Demystifying Technology: Top Student Computing Questions Answered

Wireless? Spam? Fancy schmancy software? What computing and technology topics do you wish you knew more about? We recently polled our fellow students and compiled their most frequently asked questions. Read on, and you will be a technological wiz-kid!

  1. I usually bring my laptop to campus. It'd be awesome if I could surf the Web and check email between classes. Where can I access wireless Internet on and off campus?

    As of Fall 2004, there are a bunch of campus wireless access points. Popular hot spots include the MU, Silo, and the new Activities and Recreation Center (ARC). For a complete listing of on-campus wireless spots as well as maps of the locations, check out wireless.ucdavis.edu. We've also included a map on pages 2-3 of this newletter.

    The city of Davis also has numerous local businesses that host free wireless spots. For a listing, visit daviswiki.org/index.cgi/WiFi_20Hot_20Spots.

  2. Every day I receive a ton of email - but most of it is spam! Is there anything I can do to get rid of this junk?

    Ah, spam. It's annoying and frustrating. While it cannot be eliminated, it can be reduced. The most effective way to curtail spam is to employ several methods of filtering. First, set up the campus spam filter at security.ucdavis.edu/spam.cfm. A few spam messages may still get through; but, you can also use the new Allow and Deny lists to help enhance spam filtering. With these lists, you can specify certain email addresses that will automatically bypass the spam filter (allow), or instantly filter to your spam folder (deny). If you use a POP email client such as Eudora or Outlook, visit security.ucdavis.edu/spam.cfm to learn about more spam filtering options. Companies like Symantec and Mailshell also sell spam-blocking software.

  3. I use Web-based campus email all the time, and now it's saying I'm over my quota! The problem is, I have hardly anything in my inbox! What can I do?

    Email messages located in your outbox and gecko-trash also count towards your quota! Log in to my.ucdavis.edu, click on "email" in the top menu, and then make sure you empty your gecko-trash and outbox periodically to free up space.

  4. I got an email from my bank asking me to update my account information over email. This seems kinda shady to me. Is this legitimate?

    NO. This is called "phishing" for information, a form of fraud. An identity thief, posing as a legitimate company (like CitiBank, eBay, or Paypal,) is hoping to steal your personal information. Never answer these emails! Contact the company separately to confirm the request - and do not use the links provided in the email, as they may be phony or contain viruses.

  5. I can't find my class registration guide. Is there a way to use the Internet to see what classes I can register for?

    Of course! You can get the registration guide online at registrar.ucdavis.edu/csrg/schedule.cfm. The Registrar offers an Open Course List: registrar.ucdavis.edu/html/ocl.html. After you register for classes, you can use MyUCDavis to look up your class Web site, find out where your classes are, and when you will take your finals.

  6. I forgot my Kerberos password, so now I can't login to MyUCDavis or SISWEB. W hat should I do?

    Don't panic! Just grab a photo ID and head down to IT Express (room 182 in Shields Library). A representative will help you create a new password. You can also change your password at IT Express or set up the password changing feature online at computingaccounts.ucdavis.edu.

  7. I'm doing a group project for one of my classes and I want my friends to have access to the files I created for the presentation. Can I share uncopyrighted files with other UC Davis students?

    You can share up to 100MB of class-related files with fellow Aggies by using MySpace. To access MySpace, login to MyUCDavis and select MySpace from the "My Tools" tab. To give people access to your files, click on "File Friends Edit" at the bottom left and then enter UC Davis usernames. Your File Friends can then download the files you have marked as public. Please remember to only share files that are not copyrighted! Visit scg.ucdavis.edu/filesharing.cfm if you need more info on legally sharing files.

  8. I'm really getting interested in design software, but I don't have enough money to buy the programs. Is there anywhere I can go to use programs like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, or Final Cut Pro?

    Definitely. For awesome specialty software, visit Meyer Media Lab at 1154 Meyer Hall, which features sound and video editing software, VHS to DVD transfer options, as well as other software free for your use. Hart Hall Media Distribution Lab, located at 1102 Hart Hall, also features a wide variety of powerful design-related software applications. The computers in these labs are also powerful enough to run these programs smoothly. See clm.ucdavis.ed u/rooms for a complete listing of software at both labs.

  9. How did my roommate get the MyUCDavis Web site to look blue? Is there a way to make MyUCDavis more personalized to fit my needs?

    MyUCDavis offers lots of personalization options. For example, if you click on your name (it's right after "good morning" or "good night,") you can change your nickname. To customize the template color, click on "customize this page" at the top right hand corner of the Web site. If you want to add more boxes to the layout, such as news or local movie times, select "quick customize" at the very bottom of the Web page.

  10. I need a job but I don't have a car. What online resources can I use to find a job near or on-campus?

    Just visit jobs.ucdavis.edu for a listing of available positions on and off campus. You can use this site to search for a job, find out more information about specific employment opportunities, create an "agent" that will keep an eye out for specific kinds of jobs, and sign up for a newsletter that will inform you when new jobs are posted.

  11. I need to use a few of the Library's Internet resources for one of my final papers. Do I have to be on campus to do this?

    You can now access the Library's Internet resources from any computer with an Internet connection. The Library's Web site (lib.ucdavis.edu) provides a proxy service that allows you to access their online databases, journals, etc. from an off-campus computer. Just click on the "Connect From Off-Campus" link on the main page for directions. If you're having trouble, give IT Express a call (754-HELP) or visit them at 182 Shields Library.

Are there any computing questions that you need to have answered? Just send an email to ithelp@ucdavis.edu.