Tag Archives: the network

Wesleying Unofficial Orientation Series: WesTech

If you’re an entering freshman, being familiar with technology and internet is important, especially in this day and age.  The internet is your gateway to the world even when you’re within the Wesleyan bubble, but it can have both it’s limitations and it’s advantages.  It can only help to learn these as quickly as possible.

The first thing you should know: WesTech.  It refers to “staff members work in partnership with students, faculty and academic and administrative staff to incorporate the latest and most efficient technology into teaching and learning,” you might think.  No, that’s ITS and how they describe themselves.  Here’s what our Wes Lingo post says about WesTech:

WesTech is a word that will pop up every once in a while (via the ACB): “WesTech refers to everyone not DKE/Beta or mostly the ‘very Wesleyan’ population. It comes from the idea that Wesleyan has unattractive girls and bad sports and thus might as well be a technical school: WesTech.” Apparently, however, this is a term used mainly by other schools to make fun of Wesleyan, and has been appropriated by the sports teams as a label of pride (sports teams doing the ironic appropriation? Only at Wesleyan). A Techie was a term generally used by athletes to describe a “typical” Wesleyan student (artsy), or a “Techie.”

Now that you know what it means, this is required viewing: WesTech State of Mind.

[UPDATE: Library section added.]

Music downloaders 1, RIAA 0

Diego Glusberg ’11 sends in this article about the RIAA abandoning its efforts to use lawsuits as a deterrent to people sharing copyright-protected music:

The move ends a controversial program that saw the Recording Industry Association of America sue about 35,000 people since 2003 for swapping songs online. Because of high legal costs for defenders, virtually all of those hit with lawsuits settled, on average for around $3,500. The association’s legal costs, in the meantime, exceeded the settlement money it brought in.

The association said Friday that it stopped sending out new lawsuits and warnings in August, and then agreed with several leading U.S. Internet service providers, without naming which ones, to notify alleged illegal file-sharers and cut off service if they failed to stop.

“We’re at a point where there’s a sense of comfort that we can replace one form of deterrent with another form of deterrent,” said RIAA Chairman and Chief Executive Mitch Bainwol. “Filing lawsuits as a strategy to deal with a big problem was not our first choice five years ago.”

The new notification program is also more efficient, he said, having sent out more notices in the few months since it started than in the five years of the lawsuit campaign.

The group says it will still continue to litigate outstanding cases, most of which are in the pre-lawsuit warning stage, but some of which are before the courts.

Chicago Sun-Times: “Music industry drops effort to to sue song swappers”

[Edit by Sam 12/22/08, 1:06AM] There’s an interview on Ars Technica about this with RIAA president Cary Sherman in which he either answers or avoids some of the questions about this. As usual when dealing with the RIAA, everything said should be taken with plenty of salt.

Ruckus: The Quick and Dirty

So by now, everyone on campus probably understands what is meant by “the network.” On a campus where each computer is connected to a lightning fast central server, the exchange of documents and files is pretty quick business. Well, the administration started testing out legal filesharing programs in the hopes of curbing illegal sharing. They tried out two programs: eMusic and Ruckus.

What was the difference? Well, digital rights management software or DRM. Ruckus files are crippled by DRM so you cannot use* them on your iPod** or even on other audio software (without paying a fee); You can only use them on the Ruckus player. With eMusic, there was no DRM, but you could only download 15 songs each month. The selection of each was different, with Ruckus catering to more mainstream tastes and eMusic to the indie crowd.

This year, the school only renewed Ruckus. You can download unlimited songs off of Ruckus, provided you don’t mind dealing with the player and the limitations on how you use the music. The music you download, you do not “own,” instead, it is more along the lines of “borrowing.” You cannot access your music library when you are not online (though off-campus is fine). There are ads embedded in the player. Should you for whatever reason decide to quit your Ruckus account, your files would be useless. Lastly, it doesn’t work on Macs, only in Windows.

David Abravanel ’08, who I asked most of my questions to in regards to this post, discusses the controversy involving services like Ruckus and DRM:

Right now, companies that use DRM are treating us all like potential criminals. The end user license agreement has turned bonkers. When you buy a CD, you expect it to play in any CD player you put it in. There are services with independent clients who have done just fine without DRM. My personal favorite is www.bleep.com. I cannot recommend Bleep more– high quality, DRM-free mp3s, great site, excellent selection, specifically if you’re into obscure electronic music like I am (it’s run by Warp records, though it includes many more labels). eMusic is another example.

Of course, it’s going to be harder to convince major labels to do this. They have higher costs, it’s really a different industry for them. With videos, promotion, and other absurd shit, they can be in the hole millions of dollars with an artist before his/her album even drops. Though labels have started to adapt; recently, Korn signed a contract with their label to share a portion of their live profit. Live music will never be replaced by downloads.

More about Ruckus:

More about DRM:

**iTunes also uses DRM, so whatcha gonna do?

How to share a folder on the network

Decided to take the plunge and throw open the doors to your media horde, eh? SMBsearch may still be down, but your favorite computers are up and running. Do your part for the common man today and start sharing! The instructions below are taken from WesConfess, so big hearty thank-yous to the posters!

Right-click on the folder you want to share and select Properties. Click the Sharing tab, and check “Share this folder on the network”.

