A variety of computing resources are available to the many individuals, conferences, institutes, high school summer groups and other groups making official visits to the University of Wyoming campus each year. For classes and presentations, a number of computer-aided lecture rooms are available in the Classroom Building. These rooms are equipped with digital projectors controlled by desktop computers. Also, academic computer labs, which are located throughout campus, can be scheduled for classroom use. To view a map showing the lab locations, go to http://microlab/ labs/lab_locations.htm. For a complete list of lab software, go to http://microlab/labs/ software.htm. To schedule a computer-aided lecture room or computer lab, contact the Classroom Coordinator at 766-4388.
Individuals or very small groups requiring lab access for less than a week can be assigned a temporary account. Temporary accounts are free of charge but do not include an email account or printing privileges. Access to printing requires an IDR from the sponsoring department. To request a temporary account, send an email to email@example.com with an explanation of the purpose of the account.
For individual computer access, there are also 11 kiosks in the Student Union with Internet access for Web browsing and Web based email access. No special accounts or passwords are required to use these machines, but they don’t offer printing or network storage. For full individual access to the UW Student Lab System, visitors may set up a special billable account. Special billable accounts cost $5.00 per account per week and include:
To request a special billable account, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org that includes the name of the group and a list of participants in the following format:
Once we have the information entered, visitors can then create their own accounts by following the “Newuser” instructions at http://microlab/ documentation/instructions/ Newuser.pdf. For help setting up a newuser account, they can contact the IT Help Desk at 766-4357 (6-HELP), option 1.
For more information about computing resources for visitors and visiting groups,
please email the Academic Support Unit at email@example.com
or call the Help Desk at 766-HELP.
Microsoft Drops Support for
A recent Carnegie Mellon University study suggests that attacks by computer hackers have increased by 277% in the past two years. UW Information Technology has made significant progress in protecting the UW network from malicious and harmful computer attacks coming from the Internet. Most attempts to attack UW systems are now being blocked by firewall capabilities in a variety of network devices and software, including email virus checking, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), router Access Control Lists (ACL), and restricted Virtual Local Area Networks (VLAN). The number of system compromises has been reduced dramatically in recent months. Although we have made a great deal of progress, numerous changes are still needed.
It remains critical for all departmental servers and desktop computers to be regularly updated with software patches provided by system vendors because 1) no firewall is ever perfect and 2) computers will still be vulnerable to attacks from other computers on campus.
New network firewalls and other increased security systems are continually implemented as new vulnerabilities are discovered. Unfortunately, there appears to be no limit to the number of individuals who for various reasons write viruses, Trojan horses, worms, and other attack software. While moving forward, it is necessary to balance the benefits of implementing changes with the inconveniences that new security measures introduce. Whenever possible, Information Technology will implement changes gradually to allow for adequate notification and to minimize the impact on network and system users. Occasionally situations will likely arise, however, when it will be imperative to immediately stop or seriously restrict network access to computers in order to protect the university’s network or data.
Last fall, a VPN (virtual private network) service was introduced that allows users to access restricted campus computers from off-campus. Since that time, network security changes have been implemented that restrict the type and destination of traffic reaching the UW network from remote locations. In general, users should expect to use a VPN session whenever accessing non-public services from off-campus. This summer IT will further enhance network security through the implementation of a network firewall device that separates the campus network from the Internet. When implementation is complete, all UW computing resources (workstations and servers) will be placed in zones that are protected to varying degrees from Internet hacking attacks. University public servers will be reachable from the Internet, but some restrictions will apply to protect the servers. Administrative servers and user workstations will not be accessible from the Internet except through the use of VPN sessions. Implementation of the university firewall zones will require the assistance of campus system administrators. Additional information and announcements will be forthcoming.
Are you having difficulties because your research or teaching requires non-Microsoft based computing platforms? Are you trying to get your non-Windows computer to work in the university environment?
The Macintosh and Unix Software Support Committees, in conjunction with the UW Partners Program, have started a Self-Support Initiative. As an important part of this initiative, we would like to announce immediate availability of the Macintosh and Unix/Linux support Web site at http://partners.gg.uwyo.edu/.
The Web site offers information on software support, file access, printing, networking, cross-platform issues, and licensing for the Macintosh and Unix/Linux platforms. It is intended for use both by users and system administrators of these platforms.
As a follow-on to this initiative, a discussion board that lets Macintosh and Unix/Linux users pose questions to the general pool of Macintosh or Unix/Linux system administrators across campus will be released soon. The discussion board will provide administrators and users with an interactive forum for discussing issues and solutions. Details of this discussion board will be released as soon as they are available and will also be posted on the support site.
