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Frequently Asked Questions

Help F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Text version of this document

What do I need to hook up to ResNet?
How much does it cost?
Do I really need my own computer?
Do I have to buy a new computer?
What if I bring a computer that does not meet the minimum requirements?
Do I need to buy a Network Interface Card (NIC) if I have a modem?
What kind of NIC should I buy?
Where can I buy Ethernet Cables?
Should I bring a laptop or a desktop computer?
How do I ship my computer to campus?
How can I find out more?

What do I need to hook up to ResNet?
Connecting to ResNet requires a personal computer meeting minimum hardware and operating system requirements. Connection also requires an Ethernet network interface card (NIC). Before purchasing a new computer system, please check the purchasing suggestions. If you have other purchasing questions, contact the ResNet Support staff (email: for system recommendations and requirements. We have had problems with certain "home" models in the past and would like to ensure compatibility for quick software installation and network connection.

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How much does it cost?
ResNet access and support is included in your total housing cost. Ethernet card prices vary from around $50-$150. Installation is available on move in weekend from Networked Computing Support (NCS) for an additional fee.

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Do I really need my own computer at Vanderbilt?
There are several computer labs on campus for accessing VUnet services, various software applications, and for printing. However, not all of them are open 24 hours, and during midterms and finals the labs can become crowded. Students who prefer to work alone or when most labs are closed should strongly consider bringing their own computers. For more specific information go to and select Computer Labs.

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Do I need to buy a new computer?
If your computer does not meet the minimum requirements then we strongly recommend the purchase of a new system. If you choose not to purchase a new computer, you may still connect to VUnet through computer labs located throughout campus (see above). Our experience has shown that people with older computers have more trouble configuring their systems for network use. Because the computer industry has developed new hardware and software based on faster processors and increased memory, the investment you make now will sustain you through much of your time at Vanderbilt.

It is strongly recommended that you do not purchase a used computer. Used computers are generally overpriced and underpowered.

Before purchasing a new system, please review the ResNet recommended vendor list.

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What if I bring a computer that does not meet the minimum requirements?
You are strongly discouraged from bringing a computer that does not meet the minimum requirements to Vanderbilt. Computers that do not meet minimum requirements may still be used for personal productivity applications, but cannot use ResNet. It is strongly recommended that you upgrade or purchase a new computer if you wish to connect to ResNet.

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Do I need to buy a Network Interface Card (NIC) if I already have a modem?
Yes, you must have an NIC to access ResNet from your room. Many desktop computers come with integrated Ethernet cards (e.g., all new Macintosh systems). Modems and Network Interface Cards are two different types of hardware. A modem sends information over the telephone lines. A NIC uses an Ethernet twisted-pair connection that is physically separate from the phone line. Modem access to Vanderbilt's network will not be available to students living in the residence halls.

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What kind of NIC should I buy?
We strongly recommend 3Com NICs for Windows based computers. 3Com's Ethernet cards have been tested with our network and have been proven quite successful. Other brands of network cards may be difficult or impossible to configure. 3Com provides a lifetime warranty on all their EtherLink NICs.

Current model numbers are:



Product Name

PCI (desktop)
ISA (desktop)
PCMCIA (laptop)
EtherLink 10/100 Mbps NIC
Fast EtherLink ISA NIC
3Com® Megahertz® 10/100 LAN CardBus PC Card

These model numbers are subject to change.

Networked Computing Support will have these cards available for purchase on move in weekend. NCS will also install and configure the Ethernet card and VUnet Connect Software for a fee.

All new Macintoshes, and some older systems, come with ethernet installed. If you think your Mac needs an ethernet card, please see if Dayna or Asante sells an Ethernet card for your model.

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Do I need an ethernet cable?
Ethernet cables will be provided to all incoming freshmen. The cable will be plugged into the appropriate port in the wall.

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Should I bring a laptop or a desktop computer?
Please check your college or school's recommendations. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.




- Compact
- Portable
- Access to wireless*
- Less expensive
- Larger Screen
- Real keyboard and mouse
- Easier to upgrade


- Costs more for less technology
- High maintenance cost
- Security risk
- Not easy to take home for breaks
- Takes up more space in the room
* Available in limited areas on campus

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How do I ship my computer to campus?
If you have a computer already or are ordering a new computer for delivery, we recommend that you have you computer delivered to your home and bring it with you when you come to campus. However, if you are flying or do not have room to bring your computer with you, it can be shipped to your campus address. UPS will have a special pickup site on move-in weekend. All other carriers will be delivered to Station B (Rand Hall) or Peabody (Hill Center). The UPS pickup site will be open on Saturday afternoon.

In order to ship your computer to campus you will need your four digit box number. This box number will be sent with your housing assignment during the first week of August. Before August 26 and after October 6, 2000, all student packages will be delivered to Station B or the Peabody Mail Room. Packages will be held for 30 days before they are retruned to the sender.

To have your computer shipped to campus follow these guidelines:

For Station B Address
Name of Student
Vanderbilt University
VU #35 (and 4 digit box #)
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235 (plus 4 is box #)
John Doe
Vanderbilt University
VU #351234
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-1234
For Peabody Address:
Name of Student
Vanderbilt University
Peabody # (student's box#)
230 Appleton Place
Nashville, TN 37203-(plus 4 is box #)
Jane Doe
Vanderbilt University
Peabody #0123
230 Appleton Place
Nashville, TN 37203-0123

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How can I find out more?
The Summer Academic Orientation Program (S.A.O.P.) sessions are scheduled in June on the Vanderbilt campus. ResNet will be part of the Summer Academic Orientation Program. ResNet Staff will be on hand to give informative presentations and demonstrations, and answer any questions. If you have other questions about information on these web pages or have questions not answered here, please call the ResNet Information Line at (888) 310-6466.
ResNet Web Page:
This page will be updated regularly and will be the most current source of information.
Housing Home Page:
ResNet e-mail:
ResNet Information Line:
(888) 310-6466
Networked Computing Support
805 Oxford House
1313 21st Ave. South
Nashville, TN 37232-4157
615-936-0643 Fax

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Vanderbilt University
2200 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37235
Phone: (615) 322-7311

Copyright © 2000 Vanderbilt University. For more information, please contact


Related web sites

  • Computing at Vanderbilt

  • Academic Computing and Information Services

  • ACIS Help Desk

  • VUnet ID Authorization