Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

U-M Basic Computing Package: "Whoa--upgrades!"

22. July 2004 • Brian Kerr
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In September, the Basic Computing Package (BCP) that is available to all registered students, staff, and faculty of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor campus only) will be getting a kick in the pants. A PDF-format listing of services & allocations effective September 2004 is available, along with a relatively information-free FAQ. Highlights of the forthcoming changes to the BCP include:

  • Larger IMAP e-mail box—increasing from 50 MB to 200 MB
  • More IFS space—increasing from 50 MB to 1 GB
    • Additional space available at $1 per GB per month
  • Unmetered dial-in access—some quotas eliminated for statewide dial-up, and
  • Printing quotas—reduced for faculty and staff.

A decent overview of the BCP and what precisely the hell you can do with it can be found in the following ITCS document: Understanding Your Basic Computing Package.

  1. putting on my geek hat…

    Now if only they’d provide some sort of server-side mail filtering, either with Sieve or procmail, I might be moved to move back onto an ITCS server and off of a deparmental server. Of course, I’d have to pair down my 359 MB of archived umich mail, first. =)
       —Scott Trudeau    Jul. 22 '04 - 11:08AM    #
  2. Sieve: done.

    359MB: done.

    We’re planning to provide Sieve, tho we don’t want to announce it prior to the upgrade. If we get behind, it will be one of the tools to be deployed later. Keep in mind, tho, that our DSPAM deployment requires Sieve, and DSPAM is considered high priority.

    Quotas only start at 200MB. The idea is for users who get close to their limit to be able to raise quotas incrementally up to 1GB. This keeps people who aren’t actually using from just filling their quotas with SPAM. We also have plans for people to go over 1GB, by request.
       —Wes Craig    Jul. 22 '04 - 11:47AM    #
  3. Wes,

    Great news! Thanks for the details.

    Clarification for the non-geeks in the audience:

    Sieve is a server-side email filtering tool. If you’re a heavy email user, you may be familiar with your email software “filters” or “rules” that can be set up to automatically filter mail to different mailboxes based on some criteria. Many people use these for email lists. Sieve is a similar tool that lives instead on the email server where your mail is located. This means all messages get pre-sorted as they arrive, so no matter which email program you use to get your mail (, pine, Mulberry, etc.), your mail will always be sorted in your preferred folders—i.e., it doesn’t require you to use the same email program on the same computer for your mail to be accurately sorted.

    DSPAM is a “spam” catching tool. Again, it has a “client-side” corrolary. If you use a (IMHO) superior email client like Mozilla Mail/Thunderbird or that has a built in “learning” spam/junk filter, DSPAM will seem familiar. But again, instead of requiring you to use the same email program on the same computer to get the advantages of your well-tuned, personal spam filter, DSPAM lives on the server and flags your spam for you—but it also allows you to “train” it. ITCS ran a “beta” test of DSPAM with users on campus, and everyone I know who was on it, loves it—as my colleague Steve Gray said: “What spam?”
       —Scott Trudeau    Jul. 22 '04 - 12:07PM    #