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what's the problem?

  • 01-02-2009 2:11pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,467 smemon


    For as long as i can remember there have been problems with email, moodle, dcam website and general IT - any student in IT will know this.

    Problems with network being slow, problems with email servers and what not - more recently i've noticed wireless connections dropping constantly - it's not just my connection settings - everyone around me faces the same problem.

    I'm not sure what the problems are and what's being done about it (as we're not being kept up to date), but all i know is that things aren't right and the college isn't competing at the highest level.

    EVERY week there is problems with uptime. Currently, both webmail & dcam sites are down.

    This is not good, this is not right... keeping services online should be priority - if i want to check my timetable - i should be able to... if i want to send an email - i should be able to... 24/7.

    Honestly, there needs to be a whole restructuring of IT, attitudes to it and the way it's used.

    I've set up a twitter account - http://twitter.com/dkitdown. From now. on all downtime is being recorded as i stumble upon it. It's extremely frustrating going on to the site and crossing your fingers that things are working.

    If there are problems - fine - totally acceptable. SO LONG as we're kept up to date, told there are problems and what's being done to sort them. A blog/forum (a proper blog or forum - not the in built moodle stuff), a twitter account we can subscribe to... anything.

    Am i alone in thinking all this?


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 140 ✭✭ Slashman X


    You are not alone, but as far as i know the webmail is switching to gMail next year which should help solve those problems.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 77 ✭✭✭ Mr. Razzcocks


    Yeah it's really annoying, right now Dcam is down and recently at least once a day I cant connect to the wireless network, such a pain in the hole!
    but there was a survey going about the other day about the problems with moodle and the webmail so maybe they are looking into sorting out. Lets hope so!


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,281 ✭✭✭✭ Atomic Pineapple


    Basically the servers are ****e, they cant handle any sort of traffic and keep crashing and take an age to put right.

    The wireless has been upgraded over the last few years as they have expanded it but it too has serious connection issues.

    The slow network is usually down to half the computing department downloaded pirated content though!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,467 smemon


    Slashman X wrote: »
    You are not alone, but as far as i know the webmail is switching to gMail next year which should help solve those problems.

    Yeah, the survey going around focused on personal email, moodle and internet access.

    Perhaps that's why they mentioned gmail... That would be the sensible option and much more reliable. However, Trinity were only 2 years ahead of us :rolleyes:

    Google can't help though with the projector / screen in s215 or e107.... nor can they help with the dodgy routers and windows 2000 PC's in e133 i think it is (networking lab) :)

    Also, the mice in s213 have no scroll wheels - i can make do with the CRT monitors in the year 2009 ;) - but i've resorted to taking in my own wireless mouse and netbook.

    In fact, i got the netbook purely because i can't rely on college equipment to work properly. Try plugging in a usb key to any of the PC's upstairs in the 'S' rooms. Open up something... now close it and open up that same thing again on the usb key? Oh wait, yeah, you can't.

    Netbook solved all those problems, and i moved down to the canteen during time off - but what do you know - wireless network keeps dropping connections in there too...

    It's as if nothing works but nobody really cares. dcam.dkit.ie has been down for at least 10 hours now - that's a disgrace.

    If that was my site, it would hurt my pride - i'd be doing everything i could to keep it online... i'd have backups in place and i'd update my members and followers on what happened and why it happened and what i'll do to ensure it won't happen again. And i don't even get paid for keeping my sites online :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 218 ✭✭ Gu3rr1lla


    dundalk "IT" my arse


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,281 ✭✭✭✭ Atomic Pineapple


    10 hours isn't along time for dcam to be down, its been down for weeks before! its a bit of a joke alright.

    the twitter thing is a very good idea, when you have a good bit of data on it then you should email the students union and get your class rep to bring it up as well


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,467 smemon


    draffodx wrote: »
    10 hours isn't along time for dcam to be down, its been down for weeks before! its a bit of a joke alright.

    the twitter thing is a very good idea, when you have a good bit of data on it then you should email the students union and get your class rep to bring it up as well

    don't worry i'm on it ;) twitter adds dates to the problems so in a few weeks or months time, we'll all be able to see just what is being done or not done.

    something tells me i'm gonna be busy but if this is what it takes to get things working - so be it :pac:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 77 ✭✭✭ Mr. Razzcocks


    Wireless working in the canteen!! icon_eek.gif


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,281 ✭✭✭✭ Atomic Pineapple


    Wireless working in the canteen!! icon_eek.gif

    Get outta here! :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 77 ✭✭✭ Mr. Razzcocks


    draffodx wrote: »
    Get outta here! :D

    I give it 15 more minutes before it goes balls up again.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,281 ✭✭✭✭ Atomic Pineapple


    I give it 15 more minutes before it goes balls up again.