The creators encourage user feedback to help the Self-Support Initiative meet the needs of the UW campus Macintosh and Unix/Linux community. With your support and input, the Self-Support Initiative can help improve the stability, productivity, and security of the university’s computing environment. Questions and comments should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make the UW wireless data network (a.k.a. WiFi or 802.11) more secure and easier to access, upgrades are planned for this summer. Currently, to access the UW wireless network, users can use EAP or LEAP authentication protocols (which require a username and password), or request that Information Technology “register” the hardware (MAC) address of their wireless card. EAP/LEAP can be difficult to configure in a laptop or mobile device and requires specific levels of operating systems or vendor wireless cards. MAC authentication may be inconvenient because it requires registration of the card’s hardware address with Information Technology. Also, MAC authentication does not offer data encryption, which means that a user’s data is vulnerable to being monitored by other wireless users who are running network sniffing software.
In order to provide convenient authentication and secure data encryption, Information Technology will be installing wireless gateways and VPN (virtual private network) services on the UW wireless network. The wireless gateways will provide user authentication by prompting users for their UW username and password. The VPN services allow users to create VPN connections that will encrypt their data, thus keeping it from being seen or intercepted by other users. For a description of VPN see www.uwyo.edu /infotech/AboutIT/news/newsletter/2002/02Fall.asp. EAP/LEAP will continue to function with no changes. In the meantime, users who need to register their MAC address should refer to the UW VPN FAQ at www.uwyo.edu/askit/displaydoc.asp?askitdocid=381&parentid=1.
The Central Student Fee Committee (CSFC) made a large contribution to help bring this central solution to students, faculty, and staff of the university. Over the summer, the CSFC will place wireless logos in campus locations where the CSFC provided the funding for the wireless access. Faculty and staff should be aware that these CSFC funded wireless access points are located primarily in study areas and other areas that emphasize student access.
The most recent CSFC funded wireless access points are located in the Geology library and atrium, the Fine Arts open study areas and lobby, the Engineering student congregation (vending) areas on all four floors, the Animal Science lobby and study area, the Business first floor study room, and the Hoyt Hall student lab and library. See www.uwyo.edu/infotech/services/network/wireless/map.asp for a complete map of UW wireless network locations.
The University of Wyoming has undertaken two significant projects: the implementation of a new Human Resources Management System (HRMS) and the upgrade of the current financial system, PIStOL. The vendor for both products is PeopleSoft. UW is implementing the most current versions of HRMS (8.3) and Financials (8.4).
The implementation of HRMS 8.3 has moved into a new mode: parallel testing. All HRS data up to April 14, 2003, has been converted into HRMS 8.3. From that date, data has been entered into both HRS and HRMS 8.3. While this does entail extra work for system users, it will allow for comparisons of important processes like payroll and employee benefit calculation to ensure that the new system provides the same accurate results as the old system. This parallel testing will continue into July, when it is hoped that HRMS 8.3 will have proven to be accurate and reliable and data entry into HRS can be stoppped, making HRMS 8.3 UW’s sole human resources system. In addition to implementing software, the team, consisting of both IT personnel and end users, has reviewed, modified and improved HR processes and forms and is starting to develop training to educate campus about the new processes and procedures.
The move from our current PIStOL 7.02 to PIStOL 8.4 has presented a number of technical challenges, but significant progress has been made and an important milestone has been reached. A thorough data conversion process has been completed, allowing end users to see what our UW data will look like in PIStOL 8.4. The data has been reviewed and deemed acceptable and much has been learned about both the software and the underlying technology through the upgrade process. In addition to reviewing data, end users, IT staff and consultants continue to address technical issues, implement new and current business processes in 8.4, learn more about the capabilities of the new software, develop training materials and practice the steps required to go live with PIStOL 8.4.
While PIStOL 8.4 was originally scheduled to go live in July of 2003, the challenges faced have made this date unrealistic. We continue to drive forward with the project and a new go-live date will be identified and published in the future. In the meantime, the PIStOL 7.02 system is reliable and will continue to accomplish the financial processes that support the UW campus and its constituents. Due to the hard work of many people across campus, significant progress continues to be made in upgrading PIStOL and in implementing HRMS 8.3.
Regular and more detailed updates on the status of these projects are available at www.uwyo.edu/peoplesoft. If you require more information, please contact Chad Marley, IT Project Manager, at 766-4874, or email@example.com.
Information Technology, the UW Partners group and UW Purchasing have worked together to develop hardware specifications and special pricing for standard* computers on campus. The university has negotiated deals with Compaq, Dell, and Gateway for the lowest possible prices on business-class computer systems. The prices are valid from May 8 through June 23, 2003. Departments are encouraged to take advantage of these year-end prices especially since Windows 98 and NT4.0 are no longer supported after June 30, 2003 (see Microsoft Drops Support...).
