Within a day or two I learned that what had been blocking my access to freely available public resources was a proxy. This fiendish device is designed to prohibit free-speech (albeit within a private institution,) limit network usage, frustrate you to no end, decide what you should/shouldn't be looking at, slow down the network and generally make life in an information-oriented 21st Century a veritable nightmare.

Most schools go to some lengths to ensure that the school's network is not being used for illegal Peer-To-Peer (p2p) activities. Fair enough I say. I wouldn't want those kind of activities going on within my campus if I was running things. However, this particular proxy configuration is designed to limit access to - get ready for it - everything. I'm not joking. Every single port besides HTTP, FTP and SSL is blocked. Want to use Thunderbird to check your email? Forget it. Trying to unlock your software that needs to be activated over the web? Sorry, looks like you're out $50.

I have no problem when a college strives to make it's environment as friendly and safe as possible. I do have a problem when the college intentionally tries to quiet the voice of the students and refuses to consider them as adults. The School's decision to white-list ports instead of black-list certain p2p ones is just one example of The School's tyrannical control over the student body. I have never felt so oppressed as I do at this school. Interestingly enough I am paying out of my own pocket for these atrocities. I often ask myself why.

You want a job located more than 5 miles outside of this old, dying town? Too bad!