Technology Source

a monthly report on technology ITD makes it easier to access the network from home

Quick and easy access to the Emory Network and beyond is now available through EmoryConnect, a new conductivity option at Emory that uses the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) as a communications standard for achieving a network connection over a modem. Through EmoryConnect, employees can create the same basic computing environment at home that they use in the office.

EmoryConnect allows users to access the World Wide Web through Netscape, to use a favorite e-mail program or to access the network. In addition, an enhanced installation can provide access to departmental file servers and printers.

EmoryConnect will work for anyone with a Dooley or Eagle account, and passwords are being synchronized for Dooley/Eagle and PPP. Changing the password on a Dooley/Eagle account automatically updates the PPP password.

EmoryConnect significantly improves, but does not solve all of the connectivity problems or eliminate all of the barriers. The new installation procedures will require a minimum of information -- the phone number to dial, your individual ID and your password. Dial-in communications are also limited by the speed of the modem and the overall capabilities of the computer being used. Applications that can be used with EmoryConnect may require faster computers with more memory and more disk space than needed for in-office work.

Recommended hardware minimums for using EmoryConnect include a mid-range Intel 486 processor (Pentium will help) with eight megabytes of RAM (16 or more is better). Most new software for Macintosh use requires at least a 68040 processor; however, a PowerPC with a minimum of eight megabytes of RAM will offer the best performance. On either system, a 500 megabyte or larger hard drive to hold all the new software will really help.

EmoryConnect install packages are being developed for Intel-based systems (PCs/IBM Compatibles) and for Macintosh systems, and are scheduled to be available in late April. Windows 95 is recommended for systems capable of running it; the Win95 package includes effective and easy-to-configure PPP software, and it provides the capability to do additional protocol access (Novell/IPX). For faculty, staff and students using Windows 3.1 who are not ready to upgrade to Win95, Emory has licensed Trumpet PPP. For Macintosh users Emory has licensed InterPPP from Intercon Systems Inc., an easy-to-configure and use package that also provides support for the use of AppleTalk through PPP.

The Emory Computer Store will be offering EmoryConnect installation for a minimal installation fee; a list of other installers is available for those wishing to have access to a departmental file server and network printing. The set-up for this type of service may require some additional cost. The Computing Information Center (727-5250) can respond to questions on the installation and use of PPP software. Many schools and departments throughout Emory have local support people available to assist, based on their established level of support.

With the advent of EmoryConnect, ITD is expecting an increase in dial-in access. Based on information gathered from local support people and a survey done by Human Resources, ITD will be upgrading the numbers of telephone lines into Emory and increasing the number of available modems. A new dial-in number, to be officially announced May 1, is being established. Employees already using PPP who want to use the capabilities of the new environment will need to make minor reconfigurations to existing software. Reconfiguration information will be available from the CIC, Software Distribution Center, the Emory Computer Store and on the Emory Web.

Jim Kruse is senior computing support consultant, Computing Resource Services, in the Information Technology Division.

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