IBM, Information Systems to repair faulty R40 Thinkpads, install wireless cards

Wake Forest University is working with IBM technicians to replace a faulty component on the IBM R40 ThinkPad that may cause network connectivity problems, computer freezing and trouble restarting the computer. Repairs will begin April 8.

The R40 ThinkPad is the model that was distributed to freshmen and juniors in August. Students, faculty and staff who use this model are encouraged to bring their computer in for repair, whether or not they have experienced problems. Users are also reminded to regularly make a backup file of their data.

Faculty and staff may bring their computers in either April 8 or May 13. Drop off times will be from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Computers dropped off April 8, prior to the holiday weekend, will be repaired by April 12. Faculty and staff who bring their computer in for repair during this time will be entered in a drawing for a 256 megabyte memory key.

Repairs on student computers will begin the morning of April 12 and follow a schedule based on students’ last names. The full schedule can be found on the Information Systems Web site. Students who drop off their computers in the morning will be able to pick them up eight hours later. Students who bring their computers in during their designated time will also be entered to win a 256 megabyte memory card and an iPAQ hand-held computer.

In addition to replacing the faulty component, IBM will install a wireless card in all R40 student computers that are dropped off for repair. The internal card will allow students to have wireless access to the Internet at off-campus locations and at home. Students with this card will also be notified of progress with the university’s new wireless network and have early access to areas where wireless connectivity is available. The network will be completed by August 2004. The new laptop distributed to freshmen and juniors in August will include the wireless card.

“IBM values its relationship with Wake Forest University and is taking this opportunity to pre-empt the potential for student technical problems with ThinkPad laptops,” said Bob Page, an IBM spokesman. “We regret the inconvenience to users and are taking this same opportunity to work with the university in its installation of a wireless upgrade necessary for Wake Forest’s network.”

Students, faculty and staff are reminded to bring their Wake Forest identification card when they drop off and pick up their computer. All repairs will be made in Room 262 of the Information Systems Building.

For more information on the repair, call the Information Systems Help Desk at x4357, or visit here.