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|IS completes ISO project, sets new FY98 rates|
|Learning Technology Center opens for use|
|Desktop backup service available to campus|
|Will Information Services fix your Gateway computer?|
|Automatic notices sent to subsidized accounts|
|Plan your phone and network service requests for Fall '97 now|
|Phone/Network service request web pages updated|
|Numerous classroom technology upgrades in progress|
|Student computing labs upgrading to Win95|
|Student computing access updated|
|Faculty use of student-funded computer labs|
|Investigating Year 2000 computer problems|
|Spring Quarter 1997 Seminars|
|Advanced Voice Mail training offered|
|Sending and receiving e-mail attachments|
|Using the Macintosh Guest server|
|UNIX Pine upgraded|
|Choosing e-mail clients for our customers|
|Novell Office Server hardware, software applications upgraded|
University Accounting Services has mandated that all internal service organizations (ISOs) review their rates. Information Services, with annual sales of more than $1 million to University departments, has been designated a Phase 1 ISO. As such, we are one of the first University ISOs to complete this project.
Once our rates for FY98 are approved, we will publish our rate sheet and distribute it across the campus. Our new rates will go into effect July 1, 1997.
ISOs must set rates with the following purposes in mind:
Information Services management team, including Dan Burrows, Tom Nylen, Steve Patterson, and Linda Deneen, led the project, with assistance from other IS staff. Some of our goals, in addition to the purposes stated above, were to:
Our most significant rate changes include:
Linda Deneen, IS Director, has offered presentations to a number of groups across the campus to explain this project and our resulting rates for FY98. IS would be happy to provide a handout to anyone who has not yet received one. Call Linda at x7588 or e-mail ldeneen with your request.
The Learning Technology Center, a place where faculty, staff, and students can learn how to make use of the latest instructional technology, has opened in MonH 239. The center is the joint effort of the Learning Technology Development Team, the Instructional Development Service, the College of Education and Human Service Professions, and Information Services.
|Monday||Dan Ward||3:30 pm - 5:30 pm|
|Tuesday||Emily Knight||10:15 am - 4:00 pm|
|Wednesday||Dan Ward||1:00 pm - 5:00 pm|
|Thursday||Jessica Durrant||12:00 pm - 4:00 pm|
|Friday||Dan Ward||1:30 pm - 4:00 pm|
The center will be under construction in the spring and summer but should be fully functional by the beginning of Fall quarter. At present, the center is equipped with two Macintosh computers and software. Plans for Spring quarter include upgrading the Macintosh equipment and adding two PCs. Over the summer, we will be adding peripheral devices such as a camera, scanner, printer, and other equipment that can be used to develop web pages or multimedia presentations.
Three student consultants are available to assist interested faculty and staff with their projects. The students - Dan Ward, Emily Knight and Jessica Durrant - all have practical experience with web development and software tools. Please feel free to visit the center during these times.
Also, please watch for future improvements. To call in advance for appointments or to check availability, call x8970.
Information Services is pleased to offer a desktop backup service for NT, Win95, Macintosh, Intel Unix desktops, SGI Unix workstations, and Sun Solaris Unix workstations.
Basically, the service copies the operating system and data on your hard disk to one of our tape drives so that it can be restored to your hard disk whenever you need it. You choose the schedule that your data is copied to tape: once a day, once a week, once a month.
For the short term, Greg Gustafson will provide file reload service during daytime working hours. SMArch is currently working on the capability to allow the individual to restore his/her own files.
|Platform||Monthly Rate||Standard backup storage|
|Macintosh, Win95 DOS||$17.50||1 gigabyte|
|Intel Pentium NT, Unix workstation||$22.50||1.8 gigabytes|
|SGI workstation, Sun Unix workstation||$29.00||2.2 gigabytes|
Setup, customization and reloads will be billed at our current rate of $35/hour. We expect a setup to take approximately one hour, including loading the client on your system and testing it. A file reload typically takes about 1/4 hour.
A monthly fee will be assessed to cover licensing of each client (per machine) and a standard backup storage amount for each type of desktop system (see chart below). Data dumped beyond the standard amount will be billed at .0028 per megabyte.
The short answer is "Maybe". If it's not under warranty, if you're willing to wait until higher priority repairs are completed, if we can get parts, and if you're willing to pay for it, we can probably fix your Gateway or almost any other computer.
