Blog from May, 2007

Update 18:05

Firewall is up again, all mentioned services are available.

Original Posting

Due to failure of one of the firewalls, several services are currenlty unavailable:

  • CampusNet, web access and client access, and admission web, bugzilla
  • HiPath accounting management, xpressions,
  • various cash card terminals

We are working on a solution.

Due to Graduation 2007, there are no regular telephone hours or open office hours on June 1st, 2007.

If you require assistance, please call in to the voicebox at 4666 or send an email to itsupport@jacobs-university.de.

See Service Desk for Faculty and Staff for more information on IT Support.

Fighting spam emails

Update

As the following graph shows, the number of rejected emails has risen since last Tuesday, when we adapted the anti-spam mechanisms. This increase is either an indication of better working greylisting, or an indication of even more spam being send towards the university.

See Yourself

Up-to-the-minute graphs can be seen live at the monitoring URL.

Original Posting

The amount of spam emails, aka unsolicited emails, has noticeably increased during the last days.

This graph gives an impression of the situation:

The red line shows rejected emails, mostly due to greylisting, which serves as an indicator for spam emails. The amount has more than doubled compared to last week.

This increased amount of spam emails is a known tendency in the Internet, e.g. check Mailserver ächzen unter Spam-Last (in German).

We have adapted the email spam tagging rules with new logic, and will continue doing so, to counter this annoyance.

(warning) Jacobs University is not filtering email for being spam. See How to configure Jacobs Email for SPAM filtering for details.

Not For Admin Members

This information is not relevant for admin members. Admin members are using Admin Email.

According to previous announcements, outgoing IUB emails, i.e. emails sent by Jacobs University members with an address ending in @iu-bremen.de, leave the university's email system as coming from @jacobs-university.de since Friday, May 25, 2007.

In response to various requests from our members, incoming IUB emails, i.e. emails sent to Jacobs University members with an address ending in @iu-bremen.de, are delivered into the Jacobs University Email box unchanged, i.e. an email sent to an address ending in @iu-bremen.de is delivered into the email box as being sent to @iu-bremen.de.

Though this makes handling filter rules more complicated and the view onto the email box less homogeneous, it makes it easier to spot emails sent to the old email address to inform the sender about the name and address change.

(lightbulb) Please remember to update your client settings as described in How to configure MS Outlook 2003 for Jacobs Email.

How long will emails to @iu-bremen.de be received?

Emails being sent to addresses ending in @iu-bremen.de will be delivered at least until February 2008.

English

Access to Admin Email is now available world-wide, via web interface, without need to use VPN Access!

VPN Access is no longer needed by admin members to access Admin Email from anywhere in the world. Any computer with a browser, anywhere, can be used to access Admin Email, without VPN Access. No software installation is required.

URL

Please use your domainaccount credentials to log on. This is the username and password that you use to log on to your computer.

Additional benefits:

  • The new web interface is better to use and way more functional. It is best used with the Microsoft Internet Explorer (even drag and drop of emails is possible!), and looks almost as Outlook, but also works with other browsers, though only in "Light" mode.
  • The new web interface also allows to set vacation for a specific time period, so there is no need any more to set the vacation message five minutes before leaving office.
  • The new web interface allows to set different vacation messages for users on the server, and users outside the domain. It is even possible to NOT send an automated message, if the sender is not in the address book, for reduction of email spam.
  • Availability includes all information stored in the admin messaging server (Exchange), esp. calendar, contacts, notes, and tasks are available, too.
  • A (reduced) view of Microsoft Office documents is available for computers, which don't feature the Microsoft Office software package, e.g. because they aren't running the Microsoft Windows operating system.
  • A "public computer" mode is offered by the web interface to make sure, that no confidential information remains on uncontrolled computers, i.e. in Internet cafés.
  • The language of the web interface can be changed.

Try It Out

You'll be amazed!

(info) If web browsers other than Microsoft Internet Explorer complain with a security warning, follow the steps in How to import Jacobs University Certificates into Web Browsers.

Deutsch

Zugang zu Admin Email ist nun per Web Interface weltweit verfügbar, ohne VPN Access benutzen zu müssen!

VPN Access ist für Admin Mitglieder nicht länger nötig, um unabhängig vom Standort auf Admin Email zuzugreifen. Jeder Computer mit Browser, egal wo, kann benutzt werden, um ohne VPN Access auf Admin Email zuzugreifen. Softwareinstallation ist nicht nötig.

URL

Für die Anmeldung wird der Domänenaccount genutzt, also der Username und das Passwort, mit dem auch die Anmeldung morgens am Rechner erfolgt.

Zusätzliche Vorteile:

  • Das neue Web Interface ist besser zu benutzen und deutlich funktionaler. Am besten funktioniert es mit dem Microsoft Internet Explorer (sogar verschieben von Emails per Maus ist möglich!), und sieht fast aus wie Outlook, funktioniert aber auch mit anderen Browsern, wenn auch in einem funktionsreduzierten "Light" Modus.
  • Das neue Web Interface erlaubt Abwesenheitsbenachrichtigungen für einen Zeitraum zu setzen, so daß die Einstellung nicht mehr fünf Minuten vor dem Verlassen des Büros vorgenommen werden muß.
  • Das neue Web Interface erlaubt unterschiedliche Abwesenheitsbenachrichtigungen für unterschiedliche Nutzergruppen zu setzen. Es ist sogar möglich, Nachrichten NICHT zu versenden, wenn der Absender einer Nachricht nicht im Adreßbuch verzeichnet ist, um so das Aufkommen von unerwünschten Emails zu reduzieren.
  • Die erreichbaren Daten beinhalten alle Informationen im Admin Nachrichtensystem (Exchange), insbesondere den/die Kalender, Kontakte/Adreßbücher, Notizen und Aufgaben.
  • Eine (reduzierte) Ansicht von Microsoft Office-Dokumenten kann auf Computern genutzt werden, die nicht über das Microsoft Office Paket verfügen, z.B. weil das Microsoft Windows Betriebssystem nicht verwendet wird.
  • Ein "Öffentlicher Rechner" Modus wird im Web Interface angeboten um sicherzustellen, daß keine vertraulichen Informationen auf unkontrollierten Rechnern zurückbleiben, z.B. in Internet Cafés.
  • Die Sprache des Webinterfaces kann geändert werden.

Probieren Sie es aus

Sie werden begeistert sein!

(info) Wenn andere Web Browser als Microsoft Internet Explorer eine Sicherheitswarnung ausgeben, folgen Sie bitte den Schritten in How to import Jacobs University Certificates into Web Browsers.

English

Information

Please be reminded, that the transition period for incoming and outgoing email addresses ends on Friday May 25.

Starting on that day, all emails going in or out Jacobs University will be rewritten so that @iu-bremen.de addresses will be replaced with @jacobs-university.de addresses. Incoming emails to @iu-bremen.de will be received, though rewritten.

See Migration of emails towards Jacobs University for more information.

User Action Required

Admin Members

Admin members don't have to change anything, except changing the email signature.

Deutsch

Information

Am Freitag, 25. Mai, endet die Übergangsphase für einkommende und ausgehende Emails.

Ab dem Tag werden eingehende und ausgehende Emails serverseitig umgeschrieben, so daß @iu-bremen.de in Emailadressen durch @jacobs-university.de ersetzt wird. Eingehende emails an @iu-bremen.de werden empfangen, aber umgeschrieben.

Siehe Migration of emails towards Jacobs University für weitere Informationen.

Notwendige Handlungen

Admin Mitglieder

Admin-Member müssen nichts ändern, außer der Email Signatur.

On Thursday 24 May 2007 between 07:00 and 08:00 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 Student laptop 2007 preliminary infos, first information about the upcoming laptop offer to incoming students have been presented. Since then, several questions arose, which are collected here.

Table of Content

Specifications

Can I get more RAM? A larger hard disk? German keyboard?

NO OPTIONS! We did this a few years ago, and learned it the hard way. There will only be EXACTLY ONE laptop configuration.

Linux

Can't we get Linux instead of Windows?

  1. Usability and interoperability is higher for more people if we offer the most common configuration, which de facto is a Microsoft-based installation.
  2. In our complex environment it's already challenging to support one operating system and set of applications on student laptops; adding more would increase complexity and effort required.

You can of course go ahead and install Linux for yourself. See the questions regarding Price and Software below.

Mac

I have a Mac. Is that okay?

Maybe. That largely depends on the requirement imposed by the professors, lecturers, and the requirements of the courses taken. Network and email will work. Desktop support for Mac is not available.

PC

I already have a Windows PC. Can I bring that?

Sure. It'll be difficult to use in the classroom, though (smile)

If it is sufficient can not easily be answered. See the questions regarding Linux and Mac above.

Power Connector

Germany's power outlets might differ from where you bring your PC/Laptop from. Buy a converter IN YOUR COUNTRY. It will be very hard to find an adapter here.

Vista

Why do you install Vista?

We didn't like to, because reliability and support will not be as good yet as with Windows XP. Unfortunately, using the "downgrade option" (i.e., purchase Vista, but install XP) fails due to logistic issues with the DVD media. Hence we are somewhat forced by reality to pre-install Vista.

Gaming

Can I run game X on the laptop?

Maybe. The laptops are not designed or intended for heavy gaming. The goal is to provide a reliable, proven, robust laptop for studying, with a good balance between capability and mobility for a decent price.

Bundled Software

I don't want the bundled software.

Sorry, no options, see above. After prices have been settled, you could try and configure the same laptop and services in a retail shop. You'll see, that even if you don't use the bundled software, the package will still be cheaper than a comparable retail laptop without the software.

Own PCs, Jacobs' Software

I have my own computer, but would like to have the Jacobs Software.

The usage rights of the software which comes with the laptop is tied to the purchaser of the laptop, not Jacobs University. We are not allowed to give away that software to others, and won't.

Cabling

Do we only have to bring laptops with us, or is there any cables, phone lines, specific lines we should take?

You'll also need a patch cable to connect the laptop in the rooms. Standard Cat5 will suffice, though we recommend Cat6e+ (smile) Do NOT USE A CROSS-OVER CABLE. It has to be a STANDARD PATCH CABLE.

They are available in every retail computer store, incl. downtown Bremen-Vegesack. Within the library, those cables can be lent for in-library-use-only from the circulation desk, though the library is also equipped with wireless network.

Laptop packages issued from Jacobs University (DELAYED! See Laptops for incoming students 2007 delayed!) contain such a cable.

Price

I can get a better laptop for a lower price!

Go ahead, buy it and be happy. Please also mind the bundled services which are available world-wide. And the included software. And the payment options available.

Network

Does my computer work in Jacobs University's network?

Most likely, though this can not be reliably answered.

WLAN

Does my computer work in Jacobs University's wireless network?

Almost as likely as before. If it doesn't, buy any 802.11b/g PCMCIA WLAN card. There are computer shops in Vegesack or Bremen downtown, or you can buy it online.

Computer Accessories

Can you sell me a network cable? A WLAN card?

The issued laptop package includes a network cable.

IRC-IT does not sell computer parts!

If you require any computer accessory see How to obtain computer accessories for details (requires login), or check with any computer shop in Vegesack or Bremen downtown, or any online computer shop. For short time use in the library only, there are network cables available at the circulation desk.

Late Ordering

Can't I wait and see, if I require a laptop, and buy one later?

The laptop package for orientation week is a one-time offer. Orders received after the deadline can not be fulfilled. Mind manufacturing and delivery times! At later times you might just want to buy a laptop and software and services at any retail or online shop.

Withdraw Ordering

I ordered a laptop, but now I don't want one.

Jacobs University is paying for the laptop, and so you have to. You agreed to a legally binding contract for purchasing a laptop. You will be charged for it. Please make up your mind in time.

English

Today, this very teamwork system will be renamed to https://teamwork.jacobs-university.de/, and will receive a new security certificate. Please expect a few minutes of downtime.

Deutsch

Heute wird das teamwork-System auf den neuen Namen https://teamwork.jacobs-university.de/ umgestellt werden und ein neues Sicherheitszertifikat erhalten. Bitte rechnen Sie mit einigen Minuten Auszeit.

Here are first quick info on the upcoming laptop order for O-Week 2007 for incoming students.

Goals: provide reliable, proven, robust laptop for studying, with a good balance between capability and mobility for a decent price.
Non-Goals: provide high-performance gaming machine.

Solution: Dell Latitude D520

  • Hardware: current processor, SXGA display 15" 4:3, 1 or 2GB RAM
  • Operating System: Windows XP Professional installed, Vista allowed Microsoft Windows Vista Business installed
  • Software: MS Office included
  • Services: 3 years world-wide complete care next business day on-site business support incl. theft insurance
  • Goodies: bag, network cable included
  • Keyboard and software in English

Current status: negotiating details and price.

(thumbs up) To stay tuned, check the Home Page of IT or the IRC-IT Blog regularly. RSS Feeds are provided, too.

Update 07.06.2007

The MS Office suite will be "Office Professional Plus 2007"! That package includes:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook
  • Publisher
  • Access
  • InfoPath
  • Communicator
  • Integrated Enterprise Content Management
  • Integrated Electronic Forms
  • Advanced Information Rights Management and Capabilities.

No Warranty

Information on this page is preliminary and informational only. It may change for the final offer.

Email servers renamed

Not for admin

Admin users employ Admin Email, hence this information is not relevant for admin users.

The email servers have been renamed:

Webmail Client

https://mail2web.jacobs-university.de/

POP/IMAP Server

mailhost.jacobs-university.de

SMTP Server

mx.jacobs-university.de

If you receive a security warning, please follow the steps described in How to import Jacobs University Certificates into Web Browsers.

See Jacobs University Email for additional details.

The alumni email accounts have been adapted to read "@jacobs-alumni.de".

The new web interface to alumni email has been renamed to

If you receive a security warning, please follow the steps described in How to import Jacobs University Certificates into Web Browsers.

Today, the web interface to CampusNet has been renamed to:

If you receive a security warning, please follow the steps described in How to import Jacobs University Certificates into Web Browsers.

As next IT step towards Jacobs University, various names of servers, services, and certificates will be changed, continued especially next week.

Some of the major changes are:

(tick) The new Jacobs University Email server names already work, though the security certificates still have to be changed.

New CA

Users of web browsers other than Microsoft Internet Explorer should read and follow How to import Jacobs University Certificates into Web Browsers to ensure secure data communication.

(info) For your information only, no action required, ...

Admin email delivery has been changed. See Admin email delivery change done on 2007-03-01 for details.

Name servers have been overhauled and adapted. See Next IT step towards Jacobs University - Change of Name Server for details.

New email addresses ending in @jacobs-university.de have been provided for all email users, and historical email addresses have been migrated to the current convention of having the first character of the first name, followed by a dot, followed by the last name. See Migration of emails towards Jacobs University for details.

Admin email has been migrated to "@jacobs-university.de" addresses, and all mailboxes have been moved to a new server. See Developments of admin email service due to name change for details.

Mailing lists have been renamed: email list names formerly starting with "iub-..." now start with "jacobs-...", and now end in "@jacobs-university.de". See Mailing lists renamed for details.

The public web server has been renamed to http://www.jacobs-university.de/. See New web address of Jacobs University for details.

... and a lot more, passed by unseen...