Computing

This is a short guide to the computing services in Queens’ and the University of Cambridge (UCS).

Here are a few useful terms to do with services within the university to get you started:

  • CRSid – This is your unique username within Cambridge. It takes the form of your initials followed by several numbers, e.g. tp344. It forms your email address, tp344@cam.ac.uk, and is also used in many other services.
  • Hermes – This is the main email service used in Cambridge. Setting up your Cambridge e-mail should definitely be a priority in the first few days with updates from the fresher’s reps, e-mails from directors of studies, college and much more. Email plays a major part in communicating with your director of studies, supervisors, with the JCR and within societies. The Hermes service can be accessed online or you can set up your account in your favourite email client. Information on the latter can be found here.
  • Raven – The unified login system for many services within Cambridge.
  • PWF – The Public Workstation Facility (PWF) is a shared network of PCs and Macs within Cambridge, much like the computer network you might have had at your school.
  • UniOfCam – A wireless network available at certain locations both within Queens’ and at other locations around the university. You need your Raven login to access the internet in a UniOfCam area. This was formerly known as Lapwing.
  • Eduroam – A wireless network available throughout Cambridge and many other locations globally. Further information can be found here.

All student rooms in Queens’ are provided with a network socket for connecting your computer to the internet. When you arrive, you will be given instructions on how to get connected, and this is a pretty simple process. You will need your UCAS ID in order to register on the network. The cost of internet is included as part of your room rent and there is no opt-out option.

Before you arrive in Cambridge you can find out your CRSid and after you arrive you can find out the passwords for various services (Hermes, Raven and the PWF). You can do this via the page new students.

Don’t worry if you don’t get everything working immediately however, it can often take most of freshers’ week to get connected. You might want to use the computers in the computer room to check your email if it’s starting to take too long.

Computer room

Queens’ has a dedicated computer room with a number of PCs and Macs, useful if you either don’t have a computer or need to work away from your room. It also provides internet access, free laser printing (bring your own paper), a wide range of applications for general ‘office’ type use, and specific software for your courses.

Public network sockets and wireless internet (UniOfCam and Eduroam) are also available in the library for laptop users. Wireless internet (UniOfCam and Eduroam) are also available in the college bar.

Bandwidth

Each month you are given an initial quota of 5GB, which will give you about 7 hours of iPlayer. After this, you will have to pay for your usage at a cost of 10p per GB. This works out at about 3p for half an hour of EastEnders, 6p for an hour of Apprentice and about 10p to watch Dr Who in HD. In the end, most students end pay less than £5 extra each term.

Similar charges can be racked up if you use programs such as BitTorrent, Skype or Spotify. Usefully you will be emailed alerts when you are going over, so keep an eye on how much bandwidth you are using. Instructions for how to do this and a handy ‘how much will I be charged’ calculator are available from the computing section of the JCR website.

You can now view your traffic statistics (amongst other things) on Queens’ College Computing (only accessible when connected to the Queens’ network). Do note that these don’t distinguish between traffic internal to the Cambridge network and traffic external, where you are only charged for external traffic.

Most rooms in college now have access to wireless networks Eduroam and UniOfCam provided by the UCS and if you make use of these then you will not add to your 5GB monthly limit.

More reading

Essentially all this information and more is available on the UCS website. In addition, lots of very useful information relating to on computing in Queens’ and Cambridge is also available at Queens’ College Computing (only accessible when connected to the Queens’ network).

Thomas Webster
Thomas Webster,
Computer Officer