Now here's the long answer. Our computer maintenance staff receive requests to provide service on a wide variety of computer systems owned by individuals and departments at UMD. For several years, we have worked closely with the Computer Corner staff to select a few manufacturers of computer equipment for sale and service at UMD. We prefer to service equipment from a small number of manufacturers because we have a very small staff, and dealing with only a few vendors enables us to become efficient in working with their processes such as parts ordering, warranty services, and billing.
The criteria we use to select vendors include:
Generally it's the service agreement that is the most difficult piece to resolve, because different vendors have their own policies and practices for servicing customer computer problems. Sometimes their policy is that the computer must be sent back to the manufacturer for repair; sometimes they require that it be returned to the computer store where it was purchased; sometimes they offer phone assistance to customers who are comfortable working on their own equipment; and other times computers may be serviced by any authorized service facility.
We want our maintenance department to be an authorized service facility for the brands of computers sold by the UMD Computer Corner to UMD customers.
Being an authorized service facility means we can offer full on-site service to UMD customers, including full service under the warranty provisions of the manufacturer.
In some cases we receive price discounts on parts which we pass on to our customer. Also, as mentioned earlier, being an authorized service facility helps streamline the maintenance support processes like parts ordering, warranty services and billing. Minimizing effort spent on these processes helps our small staff to provide prompt, high quality maintenance service to our customers.
Currently, the Computer Corner sells and IS has service agreements with Apple (for all Macintosh computers) and with Summit Micro Design and Micron Electronics (for all of their computer systems).
Repair of other computers can get to be a tricky and costly business.
First, if we are not an authorized service center, it's very likely that we would void the warranty by working on the equipment. Therefore, we will not work on non-supported equipment that is still under warranty.
Second, although many PCs use generic parts that are interchangeable among different computer brands, it's not always obvious which generic part corresponds to the broken part, so some research must be done to be sure we order the right replacement from the right supplier.
Third, some manufacturers use slightly different parts, even in the same model computers, so extra care needs to be taken to research and order the right replacement. Because of the extra time needed to determine the correct replacement parts and to find suppliers of those parts, these jobs go to the bottom of our priority list when there are other computers waiting to be repaired. And, of course, the extra time we spend on these repairs translates to higher charges for our customers.
So, will Information Services fix your Gateway computer? Maybe.
The information received shows all computing service areas in which the account has accrued charges during the current fiscal year. The dollar amount shown under the Account Total column is the total year-to-date dollar amount for the account.
Questions or comments? Please send e-mail to isacct.
It's not too early to start planning your Fall '97 phone and networking needs. Staff moves, new hires, and other changes occur every quarter, but Fall is always our busiest season. Fall of '96 was one of our busiest quarters ever, with 965 service requests completed. You don't want to be at the end of a list that size.
We expect much the same this year. The Medical School Addition Project will fill our days in August once construction is complete and departments move in. September will entail an estimated 350+ residence hall network connection requests and over 100 phone repairs. Of course there's always the scenario where Department A moves into Department B's old space, and Department B moves into Department C's old space, etc. It's this latter form of request that's the most difficult to plan for and accommodate. To do so we need your help.
It's important that departments submit service requests before they close for the summer. All too often we get calls from someone who submitted a request the first day of fall quarter wondering why it's the fourth week and they still don't have a phone. Order writing and phone programming take considerable time, but much of this can be completed months in advance if we know about it.
You now have an easier way to submit service requests via the World Wide Web. We would prefer that you submit requests using our updated on-line form. Using the web form eliminates delays caused by missing information that we need to complete the work. It also automates two other time consuming steps in the process. Give one a try the next time you have a phone or network service request or repair.
Why not mark May 5 on your calendar as the day to "submit phone and network requests for fall"?
We have updated and expanded the online Phone and Network Service Request pages to make them easier to use.
Using suggestions from those who have used the web forms, we have:
The Check Status of Request button has been added to the main service request page. If you select this button, a form is displayed which asks for the contact e-mail name and the work order number for your service request. (These items are included in the confirmation message you receive when you enter an on-line request.) If you enter this information and click "Submit it", you will receive the current status for the request.
Please note that there is a five-minute delay after you submit a work order before it will show up for access by the status check button. In addition, there is usually a working day or two delay before the order is reviewed and assigned to an individual installer.
Exciting things are happening in classroom technology around UMD this year. Information Services can't take credit for all of the changes, but we are working hard to support several UMD technology planning groups and to implement their recommendations.
