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Considering a Laptop? Here Are Some Suggestions

A Lab employee recently contacted the Desktop Support Group when her Sony Vaio laptop computer died. She was looking for a replacement, but wanted a computer that met the following criteria:

  • Prompt delivery (within one month)
  • Light weight and thinner size
  • Built-in capability to do presentations.
  • Ports for connecting and external keyboard and monitor for use as a desktop system
  • Windows software load and compatibility with central business services
  • Light-weight, long-life battery.
  • Touch pad (no button).
  • Light-weight ergonomic mouse for travel use
  • Desktop printer that is compatible with laptop.

The Computing Infrastructure Support (CIS) Department gets similar inquires around this time of year as employees seek to upgrade their systems before the next fiscal year. Because laptops are now available in a range of sizes, weights and features, Mike McCloud of the Mac/PC Support Group put together the following information to consider when choosing a laptop.
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Need a New Printer? Here's a Guide to Getting the One Best Suited to Your Needs

With so many printers out there, it's easy to get confused and make a purchasing decision that seems valid at the time, but doesn't take into account such issues as networked printing ability or cost of maintenance and repair.
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New Name, New Format for Computing News

Computing News will enter its fifth year of publication in September with a new name and new format. The newsletter name is changing to Computing and Communications Services News to reflect the increasing integration of computing and communication-related services. The html format, designed by TEID, the Lab's Technical and Electronic Information Department, will make it easier for readers to see the entire contents at a glance and quickly click to articles of interest. The redesign will also include more direct links to related services and resources.

The format changes will not apply to the plain text version sent to employees who do not use the Lab's IMAP4 central email service.

Micron PCs Now Available with Faster Processors, Second Hard Drive

The Lab's Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) for streamlined buying of Micron PCs has been upgraded. You can now choose to equip your Micron with the Pentium 4 processor, which runs at 2.53 GHz. Another added option is for a second hard drive with either 40, 80, or 120 GB of storage.

Finding the Micron On-Line Store
You can reach the Micron store by going to the CIS home page, clicking on "Buy a computer", then "LBNL standard PC." This takes you to the procurement page where the procurement card-based purchasing process is explained and a link to the Micron Web site is also available.

CIS Announces Star Office Evaluation Effort

The Computing Infrastructure Support (CIS) Department is sponsoring an evaluation of Star Office , an office productivity suite that runs on multiple operating systems, including Solaris, Microsoft Windows, and Linux. Star Office is provided by Sun Microsystems and is based on the code base of the open source product, Open Office. (Star Office version 6.0 is based on Open Office 1.0.)
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UNIX Distributed Printing: What's New?

The current UNIX Distributed Printing system will undergo a major facelift in the next fiscal year. CIS is in the early stages of converting to a service based on the Common UNIX Printing System (CUPS). This Linux-based approach will be implemented over the course of the next year on a division-by-division basis. There are a number of advantages to the new approach, which will allow UNIX users to take full advantage of their printers:
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Tip of the Month: Easy Fix for Common Problem on HP LJ 4500 and LJ 4550 Color Printers

Although the Lab's Desktop Support Group recommends Hewlett-Packard printers, the devices aren't perfect. There is an ongoing problem with HP Color LJ 4500 and 4550 series printer - sometimes they only turn out blank pages.
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Procurement-Receiving-Payables System Quickly Catching On

(Editor's note: This article was written by John Speros of the Financial Services Department.)
The Laboratory's new Procurement-Receiving-Payables (PRP) system went live on August 5. Legacy Oracle Purchasing, NetREQ and paper requisition systems, as well as the Lab's Accounts Payable System, have been replaced with new PeopleSoft technology such as eProcurement. Already, in the first three weeks, more than 550 requisitions, 400 purchase orders, and 2,000 vouchers have been created in the new system.
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Monthly Virus Update: Klez Variants Continue to Dominate

Last month viruses and worms continued to try to make their way into the Lab, but the VirusWall continued to do an outstanding job in detecting and deleting them. The most frequently found worms and viruses once again target Windows systems, with major Klez variants being most prevalent with over 6,400 total instances found and stopped by the Lab's VirusWall.
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Common Component Architecture Tutorial to Be Held at LBNL Sept. 6

Berkeley Lab will host a one-day tutorial on the Common Component Architecture from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, in the Bldg. 50 auditorium. There is no fee for the workshop, but advance registration is required. To register, go to
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Computing News is maintained by Jon Bashor.