Lighting Every Pillow In UCI Residence Halls

What would you think if someone said they were going to light your pillow? Well, if you live in the New Middle Earth (NME) residence halls you might know that this means you and your roommate will have access to your own high speed network connection to UCInet and the Internet in your room. Network access will be made available to NME residents beginning with the Spring 1997 quarter. A total of 481 rooms and 900 active network connections will be provided.

NACS has partnered with UCI Housing in a commitment to “light every pillow” at UCI by providing ethernet network connections to the residents of UCI Housing. The entire NME complex was recently re-cabled with high speed data grade category 5 cable and new network equipment is currently being installed. The new connections will be 10MB ethernet which is several hundred times faster than the 28.8K modems NME residents are currently using. The higher speed is practically a requirement for residents to fully participate in UCI’s Educational Electronic Environment and utilize services available on the World Wide Web.

Currently network access is available in the Arroyo Vista complex and should be available in the Palo Verde complex before Christmas. Future plans are to “Light Every Pillow” in all the residential housing complexes — planning is currently underway to bring data connections to Lower Middle Earth, Mesa Court, and Campus Village. It is hoped that significant progress can be made in these complexes by Fall of `97.

If you have any questions about the Light Every Pillow project, contact Brian Buckler, NACS ECS Operations Manager, by e-mail at, or Rob Ameele, Associate Director of Housing, at

Alternatives for Modem Users


As a member of the UCI community, you have unlimited use of NACS'”free” modem pool. However, for many people, sharing 300 modems that serve a community of approximately 20,000 faculty, staff, and students is inconvenient and, at times, frustrating. The free modem pool is designed as a default service to ensure that everyone at UCI has at least some remote access. There are alternatives to this basic service.

Dedicated Modem Service

NACS offers “Dedicated Dial-up Modem Services” to faculty, work-groups, and departments. These services provide dedicated modems and unlimited connection time to UCInet and the Internet. The cost is $45 a month plus a one-time, $90 set-up charge (waived now through June 1997 – see below).

$45 a month is relatively expensive for a single user, but if shared by several individuals, the cost becomes comparable to the least expensive Internet Service Providers. For example, a department or group with 45 people might share a bank of 10 modems — the resulting monthly cost is only $10 per person. A small group of 4 people can share one modem at a cost of $11.25 per individual per month.

More information about Dedicated Modems can be found at:

To order this service, please call NACS Electronic Communication Services at extension 5123 or send an e-mail message to NACS@UCI.EDU with “Request for Dedicated Modem Service” in the subject line. To help departments ease current modem access issues, NACS will waive the $90 setup fee now through June 1997 for dedicated modem commitments of at least 6 months.

Internet Service Providers

A second remote access alternative is using an Internet Service Provider (ISP), such as Netcom, Pacific Bell or a variety of others. Information concerning ISPs can be found at:

A disadvantage of using ISPs is that certain services (such as Britannica On-Line) are not available due to access being restricted to users from the network domain.

NACS welcomes your comments and suggestions concerning remote access to UCInet; you may direct them to ourNACS@UCI.EDU address or to any NACS manager.

From the Director: Keeping up with campus network capacity demands

Keeping up with campus demands for electronic communication capacity remains a major challenge for the Network & Academic Computing Services. In six years, UCInet has grown from less than 300 registered hosts (computers with a registered IP address) to more than 9,000 registered hosts today. This is greater than the number of telephones on the campus! The number of students with an Educational Access (EA) computer account has grown from less than 500 in 1989 to nearly every student at UCI as of the end of Spring 1996 (over 14,000). Faculty and staff with an e-mail account with NACS has grown from less than 100 to more than 3,000 in only three years. All of these and other users of UCInet generate a lot of network traffic!

Last year, NACS invested approximately $400,000 to upgrade the optical fiber UCInet backbone to accommodate future communication technologies such as ATM. This year, NACS will invest another $150,000 to upgrade some of the older electronics on UCInet. Future investments during the next few years will likely exceed $1 million as capacity is expanded to meet demand for more bits/second.

Access to the Internet is also becoming more expensive. In one year, UCI’s cost of Internet access has increased from $17,000 to approximately $140,000. There are two reasons; user demand for more bandwidth, and the “privatization” of the national network. Transfer of large data sets among researchers, desktop video communication, and thousands of UCI faculty, staff and students downloading graphic, audio and video files from the World Wide Web will most likely require annual increases in the bandwidth of our access to the Internet.

In an attempt to constrain the growth of the cost of Internet access, all nine campuses are discussing a common strategy for obtaining reliable access at low cost. The combined buying power of the University of California hopefully will reduce costs for each campus.

This summer, NACS has been updating its long range electronic communication plan (now know as UCInet 2001). Important components of this plan will be shared through future editions of this newsletter.

William Parker
Director, Network & Academic Computing Services