We think these campus technology upgrades are very exciting and hope to have many of the following changes in place by fall quarter. We will keep the campus informed of our progress through-out the spring and summer. We also keep Room Scheduling informed of classroom technology upgrades, so help is available to you in selecting rooms which have the equipment you need for your classroom presentations. If you have ideas, suggestions, or comments about these or other classroom technology upgrades, please send e-mail to crteam (Information Services' Classroom Technology Team).
replace the overhead projection pads formerly used for this purpose. The Lite-Pros provide a much brighter and sharper display than the projection pads, and most people find them easier to use.
By Fall, 1997, the necessary hardware will be in place and Information Services will be upgrading all IBM-compatible microcomputer labs to Windows 95. Because software packages that are currently available in the labs may work differently within this new operating system, IS will be providing an opportunity this Spring quarter for faculty members to test their specialized academic software in the Windows 95 environment.
Several Pentium computers in the MWAH 177 computer lab will be upgraded to Windows 95 during early April. These computers will also have the full contingent of software that is currently available in PC teaching labs. We encourage all faculty who teach computer-related courses in the PC labs or whose students use the DOS and Windows software in these labs to test any applications they will be using next year.
Please send e-mail to Paula Pollock (ppollock) to let her know that you would like to test your software in a Windows 95 environment. Comments and questions about software compatibility with Windows 95 should be also directed to Paula.
Student computing access updated with improved labs, more public terminals
By Jason Davis
UMD Information Services has been continuing to expand and improve student computing facilities and resources. The student access fees have provided the funds for some major improvements to our labs, and we are pleased to announce the following changes that have been implemented or are in progress.
Faculty use of student-funded computer labs
Information Services would like to clarify
policies regarding faculty use of computer labs.
Faculty and TAs who teach a course in one of the computer labs may use that lab without charge to test software features and to prepare for class lessons and exercises. When new software is installed (usually between quarters), the faculty members who will be using the software will be invited to the labs to test it.
For more information about the labs and Information Services policies regarding the labs, please refer to the following URL: http://www.d.umn.edu/is/labs/.
|HTML - Creating Your Own World Wide Web Pages (Hands on)||M,T, Apr 14,15||9:30-11:30 am||42 CCtr||$40|
|Navigating the Internet (Hands on)||Mon, Apr 21||1:15-3:15 pm||42 CCtr||$20|
|Windows 95||Tues, Apr 15
Wed, May 7
|Windows 95 - Beyond the Basics||Fri, Apr 25||9:00-11:00 am||42 CCtr||$20|
|Advanced Voice Mail Training||Wed, Apr 23
Wed, Apr 23
For more information about the seminars, or to request a seminar, contact Gordee Bennett at x8840 or send e-mail to gbennett
HTML - Creating Your Own World Wide Web Pages - This seminar will give you hands-on experience with creating your own Web page using HTML, the HyperText Markup Language. You will also learn how to copy the techniques found in your favorite web pages and how to include graphics, such as scanned images of photographs, in your pages.
Windows 95 - This seminar will give you an introduction to the features of Windows 95, including how to use the taskbar, set up printers, and create icons and shortcuts.
Windows 95: Beyond the Basics - This seminar continues with more detailed information on using the Windows 95 features.
Although the class is titled "Advanced", it will also cover some basic features such as:
Advanced features covered include:
Classes will be offered from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and again from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m..
To register for one of the voice mail sessions, contact Lita Wallace at x7822.
One of the more useful functions of electronic mail is the ability to send (attach) a binary file along with your e-mail message, and to receive binary files from other people. A binary file is a file that consists of more than just ASCII text (the letters, numbers and punctuation on the standard keyboard), such as graphics files, spreadsheets and word processing documents.
Electronic mail messages, however, are limited to containing only ASCII text characters. To include a binary file in an e-mail message, the file must be encoded into text characters and then decoded on the receiving end from text characters back to the original binary file.
Some e-mail programs don't support any binary attachment formats and some support one or more of them. (Refer to the table for a list of common e-mail programs and the attachment formats they support.)
|Program||Platform||MIME||Binhex||uuencode||Supported by IS?|
|* Requires a separate utility; pine or elm users must ftp (transfer) file to their hard disks.|
|** Requires ftp transfer of decoded file to hard disk.|
|*** IS supports and recommends Netscape but not Netscape's built-in POP e-mail client.|
Find out what type of file it is: If the attachment was sent directly to you and you're not sure what it is or why they sent it, ask the sender for more information. Often, the attachment turns out to be just a few paragraphs of plain text that could have been included in the body of the e-mail note.
