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


March, 2007

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OmniUpdate - a new web authoring tool

As of December 2008 Microsoft FrontPage (the main web-authoring tool used on campus) will no longer be supported by Microsoft or the College.  The College has decided to provide two options for our users.  Macromedia Dreamweaver, the industry’s standard, will be available for advanced users wishing to do sophisticated web development.  For users who make minor content changes on a semi-regular basis we will be offering OmniUpdate.

OmniUpdate is designed to empower faculty and staff of any department to quickly and easily create, update, and maintain designated areas of the campus Web site.  The easy-to-use Web Content Management Solution enables faculty and staff to update pages on departmental and campus Web sites without HTML or programming knowledge.  OU Campus also does not require the installation of software, which allows the user to make changes from any location that has an internet connection, on any operating system, and with any browser.

OmniUpdate will be presented on Wednesday, March 28 from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM in the Teaching, Learning & Technology Center during their weekly JAVA, JAVA AND OTHER TECHNOLOGIES series.

We would like to get all users to start using either OmniUpdate or DreamWeaver as soon as possible.  If you are interested in making the change sooner rather than later, let us know!  For Administrative websites, contact Web Coordinator Jennifer Knapp at x3031.  For Academic websites, contact TLTC director Jim Greenberg at x2701.

- Submitted by Jennifer Knapp

Using outside companies' services or products across the campus network

As digital information technology continues to soak into every nook and cranny of our lives, we find that departments on campus are starting to deal with vendors whose products or services need to transport data across our network.  As we discussed in a previous issue (September 2006), this can be problematic when products don't work as advertised right out of the box.  Multipurpose printer/fax/scanner/copier centers, for example, usually require a fair bit of tweaking to get them operational, and some of their features simply may not work in our network environment.

Another example involves companies who might offer to collect survey or other web form data for you and transmit it to you via email.  We need to make customized changes to our mail handling systems to permit this traffic in for delivery.  Not difficult, but we do need to be in on the implementation process.

There is also a proliferation of consumer electronic devices with the capability to transmit data across our network; phones, PDAs, cameras and so on.  Each of these devices also comes with its own set of potential problems involving network protocols, information security considerations and compatibility issues with existing equipment, application software and operating systems. 

Whenever you are considering buying into a new technology (or even a new version of an old technology), consider contacting your tech support staff at the beginning of that process.  It may save you a lot of wasted effort if we can advise you on the suitability of a technology for a task, and it will definitely save you time at the far end when the system must be set up and made functional.  We can often deal with vendors (we speak their techno-jargon) and can help you through the process.

Contact the help desk if you need consultation on the acquisition of new technologies - their staff will route your call to Jim Greenberg of the TLTC for academic users and to Phil Bidwell of Networking for Administrative users.

- Submitted by Phil Bidwell and Jim Matthews

Computer Security Resources

There is a lot of information (and misinformation) in the media about computer security.  It is certainly an important topic and everyone needs to be aware of some basic computer security habits and practices. Here are some resources to help you learn about the risks and how to protect yourself.

SANS Tip of the Day

The SANS institute is, according to their website, “the most trusted and by far the largest source for information security training and certification in the world. It also develops, maintains, and makes available at no cost, the largest collection of research documents about various aspects of information security, and it operates the Internet's early warning system - Internet Storm Center.“ 

SANS now publishes a Tip of the Day. These tips are designed for average computer users and the types of common online activity we all engage in daily without giving much thought to security. Check them out here:


Microsoft Security at Home

If you have a Windows computer, Microsoft has a web page with tips about keeping your computer and yourself safe when using the Internet.  If your office computer is enrolled in the ASCI or Secure Desktop programs, it is already receiving its Windows and anti-virus updates but you can learn how to secure your home computer just as effectively.  Even if you don’t have a Windows computer, the information on the “Protect Yourself” page is valuable whether you are checking your e-mail for work or doing your personal banking at home.

Snopes, the Urban Legends Reference Page, is not a security site but it can help you determine if an e-mail you receive is a hoax. Hoax e-mails are, at the very least, a waste of time and resources. (See the SANS Tips of the Day for March 16.) Next time you get an e-mail about an offer from Microsoft, a sure-fire cure for something or a missing child, do a quick search at the Snopes site ( and find out just how long it has been circulating and whether the content can be verified.  Then you can delete it without forwarding it to anyone else - help break the cycle! You won’t need to check more than a few to realize that these emails usually aren’t worth a cent.

Oneonta Information Technology Security Webpage

At you can find the SUNY Oneonta I.T. Security Program as well as some documents concerning computer security basics.  Check back as we plan to develop this page more fully in the near future.

Oneonta I.T. Security Administrator

If you have any questions regarding computer security or if you would like to schedule the I.T. Security Essentials Seminar for your department, the I.T. Security Administrator will be happy to hear from you!  Call  or e-mail Lesley A. Bidwell at  x2628 or

These are just a few of many, many computer security resources. They are a good way to familiarize yourself with the risks of online computing.  Awareness of the potential threats and how to best protect yourself is one of the most powerful tools for computer security!

- Submitted by Lesley Bidwell

Rate savings for college employees

Telecommunications is pleased to announce that Telecom rates have been reduced as a result of competitive bids and cost reductions over the past few years.  The resulting savings to the college enables us to reduce the current rates for employees who make personal calls with an authorization code.  Effective December 1st, 2006, the employee rate for long distance calls will be 8.4 per minute to anywhere within the continental United States, Alaska or Hawaii.  Additionally, the employee rate for local calls will be 8 for the 1st minute and 1.3 for each additional minute.  If you have any questions, please call the Telecom Office at extension 2577.

- Submitted by Joe Graig-Tiso 

Are you sure?  (Y / N)

A recent news story out of Juneau, Alaska reminds us of the need to pay attention to what we're doing - see

- from the Associated Press and CNN

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