VOLUME 7, ISSUE 7
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Vista Operating System, Office 2007
and Internet Explorer 7
Microsoft Corporation recently released Vista, their new version of the
Windows operating system. Campus computer users have been asking about
its availability under the Microsoft Campus Agreement, and how Campus
Information Technology Services will be supporting it. We have been
testing it for some time now, and although we feel that the product is a
good one, we have identified four broad issues that will affect the pace
of its adoption:
- Your computer may not be able to run it. This largely depends on
whether your machine has sufficient memory and if its video and
sound cards are compatible with Vista.
- Some of your peripheral devices may not work with Vista.
Manufacturers of printers, PDAs, scanners, cameras and the like are
gradually releasing drivers for Vista, but it may take some time
before all these devices function properly with the new operating
- Some of your applications may not run under Vista. Publishers of
software packages may need to release revisions specifically updated
to run in Vista, so you should check their websites to see what they
have to say about it.
- User familiarity. There have been enough changes to the look and
feel of Windows that many users may need to get some training to
become comfortable with Vista. It will also take some time before
support staff are fully ready to help users with problems they
The result of all this is that IT Services will not begin
distributing Vista to computer labs or supported user machines any
time in the near future. Computer labs will continue to run Windows
XP for the 2007-2008 academic year. Microsoft itself will be
supporting Windows XP (the version most commonly used on campus)
until at least April of 2009, and so we expect to also continue our
support through that date.
Microsoft has also released the newest version of Office, containing
Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, Outlook and Publisher. It also
offers new products, including One Note, Groove and InfoPath (See
for overviews of all Office products.
Users transitioning to Office 2007 will see some significant
differences in the look and feel of the applications. The most
obvious change is in how menu items are grouped together and
presented to the user. There are also many cosmetic changes to the
applications that will be somewhat unfamiliar to even the
experienced user. It is expected that some retraining will be
necessary to make users comfortable with the new version of Office.
The Teaching, Learning and Technology Center will be scheduling
Office 2007 training for Faculty and Staff this summer. IT Services
plans to distribute Office 2007 to computer labs in time for the
fall 2007 semester. Faculty and staff that wish to begin using
Office 2007 should call the Help Desk for more information on how
and when it will be made available to them.
Finally, a new version of Microsoft's Internet browser
has been out for some time, and is an integral part of Vista but is
optional for users of Windows XP. IE7 is not yet certified for use
with BANNER, and there may be other services that have problems with
this new browser. We will not distribute IE7 as part of our Secure
Desktop or ASCI programs for the time being.
Shredding Sensitive Data
We’re all aware that any paper documents containing personal
information must be shredded before being disposed of. Certainly all of
us can appreciate why it’s important to do so – no one wants information
about themselves falling into the hands of anyone who happens by a
garbage pail or recycling bin.
You do shred all those credit card offers you receive at home, don’t
|Although we all understand and abide by the shredding policy, the way
it’s carried out is often extending the risk of data theft. Many
offices on campus have a “Shred” box and a “Recycle” box under someone’s
desk to gather that material until it is shredded or recycled. A data
thief knows we only shred information that we need to protect, so that
“Shred” box might as well be wrapped up with a bow on top.
Even a simple mistake could result in sensitive information
being compromised. Someone could easily mistake the “Shred” box
and the “Recycle” box making all that data available to whomever
notices it and recognizes its value.
A recent event at Nassau Community College reminds us that
data theft isn’t always a high tech operation or the result of a
lost hard drive:
A printout containing information on all registered students was
stolen from an office. The person working with the data had stepped away
from her desk for ten minutes. This event will cost NCC both in dollars
and in credibility.
Put yourself in the position of a student or a parent finding out
that you might be the victim of identity theft. Or put yourself in the
position of a college official needing to notify those potential
victims. You will quickly realize why this is such a serious loss.
Sensitive information should never be left where an unauthorized person
might get access to it – even for a few minutes. It must always be
secured when unattended.
Even if it’s headed for the shredder.
Not a shredder.
You can view SUNY Oneonta’s Security Program at
http://www.oneonta.edu/technology/security/ITSP.asp or contact
Lesley Bidwell (x2628 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any
questions, or would like schedule the IT Security Essentials seminar for
Changes to Daylight Savings Time affecting Outlook Calendar
In August of 2005, the United States Congress passed the Energy
Policy Act. The Energy Policy Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Policy_Act_of_2005),
among other things, changes the start dates and the end dates of
daylight saving time (DST). When this law goes into effect in 2007, DST
will start three weeks earlier on March 11, 2007 and end one week later
on November 4, 2007.
Microsoft has released both a Windows update to fix your computer's
built-in daylight savings time clock and an Office tool to fix any
calendar appointments you have scheduled during these daylight saving
time changed dates.
Administrative computers in the Secure Desktop program and Academic
computers in the ASCI program have already automatically received the
Windows update, but may still need the Office tool run for calendar
items. You may see appointments now in your Outlook calendar that
are 1 hour ahead beginning March 11.
Computer services will be running a tool on our E-Mail servers
next week to update your calendars and fix this, but if you wish you may
run the tool yourself right now by downloading it from
Editing email attachments - save them first!
One of the useful things about Outlook Mail is that is someone sends
you an attachment, you can double-click it and open it directly in the
relevant application. Attached documents open in Word,
spreadsheets open in Excel, and so on. Some people are configured
to open the attachment in Internet Explorer, where the file is embedded
in a browser window (that is, Internet Explorer) that has most of the
functionality of Word, or Excel, or whatever.
A problem arises, though, when you save a file opened in this way.
If embedded in a browser window, saving changes you may have made to the
file simply saves a copy in the browser's cache file. After a
period of time, that cache file is automatically cleared and you lose
all your changes! If in a regular application, saving it only
saves it as an attachment to the original message - if you then delete
that message, the changes are gone, too.
So if you intend to modify an attached file, save it to your computer
first, then open the saved copy before editing it.
Anyone for a PB&J?
The recent recall of peanut butter due to salmonella contamination (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070215/ap_on_he_me/peanut_butter_salmonella)
got us wondering; how do we find out what other products are being
recalled? Well, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration maintains a
http://www.fda.gov/opacom/7alerts.html. The alerts encompass
drugs, allergy alerts in various products, food recalls and the like.
If you have a question for Computer and Telecommunication
Computer Problems or Related Issues - Call the
Information Technology Help Desk
Telephone Service or Problems - Call the
Office of Telecommunications
Directory Assistance - call 436-3500