March 20th, 2010 @ 00:42

A friend of mine arrived in the US one week before me, and when he told me his department had to pay $8 a month to the university (namely PSU) computer services for his computing account (email, computer login…), I was like, wow, this is theft.

One week later I arrived in Pittsburgh and CMU, quickly got a computer account. While browsing the various docs about their computer systems (I was trying to login into a “general purpose Linux machine” which I supposedly had access to — I actually hadn’t since they had forgotten to create the account on this specific machine), I discovered that the monthly fee for an user account at CMU was $105. Still stunned.

Let’s mention that activating an ethernet outlet is also a charged service, just as registering a machine on the network (so yeah, you (or your department) have to pay both the ethernet outlet activation fee plus the machine registration fee). Isn’t this whole system crazy ? Isn’t it normal work to activate an outlet on a switch configuration/plug a ethernet wire in the said switch or to hit the validation button of a probably automated script to add a machine to the network ?