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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.

Drupal training for Five College students

April 26th, 2012


Greetings all,
I am really excited to bring this opportunity to our five college students!  Can you help me get the word out?  Maybe you have some student workers that would be interested?
Drupal is a content management system that has been adopted by companies of all sizes across the world.  Anyone that is interested in any area of web work would benefit from having a solid understanding and knowledge of Drupal.
I am opening registration for only five college students for the first 10 days, from today through May 4, 2012.  If there are seats available, I will open it to the other colleges in the Springfield area.
The training will be held in a classroom at the Amherst College campus the week of May 14 – 18, 2012.
Here are links to the information and registration:
Registration is open:
Blog about the event:
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Maria Toyofuku
Director of Information Technology
Five Colleges, Incorporated
   Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke,
   and Smith Colleges and UMASS Amherst
97 Spring Street
Amherst, MA  01002
Tel:  413.542-4014


Sleep mode saves even more than we thought!

February 23rd, 2010

Meghan Smith, a student in Prof. Nat Fortune’s PHY100 course “Solar Energy and Sustainability,” recently compared the power draw of her laptop with and without having her power-management “sleep” settings configured to:

  • Turn off the display after several minutes of inactivity, and
  • Put the hard drive into standby mode after 30-60 minutes of inactivity

She measured a savings of 1.16 kWh per day, which translates to…

1.16 kWh/day * 250 days/year * 2600 students = 754,000 kWh. That’s worth more than $120,000!

For instructions on setting your own computer display to automatically switch to sleep mode (instead of a power-wasting screen saver) after a period of inactivity, see: