Blog from September, 2006

Due to the inauguration of our new IUB President Prof. Joachim Treusch the IRC will close at 15:15 and re-open at 18:00, see Library closed, Friday, October 6 2006 15.15 - 18.00.

Therefore, after the regular telephone hour between 2 and 3pm, there will be NO OPEN OFFICE HOUR for faculty/staff on that afternoon. Please visit the office in the morning instead. The regular help desk hours of faculty/staff/employee IT support can be found at Service Desk for Faculty and Staff.

The service desk for students on that Friday closes at 15:00 for the rest of the day. The regular help desk hours of the IT student support can be found at Service Desk for Students.

After the install of security related udates the server faculty01 became unstable and services like printing, login, etc are currently not available.

IRC-IT is currently working on the problem to bring the server up and running again.

Update 2006-09-29 18:15

The issue is more serious and requires a complete server reinstall, which will take more time. Until the situation is resolved, if your deskside printer is not sufficient as an interim solution, a work-around is available:

For printing to a networked printer in the faculty domain, a black&white and a color printer was configured for each research building on a second server. You have to add the respective printer to your client computer to access it.

This is an easy process, takes less than a minute, and is described at How to add network printer to Windows client computer, including a screencast. Instead of the faculty server for the IUHB02 domain as given on that page,
(star) use \\faculty02.iuhb02.iu-bremen.de in the address bar to browse for printers. Then follow the documented procedure accordingly.

Update 2006-10-06 11:45

In the meantime, the server faculty01 has been put back in place and all printers are available again. Workarounds involving faculty02 for printing as described above should be removed.

For access to files, faculty02 remains the new primary server. Please update local shortcuts or drive mappings to use \\faculty02.iuhb02.iu-bremen.de\Public.Data\Public as public data folder on "the faculty server".

Forwarded telephone calls showed the orginally called number at IUB. Since September 27 2006, the calling number is shown.

Example

Caller A (e.g., outside IUB) dialled number B (e.g., IUB office) at IUB. Number B is redirected to number C (e.g., mobile phone of IUB member).

  • Before Sep 27, at phone C number B was shown.
  • Since Sep 27, at phone C number A is shown.

This enhances telephone usability for IUB users and allows to know the callee who called, even while using forwarding.

Due to a very large email sent out on 27 September 2006 in the evening one of the Jacobs University Email components failed. After fixing the issue, the email system is recovering from the back log and currently in the process of delivering all deferred emails. This will take some time.

Today between 1500 and 1600 local Bremen time servers and network components will be updated.

Server and network operations will be unreliable. Expect unavailable servers and sudden downtimes of services without prior explicit announcement.

If you have to work on files stored on the server during that time, then before the maintenance hour copy the respective files to your local hard disk, work on it locally, and after finishing your work and after the end of the maintenance interval, copy them back onto the server.

For more details on the maintenance hours see the Maintenance Hours page.

Many sites, including this very

provide RSS feeds to stay tuned with the highly dynamic content.

If you wondered, what "RSS" is all about and all explanations about syndicators, XML, and other technology-oriented explanations sound rather discouraging instead of helpful, the following article might be a simple and worthwhile read:

The technical acronym for RSS is "Really Simple Syndication", an XML format that was created to syndicate news, and be a means to share content on the web. Now, to geeks and techies that means something special, but to everyday folks like you and me, what comes to mind is, "Uh, I don't get it?"

So, to make RSS much easier to understand, in Oprah speak, RSS stands for: I'm "Ready for Some Stories". It is a way online for you to get a quick list of the latest story headlines from all your favorite websites and blogs all in one place. How cool is that?

(continued in Back in skinny jeans blog)

The free online service Bloglines (offer multilingual interface!) works fine with RSS feeds for this site, though requires the information to be publicly available, like the Home page of IRC-IT and the Blog is.

Other tips and programs for working with RSS feeds can be found at RSS Feeds, to which everyone at IUB can contribute.

