Welcome Class of 2021!

We at IT User Services would like to extend a warm welcome to all new and returning students!

As you learn and re-learn your way around campus your first month back, many of you will become acquainted with the technology and resources available to UMass students.

We at IT are here to enable your success by making technology the last thing on your mind while you make a home here at UMass, and begin or resume your studies. If you need us (or rather, when), we will be there to answer your questions, remove your malware, and fix your computer. The Help Center, the campus mothership for tech support, is located in room A109 of the Lederle Graduate Research Center (the cream-colored low-rise located across the street from the Northeast Residential Area). The Help Center is open from 8:30AM to 4:45PM Monday through Friday. We have extended service hours at the Technical Support desk in the Learning Commons. Our consultants are available for assistance there as late as midnight, depending on Library hours.

If you made it to Summer NSO, and are back on campus for Fall NSO, congratulations! You have successfully navigated SPIRE to sign up for both of these events, pick your first semester of classes, and register for housing. In case you missed it, SPIRE is going to be your first stop for class scheduling and enrollment, payments, housing, advising, and general information regarding academics. The account information you use for SPIRE (Your NetID and Password) will be the same for all other services that UMass IT offers.

To briefly recap the TechBytes Trivia presentation from Summer NSO:

  1. Building Connections – Our Wireless Networks
    We recommend running XpressConnect before you arrive on campus, it works on OS X, Windows, iOS, and Android based devices (although for Android, and certain Linux distributions, the manual configuration is much faster process, found on the bottom of the “Connect to eduroam with Android Devices” support article). Running XpressConnect allows you to connect to eduroam, the encrypted network on campus, by signing into it one time. We generally recommend running the installer once a semester to keep up-to-date with any changes.
    Click for an overview of XpressConnect and wireless support articles
  2. Wireless Interference and You
    Devices like wireless printers, keyboards, mice, and game controllers can all cause wireless interference. While at home you may have these things scattered around your living space, and you probably never notice it. In your residence hall, everyone is living closer together and if everyone brings a wireless accessory, that interference can scale to a point where people frequently disconnect or are unable to connect to the network.
    Click to read the FAQ about wireless in Residence Halls
    Click for tips about how to minimize interference and improve your connection
    Click to learn about our Wireless Airspace Policy
  3. The Printing Situation
    There are printers available for use in the Learning Commons on the lower level of the W.E.B. DuBois Library, and also some in the Science and Engineering Library in the Lederle Graduate Research Center Lowrise building. The printers in the Learning Commons and our 9 Computer Classrooms across campus can be used to pickup documents via remote printing. Keep in mind the printers in the Science and Engineering Library can only be used to pick up local print jobs. Additionally, every student will receive 100 free pages ($5.00 of prints) per semester.
    Click to read the Printing FAQ
    Click for Pharos Remote Printing Software
    Click to view Computer Classrooms locations
  4. Copyright Concerns
    The largest cause of copyright notices sent to the University are due to illegally torrented files using P2P (peer to peer) software like: BitTorrent, uTorrent, Transmission or Popcorn Time. We highly suggest removing P2P software before arriving on campus to avoid receiving any sort of copyright violation.
    Click to read the Copyright FAQ
    Click to learn more about Copyright at UMass Amherst
  5. Device Security: Antivirus
    The few who chose NOTAVIRUS.EXE at the presentation might want to take advantage of the free McAfee VirusScan that we offer to all members of the university community. We use the enterprise version of the software which basically translates to leaner and meaner than the typical version you get with the computer or buy at a store. McAfee is available for both Mac OS X and Windows based devices.
    Click to get McAfee VirusScan for Mac OS X
    Click to get McAfee VirusScan for Windows
  6. Go.where?
    go.umass.edu serves as a quick useful home-page across all devices that provides quick access to learning management systems like moodle or blackboard, SPIRE, and links to office resources like the Registrar and Bursar.
    Click to navigate to go.umass.edu

Email
For instance, all members of the university have an email address following the form NetID@umass.edu, undergraduates specifically have Gmail. You can log into your email through Google’s normal account dialog, or by navigating to apps.umass.edu, and entering your NetID and password. Similarly, you can configure email for mobile devices like iOS and Android with instructions from support articles found here.

Software
In addition to remote print, and McAfee antivirus, UMass IT also offers some other software for free or at discounted prices. We have deals on Office 365 (totally free), Windows Operating Systems, Adobe Creative Cloud, SAS, SPSS, Mathmatica, and MATLAB (also free). You can see a full list of all the software we have special offerings on here.

In addition to the above resources we offer, there are a few more things we highly suggest doing, like signing up for UMass Amherst Alerts in SPIRE, and logging into SPIRE to check for any Holds or To-Dos that might prevent enrollment in classes. For returning students, we also recommend you reset your password from the “IT Accounts” page in SPIRE.

Just to summarize the above: we have a lot of stuff you can play with so take some time this week to see if there are tools that might be helpful. And to reiterate, we have our Help Center staffed with consultants who are ready to handle whatever technical questions you have about services we offer or with personal devices you are bringing to campus.

Once more, welcome (back) to the university, and GO UMASS!