Signy Computing Facilities

Hardware for general use

  • 3 Viglen Genie Pentium 4 in general office + 1 in BC office.
  • 1 Hewlett Packard Laserjet printer, scanner, copier M1522n printer in general office connected to the LAN.
  • 1 Hewlett Packard Deskjet 9800 colour duplex printer in BC office connected to BC PC.
  • 1 Canon FC 230 copier in BC office.


Local Area Network (LAN)

  • The LAN is CAT5e with RJ45 type connection only.
  • Spare LAN ports are available around the base, but there are none in the bedrooms.
  • If providing your own PC/Laptop (both work and personal), network cables are available on Station. The Communications Manager will assist you in connecting your PC/laptop to the LAN providing you have a sufficiently secure machine with the correct hardware and software (anti-virus is required for all operating systems including MacOS). If you are unsure, it is better to contact the IT helpdesk at BAS Cambridge prior to departure for more information. (Contact the Helpdesk on +44 (0)1223 221447 or send an email to


Wide Area Network (WAN)

  • BAS provides a 24 hour satellite link of 64Kb (IE the same speed as a dial-up telephone link at home). This has to handle the traffic for everyone on base, including Voip telephone calls, work data, remote access, web browsing and email. Many people bring web “toys” south only to find they do not work as well as they might hope.
  • Skype and webcams are strongly discouraged. As a general rule, internet activities involving text work OK, ones involving photos are very slow and ones based on video are un-usable.



  • The Network Server runs Novell NetWare 6.5.
  • The server is fully spared, secure and backed up.
  • You will be allocated with an account and 1Gb of NetWare server disk space for your personal/work use. This space can be increased at the discretion of the BC. The account and all files will be deleted upon leaving the base.



  • The standard operating system for PC’s is Windows XP Professional.
  • XP Home and Windows Vista are not completely compatible with BAS systems although are perfectly good for personal use if antivirus software is already installed.
  • Software packages available from the NetWare server to networked PCs include:
    – Microsoft Office Suite 2007 Professional (word, excel, powerpoint, access)
    – Thunderbird – Email Client
    – Adobe Acrobat
    – WinZip
    – Firefox
  • All PCs run Sophos Anti-Virus.
  • All Laptop users should bring with them all driver and recovery disks related to their equipment.



  • You must supply your own backup media. This includes portable hard drives, floppy disks, DVD or CD-R media.
  • There is a limited supply of A4 paper for printing purposes.



  • The NetWare Server is backed up on a daily basis to LTO tape. All files that you place on your N: drive (NetWare account) will be backed up.
  • No backups are taken of the PCs local hard drives. You are responsible for backing up any files that you place on the PC local drives.



There are two options;

  • Use one of the general use PC’s that has internet access to access web based email.
  • Use the BAS in-house system called the Antarctic Message System (AMS). The AMS gives a much better experience and can be accessed from any PC connected to the network. The AMS can be connected to any NERC Exchange account or any IMAP service such as gmail. Many research institutes and email providers do not allow IMAP access so you may wish to forward email to a gmail account that does. Please contact for more information and make sure this is setup before you arrive on station.
  • You should bring with you the full e-mail addresses of all those people that you wish to contact (both personal and work). Once you are South it may be difficult to ‘lookup’ email addresses.
  • The maximum size for any email both work related and personal is currently 10Mb, but please try to keep all emails/images much smaller. A standard text only email is about 5Kb.
  • All your e-mail will be deleted once you leave the Station. Emails can be exported to another program prior to this; the Communications Manager/Radio Officer can explain this to you when you are on Station. Note you will need at least one writable CD/USB stick or external hard drive in order to do this.


Telephones — Personal Use

A telephone calling card must be used when making personal calls.
BAS recommend the BT Odyssey Card but there are many other cards that can be purchased online.
BT Odysey Application Guidance
BT Odyssey Application Form
It is recommended that you purchase a calling card prior to arriving on station.



  • If you are bringing your own laptop to the Station it must have up to date anti-virus software on it. For personal use, we recommend Microsoft Security Essentials.
  • Please bring the laptop to the Communications Manager before plugging in to the network.