SSCC News for October 2002

Inside this issue...

Recap of Recent Building Network Problems
SSCC's Fall Training Schedule
Antivirus Software a "Must" When Using VPN
Time to Renew SPSS PC Licenses

Recap of Recent Building Network Problems

We have been hounded by network problems in the Social Science Building this Fall. Last month we reported on problems with the floor network switches. Last Wednesday the 7th floor lost connectivity most of the day because of a faulty board in our ATM core switch. We have a temporary workaround in place until the part is returned from repair. In addition to these two major problems, people continue to report intermittent slow downs and lost connections. DoIT engineers with their sophisticated network monitoring equipment were brought in to assist in the diagnosis of the problems. They determined that network traffic within the building is overloading the floor switches causing the slow downs and lost connections. Unfortunately, this problem cannot be rectified until the cabling is replaced in the building (expected later this Fall) AND older networking equipment is replaced. Although replacing this equipment is a very high priority, it is also a very expensive undertaking and will take time to accumulate sufficient funds. We appreciate everyone's patience and, please continue to contact Consultant if you experience any network problems.

SSCC's Fall Training Schedule

SSCC Fall training is well underway. Upcoming classes include Stata, ArcView, Accessing SSCC's Network from Home (VPN), Keeping Your Inbox Manageable, Condor, Using UW's On-Line Calendar, Keeping Your PC Running Smoothly, and Using Forms in Web Pages. The schedule and registration information is on SSCC's training web pages. All SSCC training sessions require preregistration.

Antivirus Software a Must When Using VPN

More and more SSCC members are using VPN to allow their home computers to log into the SSCC network just as if they were in the Social Science Building, with full access to the network drives and printers. Using VPN makes it even more important that your home PC have up-to-date antivirus software, just like your office PC. Because VPN gives your home PC direct access to our network, if it is compromised, it becomes a danger to our network.

Antivirus software for home use is available free of charge. All faculty, staff and students are licensed to use F-Prot. F-prot can be downloaded from the University of Wisconsin-Extension web site, however you can only download it if you have a UW IP address. If you use a commercial ISP you will need to start your VPN connection first, then download it. In addition to F-PROT, the 2002 WiscWorld CD for students contains Norton Antivirus software. Faculty and staff are not covered by the Norton Antivirus site license, but it can be purchased at a reasonable cost. If you use VPN, you must have up-to-date antivirus software on your PC. You should also keep your operating system up to date with the latest security patches.

Please keep in mind that almost everything you can do with VPN can also be done by logging into one of our Windows Terminal Servers using the Citrix ICA client. The ICA client is free, easier to set up, and does not pose these security problems.

Time to Renew SPSS PC Licenses

The SPSS campus license for PCs will be expiring November 1. If you purchased one of these licenses for your PC, be sure you renew it with DoIT before November. Once renewed, DoIT will send you the new licensing codes along with instructions on how to apply them.

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© 2002 University of Wisconsin Social Science Computing Cooperative