MOOC? What’s a MOOC?



Have you ever taken a step back from your daily grind of endless homework, classes, work, and labs; and just wanted a break? Do you sometimes just feel like there’s just too many coding classes, too many chemistry classes, just too many classes you just aren’t interested in? Don’t fret, this isn’t a sign to change your major or even your college. Not yet anyway. This happens all the time – any college class can become overwhelming and lose it’s luster. Alternatively, you could just be really bored and have not as much homework as everyone else, and think, “Gee, I’d love to take a class on Urban Planning, but really can’t fit it into my schedule”.

Well, maybe that last one doesn’t happen as much, but you get the idea. There’s this neat little secret which fixes both: MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course.

Operating System

Folding@Home, Computing for the Greater Good


What is It?

Folding@Home is a program that allows you to join your computer with about 200,000 others to help cure diseases like Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and Cancer. It uses your computer’s processing power to complete a tiny part of a protein folding simulation which is then joined with the work of other “folders” to give scientists an accurate picture of how the protein folds (an incredibly important part of research). Researchers at Stanford first created the program in 2000 but it has since expanded to become the biggest “distributed computing” application in the world with 38,727 teraflops of combined computing power. For scale, that is more flops (a measurement of compute performance) than the biggest supercomputer in the US.

Mac OSX Operating System

Getting the Most Out of OSX – 5 Apps for Every User


Macintosh OSX is a great operating system for both everyday users and computer aficionados, and has a lot to offer, both in what is built in to the operating system, and in what is available for users from third-parties. For those of us that want even more functionality, here are 5 applications that can help make your OSX experience better.

Android Apps Google Google Apps iOS Web

How Does the “Cloud” Really Work?


Cloud Computing is becoming increasingly popular among both businesses and consumers; but what is the “Cloud” and how does it work?

A Cloud Computing System can be divided into two parts: the Front End and the Back End.  The Front End consists of either a user’s computer or a network of computers connected to the Internet.  The Back End is comprised of many different servers, computers, and storage databases that are all interconnected; these components, functioning together as a whole, form a “Cloud”.  A central server exists to administer the entire system, constantly monitoring it to prevent failures.  All these different components interact and communicate with each other through the Internet, forming a web of inter-connected, redundant devices.

Adobe Google Linux Operating System Software Web Windows

Save Time with Ninite!

Today, the Help Center student consultants would like to suggest a time-saving tip for the next time you install, re-install, or begin using your Linux or Windows operating system: Ninite by installing and updating all your applications at once.

Linux Mac OSX Software Windows

Configuring Exchange Email and Calendar in Thunderbird

Configuring Email clients can be a frustrating task due to the sheer number of different server settings that need to be properly entered in order for it to work properly and the variety of choices in desktop mail clients. Fortunately, this guide is written specifically for configuring UMass Amherst Exchange mail and calendaring for Thunderbird, an open source desktop mail client that is compatible with most Windows, OS X, and Linux distributions. For your convenience, the instructions and screenshots in this guide should exactly match what you see on your screen.


Cyber Security: Sound Computer, Sound Mind

Our computers hold a lot of information about our lives. With this being the case cyber security has become a topic of growing interest; however, many people at the consumer level only have a basic understanding of what cyber security is, and what steps they can take to help protect themselves.