(eNews Extras are late-breaking stories not included in the printed version of this newsletter)
The best place to find “How To’s” (help documents) for the UW computing environment. Do you want to know how to connect to UW’s modem pool, configure email, install antivirus on a home computer or install software on the office computer? This is the site.
Central resource for firewall, VPN, and wireless (networking) information. The site includes links to SPAM filtering, virus removal, general antivirus information and “Critical Computer Vulnerabilities at UW.”
• VPN information: www.uwyo.edu/infotech/services/network/vpn/
• Firewall information and blocked ports: www.uwyo.edu/infotech/services/security/firewall/
A good place to look for online user forms. Users may submit a hardware work-order without having to call the IT Help Desk. The site offers links to a variety of service request forms and other help resources, including computer accounts, e-mail distribution lists, computer hardware repair, real-time assistance with computer problems, software installation information, computer training and Web site creation and management.
Protect office and home computers against virus attacks. This site has free antivirus software for faculty, staff, and students.
Sharpen skills, learn new ways to get things done more quickly in Microsoft or Adobe applications, become an expert, take advantage of often unused email features. There’s no better place to get great training at a great price.
Information Technology has tested and recommends the installation of Windows XP Service Pack 2. This major update to the Windows XP operating system provides multiple security enhancements, including the new Windows Firewall, which has replaced the Internet Connection Firewall. IT recommends the use of the Windows Firewall on home and work computers to help keep them secure and protected.
The installation of Service Pack 2 may activate the Windows Firewall by default for all network connections on a computer. Although use of the Windows Firewall is recommended, firewall software may prevent some network applications from working correctly and prevent some UW network resources from being accessed. If, after installing Service Pack 2 and verifying the Windows Firewall is enabled, any applications or network resources fail to work, it may be necessary to systematically disable parts of the Windows Firewall in order to determine the cause.
For further information on Windows XP Service Pack 2, the Windows Firewall, and the applications that may not work correctly, go to Microsoft Support at http://support.microsoft.com/xpsp2swhw.
Currently, unlike other updates, the installation of Windows XP Service Pack 2 will not be automatically delivered to UWYO campus computers via Software Update Services (SUS) due to the size of the update and the possibility of problems with installation of the update through SUS. Users should go to the Windows Update site http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com to install Windows XP Service Pack 2, or to the local UW network resource at \\uwapps\Patches\WindowsXP\SP2. If you use the local network resource to install SP2, please follow the instructions on IT’s Ask IT Web site at www.uwyo.edu/askit/displaydoc.asp?askitdocid=246&parentid=1.
Contact your IT user consultant for assistance in configuring the firewall and allowing exceptions for any problematic network applications. If the consultant is unable to resolve problems caused by the firewall, the ultimate solution may be to permanently disable the firewall. Instructions on how to enable and disable the Windows Firewall are located on Ask IT at www.uwyo.edu/askit/displaydoc.asp?askitdocid=245&parentid=1.
For assistance or answers to questions about any IT service, please call the IT Help Desk at 766-4357 (6-HELP), option 1; contact your user consultant; or email email@example.com.
The University of Wyoming is now a member of Adobe’s Open Options Contractual Licensing Program (CLP). Membership allows UW to secure volume pricing on various Adobe products, thus significantly reducing the costs departments and colleges incur. The current program is effective December 22, 2004, through December 21, 2006. Popular Adobe software titles for Windows and Macintosh platforms available through this program include Adobe Acrobat, Creative Suite, GoLive CS, Illustrator, InDesign CS, Pagemaker, and Photoshop. See www.uwyo.edu/InfoTech/services/software/adobe/ for a complete list of software titles and prices.
Adobe also offers a new Upgrade Plan for its software licenses. For an additional up-front cost, the new Upgrade Plan lets users pay to receive future versions of software products. Users will receive any upgrades, bug fixes and updates that Adobe makes available during the term of their coverage.
For a limited time, users who have a current version of an Adobe product that was purchased through another license program or at retail have the opportunity to enroll their product in UW’s CLP program. If you wish to enroll your product in the Upgrade Plan, compare your version to the current product list (follow the link provided earlier in this article and look under the the column heading “Version”). If your Adobe product matches the version listed, you have until June 1, 2005, to purchase an Upgrade Plan. If Adobe releases a newer version of a given product before June 1 this offer would be void for that product.
