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January 2007 IT News


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IT Division Tests Windows Vista

Windows Vista icon

The IT Division is testing Windows Vista to verify its functionality with institutional software and services. Currently, IT does not recommend Vista for users who depend on institutional services (e.g. Peoplesoft, eBuy, etc.) Also, Thunderbird email is not yet wholly functional with Vista (e.g. LDAP address book lookups will not work until version 2 is released in the next few months). Until IT can provide evidence that Vista works with these services, XP Professional is a better choice. For users who choose to obtain Windows Vista, IT advises obtaining the business version in order to enable Remote Desktop and centralized administration (by joining Active Directory).To compare different versions of Vista, go here. For information on LBNL’s efforts to certify Vista, go here.

Choose XP Professional over XP Home or XP Media

Win XP Pro logo

When choosing a Windows operating system, Windows XP Professional has a number of advantages for Lab users over XP Home and XP Media. XP Professional allows users to join Active Directory (AD). AD provides cyber security (firewall, workstation security policies, patch management), Help Desk assistance, and account management to systems that are part of the AD. (To join AD go here.) Professional also allows users to securely access your Windows computer remotely via Remote Desktop. For more information go here. To compare XP packages, go here.

Library Gains Access to More Elsevier Journals

Elsevier icon

LBNL Library worked closely with California Digital Library, a UCOP managed resource, to negotiate a three year contract of access to Elsevier Publishers’ "Big Deal." The package entitles LBNL to an aggregated list of 1,200 scientific journals with enhanced access to backfiles online and perpetual licensing that guarantees future access. If this were to occur, the Lab's membership in Portico, the Ithaka Harbors (JSTOR) journal repository, enables staff to continue uninterrupted access to online assets previously licensed. For questions, contact Jane Tierney (x4400).

Novell Printing to be Phased Out

Novell logo

In an effort to reduce costs and simplify services, the IT Division is phasing out Novell File and Print Services over the next 18 months. Currently, about 900 Novell users at the Lab use approximately 230 shared network printers. The switch will integrate network print services into Windows Active Directory.

Customers who are supported by the Workstation Standardization and Centralization (WSC) initiative (Operations and Lab Directorate staff) will be contacted by assigned support staff. ATTN Scientific Divisions: if you use Novell printing and can identify a printer as a candidate for conversion, please contact IT by putting in a help request at: http://help/. IT will schedule a time to convert the printer to the new infrastructure and show you how to access it through native Windows capabilities. For details on the project, go here.

New Downloads Page Going Strong

Software box

The new software website,, which was released in December, has recorded more than over 1500 downloads, 2,000 logins, and 800 unique users in its first month. Coming soon: license tracking, RSS feeds of new releases and software for purchase. More details here.

Check Out New “Google” Lab Map

Google-style Lab Map

A “Google” style version of the Berkeley Lab map is now available online. You can also find it in the BLIS Portal under the “Lab Info” channel. The new map makes it easy to locate any LBNL building by simply clicking on the building number or selecting it from a pull down menu. A bubble appears that gives directions from the main gate or another building. The map also provides the ability to zoom and get a satellite view of all Lab buildings and parking lots.


Protecting Your Computer

Protect Your Password: Don’t Save in Web Browsers


Both Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) provide the option to save frequently entered information for your convenience. While the hassle-saving benefits are obvious, storing passwords and other information in your browser may allow it to be exposed to attacks. Because of this threat, the Computer Protection Program recommends that you never save passwords or sensitive data (credit card numbers, date of birth, SSN, etc.) in your web browser. Firefox users who decide to store passwords or form data, because it is convenient or required, should set a Master Password. Master Password makes it difficult for malicious software to gain access to your passwords. IE does not have a similar feature. Go here for more details.

Spam Tip:
Beware of Opt Out Emails

No spamming

If you receive an unsolicited email message that gives you the option of opting out of receiving more email, do not respond. This is a trick used by spammers to confirm they have reached a live address. If you respond, your address goes to a prime list and is sold to other spammers. Another way you can prevent spammers from getting your address in the first place is to never post your email in public online forums. Spammers use software that looks for anything with an @ symbol. Spell out your address instead like “help at”

Monthly Virus Update: More Than 99,000 Worms Eliminated

Computer worm image

The Lab's virus wall continues to guard LBNL systems against worm and virus infections. Last month it detected and destroyed 99,134 worms and viruses, almost all of which targeted Windows systems. The number is similar to the number in November, which was 90,714. As a best practice, users should continue to be wary of unexpected emails and attachments— and make sure security software and patches are up to date.

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