CAT Prints - the online newsletter of the Department of Computers and Telecommunication Services

VOLUME 6, ISSUE 12

June, 2006

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Changes in Computing, Networking and Telecommunications Services

After 27 years of service Ed Forman has retired from his post as Associate Director of  Administrative Computer Services.   The last of the "old guard", Ed has been a part of the college's data processing and management operations from the days of keypunch and mainframe through today's laptop and internet.  Ed has always had an interest in the latest new technologies, and we suspect that he will devote a large part of his free time to tinkering with the latest products, as well as his substantial collection of "legacy hardware", shall we say.

Ed will also continue to be very active in the local Rotary organization as well as various other volunteer opportunities.  Good luck, Ed!

 

Securing your computer

We all make sure our offices are locked when we leave for the day, and that our confidential papers are secured as well, but you'd be surprised how often users will walk away from their machines for a half hour or more, leaving them up and running with email logged in, documents up on the screen and so on.  It's also fairly common for offices to be set up in such a way that visitors can easily see what's displayed on the screen - usually not a good idea.

Any time you walk away from your machine, even for a few minutes, it's a good practice to hit Control-Alt-Delete and select "Lock Computer".  This requires you to re-enter the password to unlock the machine when you return.  This is like locking your office door, or not leaving the keys in your car when you go into the grocery store.  Probably nothing bad would happen, but it's sensible to take the precaution. 

The Administrative Secure Desktop configuration and Academic ASCI program help improve the security of your machine and the data it contains.  If you would like to find out more about these programs, call the Help Desk at 4567.

 

Uses for those old cellphones

We reported back in February 2004 that less than 1% of outdated cellphones were being recycled - the situation is slowly improving, with consumer education and new laws like Westchester County's mandatory recycling law.  Yeah, slowly... we're up to a whopping 2% recycling rate two and a half years later.

Cellphones collected for recycling at a landfill in Orlando, Florida.  Photo Credit: Chris Jordan

There are several positive options for the undesired cellphone:

  • Did you know that just about any unprogrammed cell phone can still call 911?  Add a cigarette-plug adapter and you have a great item for grandma's glove compartment.
  • There are all kinds of charitable organizations that accept used cell phones - they reactivate them for womens' shelters, volunteer groups and the like. 
  • Cell phones require some pretty unusual metals.  Toss them in a landfill and that means we have to dig more of these metals out of the ground.  This contributes to some horrific mayhem in the Congo.  If we aren't going to do anything else, we can at least reduce the demand for tantalum ore.
  • Speaking of landfills, who needs the chemical nasties leaking out of cell phone batteries and circuit boards?  Stuff like antimony, arsenic, copper, cadmium, lead, and zinc.  Make 'em into new phones!

Find out more about cell phone recycling at http://www.recyclemycellphone.org/reportcard.shtml.  And remember - the Telecommunications Office at 236 Netzer will always accept old cell phones, their batteries and chargers for recycling. 

 

Wireless Networking in Residence Halls

This summer Networking and Telecommunications are working on a project to bring wireless networking to seven residence halls for the fall.  This involves the installation of 150 wireless access points as well as the cabling and other equipment necessary to connect it to the campus network. 

This is part of a multiyear project that aims to make wireless networking available in all residence halls by the end of summer 2007. 

 

Outlook Mail Tips

Adding senders to your contacts list

When you receive emails from off-campus senders, you may want to add their addresses to your contacts list.   An easy way to do this is to double-click on the message to open it, and then right-click on the sender's name and choose Add to Outlook Contacts from the drop-down menu:

This will create a Contact entry, and you don't have to be concerned about incorrectly typing in the sender's address!

 

If you have a question for Computer and Telecommunication Services about:

Computer Problems or Related Issues - Call the Information Technology Help Desk at 436-4567

Telephone Service or Problems - Call the Office of Telecommunications at 436-2577

Directory Assistance - call 436-3500

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