Information Technology offers classes on Adobe Acrobat,
Photoshop, and Pagemaker (see
www.uwyo.edu/InfoTech/services/training/ for a complete description of IT’s Computer Training
Opportunities). IT user consultants will assist users with
installation of Adobe products, but they are not available to
provide functional support or advise customers on how to use
Adobe products. We recommend that customers enroll in computer
training courses to gain adequate knowledge of the products.
Adobe’s Technical Support Directory phone number is
Most Windows platform products will be available from UW’s central servers for electronic download, while others (including products for Mac, Unix, Linux and Sun platforms) may only be available by electronic download from Adobe’s web site or by purchasing the media (CDs) along with the desired licenses. At this time Adobe Creative Suite is not available for electronic download due to its multiple programs and large size. IT has a limited number of Creative Suite WIN 1.3 and Acrobat Professional WIN 7.0 CDs available for check out with a $30 deposit. Documentation sets are not included in the price of the license. Contact Lynette Chance at 766-3686 for documentation set and media (CDs) pricing.
To place an order, please submit an IDR to IT and include the user’s full name, email address, product name, and the part number as listed on www.uwyo.edu/InfoTech/services/software/adobe/. Send the IDR to Lynette Chance, Information Technology, Client Support Services, Ivinson Building, Room 140. Personal checks cannot be accepted, and prices are subject to change without notice.
As first mentioned in the Fall Information Technology newsletter, Trend Micro’s PC-cillin Internet Security software is available free of charge to UW faculty, staff, and students for use on personal computers. Users can simply go to www.uwyo.edu/infotech/services/software/antivirus/ and follow the appropriate link to retrieve access codes, get installation instructions, download the software*, and find help from TrendMicro. Support for PC-cillin is provided by Trend Micro, so a current UWStudent or UWYO domain account is required to retrieve the access codes from the Web site.
The software package includes anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware, and personal firewall utilities. Faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to protect their personal computers.
There are significant advantages to using PC-cillin at home. PC-cillin receives updates against new viruses automatically if an Internet connection is present. In addition, there are more security features available in PC-cillin than were available in OfficeScan for home users.
Faculty and staff who have installed Trend Micro’s OfficeScan antivirus software at home should remove it from their personal computers. OfficeScan installed on personal/home computers will not be supported after March 31, 2005.
Visit the Ask IT Web site (www.uwyo.edu/askit) for information about other IT-provided services and software, How-To’s (help documents covering a variety of topics), frequently asked questions and online help and service requests. Other valuable information about personal computing services is available on the Personal Services for Home Users page (www.uwyo.edu/infotech/services/support/homeservices.asp). For assistance or answers to questions about any IT service, please call the IT Help Desk at 766-4357 (6-HELP), option 1; contact your user consultant; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Banner system is moving closer to replacing the existing Student Information System (SIS) and Hole-in-the-Wall, thanks to the 25 specialized “iTeams” formed to manage the Banner SIS Implementation Project. Banner is a combination of products from SunGard SCT (www.sct.com).
Also included in the project is the “WyoWeb” Internet portal, based on SunGard SCT’s Luminis platform. Accessible from anywhere in the world with a username and password, WyoWeb will provide students, faculty, staff, prospective students, and alumni with access to the wealth of online information available from UW. WyoWeb will also allow additional methods of communication, ensuring that accurate, timely and relevant information is available to those who need it, and will offer online facilities to augment classroom instruction. WyoWeb will become available in phases, initially focusing on current students and faculty. For current students, two of the most exciting features of the product in its initial release will be a new feature-rich email system and an online calendar. Additional features of WyoWeb will be explained to the UW community as the project progresses.
Team assignments include analyzing existing business processes, building data structures in Banner, moving student records from UW’s current Student Information System, building new system interfaces, developing WyoWeb, and managing the changes that the university will go through as a result.
“This project will fundamentally change the way the campus works and how we serve our students, faculty, and staff,” said Jim Berrigan, iTeam project manager. “The teams leading this transition are in place and the project is well under way.” Progress to-date includes:
More information on the SIS Replacement Project and on WyoWeb is available at www.uwyo.edu/newsis or from Jim Berrigan, IT Project Manager, at 766-2636.
