Archive for the 'News' category

Technology News for Entering Students

June 14th, 2012

Welcome to Smith!  Here are eight important things you need to know before you arrive on campus in the fall:

1. Smith Mail: Smith uses Smith Mail (powered by Google Apps for Education) for email. Here’s how to log in to your Smith Mail account:

– Open a Web browser (Chrome recommended) and go to:
– In the Smith Mail login window, enter your Smith Mail username and password.
– If prompted to accept a usage agreement, click Yes.

Your username is usually the first letter of your first name (or your preferred name, if you specified one), followed by up to 19 letters of your last name. (For example, Anna Reyerson’s username would be areyerson.)

Your initial password is the last 4 digits of your 9-digit Smith ID number plus the first 4 characters of your username. (For example, if Anna Reyerson’s ID number was 991234567, her initial password would be 4567arey.)

Note that passwords must be at least 8 characters long. If your full username has fewer than 4 characters, use your full username with the last letter repeated as the second part of your initial password. (For example, Diane Li’s username is dli and her Smith ID number is 991223344, so her initial password would be 3344dlii.)

If your username and password combination doesn’t work, it could be because your username is an exception to the rule. (Exceptions are required when more than one person has the same first initial and last name.)

For assistance, send email to or call the User Support Center at (413) 585-4487. The USC is open weekdays from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM during the summer.

Important: Smith Mail is an official communication channel at Smith and you are expected to read all messages sent to your Smith Mail account by college faculty and staff.  Be sure to test your Smith Mail login soon so we can help you resolve any problems before you come to campus.

2. Password resets: Once you have successfully logged in to Smith Mail once, we recommend resetting your password to something harder for a hacker to guess, such as intermingled letters and numbers (e.g., 7t9x3v44).

To reset your password, click here. Note that your new password will work for Smith Mail, the Moodle course management system (see below), the campus wired and wireless networks, and Smith’s library databases.

You can also get to the password-reset page by clicking on the Reset Password link in the green bar at the top of the TARA home page.  The TARA web site (Technology And Resource Adviser) is a good place to visit in any case, since it’s chock full of information about using technology at Smith.

3. Moodle: Many Smith instructors and programs use the Moodle course management system. To log in to Moodle, go to Your Moodle username and password are the same as your Smith Mail username and password.

4. Smith Residence Network: If you will be living in a Smith residence house, be sure to read about connecting to the Smith Residence Network (ResNet).

5. Buying a new computer: If you’re planning to buy a new computer before you come to Smith, visit the the Smith Computer Store web page.

6. Preparing a Windows computer:  Windows users, we strongly recommend doing the following before you come to campus:

  • Install all Important and Critical Windows updates: To check the status of your Windows updates, open Internet Explorer and go to Tools, then Windows Update. When the update window opens and completes its check, click the Express button to download and install the recommended updates. If you are missing multiple updates, you may need to restart your computer and repeat this process several times to get all the updates you need.
  • Install CCleaner and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the Smith software download site. These two programs can help clean up your computer if it is compromised by malware. It is much easier to remove malware from your computer if these programs are installed before it is attacked.

7. Anti-virus Software:  All students should have anti-virus software installed on their computer. Once you know your Smith Mail username and password, you can download a free copy of McAfee VirusScan for Windows or Mac from the Smith software download site.

Before you install McAfee VirusScan, check to see if you have any other anti-virus software installed on your computer, such as Norton AntiVirus, Sophos, AVG, etc. If you do, you can continue using that software if you wish. If you want to switch to McAfee VirusScan, you must un-install your other anti-virus program (even a trial version of McAfee) before you install VirusScan, or VirusScan won’t work properly.

8. Wireless network: Smith students can access the campus wireless network in almost every academic and administrative building  as well as the residence houses. Click here to learn more about connecting to the wireless network.


Questions? If you have questions about any of the information in this TechNotes post, please call the Smith User Support Center at 413-585-4487 any weekday between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM, or send us email at

To view all TechNotes posts, click on the word “TechNotes” at the top of this page. For more software instructions, user guides, and tips on a variety of technology topics, visit Smith’s TARA (Technology And Resource Adviser) web site.

Important! College policy on personal wireless routers

September 11th, 2009

Please remember that only wireless routers provided and installed by ITS, or authorized and approved by ITS, are permitted on the Smith residence network.

Personal wireless routers are not permitted because they interfere with regular network access for other students located near them. 

If you have a wireless router connected to the network, please disconnect it immediately. Otherwise, your access to the network will be disabled until the router is removed.

Please note that this requirement is clearly stated in the college’s Policy on Acceptable Use of Computer Resources and Wireless Network Policy

Thank you for your help in ensuring that the Smith network is available to all students.

Downloads & Slow Network Speed

February 15th, 2008

Dear Smith Students,

Since the beginning of the spring semester, ITS has been receiving increasing reports from students of network slow-downs and “sluggishness.” Our network usage statistics show this is primarily due to an increase in the overall volume of peer-to-peer traffic on the campus network. (Read more…)

Wireless in the Houses

November 8th, 2007

ITS is pleased to announce the installation of wireless in the common areas of a number of residence houses on campus. As part of an initiative to extend wireless coverage on campus, Phase 1 will cover all common areas in Smith residence houses. Phase 2 will expand wireless coverage to student rooms in all houses but has not yet been funded or scheduled.

Wireless in common areas will be rolled out in four “chunks”: (Read more…)

Update: The RIAA & You & Smith

September 25th, 2007

Last spring, the RIAA notified two Smith students that they would be sued for copyright infringement. One student has already settled with the RIAA out of court for $3,000. Additionally, ITS has already been contacted by the RIAA several times this semester about students who they believe are illegally sharing copyrighted music.

Protect yourself from a similar lawsuit by: (Read more…)