Decode/ftp the file: Depending on the type of file and the e-mail program you use, you may need to decode the file and/or ftp (transfer) the file to the hard drive on your computer. Some e-mail clients (such as PC-Pine) automatically decode certain messages and can save the decoded file directly to your hard drive.
Make sure you have the software to use the decoded file: For example, if someone sends you a Word document, you need Word (or a word processing package with a file conversion utility) to read the file. If someone sends you a spreadsheet, word processor, or graphic file that you can't open using your programs, ask them if they can resend it in another format.
Contact the person receiving the attachment: The most important thing to know is whether the person on the other end will be able to work with the file once it's decoded (that is, do they have the proper software), and which encoding format (MIME, Binhex, or uuencode) their e-mail software can handle.
Encode/ftp the message: Depending on the type of file and the e-mail program you use, you may need to ftp (transfer) the file to the central system computer (ub) and/or encode the message. Some e-mail clients (such as PC-Pine) automatically encode messages and can attach messages directly from your hard drive.
In the meantime, if you have questions or need assistance either receiving or sending attachments, please call the Help Desk (726-8847). They'll connect you with an IS staff member who can help you. Until the documentation and utilities are available, IS is providing this as a complimentary service to our customers.
It's not too early for the campus to address the issue of what will happen when computer software must process dates after 12/31/99. For various reasons (including expediency, computer word size, date packing, etc.), computer programmers have used less than four digits when storing the year component of a date.
If you use a software program which stores, displays, or prints date fields, or processes dates using date arithmetic, check a computer display or printout of a date and notice its format. If it's of the form dd/mm/yy (instead of dd/mm/yyyy), there's a potential for trouble. In addition to display and storage problems, date arithmetic may be affected. For example, 1/1/2000 minus 12/31/1999 should produce the answer of 1 day. What 1/1/00 minus 12/31/99 produces is anyone's guess. Probably any program which stores, displays, or prints date fields or processes dates using date arithmetic is suspect and should be reviewed.
IS staff will be checking the software that is on our standards list and will inform our customers of what we find out. For software programs which we don't support, especially "home grown" programs written in languages such as COBOL, FORTRAN and BASIC, specific tests should be written to determine the validity of date arithmetic involving dates in and across this and the next century.
In addition to checking software, the next questions will be, "What do we do with software that doesn't pass the test? Does it need to be upgraded? Thrown out? Replaced with a different product?" IS staff will work with our customers on these issues as well.
Please don't keep your Mac connected to the Macintosh Guest server.
As many Macintosh users on campus are aware, Information Services maintains a public Macintosh file server named "Guest". It contains installers for our Macintosh Internet software, Netscape installers, and other useful goodies for Mac users on campus.
One problem we are having with our Guest server is that it can only have ten people connected at one time. Unfortunately, many people are setting up their Macs to automatically connect to the Guest server every time it starts up.
To connect to the Guest server, open your Chooser, click on the AppleShare icon, select the UMD-MWAH zone, and then double-click on the "Guest" server. Use the Guest button in the next screen that appears rather than a username and password.
On the very last Chooser screen, if you put an "X" in the little checkbox to the right of the Guest server name, your Mac will connect to that server every time it starts up.
Since the Guest server doesn't require a password, people who set their Mac to automatically connect to it may not even notice that the Guest icon now shows up on their desktop every day. Unfortunately, if ten people on campus do this no one else can connect to the Guest volume.
If you notice that your Mac is automatically mounting the Guest volume every time it starts up, reconnect to it in the Chooser and remove the "X" to the right of the Guest server name. Or, throw away the System Folder: Preferences: AppleShare Prep file. (This file remembers what servers your Mac should connect to on startup.)
If you have any questions about using the Macintosh Guest volume, please contact Joel Ness (x8841, e-mail to jness.
We recently upgraded to version 3.96 of Pine on the ub and bulldog central system computers. The changes from 3.94 and 3.95 include some new features you might want to check out if you're still using Pine on the central system computers.
If you select a network printer using the UMenu printer configuration option, Pine's printer setting should be set for the default command (Default printer currently set to "/usr/local/bin/enscript").