    15 minutes!? You've way too much faith in it :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 77 ✭✭✭ Mr. Razzcocks


    You gotta have faith faith faith!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 77 ✭✭✭ Mr. Razzcocks


    draffodx wrote: »
    15 minutes!? You've way too much faith in it :D

    Update: It actually went do there for about 5 minutes at 10 on the dot! :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 58 ✭✭✭ Jumanji


    smemon wrote: »
    Yeah, the survey going around focused on personal email, moodle and internet access.

    Perhaps that's why they mentioned gmail... That would be the sensible option and much more reliable. However, Trinity were only 2 years ahead of us :rolleyes:

    Google can't help though with the projector / screen in s215 or e107.... nor can they help with the dodgy routers and windows 2000 PC's in e133 i think it is (networking lab) :)

    Also, the mice in s213 have no scroll wheels - i can make do with the CRT monitors in the year 2009 ;) - but i've resorted to taking in my own wireless mouse and netbook.

    In fact, i got the netbook purely because i can't rely on college equipment to work properly. Try plugging in a usb key to any of the PC's upstairs in the 'S' rooms. Open up something... now close it and open up that same thing again on the usb key? Oh wait, yeah, you can't.

    Netbook solved all those problems, and i moved down to the canteen during time off - but what do you know - wireless network keeps dropping connections in there too...

    It's as if nothing works but nobody really cares. dcam.dkit.ie has been down for at least 10 hours now - that's a disgrace.

    If that was my site, it would hurt my pride - i'd be doing everything i could to keep it online... i'd have backups in place and i'd update my members and followers on what happened and why it happened and what i'll do to ensure it won't happen again. And i don't even get paid for keeping my sites online :)



    Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!
    You don't know how good ye've got it!!!
    Try doing an IT degree 10 years ago & try & imagine the facilities we had!!!
    They didn't exist. Full stop!!!!
    Martin McCourt (is he still there?) kept massaging his own ego about this top of the range thing, that state of the art thing, but facilities were always complete ****e!

    I wouldn't know myself if I walked in there now & had all the intermittent facilities that ye have!


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,435 ✭✭✭✭ Panthro


    Jumanji wrote: »
    Martin McCourt (is he still there?)
    theres a declan mccourt lecturering here...
    as the aul saying goes.."if u got nothing good to say about someone"... etc etc!
    thats my opinion of the man!


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,281 ✭✭✭✭ Atomic Pineapple


    good to see peter morris and christian horn following the twitter!


  • Registered Users Posts: 113 ✭✭ ccarr


    just in the coleoge the other day with my own laptop in d libiary nd cdt get on d network at all its a compeolte joke


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,467 smemon


    Keep the comments flowing lads, they're not going unnoticed and it's the only way things will get done - if we 'out' the college in public.

    It damages the colleges rep, throws potential IT students in particular off registering which ultimately hits DKIT hard in the pocket.

    Plenty of students have laptops, but we can't use them these days because of the network crumbling constantly.

    I know that they know about the problems... maybe something is being done, maybe it's not. Either way we're not being kept informed which is another 'crime'.

    Anyway, i'm putting together a huge list of complaints and recommendations at the minute and i'll fire it off to a few people when it's complete :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,281 ✭✭✭✭ Atomic Pineapple


    smemon wrote: »
    Keep the comments flowing lads, they're not going unnoticed and it's the only way things will get done - if we 'out' the college in public.

    It damages the colleges rep, throws potential IT students in particular off registering which ultimately hits DKIT hard in the pocket.

    Plenty of students have laptops, but we can't use them these days because of the network crumbling constantly.

    I know that they know about the problems... maybe something is being done, maybe it's not. Either way we're not being kept informed which is another 'crime'.

    Anyway, i'm putting together a huge list of complaints and recommendations at the minute and i'll fire it off to a few people when it's complete :)

    Us 4th year computing students get kept well informed by the lecturers but we cant tell you whats going on :p


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,149 BFassassin


    I was in the library three days this week with my own laptop and the network never held up too long. It was really annoying when I was trying to get some work done.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 224 ✭✭ annex


    Go Smemon :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 27 ✭✭✭ RawShark


    1) The college email will NOT be switching to Gmail. That is just a rumour. Some parties in Trinity now agree this was a bad idea for them, and note that no other ITs followed.

