Wireless access hits BSC, SLC next on list

Wireless access hits BSC, SLC next on list

Wireless access hits BSC, SLC next on list

Nate Billings

By the end of next week, Missouri Southern will be less burdoned by wires.

The wiring for wireless Internet will be completed in the Spiva Library. The Billingsly Student Center is already wired on all three floors with several wireless Internet access points.

“Students are getting the wireless first,” said Steve Earney, assistant vice president for information services.

Earney said students have been moved over first to a new server tree, which will allow for the wireless access.

Faculty members remain on the old tree and must request access to the new tree if they wish to use the new wireless systems.

The BSC was chosen for wireless because of student use and practicality.

“You don’t want to necessarily start with the hardest building on campus,” Earney said.

The wireless access is also easier to open than originally thought.

At first, a registration of a computer’s Network Interface Card, would be necessary. Information services wanted to consolidate the Missouri Southern user name and password and now requires a one-time certificate download.

Al Stadler, network administrator for information services, said the login will be consistent with other Southern-related user names and passwords.

Stadler said students will be able to open up the Internet on a wireless laptop or PDA and they will receive a prompt for two networks — unsecure and “wpa,” if the laptop is not set up to automatically connect. Either network will work.

The student will then accept the network and a certificate warning will show on the screen. After the student accepts the certificate, the server asks the student for his or her Southern login. The username and password boxes will be under a Blue Socket logo.

“The only thing that is intrusive is the certificate,” Stadler said.

Pop-up blockers must be disabled for a short time during the process so the certificate may load properly. Once it is installed, the laptop will work with any Southern-related wireless network.

The wireless network supports all A, B and G type wireless cards.

“It’s a very positive thing for the students,” Stadler said.

From there, students may check e-mail, Blackboard and other Internet-related events.

The computer-users agreement still applies for the network.

“We haven’t seen a whole lot of trouble,” said Jimmie Collins, sophomore CIS major and student technical assistant.

Collins helped install the wireless ports in the BSC and is helping install them in the library.

“It’s hands-on stuff,” he said. “It’s somewhat physically demanding, but it’s part of the job.”

Earney said the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center and the Student Life Center will be wired for wireless during this semester. However, the technicians will wait until students leave for the summer to wire the living spaces in the residence halls as to not disturb the students.

“We’d have to get into a lot of people’s rooms,” Earney said. “It will enhance what they have.”

Classroom buildings will be wired possibly next semester when the budget comes in.

The current wireless ports are not limited to the building walls. Some of the ports will reach outside the building anywhere between 50 and 100 feet.

“If you have a laptop, you can practically sit almost anywhere,” Earney said.