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New Web Pages Make Choosing, Configuring Micron and Dell Computers Easier

The Computing Infrastructure Support (CIS) Department and the Computing Sciences Procurement team have recently been working with Micron and Dell to make it easier to buy a variety of equipment using LBNL Basic Ordering Agreements (BOAs). Both vendors now maintain an on-line store for LBNL and have added the capability of specifying optional components using drop-down menus.
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New Backup Service Now Available to UNIX Workstation Users

The Lab's Computing Infrastructure Support Department has now switched more than 200 UNIX users over to a better, faster and cheaper system for backing up computer data. Called Veritas Netbackup, the new backup system is more reliable, runs faster, can handle more clients and is more automated than the previous backup system, Legato.
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Why Back Up Your Computer Data?

As Lab employees increasingly rely on their computers for almost all aspects of their work, having a reliable way to back up files can avoid losing months or years of work and the ensuing struggle to recreate the data. According to Chapter 9.02.C.4.d. of the Lab's Regulations and Procedures Manual, responsibility for protecting data rests with the owner of the data.
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Regular Maintenance Keeps Calendar and Email Services Running, But Necessitates Scheduled Downtime

Computer systems, like everything else, require periodic preventive maintenance. The Computing Infrastructure Technology Group (CITG), which is responsible for Berkeley Lab's strategic computing services, performs weekly maintenance on the calendar server each Sunday between 8 a.m. and noon. This has resulted in a stable and reliable calendar service. CITG will also be performing maintenance on the email system during this same time slot. Primary maintenance will be done on the second Sunday of the month, but maintenance may be scheduled for any Sunday between 8 a.m. and noon depending on the urgency of the work. During this maintenance time, the services will be unavailable.

To check on the status of any CITG servers, click here. Emergency outage status will be posted here.

New Steltor Calendar Client for Macintosh Computers Now Available

The "new" Steltor CorporateTime client for Macintosh is now available from the Lab's Software Download page. Look for "Steltor CorporateTime 5.2 for Mac NEW" in the web/E-mail section. This new version fixes the bug in the reminder function and several other ongoing problems with the older Netscape version of the Macintosh calendar client. Before installing this client, though, run the Mac "software update" from the control panel to obtain the latest version of Carbon Libraries from Apple. After downloading and installing the client, read this client configuration information.

Tip of the Month: Easy Links to Email, Software, Calendar and the Help Desk

There's an easy-to-remember way to access Lab Web pages providing information about centralized email, calendar and computer support, as well the central software download page. From the Lab's main url (www.lbl.gov), just add /mail, /cal, /help or /download, hit return and there you are. Depending on how your computer is configured, you may be able to type <help> in the location field of your browser and that will also take you to the central computer support page supported by the Computing Infrastructure Support Department.

New TEID Service Melds PowerPoint with Video for Online Presentations

A new technology that enables the real-time recording of lectures and presentations featuring digital content PowerPoint slides and high-quality speaker audio and video is now available through TEID's Video Services Group. An example of the new service can be viewed at TEID's Video Services Group. Click on Online Presentations to view recently recorded events. This system utilizes RealMedia, the Lab standard streaming player.
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Monthly Virus Alert - Gigger Worm

Attention Windows 95, 98 and ME users--the Gigger worm spreads via Microsoft Outlook, mIRC, and shared folders. The Gigger worm replaces all files from all drives with a zero byte file if the day of the month is 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th or 20th. It also attempts to format the C: drive. Variants of this worm have already been found. Fortunately, Gigger is not spreading quickly.
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A Word to the Wise About (In)Appropriate Use of Lab Computers

Certain types of activities are not allowed when you use LBNL computers. Among these activities include using KaZaA (a protocol for file and music sharing), accessing or storing sexually explicit materials or images, and accessing other people's email, computers or networks without authorization. See the pertinent section of the Lab's Regulations and Policies Manual for a complete listing of activities that constitute unacceptable use -- and the consequences for violating unacceptable use regulations.

Help Desk Wants to Hear from Employees About Using PCSupport.com

Last fall, the Lab's computer support Help Desk began a four-month trial use of PCSupport.com, an Internet-based computer support service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. January is the fourth and final month of the trial period, which was designed to determine how useful an Internet-based extension of the LBNL Help Desk would be to Lab customers. Employees can give their input via the CIS suggestion box.
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Advisory: Getting Repairs on Sony Vaio Laptops May Prove Frustrating

The Mac/PC Support Group (MPSG) staff has learned a few lessons about maintenance of Sony Vaio Laptops. MPSC does not have the resources in-house to fix hardware problems on these computers. While there are many Vaio users at the Lab, a recent attempt by the MPSG to get the display fixed on a Sony Vaio was so frustrating, the group wanted to make employees aware of the situation.
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Computing News is maintained by Jon Bashor.