The consulting firm of RSM McGladrey will soon release the results of their review of UW Technology Services. The results will initially be presented to the UW Technology Services Review Planning Team and then given to the UW community for review and comment to the Planning Team. The Planning Team will consider the comments it receives in making its recommendations to the President and Executive Council. Ultimately, it is expected that strategic recommendations from the Technology Services Review process will be adapted for inclusion as various action items in the University Support Services Plan.
The review process began during the spring term of 2004 with the award of the Request for Proposal to RSM McGladrey and the appointment of the Technology Services Planning Team (TSPT) by the President. The review continued through the summer as the consultants solicited comments from and interviewed Department Heads and Directors, technical personnel, and university administration. During the fall term of 2004 the consultants completed their environmental assessment and worked on developing strategic initiatives to align the direction of technology at UW with the university’s objectives.
The Planning Team encourages your comments on the consultants’ findings as they develop recommendations for the university’s future direction for technology. When available, the results of the review will be posted at www.uwyo.edu/itsr. This Web site also has background information concerning RSM McGladrey and the review.
Spyware is, “Any software that covertly gathers user information through the user's Internet connection without his or her knowledge.”1
Malware may enable pop-up ads, change browser behavior, or collect personal information about a user’s browsing habits, credit card information, passwords and email addresses. Malware can severely degrade and disrupt the performance of a PC.
Information Technology recommends that all faculty, staff, and students take advantage of software available from the Internet to help combat increasingly aggressive attempts to collect personal information from PCs and to keep personally owned computers functional. Over the next few months, IT will evaluate enterprise solutions in an effort to curb this ongoing and increasingly destructive problem.
IT suggests the following applications to help fight malware on institutionally owned and personally owned (home) computers:
Further protection for home computers is available through other free applications that are intended for personally owned computers (any software that is free and licensed for personal use only should not be installed on institutionally owned computers unless appropriate registration or licensing fees are paid). One example is:
Although Information Technology is unable to support personally owned computers, the information we pass along in this newsletter and other IT forums may help you maintain your own computers. IT cannot assure any of these programs will work properly on personally owned computers.
1See www.webopedia.com/TERM/s/spyware.html for a complete definition of spyware (collectively called malware).
The University of Wyoming recently installed a new video conferencing system. The primary component of the video conferencing system is a multipoint conferencing unit (MCU) that supports interactive video conferences between two or more video endpoints that are connected to the Internet. A gateway device provides the ability to connect to ISDN units (for example, the Wyoming compressed video network). The new system provides the ability to schedule multiple, concurrent video meetings – and each meeting can include multiple sites on campus, around the state, or anywhere in the world.
The MCU currently supports up to 60 concurrent endpoints in up to 30 separate video conferences. The MCU has several advanced features that allow for a wide variety of video layouts including continuous presence (a.k.a “Hollywood Squares”) – where all participants are displayed continuously on the screen ... and voice activated screen layouts – where the current speaker is displayed on the entire screen or a large portion of the screen. Another feature known as “rate matching” allows endpoints connected to slower networks to participate in conferences with high speed network endpoints without reducing the video and voice quality for the other participants. In fact, attendees can participate in conferences via a regular telephone (or cell phone) if a video endpoint is not available.
A web-based software tool called VCS (Video Conference Scheduler) allows users to easily create and schedule video conferences. Conferences can be “one time” or recurring. VCS integrates with Microsoft Outlook so that video conferences created by VCS appear on users’ Outlook calendars. See www.uwyo.edu/mcu for additional information and details.
IIn November 2004, Information Technology activated a new high-speed data circuit that increased by 40 times the speed of UW’s connection to the Internet and other research networks including Internet2 and the new National LambdaRail (NLR) research network. The new circuit will significantly advance UW’s research initiatives, including biomedical research, and strengthen UW’s student educational capabilities.
This new data circuit utilizes so-called dark optical fiber leased by UW from the higher education consortium Fiberco. The term dark indicates the fiber is unlit, or without the electronics that generate the light waves that are carried on the fiber. The University of Wyoming purchased and installed the necessary electronics required to light the dark fiber.
The transmission speed on the new high-speed circuit is dependant on the electronics and not the fiber. The electronics can be upgraded as needed. Currently the circuit is operating at 2 billion bits per second (2 Gbps) or approximately 40 times faster than UW’s previous connection. The circuit can be upgraded to 10 Gbps or faster, if needed. It will accommodate UW’s Internet and data needs for the foreseeable future.
