Marine Bio at UVI, St. Thomas

micksera

Larval Mass
Registered
#1
Our son has decided (finally!) to major in Marine Biology and will transfer to the University of the Virgin Islands in the Fall, St. Thomas campus. We couldn’t be prouder of him; it is an excellent program, we have heard! It’s his first time being that far from home, however, and I was thinking of getting him a cell phone or something so he can keep in touch easier with everyone here at home (he has a girlfriend and many good friends here). However, I don’t want to get stuck with an enormous bill every month, so I’d like to look into other alternatives as well, just don’t know where to start! I know he’ll be making new friends and all of that, but as he is transferring in, I imagine the transition will be a bit more difficult. He will be participating in a lot of field work as well I think, and probably won’t have a lot of free time. Any suggestions or similar situations?

Mickey :rainbow:
 

escape080

Larval Mass
Registered
#3
Congrats to your son! Regardless of whether or not the program is good, who could resist living on St. Thomas??? :) When my kids left for college I gave them each a virtual calling card account. I used OneSuite b/c the minimum to keep on there is only $10 and I knew each of my sons weren't going to put up much more than that on a regular basis! Sadly, they don't share my interest in sea life as yours does... their majors are Economics and Chemistry!
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#4
free long distance

If you both have high-speed internet access, I hear skype is good. See

http://skype.com

I haven't tried it yet, however.

On Apple computers, iChatAV works very well if you have 10.3+ and an iSight camera and sufficiently high speed network connection.
 
#5
monty said:
If you both have high-speed internet access, I hear skype is good. See

http://skype.com

I haven't tried it yet, however.

On Apple computers, iChatAV works very well if you have 10.3+ and an iSight camera and sufficiently high speed network connection.
The thing about skype is that it is a distributed system where each machine running it is a reflector that bounces traffic around to and from other machines around the internet, similar to the way peer-to-peer software works. While many folks proclaim this a triumph for distributed computing and praise Kazaa for providiing a low-cost solution for voice over ip software, the folks that have to foot the bill for the network traffic tend to have a different point of view.

Here at UCSB we have implemented a policy that prohibits the use of skype or any other distributed/peer-to-peer software on the campus network. The reason we have done this is because our contract with our WAN service provider that connects us to the rest of the world is such that we pay for our connection based on Megabits crossing the uplink. When you look at it from this point of view, and you see how much traffic is generated by this type of software on a major campus' network, you can see why the univeristy doesn't like the idea of machines running this software on their network.

So what I'm trying to say is before you decide on skype as your solution:

1) check with the college and make sure it is allowed on their network,

and

2) if it is allowed, anticipate the possibility of it being disallowed in the future if too much of the campus' bandwidth is being consumed by reflected traffic
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#6
PurpleTentacle said:
The thing about skype is that it is a distributed system where each machine running it is a reflector that bounces traffic around to and from other machines around the internet, similar to the way peer-to-peer software works. While many folks proclaim this a triumph for distributed computing and praise Kazaa for providiing a low-cost solution for voice over ip software, the folks that have to foot the bill for the network traffic tend to have a different point of view.
That's weird-- since telephony is essentially direct peer-to-peer, I don't understand why there is a need for reflectors or distributed networks or similar... but I haven't gotten around to trying skype, so I guess there's something I'm missing. I'm curious about what value added having any man-in-the-middle would give a direct telephone connection...
 

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