UST ADMINISTRATORS decided to postpone the installation of Wi-Fi technology on campus next year, opting to wait for better technology.

“If UST will purchase Wi-Fi equipment now, it would immediately become obsolete,” said Santo Tomas e-Service Providers (Steps) director Fr. Melchor Saria, O.P. He explained that a new version of a hardware that can accommodate Wi-Fi services better will soon be out in the market.

Once the University adopts Wi-Fi, Saria said the hot spots will be located in the middle stretch of the campus starting from the Arch of the Centuries up to the Central Library.

Using radio or infrared signals to transmit data, Wi-Fi is a wireless local area network (LAN) communication over short distances that is quickly emerging in the country.

Free software

Meanwhile, to save on operation costs, the University is pilot-testing a publicly-licensed downloadable software as an alternative to the popular Microsoft Office., an open-source and multi-lingual office suite that can run on popular operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Macintosh, is downloadable from the Internet free of charge. It is a product of collaborative software development projects sponsored by US-based Sun Microsystems. is almost identical with Microsoft Office: the Writer, a word processor equivalent to MS Word; Calc, a spreadsheet program similar to MS Excel; and Impress, a presentation program similar to MS PowerPoint.

“Since Microsoft office is very similar with the OpenOffice, the learning curb is minimal,” Saria said, referring to systems training for University faculty and staff that began last April.

Steps is currently pilot testing the software in the Treasurer’s and Steps offices, Saria said. Saria hopes that the software will be fully implemented in UST this coming school year. Marlene H. Elmenzo and Edsel Van D.T. Dura

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