.
Course Management System. Please see page 8 for
more details.
A digital communication standard on dedicated wiring that is
capable of transmitting 10 million bits or more per second.
HereAndNow Online
HereAndNow Online (HAN) is the Northwestern University
Student Web page.
IP Address
A unique number assigned to a computer on a TCP/IP network.
For a machine to be on the Internet, it must have an assigned IP
address, e.g., 123.456.789.10.
Internet Service Provider.
Network ID. Northwestern’s unique identifier for each person
accessing services on NUNet.
Network Registration system. A process for registering student
computers with the network to provide improved communication
when computer problems occur.
In information technology, a network is a series of computers or
devices interconnected by communication paths. Networks can
interconnect with other networks and contain subnetworks.
Northwestern University Information Technology.
NU television. An innovative system provided by NUIT to
deliver television options to students by transmitting channels
over NUNet to students’ computers.
Residential Networking Consultant. A NUIT student
employee, generally living in a residence hall or Greek
house, who acts as a local expert on network computing.
ResCons are trained by NUIT to understand the NUIT
Anti-virus/e-mail CD and other aspects of getting connected
to the campus network.
Residential Networking Program. This program provides
full Internet connectivity support to all students living
on campus.
Uniform Resource Locator. A name that uniquely identifies
a document or service on the Internet. URLs are most
commonly associated with Web addresses.
A self-replicating code that can affect operating systems,
applications, or documents. The code is designed so that the
infection occurs without the knowledge or permission of the
computer user. It propagates itself by infecting other files
and passing itself inconspicuously to other computers.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) is used to provide secure,
encrypted network communications between a network and
a remote host or other remote network over the public
Northwestern student/faculty/staff photo ID card.
Wireless networking allows you to access the Northwestern
campus network and the Internet without physically
connecting to an Ethernet jack.
Northwestern University’s network.
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Northwestern University
Information Technology
Technology Support Services
Kresge Centennial Hall, Room 56
1880 Campus Drive
Evanston, Illinois 60208-2212
First Class Mail
U.S. Postage
Evanston, IL
Permit No. 205
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