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In This Issue

+ Fall workshops and seminars lined up

+ News from the VDIL

+ Updated Microsoft software available

+ And the password is...

+ New version of WebCT rolled out

+ NetReg: Automated network registration

+ Survey requests lead to changes in classrooms

+ Software Update Service - should you try it?


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ITSS home : : October 2004

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Technology news for UMD faculty, staff and students

October 2004

Upcoming Workshops

Register for workshop

Viz Lab Presents...

Fall workshops and seminars lined up

ITSS offers workshops and seminars ( to faculty and staff on a variety of topics. Check out this fall's lineup, which includes sessions for Dreamweaver, Contribute and WebCT.

New this year is the "Technology Seminar Series" ( The series is an opportunity for UMD faculty and staff to become aware of new technologies and to get supportive ideas from their colleagues. The format for this free series will be a short topic overview followed by an informal discussion or perhaps a little hands-on-training. No registration required! For details, see:

In addition, be sure to check out the Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab's (VDIL) "Viz Lab Presents" series, which showcases the work of the Summer Grant researchers.

More information:   Training and Workshops /itss/support/Training/

News from the VDIL

The Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab (VDIL) is an interdisciplinary faculty research lab, under the auspices of SFA, CSE and ITSS. Access to the VDIL is open to all faculty of UMD. Simply fill out the brief access form on the VDIL website and you will be notified of your approval shortly.

Some news of note at the Viz Lab:

More information:   VDIL

Updated Microsoft software available

UMD ITSS has recently obtained new versions of software as part of the University's Campus Agreement with Microsoft. The current software includes:

The three-year agreement between the University of Minnesota and Microsoft Corporation provides access to a suite of Microsoft's most popular software for university-owned computers. Academic & Distributed Computing Services and the Office of Information Technology, which are both located on the Twin Cities campus, administer this license.

UMD ITSS will provide access to the Microsoft software and product license keys to collegiate offices and department technology coordinators through CD media kits. If you would like to obtain an updated kit that includes the software listed above, or have any questions about the program, please contact Mark Shetka ( Software must be installed on University of Minnesota computers only. To purchase software for personal computers, visit the Computer Corner or contact them at 726-6218 for common software products.

More information:   Microsoft Campus Agreement /itss/software/ca/

And the password is...

Recent changes in password requirements for Novell and workstation accounts, coupled with the request for most customers to change their central system password, have led to a number of questions regarding UMD accounts and passwords. Following is a brief description of the various accounts and passwords our customers may be using, with links to more detailed information.

Type of account Email / Internet
(aka, X.500)
Novell Workstation Enterprise
What you need it for Access to UMD's central servers (email, modem pool, bulldog, Samba, Aufs, web, lab authentication).

Managed by ITSS staff.

Access to the Novell Office server (software, file storage/sharing, network printing).

Managed by ITSS staff.

Access to your workstation (Windows 2000/XP computers only).

Managed by the computer owner (not ITSS staff).

Access to enterprise systems (PeopleSoft, Financial Services, etc.).

Managed by Twin Cities and ITSS staff.

Password requirements

+ Must be 6-8 characters.

+ Must be a combination of letters and numbers (but cannot be your Internet ID or end in a space).

+ Should be changed every 180 days.

+ Must be at least 8 characters.

+ Must be a combination of letters, numbers and/or symbols (such as ! @ # $ % & *, etc.).

+ Must be changed every 180 days, and you cannot reuse your last 8 passwords.

+ Must be at least 8 characters.

+ Must be a combination of letters, numbers and/or symbols (such as ! @ # $ % & *, etc.).

+ Must be changed every 180 days, and you cannot reuse your last 8 passwords.

+ Must be at least 8 characters long and can be as long as 128.

+ Must be a combination of letters and numbers (but cannot be the same as your central system password).

+ Must be reset every 100 days after it has been set, and you cannot reuse your last three Enterprise passwords.

To change it Change your Email/Internet password service/newpass/

Enter your Internet ID and select "Continue".

