Nancy McDermott wins Academic Staff Excellence Award

We're pleased to announce that SSCC Director Nancy McDermott is the recipient of the 2012 Wisconsin Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Leadership: Individual Unit Level. This is a very competitive and prestigious award, but she very much deserves it. Congratulations Nancy!

SSCC's Spring Training

SSCC's Spring training is winding down but there are still opportunities available in R, Nvivo, and Matlab. These sessions are listed on SSCC's training web pages. Remember that all SSCC training sessions are free to SSCC members and nonmembers alike, but require preregistration.

Dropbox Client No Longer Available on Winstat

We recently identified a serious problem with using Dropbox on Winstat. The Dropbox client saves a complete local copy of your Dropbox account in your profile, and as a result some user's profiles have reached several gigabytes in size. This made the process of logging in to Winstat very slow for them and for other users who happened to be logging in at the same time. You are welcome to use the Dropbox web site on Winstat, so files stored in your Dropbox account will still be accessible. If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please contact the SSCC Help Desk.

Speeding up Winstat Logins

SSCC staff recently made several important changes to reduce the time needed to log into Winstat, and our monitoring shows that they've made a big difference. But we know everyone would like to log in even faster.

At this point, the slowest step in logging in is when the server must download the "profile" that contains all your personal Winstat settings. Very large profiles are associated with very long login times, and on average adding just 100 megabytes to your profile increases your login time by about five seconds. Reducing your profile size also benefits anyone else trying to log in at the same time as you.

The trouble is that many programs by default store files in locations that are part of your profile. This includes the Documents library and your desktop: move files in these locations to the network, most likely your U: drive. Another frequent cause of large profiles is the Downloads directory used by your web browser: deleting old downloads can make a big difference in your login time.

SSCC staff have identified the users with the very largest profiles and will contact them to offer assistance in cutting their profile down to size. If you suspect a large profile is slowing down your Winstat logins and the steps described above haven't helped, let the Help Desk know.

Tip: Using Chat Software? Consider Turning Off Logging

DoIT offers an instant messaging service called WiscChat via several supported clients programs for PCs, Macs, and Smartphones. This service provides a certain level of security and privacy because it requires authentication using your UW NetID credentials. Keep in mind though that by default most of these client programs log all of your conversations and keep those logs permanently. This raises security and privacy concerns and you may want to turn logging off. Chat logs could also be subject to Open Records requests.