March, 2005
Computing image

LBNL Changes High Speed Home Access Policy

The Lab has changed its policy regarding provision and reimbursement of DSL and cable Internet connections. Under the new policy, employees designated by their Division Management as requiring high speed home access will choose their own service provider, and the Lab will reimburse users for 50 percent of the cost. The change is expected to significantly reduce the cost to the Lab while ensuring compliance with DOE guidelines. ITSD will no longer centrally manage the procurement, support and payment for high speed home access. Effective April 4, ITSD will begin assisting current users with their transition options. Read FAQs about the policy.

Workshops Provide Introduction to Collaborative Resources

LBNL's Distributed Systems Department, which has developed and deployed various tools and applications to help geographically dispersed scientists collaborate on scientific research, presents four tutorials for Lab researchers. Tutorials are free of charge, but pre-registration is required. Sign up for any or all of the tutorials by sending email. For details go here. All tutorials will be held in Perseverance Hall (54-130).

  • Introduction to Grid Computing
    1-4 p.m. Fri., April 8
  • Secure Collaboration: Concepts and Tools
    1-4 p.m. Fri., April 15
  • Collaborative Tools and Sociology
    1-4 p.m. Fri., May 6
  • Tools and Techniques for Managing Large Scientific Software Projects
    1-4 p.m. Fri., May 13
Computing image

Reminder: Don’t Forget to Backup Your Computer

A temporary interruption like a computer crash or network outage is bothersome enough, but imagine losing all your data, and not having the means to recover it. Regular backups help ensure this won’t happen. Not only does it make good sense, the RPM also calls for regular backups. If you are interested, email Chris Manders. Read more.

Your Password: To Share or Not To Share?

Do you share your password with someone else? The RPM states that shared user IDs and passwords are not generally allowed except when your system manager approves. You should be aware that sharing your password with anyone else greatly increases the likelihood that your password will fall into the wrong hands and then be used to gain unauthorized access to your account. The RPM states that you are also responsible for the consequences

Service Tip

Computing image

BLIS Now Default Homepage on New Computers

When you buy an LBNL standard desktop, which is delivered to ITSD and imaged with the Lab’s standard load, your new computer will have Berkeley Lab Information Systems (BLIS) portal as the default homepage for both Mozilla and Internet Explorer. To get a Lab standard desktop go here. To customize BLIS, the Lab’s new web portal, go to

 Protecting Your Computer
Computing image

Healthy Dose of Paranoia Helps Prevent Computer Virus Infections

New viruses and worms now surface at a rate of up to 200 per week. The Lab protects users with virus walls and anti-virus software, but it takes time to identify new worms and update virus walls and software. Users who open attachments without a healthy dose of paranoia greatly increase the chance of infecting their system, especially if they run Windows. Bottom line: Don't open any attachment you aren’t expecting. If you receive an unexpected attachment that appears to be from someone you know, call them to verify before opening.

Computer Protection Program Targets Easy-to-Guess Passwords

The Computer Protection Program is conducting a major effort to find and fix weak (easy-to-guess) passwords in all Lab systems. Go here for examples of bad passwords. It's not hard to select a good password that is also easy to remember. Go here for tips on choosing a good (difficult-to-guess) password. Windows users should also consider using Password Safe, a simple way to store all of your passwords in an encrypted "safe" on your Windows computer. Read more.

Enrollment for April 19 Cryptography Course Now Open

Enrollment for Cryptography, a free Computer Protection Program course, is open. This course will be taught from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 19 in the Bldg. 50 auditorium. To find a course description and enroll go online. Enrollment is limited on a first-come, first-served basis.

Solaris Security Guidelines Now Available

Note to all Solaris system administrators: Baseline guidelines for running Solaris systems at Berkeley Lab have recently been written. To read this consensus document, which is based on input from some of the best Solaris system administrators at the Lab, go here.

Computing image

Monthly Virus Update: More than 55,000 Worms Destroyed

The Lab's virus wall continues to guard Lab systems against worm and virus infections. Last month it detected and eradicated 55,224 worms and viruses, almost all of which target Windows systems. In contrast, the number in January was 75,420. Read more.