Change your Novell password
(Win2000/XP) itss/novell/ password.html

Change your Novell password
(Win98/ME) itss/novell/ using.html#win98-pw

Change your Workstation password
(with Novell) itss/novell/ password.html

Change your Workstation password
(without Novell) itss/desktop/ security/

Change your Enterprise password validate

2. Authenticate with your Internet ID and password.

3. Select "Change your Enterprise password" from the menu.

More information Your Internet/Email account Novell services The role of the Enterprise Systems Password

More information:   Passwords /itss/security/passwords/

New version of WebCT rolled out

WebCT Vista 3 is the latest version of the course management software the university makes available for all campuses. Faculty starting new courses in WebCT this academic year will be put into the new Vista 3 version.

Faculty with existing courses in the older WebCT Campus Edition will be able to continue to use it for this academic year, but starting in Fall of 2005 all WebCT courses will be in the Vista version.

ITSS will offer an introductory course on WebCT Vista 3 later this Fall. You may sign up for this workshop at the ITSS Workshops site.

More information:   WebCT

NetReg: Automated network registration

NetReg is an open source software system that is used to register unknown computer hardware before granting full network access. Initially developed by Southwestern University, a modified version is currently being used by ITSS in the residence halls. NetReg is very similar to captive wireless portals used in airports and hotels. The goal is to restrict network access to authorized users (authenticated via their Internet ID), without requiring them to login every time they user their computer.

How NetReg works

When students plug an unregistered computer into the University's ResNet (residence hall) network, they are granted limited network access to the NetReg registration server only. This server displays the ResNet Registration page, which includes the ResNet Terms and Conditions (usage polices) and computer security requirements. Students register their computer by entering their Internet ID and password. After rebooting, they are granted full University network access.

During the summer of 2004, ITSS utilized the nessus open source vulnerability scanner to extend NetReg to scan computers for known vulnerabilities during the registration process. Computers that pass the scan are granted full network access; those that fail remain in the restricted network but are directed to a new web site that provides instructions and resources that enable the owners to patch their own computers.

During Bulldog Bash 2004, 505 of 2236 total registrations scanned positive for vulnerabilities and were patched with minimal staff intervention. This was about 22% of the total number of registrations!

Additionally, we'll be able to use the scanning feature to scan for and secure against new vulnerabilities as they arise. We're hopeful this will enable us to slow the spread of viruses on the ResNet network.

The future of NetReg

ITSS staff are looking at ways to possibly implement NetReg campus-wide. The benefits of this system include the ability to self-register computer moves, to monitor against security vulnerabilities, and to quickly remove virus-infected computers from the network to minimize infections on other computers.


Survey requests lead to changes in classrooms

During spring 2004, ITSS surveyed faculty about their classroom experiences and needs. We are pleased to have already implemented the following suggestions:

Other areas of interest include:

We would like to thank faculty for their feedback. If you have suggestions, please email them to

   Classroom Technology /itss/classroom/

Software Update Service - should you try it?

If you are responsible for a computer that is connected to the University's network, you must update your system as soon as critical security updates are available. To simplify this process and safeguard the integrity of UMD computers, networks, and data, ITSS is offering a new, automated Software Update Service (also known as SUS). SUS is a local, UMD-specific version of Microsoft's Windows Update service.

The primary audience for this new service is Windows 2000 and Windows XP computers that connect directly to UMD's network. Wireless, modem users, and other off-campus connections that are usually connected for less than 30 minutes may not benefit from using this service.

Since Microsoft's update sites frequently become very busy when critical updates are released, this service will make installing updates quicker and easier than before. In addition, ITSS staff will be testing all updates in our environment prior to releasing them. We hope this will avoid conflicts and problems with software and network configurations specific to our campus.

To use the ITSS-SUS, you will need to make a simple change to your computer's configuration. Once your system is set up to use this service, you will be alerted whenever a critical update is about to be installed on your system. Updates are scheduled for 4:00 p.m.. If you are not logged in at 4:00 p.m., the update will be applied 30 minutes after your system is started.

More information:   Automating Microsoft Windows Updates /itss/security/sus/ is published monthly during the academic year by ITSS. An email digest is also sent to all users subscribed to the infotech.announce, and studenttech.announce. The goal is to distribute information useful to the daily routines of the University of Minnesota Duluth campus community in conjunction with computer and telephone technologies. Comments or suggestions may be sent to the editor at:

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