New Spam-Blocking Tool to be Implemented Wednesday

SSCC email will be down Wednesday, January 12, 2011, 8-9 a.m. in order to implement a new spam-blocking tool called greylisting.

Here's how greylisting works. When a normal mail server is unable to deliver a mail message for some reason, it will queue that message and attempt delivery at a later time. Spam programs don't bother. Greylisting programs capitalize on this by requiring that any mail server the program doesn't recognize send its message again later. The end result is that more spam gets blocked by our mail server.

Greylisting programs keep a list of servers it knows are legitimate and is referred to as the “whitelist.” Messages from mail servers on the whitelist bypass greylisting altogether. If the greylisting application receives mail from a server that is not on its whitelist, it sends the remote mail server a "defer" message. This should cause the remote server to queue the message for later delivery. When the delivery is attempted again, the greylisting application recognizes that it's seen the mail before and adds the server to its whitelist.

The greylisting program comes with an established whitelist and we have manually added a few other mail servers to it that we know are legitimate. Messages from these servers will bypass greylisting altogether. The first mail message from a mail server that is not currently whitelisted will be delayed until the remote server resends the message and the server is whitelisted. How long the server takes to resend the message depends on its configuration. One hour is typical but it could be longer. You may notice a delay in email delivery as our whitelist gets populated.

SSCC's Spring Training Schedule

SSCC's Spring training schedule is now available on SSCC's training web pages. SAS, SPSS, and R training dates have not been set. We hope to have them posted later this week. So far, you can register for Stata, Wordpress, MS Office, Linux, and a new offering called Use Your Mac like a Pro. In this one hour session we will demonstrate some of the really cool features available on Macs.

UW students can also register for Matlab and Nvivo training that DoIT is offering in our PC classroom. Remember that all SSCC training sessions require preregistration.

Time to Reserve Computer Classroom for Spring Semester Courses

It's time to reserve the 3218 classroom or mobile lab for your spring semester class. Use our web form to make your request(s). Reservations are filled on a first-come-first-served basis. Contact Caitlin Tefft ( if you have questions. Caitlin's office is in the 4226 office suite and her phone number is 2-0862.  Visit our Instructional Support at the SSCC web page for more information about the 3218 classroom and the mobile lab.

Even if you do not need to reserve the classroom or lab, you can arrange for your students to have access to SSCC's drop in labs (3218 and 4218 Social Science) and Winstat (available from anywhere with an Internet connection) for doing their homework. Caitlin can help you with this as well.

Doug Hemken (, statistical computing specialist for SSCC, is available to help students with homework and class projects. You can also arrange for Doug to come to your class and provide instruction on statistical software. Doug's office is in the 4226 office suite and his phone number is 2-4327.

We recently purchased a document camera to use in class rooms where the screen covers the blackboard. We also have special software in the classroom that allows you to control or interact with your students' computers. Contact Caitlin if you'd like to learn more about either of these.

Tip: Printing To Your Printer From Winstat

When you log in to Winstat, the ICA client will automatically set up your computer's default printer so that you can print to it from Winstat. This can be a printer that's connected directly to your computer or a network printer on your network.

Thus if you want to print to a given printer from Winstat, just make it the default printer on your computer before logging in. It's possible to connect to other local printers after logging into Winstat (we gave instructions in the article on preparing for the recent Winstat upgrade) but this is only necessary if you need to print to multiple local printers.