To select a printer that is directly attached to your computer (for example, an inkjet printer in your office or at home), in Pine's Printer configuration screen, select the Printer: attached-to-ansi option.
personal-name This is the name that appears in the From: column when your e-mail is received by other people. You can change it to whatever you want by highlighting this option with your arrow keys and then pressing "C" to change the value. Type in whatever you'd like it to be and then press Return to complete the change.
enable-aggregate-command-set Highlight this option with your arrow keys and turn it "on" by pressing the "X" or Return key. This will cause a new Pine menu option to appear in your Folder Index menus called "Select", as well as two other new options called "A Apply" and "Z Zoom". Use the Select option to "tag" multiple messages based on who they are from, certain text in the subject line or body of message, when they were sent, etc. and then use the "A Apply" command to delete, save, print, or perform other operations on all the selected messages. You can also use the "Z Zoom" command to display an index list containing just the selected messages (and press "Z" again to display your complete list of messages). This feature also enables the "^X" subcommand in the "W WhereIs" command which causes all messages matching the WhereIs search to become selected.
enable-bounce-cmd Highlight this option with your arrow keys and turn it "on" by pressing the "X" or Return key. Setting this feature enables the "B Bounce" command, which prompts for an address and re-mails the message to the new recipient. Use this command to re-direct messages (for example, if you receive a message in error). The final recipient will see a header indicating that you have resent the message, but the message's From: header will show the original author of the message, and replies to it will go back to that author, and not to you.
enable-flag-cmd Highlight this option with your arrow keys and turn it "on" by pressing the "X" or Return key. Setting this feature enables the "* Flag" command which allows you to change the status flags associated with a message (New, Deleted, Answered, or Important).
print-index-enabled Highlight this option with your arrow keys and turn it "on" by pressing the "X" or Return key. This feature controls the behavior of the Print command in the Folder Index screen. It will give you a prompt asking if you wish to print the message index, or the currently selected message.
During the beginning of Spring quarter, the office server hardware was upgraded to improve performance and increase capability. Additional software changes are planned for the quarter which include adding new applications and removing older versions of some.
These products will be made available on the server during the summer. Notices on their availability and instructions on how to access the software will be sent out at that time
If you currently store your WordPerfect or Lotus documents on the server (g:\users\ .), you do not need to move the documents. Documents in your directories will not be affected when the older version of the software application is removed.
Why has Information Services chosen to support and recommend certain e-mail programs and not others?
Almost any e-mail client program can be made to work with our UMD mail server (mail.d.umn.edu). For practical purposes, we need to choose just a few of each type of application (word processors, spreadsheets, e-mail programs, etc.) to support. There are also advantages to our users to having some standardization in the programs used on campus.
One of the main reasons we have so far not officially supported popular e-mail programs such as Eudora and POPMail relates to how these different e-mail programs actually work with your mail.
Mailstrom and PC-Pine use a protocol called Interactive Mail Access Protocol (IMAP) for accessing your mail. An IMAP client works closely with the IMAP software that runs on our mail server. The IMAP server actually does all the manipulations of your mailboxes. Your mail always resides on the server (unless you specifically decide to save an individual message as a text file on your hard disk).
This allows you to work with your mailboxes at home using Mailstrom or PC-Pine and then come into school and work with the same mailboxes using Mailstrom, PC-Pine or Pine on our central systems. Also, since all your mail stays on the server and on your central system account, you don't have to worry about losing saved messages due to hard disk or floppy failure.
In contrast, e-mail clients such as POPMail, Eudora, and Netscape use a protocol called POP (Post Office Protocol) to read your inbox. This protocol downloads the entire contents of your e-mail inbox to your computer and deletes the messages from the server. This does have the advantage that you can work with your mail at home (read your mail and compose messages for later sending) without tying up your phone line for the entire sessionand you don't accrue file storage charges or use up disk quota with stored mail on the mail server or on your central system account.
However, there are also several disadvantages in using the POP protocol. POP does not allow you to access any mailboxes you may have already saved on your central system account using mail programs such as Pine, elm, PC-Pine, or Mailstrom (although POP clients do let you manage multiple mailboxes on your local hard disk). This means that a POP client can not access inboxes that have automatically been copied to a saved mailbox on your central system account by our mail server because they have grown too large.
In addition, because mail is downloaded once you read it,
you must be at the computer on which you downloaded your mail to
work with any of your saved messages.
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Last Revised on 09/18/97 sab [an error occurred while processing this directive]