Friday, March 18, 2005

Leicester vs Dundee

They say it's the little things when you move that strike you. Well in Leicester University it is certainly not the case - it's the big things.

Leicester Uni on a whole seems to be a lot more strict.

- The CFS (Central Filing System, the campus wide network) all have strict quotas. Apparently students are allowed 20 megs of storage space. If they log off over this quota their account is suspended until, guess what, yours truly or whoever arranges to have this fixed. My account seems to have a similar quota on it, making it impossible to send me large attachments or for me to send out large attachments. Fortunately gmail has been on hand to deal with this problem but its a pretty serious one IMHO. Poor Mare failed abysmally to send me some photos tonight because I clean forgot about's lameness. I will make enquiries as to how to get a proper mail account...

- The CFS do not allow P2P file sharing. Fair enough in this one, but apparently Skipe, MSN, ICQ, AIM etc. also count as P2P and are similarly nixed, though it may only be if you try to send files via these packages. Skipe by default sends audio files so it's totally nixed. For the moment I am continuing to use Trillian while I work in Windows.

- Students at Leicester are not allowed to connect network devices to the MCS (Maths and Computer Science network). In Dundee people connected a variety of laptops, in fact it was encouraged as it helped deal with any shortage of desktop PCs.

- Mobile phones in the lab are banned. Anyone caught using a mobile phone is to be logged by yours truly and reprimanded. First time is a warning, second time is an account suspended for 24 hours and third time is a week or something. A sign on the lab door reads that mobile phones corrupt data over a network. Of course I'm dreading the inevitable day I take my own phone into the lab and it rings.

- Eating and drinking is banned in the labs. While this was officially the case in Dundee no-one enforced it and I used to eat my lunch while coding. I've to treat this similarly to mobile phones.

- Most rooms in the university are swipe card access only. This is fair enough for student labs but our room is permanently locked, accessible only by swipe card or by an electronic switch on the inside. This is to keep students out, we don't seem to run an open door policy given that all marking etc. is to be hidden from the students.

Similarly however the character of the students is very different. Plagiarism and cheating run rife. I'm fairly certain students in past years are mailing their friends and family members code and allowing them to reuse it. There is even tales of students renting programmers online to do their coursework for them, and being dumb enough to post .html files instead of code files, allowing us to trace webpages they've "borrowed" the code from.

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