By PETER FERGUSON
BYU students can do just about everything on the Internet from applying for classes and requesting financial aid to exploring current and previous exhibits at the Museum of Art.
The framework for accessing information via the Internet about BYU is BYU’s own Campus Computing Network — more commonly referred to as the Ynet. This system ties computers across campus to each other, allowing access to information across campus and the world via the Internet.
Started in the early 1990s, the Ynet originally serviced about 1,000 devices. Currently, the network provides services to over 6,000 computer terminals across campus, according to John Rogerson, director of University Networking Services, in an article published online.
The article, entitled Campus Computing Network Update, found under the index via the BYU homepage, also points out that for the future, BYU is looking towards virtual switches, allowing faster access to the Internet.
“We have also recently received presentations from representatives from two vendors of high speed virtual switches, and expect at least two more before the end of the year,” Rogerson said.
Ynet is administered by two departments. BYU Telecommunications Services (TCS) installs and maintains the physical components, the wires, switches etc., while University Computing Services (UCS) acquires and administers the network addresses and other services that ensure network traffic works properly.
“A great deal of coordination and cooperation is required between these two organizations to ensure that the network is stable and functional,” Rogerson said.
To collaborate actions, the two organizations meet together at least twice a year to discuss issues in the policy and services domain as well as the physical domain. There is also a Ynet Advisory Committee, composed of representatives from every networked department on campus and chaired by Melvin Smith, which meets to give their input on Ynet policies and practices which affect them.
“Occasionally problems occur on the network. Both TCS and UCS accept and respond to reports of network problems — frequently working together to ensure prompt resolution of the problems,” Rogerson said.
Some useful informational services for students include applying for financial aid, registering for classes as well as looking up telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of fellow students.
Having the forms on the Internet can clear up many problems associated with the filing process, said Norman Finlinson, director of Financial Aid, in the Sept. 25, 1996, issue of Daily Universe.
With the data entered electronically, there is more control. Students can not skip questions and the whole document stays together. Also, without mailing forms back and forth, the process takes less time. It also allows the financial aid office to do more counseling.
The office is not just for helping students receive loans, Finlinson said, but it can also help students plan out their college tuition budgets. The counselors at the Financial Aid Office have been certified as financial planners and they are able to help students look at their resources and find ways to afford tuition without getting into debt, according to the article.
“The Financial Path to Graduation,” available on the Internet, has been created by the Financial Aid Department to help students see the reality of repaying student loans. Started this summer, the program asks students to supply information about estimated economic resources, costs of living expenses and the estimated starting salary for their profession, according to the article.
Another resource available online is the Museum of Art’s homepage (http://www.byu.edu/tmcbucs/moa/moahomepage). Along with links to other museums around the world, the MOA homepage also provides a listing of the current, past and future exhibits. Several of the exhibits, such as the Imperial Tombs of China exhibit, also include pictures and short movies that can be downloaded.
Registering for classes is also an online option, according to “President’s Choice” homepage linked to the BYU homepage. In order to make it work, however, you must first download software to decompress the software you later download to access the AIM registration system.