The Smithie’s Guide to Tech Hacks

Alex Mills ’18J
Contributing Writer

It is late Thursday night, and the Google Doc essay that I am sentences away from finishing is refusing to reload due to a “poor connection.” I growl in frustration. “Eduroam, how could you do this to me?” I mutter under my breath as I frantically check the Wi-Fi strength. Flaky internet service is one of many tech-related issues that Smithies grapple with, but there are several others that students might wish to know more about.

Warranties: To some students who have had a laptop give out on them at an inopportune time, the Wi-Fi problems I complained about seem like a small annoyance. Before you freak out about your malfunctioning laptop (or other device), first research if you have a warranty and, if so, what type. Some companies give students an automatic two-year warranty and others even more. This comes in handy if you are like me and manage to break three trackpads in the span of six months.

Wireless Access: Because of the communal nature of the Five Colleges and the versatility of Eduroam, most other five college students have no trouble connecting their devices once on Smith’s campus. However, for friends and family visiting from farther away, the process of connecting to the wireless system is much more foolproof than it used to be. As of Oct. 22, have your guest select the “Connect2Smith” Wi-Fi option and use the password “sophiasmith.” Quick and easy!

Printing: In the few minutes before classes start, many students rush to the printers on the main floor of Neilson in a panicked scramble to print essays, homework and lab reports on time. If the line seems particularly egregious, Ford Hall has several printers on the second floor, and this can be the perfect time-saver if your class is closer to McConnell, Mendenhall or Sage.

Grades: If you are nervous about an upcoming midterm, paper or quiz, the Grades 2 App, free from the App Store for iPhones, Androids, tablets and other devices allows you to calculate your current GPA and can tell you down to a fraction of a point what you will need to score on any particular assignment to hit your target grade. This is especially helpful if you find yourself in an academic slump and need a quick shot of motivation.

Technology Services: Lastly, don’t be afraid to bring lingering questions or concerns to Smith’s Information Technology Services. Located in Stoddard Hall, they have some of the friendliest staffs on campus and can help with issues ranging from poor Wi-Fi connections to helping fix your biweekly eDigest display problems. No question is too silly, and they do a great job of explaining solutions in concrete terms.

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