Students and staff will have one more reason to celebrate after finals this semester: the end of the Mailbox email system.
Temple University has purchased an upgraded email platform that will replace the cumbersome Mailbox system that is currently in use.
Students and faculty will have to tough it out for the rest of the semester, however.
The system will take effect immediately after finals on May 17, 2003.
Students that have astro email accounts will not have to do anything to prepare for the upcoming change–their addresses will automatically migrate over to the new platform when it is put into place.
Students and staff with other Temple accounts such as nimbus, ocis and thunder accounts will need to redo their email address for the shift.
Informational emails will be distributed in the months prior to the switch to give those students ample notice and instructions on how to change over.
The platform was purchased from Mirapoint, Inc., a software company that only sells this email system.
Mirapoint email is also utilized at several colleges like Virginia Tech and James Madison University as well as corporations like BMW and Cisco Systems.
University officials had been meeting since December 2002 to evaluate and discuss the need for an updated and more reliable email system.
They came to the decision to contract with Mirapoint at the beginning of February after testing several different email platforms.
“The new system will perform much faster that the current system,” said the Vice President for Computer Services Timothy O’Rourke.
“Mirapoint has the most to offer Temple in terms of its security and compatibility with our capabilities.”
O’Rourke declined to disclose the cost of purchase and implementation of the system, but hinted that it does not come cheap.
“The cost was substantial, and it will be well worth the price that the University paid for it,” he said.
The increase in enrollment at University is partially to blame for the slow processing and periodic shutdowns that the current Mailbox system has been subject to over the past year.
Many of the problems with the current system, particularly user overloads, should not occur within the new system, according to O’Rourke.
“The Mirapoint system can handle a much greater number of users without straining or failing. The recent spike in enrollment has shown the old system to be incapable of handling all of those demands,” said O’Rourke.
Both students and administration appear to welcome the winds of change.
The new system would boast greater security and protection from harmful email and system instability, among other features.
“It would be great to change the email here,” said senior sociology major Kathy Diller.
“For some reason, computer viruses get through into my Temple mailbox. I would love something that would be more secure than this [system].”
Habitual users of Temple’s email while on the job are another problematic aspect of system shutdown.
Similar enthusiasm for the new system was echoed by some University administrators.
“I’m looking forward to the new system,” said Paley Library Stack Supervisor John Oram.
“I don’t have a huge problem with the current one, but anything is better than those “login failed” or “maximum users connected” messages.
Eric Raible can be reached at EricRaible@hotmail.com.