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

NUMBER 89

November, 2007

Click here to see an Adobe Acrobat PDF version of this newsletter, suitable for printing.

Archives of CATPrints are available at http://www.oneonta.edu/technology/comptech/newsletter/
 

Cellular One and Verizon now offering SUNY Oneonta employee discounts

The CellularOne employee discount program applies to all new and existing cell phone accounts.  On Wednesday, November 14, from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, a company representative will be available in the 1st floor lounge, Netzer Administration Building.  We strongly encourage all employees who are existing CellularOne customers to stop by and have the SUNY Oneonta employee discount applied to your personal account.  In addition to providing service to existing subscribers, the representative will be available to answer questions about CellularOne service and/or sign up employees with a new account.

The Verizon employee discount program applies to all new and existing cell phone accounts. On Thursday, November 15, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, a Verizon representative will be available in the 1st floor lounge, Netzer Administration Building.  We strongly encourage all employees who are existing Verizon customers to stop by and have the SUNY Oneonta employee discount applied to your personal account. In addition to providing service to existing subscribers, the  representative will be available to answer questions about Verizon service and/or sign up employees with a new account.

If you have any questions about these discount programs, please call the Telecommunications Office at x2577.
 

New York Alert Update

The New York Alert program has been undertaken by the College as part of a statewide effort to provide rapid and effective communication to students, faculty and staff in the event of an emergency. 

You can enroll in this program by going to http://webservices.oneonta.edu and clicking on the link for NY-Alert.  Once you enter with your Social Security or College A# and PIN, you can then enter your preferred email address(es) and phone number(s) for the College to use for emergency broadcast of critical information.

To date, two-thirds of Faculty and Staff have responded to the request for participation in the program.  Only 5.6% have chosen not to provide contact information.

Eighty-nine percent of Students have responded, with 24% declining to participate.

All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in this program.  To learn more about NY Alert, take a look at http://www.suny.edu/FAQNYAlert.cfm for a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

 

Important Software Updates

You probably have your home computer set up to download and apply Windows updates automatically.  You probably also have your antivirus software set up to update automatically. (If not, you should get those updates set up as soon as possible!) These are important steps toward protecting your computer from infection and attack, but operating systems and antivirus software are not the only programs that need to be kept updated.  Although the Windows operating system gets the most attention when we talk about patches and vulnerabilities, most other software needs security updates from time to time.  Even Mac and Linux operating systems should be kept up to date for security patches.

Recently, some very important security patches were released for programs that you probably have installed on your home computer – RealPlayer and Adobe Reader.  Both were patched for vulnerabilities that would allow an attacker to execute code on your computer, potentially giving them control of your machine and access to your personal data.  If you have either of these installed and have not updated them in the past few weeks, you should do so right away.

With your computer connected to the Internet, open Adobe Player and click on “Help” on the menu bar. Choose “Check for updates” and follow the instructions to apply the update. Do the same for RealPlayer except start with the “Tools” menu and select “Check for updates.” 

As this article was going to press we were notified of updates for QuickTime as well – another application you are likely to have at home. To update it, launch the player, go to the “Help” menu and choose “Update existing software” and follow the directions to install the updates.

Be aware that although all of these programs offer pro or enhanced versions that you must purchase, there is no charge to update the free versions that most people have downloaded.

These updates address serious security issues in the software and it is extremely important that you apply them as soon as possible.  The same is true for other software that you might have installed on your computer – check regularly to be sure that you have the latest versions and any security patches that might be required.  Many programs (including Adobe Reader, RealPlayer and QuickTime) have automatic update features that will alert you when updates are available.

Be sure to follow through by downloading and applying the updates.


If your office computer is part of either the ASCI or Secure Desktop programs, we take care of software updates for you. If you your computer is not part of one of these management programs, call the Information Technology Helpdesk at x4567 and ask about having it enrolled.
 

 

Where's the Spam?

You may have noticed that the quantity of spam landing in our inboxes is extremely small.  The mail administrators continue to aggressively manage the blocking of spam; for example, a few days ago they announced that in one day the mail system received 390000 messages and blocked 92% of them as spam and virus-infected messages!  If they all were delivered, we would each be getting an average of sixty a day.

 

Monitor Replacement Program

The College is running a campaign to replace all of the older Cathode-Ray-Tube (CRT) monitors with Flat Panel monitors.  Flat Panel monitors use less power than a CRT, generate less heat (which provides additional power savings with less demand for air conditioning in offices), they give off less radiation and occupy a fraction of the desk space of the older technology.

If you have a CRT monitor in your office and would like to swap it for a Flat Panel unit, please call Reva at x3318 and she will get you on the list.

 

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