Complete information is available on either the Information Technology or the Partners Web sites. Go to www.uwyo.edu/infotech and click on the “Year-End Computer Specials” link in the upper left corner or go to www.uwyo.edu/partners and click on the “Computer Hardware Recommendations” link.
The Partners Computer Hardware Recommendations Overview Web page explains the need for departments to purchase business-class computer systems. Choose the SPECIFICATIONS link on the Overview page to review the recommended standard components, such as computer speed, memory, and hard drive size. Click on the VENDORS/MODELS link for pricing, ordering information and standard configurations for Compaq, Dell and Gateway models.
Partners also recognizes the need for flexibility and higher-end computer systems. Links to the Dell and Gateway Web sites are provided for users who need to upgrade from the base models. Call Kirk Brown, Information Technology, 766-2875, for upgrades to Compaq standard desktop computers. For some departments, an advantage of Compaq computers is that they come with a pre-installed UW software configuration (image). The UW image includes Windows XP (or Windows 2000 for PeopleSoft users), Office XP and virus protection, and the computer is network-ready for the UWYO domain.
Compaq purchases are processed by Information Technology with an IDR. Dell purchases are processed by the Campus Computing Center (located in the Bookstore) with an IDR. Gateway purchases are processed by the Purchasing Office through the normal P.O. request. If you have any questions or need additional information, email Kirk Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 766-2875.
*Partners has developed recommended hardware specifications for a standard office desktop computer. The specifications are intended to meet general computing needs for most faculty and staff and will be reviewed and updated as new technology is released.
UW Standard Office Desktop Computer Specifications
Standard Desktop Special Prices (effective May 8 through June 23, 2003)
Do you have Microsoft FrontPage, Project, Visio or other software that you plan to upgrade in the next three years?
Information Technology manages and administers two Microsoft licensing agreements – Campus Agreement 3.0 and Academic Select Agreement 5.1. Campus Agreement allows UW faculty and staff to install or upgrade to the latest versions of Office Professional® for Windows and for Mac over the term of the agreement. For no additional cost departments may upgrade the Windows operating system.
The other licensing program, Microsoft Academic Select 5.1, expires July 31, 2003. It enables faculty and staff to purchase licenses and Software Assurance to run software that is not covered by Campus Agreement. Some popular products that are not covered by Campus Agreement are FrontPage, Project, Visio, VStudio.NET, and various server software.
Software Assurance (SA) adds the right to run the latest version of any licensed product. Software Assurance is usually purchased at the same time as a new product license, or it may have been included as part of the transition from the old Upgrade Advantage program.
We anticipate that Software Assurance for Microsoft product licenses may be renewed beginning in July 2003, pending the signing of a new contract. If SA is renewed, the product for which it is purchased may be upgraded at no additional cost for the term of the new Select Agreement 6.0 – three years. Once the new Select 6.0 agreement is in effect, users will have until September 30, 2003, to renew Software Assurance. Users who allow their Software Assurance coverage to lapse must acquire License & Software Assurance before they can reacquire SA. Users may not purchase Software Assurance for products that were previously paid for but not enrolled in Software Assurance.
As an example, let’s assume a user has FrontPage 2002 and enrolled it in Software Assurance when it was purchased (or transitioned it from Upgrade Advantage). If the user renews SA, he or she may upgrade to FrontPage 2003 when it is released this year and may also upgrade to any versions released through July 2006 without additional licensing costs. If the user doesn’t renew SA and decides later to upgrade to the latest version of FrontPage, a new license will have to be purchased. New licenses typically cost more than Software Assurance alone.
In the previous example, Software Assurance could be renewed for about $30 and would allow upgrades to the product until 2006. In comparison, a new license without SA (which means the product is not upgradeable) would cost approximately $33. If a new license and software assurance were purchased together at a later time, the cost would be around $62.*
If you aren’t sure whether you should take advantage of Software Assurance, the rule of thumb is, “If you expect to upgrade your desktop software within 3 ½ years, it could be more cost effective to purchase or renew Software Assurance.”
If you aren’t sure whether you purchased Software Assurance when you bought a license from Information Technology or if you had Upgrade Advantage and it automatically transitioned to Software Assurance, call Lynette Chance at 766-3686. She will help you find out the current status of your product license.
*These examples are provided using today’s current bid price and
are subject to change without notice. Information Technology makes no price
guarantees and is not responsible for fluctuations in pricing and availability from
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