Information Technology Resources, Etiquette & Rules Policies
This document was prepared to inform information technology resource users at Kettering University of specific items which the department of Information Technology feels need definition. This document complements the Kettering University Acceptable Use Policy, but is not an all-inclusive list. All information resource users should realize that they are subject to the General Conditions of Use policy in addition to this document. Appendix A contains some legal information to support the policies, etiquette and rules described within.
Computer labs are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for periods when the rooms have been reserved for teaching. Faculty and staff may reserve the labs on a first come, first serve basis, giving at least 48 hours notice to Information Technology staff. Food and drink are not allowed in any of the labs. Students that are in classes using special software, such as AutoCad, have priority over others in those designated labs. If students find that all available workstations in those specialty labs are filled and that some applications are being run which can be accessed elsewhere, those students running the widely available programs should be willing to move to another lab.
Software will be installed on Kettering computers by Information Technology staff according to the licensing agreement between the software publisher and Kettering. Users should refer to the Kettering Software Acquisition Policy for details on getting new software.
Non-class work of a personal or educational nature (mail, IRC, games, Internet access, your own programming projects, etc.) are allowed, but only when the load is reasonable. Individuals who are doing non-class work must give up their workstation during heavy load periods to other users who are there to perform class work.
All user accounts are considered the private domain of the user who owns them. System administrators will view users' files only under exceptional circumstances, such as, but not limited to observed attempts to breach computer security from a given account, possession of copyrighted software, user processes that significantly degrade system performance, etc.
If a situation arises in which a user needs additional disk space for special projects or academic coursework, Information Technology is willing to assist that user's needs on an ad hoc basis. Additionally /tmp on Kettering's Unix computer can be used to temporarily store files; however, users should note that directory will be cleaned periodically and as needed without warning.
Unix provides many useful ways to manage background jobs and users are encouraged to take advantage of these features. You must, however, be considerate. If you leave a large background job running, you are responsible for it and all the CPU time it uses. Unattended background jobs may be killed by the system administrator, if and only if, the background job is causing system problems. Users are encouraged to run their CPU intensive processes during periods of low load, such as late at night, or at a low priority during normal hours.
Use of Workstations
Information Technology resource users should try to use the workstation which will best fit the work they are trying to accomplish. For example, if a user is simply editing a text file, a text terminal or PC would be more appropriate than using a graphics workstation; a graphics workstation is appropriate when running high- end graphical applications. Users should try to avoid remote logins to workstations unless there is an absolute need, as the additional connection draws away some processing power from the user who is on the console. Users should contact Information Technology when there is a problem with any workstation. Although some users know how to perform a reboot, this may kill other users processes on the workstation; hence, this is a last resort method which would best be determined by Information Technology personnel. Users should not log in or use more than one machine any any time there are excessive loads. During times when workstations are scarce, a user should give up any extra workstations to anyone who needs them. Finally, never leave your workstation unattended. If you have to leave, log your workstation out.
The facility to change the finger field of the password entry should be used with maturity. This field is used by staff, professors and others to find out more information about a user. Misleading, crude or offensive names are not appropriate. This applies to the finger name, as well as the .plan, .project and .signature files. Information resource users should use their real names for any mail sent or messages posted on any of Kettering's computer systems.
Users should not use mail to send large, useless files to random users or generally annoy people with unsolicited messages. Users should also check their mail daily and delete unwanted messages to keep their mailbox sizes as small as possible.
There are many printers located throughout the Campus. Kettering's Information Technology department has no full time clerks to attend the printers but, instead, relies on responsible users to help keep the printers in working order. If you are unfamiliar with how to operate any of the printers, please ask a lab consultant to help you or talk to someone in Information Technology. Users are expected to collect their output promptly and to keep the printer area clean of waste paper. Other users' output should be neatly piled next to the printer when a user picks up their own output and encounters printed jobs sitting on the printer. Users should take care to spread out the printing of large jobs throughout the day to help keep printer queues open and available for other users' print jobs. Please limit the printing of large jobs if you notice that any of the labs are especially busy and a good deal of print jobs are being performed. Good times to print large jobs are late at night or before lunch.
The best way to keep a computer account secure is to pick a good password. A good password is 6-8 characters long and contains special characters such as ()#$&!, at least one number and mixed case letters if possible.
Storing files anywhere other than the user's home directory (or /tmp on Kettering's Unix computer) without permission is not allowed.
Using mail to impede system resources such as sending large files to all users, sending ghost mail or sending obscene, discriminatory or threatening messages will be handled according to the student, staff and faculty handbook policies, respectively.
News / IRC / Forums / and Blogs
Information posted to any type of Newsgroup, IRC, web Forum or Blog should be carefully considered as it reflects on all of the Kettering University community. If any of these resources is abused, user privileges or the particular service may be revoked. Currently, IRC is not available locally on any of the lab machines at Kettering University, users must find a public client to use.
The only user allowed to use a particular account is the person in whose name it was issued. Users are responsible for all use of their accounts and accounts may not be loaned or shared. Sharing your password, using someone else's account, or allowing someone else to use your account on Kettering's computers (or for that matter an external computer system) is considered a serious offense which may result in the loss of the account and/or other disciplinary action as outlined in the proper Staff, Faculty and Student Handbook policies.
The locking of workstations for personal use is prohibited.
Some programs use excessive amounts of CPU or memory, and should not be used during high load periods. Information Technology reserves the right to hold, cancel or restart any job or program which is adversely affecting system performance. A message will appear on the user's screen, if they are logged in, or in the user's E-mail the next time they log in notifying them that the job was terminated or suspended.
Use of Cracking Tools
The use of a file or program which is capable of fraudulently simulating system responses; modification or possession of system's control information, especially that which reflects program state, status or accounting; or the use of any cracking, trojan horse, worm or virus programs which attempt to modify or crash a computer system violates the General Conditions of Use Policy: violators will be dealt with accordingly. Please note that these are not an all-inclusive list of specific cracking activities: the General Conditions of Use Policy should be consulted. Additionally the use of system loopholes is also viewed as a serious offense. Responsible users who learn of such security vulnerabilities should report them to Information Technology immediately.
The Law of the State of Michigan
Act 53 of the Public Acts of 1979 of the State of Michigan is "An act to prohibit access to computers, computing systems, and computer networks for certain fraudulent purposes; to prohibit intentional and unauthorized access, alteration, damage, and destruction of computers, computer systems, computer networks, computer software programs, and data; and to prescribe penalties." Examples of violations of Public Act 53 include:
Unauthorized attempts to access or use information.
Attempts to access the computer files belonging to another user without permission.
Attempts to interfere with the performance of computing systems.
The penalties for violating this act are stated as follows: "A person who violates this act, if the violation involved $100.00 or less, is guilty of a misdemeanor. If the violation involved more than $100.00, the person is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than ten (10) years, or a fine of not more than $5000.00, or both."
United States Copyright Law
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of "original works of authorship." This includes computer programs (software). Therefore, the unauthorized copying of copyrighted software is in violation of U.S. copyright laws.