    2) The DCAM server is managed by Computing Dept staff, not IT staff. I doubt they ever patch it or maintain it in any way. Anyway, all other departments migrated their stuff into the main site, DCAM is the last to move. They should do, then they would not have these worries.

    3) See http://www.dkit.ie/wireless for all the wireless facts, particularly the following:

    The wireless network operates in 1 hour 'blocks'. Unless you set your laptop or device to reconnect automatically, you will need to manually reconnect to the network every hour. You may also need to login again from time to time. This mechanism kills off dead connections and ensures that the network can stay up for longer intervals overall.

    and

    You may need to adjust your Operating System firewall to stay connected to the network for any period of time. Please see information pertaining to "ICMP Echo Requests" in our tutorials section.


    Bearing these points in mind, I stay connected to the network no problem! It's also worth noting how they say The wireless network is provided "as is". This seems fair enough.

    3) How can the staff be expected to keep services up 24/7, if they only work 8 hours a day? I doubt the government are going to pay staff to maintain servers 24 hours a day when they are cutting the sh*t out their pay for 8 hours at the moment!!!

    4) I've noticed in the Computing Department that everyone installs games, bit-torrent etc etc on all the machines. Could this maybe explain why they are riddled with viruses and the network is sh*t up here? Plus, some w*nker robbed the wireless router from room 216!!! WTF? We were using that. I've asked IT, and they insist a student robbed it. A scan of the network shows it is not in the building (they have records of all the mac addresses)

    5) See the bit on the above wireless page about eduraom - this looks promising. The current network uses wifidog, which was always flakey - worked for a while 'til the students numbers got large.

    6) From http://twitter.com/dkitdown - "board in s217 filled with writing.... in permanent marker..." - yeah, real IT issue that one......

    7) I hear they are building new webmail servers to cope with the number of students. Again, the original system was built when the college was much smaller.

    I'm not defending anyone here, and agree that some services are really bad and need improvement, but facts are the ammo you need for this stuff, not fiction. Us students DO contribute to some of the issues (games, bit-torrent, theft, vandalism) and there ARE solutions on the main website to most of the wireless diconnection issues.

    Plus, note that windows itself does not deal with wireless very well. See http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2004/06/63705

    From the article, "It will and does lose connection for absolutely no reason whatsoever, and then picks it up again, seemingly randomly. At first, it was so aggravating. And now, it's considered a normal factor of working with Windows."

    XP is bad, but Vista is a frakkin' nightmare with wireless. Ask anyone in PC World (not while they're working though - they'll lie. By them beer first!) You don't here mac users complain often about the wireless :rolleyes:

    Btw, found this earlier, funny. Some of it true -> http://twitter.com/dkitup


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,467 smemon


    great post RawShark, thanks for clearing some things up!

    1. Not moving to Gmail is fine... HOWEVER keeping the email server online 24/7 is a problem. It just isn't happening. I'm pretty sure uptime statistics would prove that ;)

    2. The Dcam website should be the 'best' out of the lot of them... it's the worst. Downtime on this site is measured in days, not hours or minutes :D I say take it down completely or else demolish it and build it from scratch - it's not doing the college or the department any favours.

    Current notices from 2006;
    Yet, despite occasional problems like that at Motorola, vacancies in the IT sector have been rising ever since. The first DCU survey in May 2005 revealed 8,000 IT vacancies, and this has increased rapidly to 13,900 at present.

    This would be ok if it was a personal website - but for a college? An IT department? It's a joke. No excuses.

    4. Yeah there's a lot of stuff being downloaded. It is a problem, but it's no good acknowledging there's a problem and doing nothing about it. The college need to act on it...

    If there was router robbed - why the hell wasn't there an email sent out to everyone asking if anybody knew anything? Offer a small cash reward even - it sends out a message that this stuff will not be tolerated and you won't get away with it again...

    7. New servers are needed, it's pretty obvious, but the problem was evident since september onwards - problems should be fixed on sight and if not, be made to known to everyone. If they can't be fixed now due to lack of cash - fine! Just TELL PEOPLE what the problem is and what's being done about it.

    dkitup is a nice response to dkitdown :D Encourages a twitter war between the two, which looks good if you're an outsider, it's entertaining if you're an insider and most importantly it lets people know what is working and what isn't.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 27 ✭✭✭ RawShark


    Agreed, Computing Dept should migrate into main site like all other departments have - keep in central and managed. DCAM site is an embarrassment. I'm pretty sure it's insecure enough to "hacked" by anyone with basic knowledge....