In the past, the university’s Internet connection speed was severely limited by the circuit that connected UW to the Denver Front Range GigaPop (FRGP). At the FRGP, UW partners with other Colorado universities and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to connect to the national data networks.
Though the network capacity between Laramie and Denver has been substantially increased, because of cost issues, capacity restrictions still exist at the Denver FRGP. IT and the university will purchase additional FRGP capacity as demand increases.
In order to handle the higher speeds of the new circuit, several other UW wide area network (WAN) components were upgraded including the external router, network packet shaper, firewall, intrusion detection server, and VPN server. The upgraded network components provide the same basic functionality as their older counterparts, but have much higher performance capacities and offer additional functionality. In particular, the new packet shaper allows customizable service offerings to individual users.
Funding for the circuit and related equipment was provided by the university and by a grant from the National Center for Research Resources in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The primary purpose of the NIH grant is to establish biomedical advanced networking capabilities for the states of Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming.
Exceed 10 for Windows is now available on UWApps. Licensed users who have purchased yearly maintenance are eligible to upgrade the software. With a browser, go to www.uwyo.edu/software, and click on the + by Connectivity Software to get access to software.
If you don’t have a license but need one, call 766-3686 for information and pricing. Please report any issues with the new version to your user consultant or to the IT Help Desk. Exceed version 9 will no longer be available after May 20, 2005.
Information Technology will discontinue access to some versions of SPSS at the end of the spring 2005 semester. According to SPSS’s Tech Support Web site, the company will discontinue support assistance for their product versions 12.0 or older as of March 1. After vendor support for an application is discontinued, the software is usually removed from UW servers. Therefore, IT will remove the following SPSS products from its servers as follows:
All currently licensed SPSS users should upgrade to version 13.0 at their earliest convenience. Users who need access to SPSS for work should contact their departmental user consultant to request access to the network resource for this application. After access has been granted, users may upgrade by following this link www.uwyo.edu/software. Choose + Statistical Software, and click on the Installation Information link under the SPSS 13 section. If you need help or have questions on installation, please contact your user consultant or the IT Help Desk at 766-4357 (6-HELP), option 1. Note: IT is unable to provide functional support for SPSS software. Also, as of March 1, SPSS technical support is not available for previous versions from IT or from the vendor.
Users are encouraged to update to SPSS 13 before the end of the spring semester. All users will be removed from the older versions of SPSS and the applications will be removed from service according to the dates listed.
Is your department considering the purchase of a new software application? The more complex the software application and your plans for it are, the more carefully the purchase should be considered. Some basic considerations include:
The purchase and implementation of a new software application is a large undertaking with multiple cost components and potential impacts on your department. Information Technology has the tools and experience to help you decide what to purchase, and when. Additionally, IT has software and services that can make implementing and supporting new applications significantly easier and more cost effective.
If you are considering the purchase of a software application and would like some assistance, please contact Daniel Ewart, IT Director of Information Services, at 766-4866 or email@example.com.
The University of Wyoming provides Exchange email accounts to all UW faculty and staff members through Information Technology-managed Microsoft Exchange servers. The Exchange server hardware is relatively old and no longer adequately handles the growing volume generated by university email users. As a result, some users are experiencing decreased performance with their Exchange email.
To remedy the situation, IT will upgrade these servers in the coming months. In the meantime, here are some steps users can take to improve the performance of their UW Exchange email account. These tips will help to mitigate slowdowns and performance issues.
Today’s networked world provides endless resources for academic, administrative, research, teaching, remote support, and technology purposes. It also poses a threat to anyone connected to the Internet. Here are a few suggestions for practicing safe, secure Internet computing both on personal and work machines.
Of course, you can help to keep your computer safe by using anti-virus software. IT provides free anti-virus software to all UW faculty and staff for work computers. Install TrendMicro’s OfficeScan 5.02 from \\uwapps\antivirus\officescan. IT also provides free anti-virus software to all UW faculty, staff, and students for their personal computers. Install TrendMicro’s PC-cillin from www.uwyo.edu/ASKIT/displaydoc.asp?askitdocid=206&parentid=1.
Faculty, staff and students who still have the 2004 version of UW-licensed PC-cillin Internet Security software installed on their personally owned computers should upgrade to the 2005 version before June to ensure that security updates continue. Installation instructions for PC-cillin 2005 are located at http://www.uwyo.edu/ASKIT/displaydoc.asp?askitdocid=572&parentid=1.