JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

JSU's Email System
To Take on Whole New Look

Jamie M. Eubanks
JSU News Bureau

JACKSONVILLE -- February 20, 2001 -- Jacksonville State University's email system is about to take on a whole new look.

The current email system is text-based. And students aren't allowed to choose their own password for their individual mailboxes.

Now, Academic Computer Services at JSU is doing something about that.

"We've had a goal for some time to make our email system more efficient for our students and faculty," says Randy Harper, Director of Computer Services at JSU. "Our major goal is to offer global access to these email accounts."

However, the Computer Center has had some setbacks. Pro-ration couldn't have hit a worse time.

"We had some extra money available and were going to spend it on a great email product," comments Neil Johnson, who is heading the email conversion. "Then proration hit, and we won't be able to afford it. We've decided to use an open source product that is great, but without all the bells and whistles."

Open source products are free, and Johnson has spent a great deal of time researching these products to find the one that best fits JSU's needs.

The new system will be web-based. Web-based email is like that offered by Hotmail or Yahoo, which most students are familiar with. Students will type in the address, and, once there, will enter their username and password that they have created. So wherever a student or faculty member may be in this wide world, they can still check their email.

This will make sending and receiving email much easier for users. It will include graphics, instead of the plain text version. Once installed, all students will most likely have to get new email accounts.

"We will notify all students using the system of the change," comments Johnson. "We're not just going to yank it out from under them."

Academic Computer Services hopes to have the new "look" in place by summer, if not before.


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