OP-EDS

  /  

October 6, 2004

The tech woes continue

NSIT has a rough job. Maintaining a network as vast and complicated as ours is not easy, and is impossible to do perfectly. And yet NSIT manages to continually thwart any sympathetic emotions we might feel with its consistent bungling of key network services.

Students at the University are routinely reminded of the importance of checking our e-mail yet the infamously inconsistent webmail is one of NSIT's biggest problems. It is true that students routinely abuse the webmail system, but that the school is only now getting around to obtaining a new infrastructure, nearly two years after the autumn 2002 finals week fiasco, is bordering on unacceptable.

Of more concern than webmail, which is at least online and accessible, is Chalk. A major initiative to integrate Chalk into University classes has taken place over the past few years, and now many departments are incredibly attached to the web application. Some language classes are completely dependent on it. To have such an important tool unavailable for an entire Sunday night, as happened this past Sunday, is ridiculous.

NSIT has a rough job, but not an unpredictable one. To remedy our campus' technical instability, a new e-mail infrastructure is certainly a good step, although its timeframe must be improved. But scheduling Chalk maintenance, which often spills over its allotted time, right before the prime work hours of Sunday is an avoidable problem waiting to happen.

Weighing the difficulty of the NSIT staff's work and the problems that continue to plague the University network, the Maroon hopes that NSIT will devote their energies to the problems they can most easily avoid.