A German court ruled, that the GNU Public License (GPL), a common license for open source software distribution, is legally binding:

Das Landgericht Frankfurt hat Anfang September erstmals in einem Hauptsacheverfahren mit Beweiserhebung die Gültigkeit der GNU General Public License (GPL) bestätigt.

Read the full news by Heise and the reasoning by the court (both in German).

Thereby a previous judgement to the same extent by Landgericht München in 2004 with the reasoning (both in German) is confirmed and supported.

The previous posts in this series on Collaborative Authoring have pointed out the pros (benefits) and cons (shortcomings) of an alternative approach to the traditional word processing (e.g. MS Word) method for authoring, review and approval. [...]

Two alternative software categories that should be examined as possible replacements for the desktop word processor and, to some extent, to the document/content management systems in use within Life Sciences are Blogs and Wikis.

From The Laszlo Letter. The article then lists a few enterprise-class products including Atlassian's Confluence, the software implementing

.

A wiki gives students working on a group project a central place where everyone can see and edit the same information, and gives you the ability to assess their progress while it's occurring instead of after it's over:

Track a group project - Considering students' busy schedules, a wiki is very useful for tracking and completing group projects. It allows group members to track their research and ideas from anywhere they have internet access, helps them save time by seeing what sources others have already checked, then gives them a central place to collectively prepare the final product, i.e. write and edit a group paper or prepare the content of a powerpoint or keynote presentation.

Again, from the Using Wiki in Education Blog. The article gives hints how to do implement the strategy. At IUB,

can be used for that purpose.

Other possible uses can be found at Possible Uses of this Site, where everyone at IUB can contribute their ideas.

Today between 1500 and 1600 local Bremen time servers and network components will be updated.

Server and network operations will be unreliable. Expect unavailable servers and sudden downtimes of services without prior explicit announcement.

If you have to work on files stored on the server during that time, then before the maintenance hour copy the respective files to your local hard disk, work on it locally, and after finishing your work and after the end of the maintenance interval, copy them back onto the server.

For more details on the maintenance hours see the Maintenance Hours page.

In the last semesters all users of CampusNet had a menu item "Room overview". Due to data migration issues this menu item is not accessible in the moment. After the data migration is finished the menu item will be enabled again.

Often groups collaborate on a document by "pushing" it out to each member - emailing a file that each person edits on his or her computer, and some attempt is made to coordinate the edits so everyone's work is equally represented. But what happens when two people think of the same idea and include it in different ways in their respective copies of the file, or when one group member misses an agreed upon time to finish their changes and pass on the file to the next member? Who decides what to do? Using a wiki "pulls" the group members together to build and edit the document on a wiki page, which strengthens the community within the group, allows group members with overlapping or similar ideas to see and collaboratively build on each other's work. It also allows all group members immediate, equal access to the most recent version of the document.

From the Using Wiki in Education Blog.

Collaborative authoring is the strength of a wiki tool like

.

Other possible uses can be found at Possible Uses of this Site, where everyone at IUB can contribute their ideas.

[...] another important wiki use that's especially timely at the start of a new academic year: Collaborative Teaching. A wiki is the perfect platform for sharing what you're covering in your course with colleagues in your own department and others with overlapping or complementary content. Letting others know what your covering enables them to make sure the content and organization of their courses is synchoronized with yours, and vice versa, so students benefit from having similar material covered at the same time from multiple perspectives.

From the Using Wiki in Education Blog.

Other possible uses of this

can be found on Possible Uses of this Site page, where everyone at IUB can contribute there ideas.

During the last days it appeared, that new users at Jacobs University could not change their CampusNet password. That issue of the software has now been resolved by the vendor. New users can change their password by following the password change procedure as documented at How to set a new CampusNet Password.

From the SANS Institute:

We have received some anonymous reports of Botnets being created out of vulnerabilities found in Pmwiki and Tikiwiki software.

The Tikiwiki exploit is hitting versions that are <= 1.9, and the Pmwiki exploit is hitting version <= 2.1.19.

http://isc.sans.org/diary.php?storyid=1672

All hosters of those web applications at IUB please be aware of the thread and update your installation as required.