    Perhaps an eduroam-enabled router could be put in 216 to replace the stolen one? I'm sure students would test it extensively!

    Let's wait until after summer to see what happens with the mail - 3 months with no students and academic staff should be long enough for them to pull everything out and install new servers, upgrade etc etc. We live in hope :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,281 ✭✭✭✭ Atomic Pineapple


    smemon wrote: »
    4. Yeah there's a lot of stuff being downloaded. It is a problem, but it's no good acknowledging there's a problem and doing nothing about it. The college need to act on it...

    This is my biggest problem with the college, the misuse of the facilities by students and the fact that it is tolerated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,467 smemon


    draffodx wrote: »
    This is my biggest problem with the college, the misuse of the facilities by students and the fact that it is tolerated.

    That can be stamped out pretty easily too.

    1. Get rid the 'student' profile, where;

    user: student
    pass: empty

    That means you can download anonymously and can't be tracked on the college PC's. It's the most obvious solution. People won't be as inclined to risk downloading tonnes of stuff using their own username.

    2. Cap each user's daily download limit to 1gig or something. Yes it's hassle, yes it will involve work, but it can be done and it's another potential solution (this would have to be done in combination with point no.1 obviously.)

    I agree with you - it IS tolerated currently. People know about it, students are blamed for the slowdown of the network etc...

    The reality is nothing is being done about a problem which everyone knows exists.

    I know the college have a great excuse by sitting behind - the 'r' word and 'cutbacks' etc... but it don't buy in to that. Through the website (and department websites) open to students (to maintain and design), through up an idea generation / forum type section and watch the overall productivity blossom.

    Even the few IT students that frequent these boards could easily revamp and run the dcam website or main website and do a damn good job of it. Payment/reward could even be in college bar vouchers or canteen vouchers :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,281 ✭✭✭✭ Atomic Pineapple


    Now that you mention it smemon before we broke for the Easter break one of the lads had to download the iphone SDK but couldn't because it was too big so they must have put a limit on it unless the iphone SDK is ridiculously large.

    Knowing the college if they did cap the downloads per limit they probably forgot all about the open day account :rolleyes:

    Another problem is the playing of games in the labs, I've seen it plenty of times where a group of people wanted to go into a lab to get working on a project and couldn't because the pc's were taken up by people playing games on them!

    A couple of signs printed out and put up in the rooms saying "The playing of games is prohibited in this lab" just isn't gonna do anything.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,467 smemon


    draffodx wrote: »
    Now that you mention it smemon before we broke for the Easter break one of the lads had to download the iphone SDK but couldn't because it was too big so they must have put a limit on it unless the iphone SDK is ridiculously large.

    Knowing the college if they did cap the downloads per limit they probably forgot all about the open day account :rolleyes:

    Another problem is the playing of games in the labs, I've seen it plenty of times where a group of people wanted to go into a lab to get working on a project and couldn't because the pc's were taken up by people playing games on them!

    A couple of signs printed out and put up in the rooms saying "The playing of games is prohibited in this lab" just isn't gonna do anything.

    At the minute you can't download files over 1gig (which is fine).

    But i could go in tomorrow, download 10 x 900mb files no problem on a student account and the college can do sweet FA about it because i can use the student account to do it annonymously.

    It's just too easy... any student or non student could come in and download to their hearts content if they wanted.

    I'm not sure how, how if you could lock ethernet cables in to the college PC's, it would also help matters. Plenty of people will use use the ethernet cables on laptops (and i don't blame as the wireless is disgraceful).

    All the college needs is an exact clone of dell's ideastorm. Students can submit ideas or faults they see, other students can rate those ideas in order of priority and bang - you have an instant pool of ideas, suggestions and innovation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 80 ✭✭✭ Cpt Tremendous


    smemon wrote: »
    That can be stamped out pretty easily too.

    1. Get rid the 'student' profile, where;

    user: student
    pass: empty


    Even the few IT students that frequent these boards could easily revamp and run the dcam website or main website and do a damn good job of it. Payment/reward could even be in college bar vouchers or canteen vouchers :pac:

    If you take out the student pass free login how do you expect students to gain access to a pc when they cannot login to the network. It has happened me several times and I have had to use the student login to gain access to the pc during a lab

    And I'm with you in regard to dcam, something needs to be done and seeing as students are the ones who use it, we should help maintain it


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,435 ✭✭✭✭ Panthro


    i know its not strictly an IT issu, but am i doin something wrong here.in library, want to save a word doc to a cd to hand up, and its telling me i cant, what the deuce?!


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