|Volume XXIX Issue 8||October 9, 2003|
Computer services offers a range of pc
support on campus
Laura Cunningham - Reporter
Student Computing Services, a division of PC Support, offers computer support and services to Elon students. The Student Computer Help Desk offers free phone support and answers questions ranging from "I canít remember my password" to "When are you open?" Some of the services offered are the installation of software and hardware, troubleshooting and repairs. If you are wondering why your computer is making that strange sound or why your computer is turning on and off all by itself, maybe you should stop by Student Computing Services on Williamson Avenue (two doors down from the Coffee Shop) or call ext. 5100. Student Computer Services is open Sunday through Thursday 1 to 9 p.m. and Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m.
Student Computer Support Specialist Darryl McIntyre offered information about the top four computer problems brought into Student Computing Services. These are things you should do to prevent yourself from having to drag your computer across campus to the "doctors."
Problem 1:Viruses. The recent worms and viruses are a good reminder that if your computer has Internet access, then your computer is vulnerable.
Solution:Purchase an anti-virus protection such as Norton AntiVirus or McAfee. You can purchase it from Student Computing Services or purchase it online from www.norton.com or www.norton.com. You may say $30-50 a year is a lot of money for a hard working college student, but itís tough to be hard at work without your computer. Recently every student received an e-mail from Chris Fulkerson, director of Instructional and Campus Technologies, requesting students with Windows 2000 or XP operating systems to run the worm patches found at www.elon.edu/computersupport/alertsandnews.html. If you havenít already done so, you need to. If your computer is found to be using unreasonable network resources due to an infected system, you will be blocked from the Elon network and charged a $200 fine.
Problem 2:Spyware. Spyware is components of programs such as KaZaa (and other downloading software) that get on your computer and slow down your system. Students coming into Student Computing Services often report their computer is running slow and that it may have a virus.
Solution:There are two solutions. First, remove downloading software such as KaZaa (downloading and sharing copyrighted files is illegal). Second, visit www.download.com and download (free and legal) Ad-aware. This program scans your RAM, registry, hard drive and external storage devices for known data mining, advertising and tracking components that can slow down your computer.
Problem 3:Negligence and abuse. Computers are not doorstops or cup holders. They are expensive pieces of equipment and should be treated as such. The most common "accidents" reported to Student Computing Services are spills. While your computer has a warranty, it most likely does not include a special extended warranty for accidents such as spills.
Solution:Preventive measures. What does Mclnture suggest? Keeping liquids as far away from your computer as possible. If you are purchasing a computer, itís a good idea to look into paying a little extra for the extended warranty for accidents. If a spill does occur, some damage may already be done, but it can be limited by removing all removable drives such as the battery, CD/DVD drive, cords, etc. If you canít do this yourself, take it to Student Computing Services and they will help you. Allow your computer to dry. This means do NOT turn your computer on for a few days. Your computer will then hopefully be OK.
Problem 4:General Maintenance. Your computer is not just something you can play with every now and then. General maintenance and updates are needed to keep it running efficiently and effectively.
Solution:Defragment your computer regularly. Your hard drive gets fragmented every time itís used. Data is deleted and moved to different places, making it harder for your hard drive to find the information and ultimately making your computer slower. The disk defragmenter rearranges the data and files so everything is orderly again. (Defragging is similar to re-organizing your closet. Old clothes get buried, you throw them away to make more room and then you hang up your new clothes). To defrag, click the Start menu. Under Programs, click Accessories, then System Tools and then Disk Defragmenter. This could take a varying amount of time depending on the last time you completed this task.
For more information on maintaining your computer and preventing a computer meltdown, visit www.elon.edu/elite for information on our upcoming Web design, maintaining your computer and office program workshops.
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