Note: If you’re on Windows, I strongly recommend turning on some kind of anti-virus software. I’ve never gotten a virus from the network, but only because my virus scan catches ’em.

Mac OS X:
Go to System Preferences- Sharing – Services – Windows Sharing.

This may serve out your entire home directory by default which may be more than you want. If you want more fine tuned control (specific folders or what not), there’s a program called SharePoints. If SharePoints doesn’t work or offends you in some fashion, you can edit a file on your computer called: /etc/smb.conf – it’s pretty well-documented and straight forward to do so.

Get the samba tools (differs by distro, but every decent one should package it) and edit the samba conf file (typically /etc/smb.conf or /etc/samba/smb.conf) There’s probably GUI tools as well, though I know nothing about them.

Finally, here’s a list of computers that should be available:


Download, don’t stream!

A note from agwilliams

If you’ve been procrastinating as much as I have, you’ve noticed that agwilliams.stu has been down for some time. Ashley posted the following message to the ACB to clear some shit up:

oooooooooooookkkkkk. hold on you internetting fools. i received a fair amount of emails this morning pointing me to this thread. i don’t read this board, and i don’t post on it. however- in this case i am making an exception because it’s gotten personal and hurt feelings:

number one. my boyfriend, who i am ridiculously in love with and think is awesome, kicked the network while we were fighting. he did not seek the network out purposefully, he is not a violent person, he is not a jackass.

number two. if i can recover the software from the hard-drive (which i almost definitely can) i can have the server back up and running just as soon as i have the chance to stare at it long enough, and probably steal some pieces from some shitty old computers i have at home. (to the people who were thinking of helping me…thanks. i might need your help finding parts when it gets to that point)

number three. don’t be mean and rowdy on the internet. especially when you can’t verify your sources. its too easy. and it just makes you look like a nasty person. this is actually a rather personal story, and is entirely peripheral to the actual relevant information that would be appropriate for this “newsfeed” you guys have going for yourselves, i.e. the network is physically broken. dunzo. end of story. thats all you needed to know slash tell your anonymous friends.

number four. remember: the network is NOT down. just the search engine. that means that if you remember the names of the computers with all that sweet porn you download, then you don’t even really need my silly cardboard box afterall. i think it would be constructive if you guys spend the remainder of this thread listing off good network computer names, instead of talking about how my boyfriend is a jerk.

love and rockets,

p.s. if anyone is ever curious about the network and its states of being up or down and why- email me. don’t czech this board. alls yall know my email address, i’m sure of it.

Network shortcut

If you want to pass the time by watching a movie off the network and you don’t have anything in mind, the easiest way to browse available titles is by running a search for .avi instead of a specific keyword. But make sure you keep the period in .avi instead of just avi, because otherwise it’ll also include songs or whatever with that letter combination in the title instead of restricting it to the .avi file extension. And if what I said didn’t make sense, whatever, just try it.

The Network for n00bs

1. Go to your browser and type in bjordan.stu
2. This link won’t work until you’re registered and online at Wes, but bookmark it anyway–You’ll use it often.
3. When the link is up, it will look like a search engine. This is SMBsearch. Type something you want in the box. Say, “Kissing the Lipless.”
4. Press enter.
5. A list will pop up. The length of the list depends on the number of people on the Network who have what you’re looking for. In this case, each line will look something like \\HELLOWORLD\My Shared Folder\Music\Shins – Kissing the Lipless.mp3

  • \\_____ is whatever name that person has decided to name their computer. For instance, I’m \\ISHUKU.

6. To get your media, first copy the file path to your clipboard.

  • Windows: In XP, paste it directly into the address bar of your browser. In 2000, you may have to Start -> Run. It should then download to your desktop. You can also browse all of that person’s offerings by just entering “\\” followed by their computer name.
  • Mac: In the finder, hit control-K (or go to the Go menu and choose Connect to Server.) In the box marked “Server Address,” enter “smb://” followed by the computer name (e.g. “smb://cthulhu”). You’ll be prompted to log in to that computer as if it were a server. Just use whatever default setting is offered. Sometimes people have multiple drives loaded, e.g. “Movies,” “Music,” “Pictures of Ninjas,” etc. Choose one. It’ll load as a network drive, with an icon appearing on your desktop.

7. Double-click and enjoy!

The Wesleyan network is blindingly fast. I’m talking a 700mb file transfer in ~5 minutes. Ditto if you’re sending someone a file over AIM, as long as they’re also on the network. However, your torrents will run mind-numbingly slowly, if at all, which is more the reason to just use SMBsearch. You can use it to find literally everything–Music, movies, tv shows, porn, etc., though if you search for “porn” you’ll end up with mostly New Pornographers songs.

Woodframes, including most of the program houses, are not on the network. However, you can access it from any off-campus location (including at home!) with VPN–Click here for the download and installation/usage instructions.

Finally, if for some reason you’re looking for a song and can’t find it on the Network, try searching at The Hype Machine or Dogpile. Alternately, you can just do a Google crawl by entering the following query into Google followed by whatever you’re looking for:

-inurl:(htm|html|php) intitle:”index of” +”last modified” +”parent directory” +description +size +(mp3)

Good luck and godspeed!