Blog from August, 2007

The slides of IRC-IT regarding services and policies in the IT area of Jacobs University presented to new students in O-Week 2007 are now online! You can find them at Presentations, or download the PDF document directly.

Recent news from the purchasing department (translated):

Due to world-wide shortage of computer parts (esp. displays) delivery times of standard hardware has considerably increased.

Faculty laptops have a mean delivery time of eight weeks. PCs need four weeks in the mean. Displays for PCs are in stock at Jacobs, so that we have to wait "only" for the PC.

Please consider these delivery times for replacement purchases and new user workflows. Mind the additional time it takes to setup and configure the systems at IRC-IT.

(info) This does not contradict or affect the laptop delays for incoming students. See 2007/08/28/Interim solutions for incoming students' delayed laptops for more information on incoming students' laptops.

Interim solutions for incoming students' delayed laptops have been provided.

Dr. Stamerjohanns will be in the room to assist in using the thin clients available in the Computer Science Teaching Lab in Research I for basic email and office document use.

He will be present there from Monday September 3 until Friday September 7, each day from 12:00 to 13:00.

THANK YOU!

(info) Please note, that the interim solution is only available to students having ordered a laptop, and not cancelled that order. Accounts have been issued with the welcome map.

Laptops of incoming students are delayed, which affects ~80 incoming students.

CSTL

As an interim solution, the Computer Science Teaching Lab in Res.I (room 50?) has been prepared for basic email and office document use, until the ordered laptops arrive.

Accessing the system requires a CLAMV account, which has been issued to students who have ordered a laptop in the welcome map. A quick start guide is available at How to use thin clients for office documents.

The room is open

  • Monday to Friday, 07:00-22:00
  • Saturday and Sunday, 10:00-20:00
  • starting Wednesday Aug 29.

Mon Sep 3 until Fri Sep 7, from 12:00 to 13:00, Dr. Stamerjohanns will be in the room to help!

Though, the room is not available during lab sessions:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 14:00-18:30
    (warning) (Instructors, please leave the room open!)

IRC Library

In the IRC Library, nine thin clients are available which can be used to for web-based applications, including web-based email, and web-based documents and spreadsheets by services like Google Documents and Spreadsheets or Zoho.

(thumbs up) No account is required for use.

They are not functionally equivalent to the clients in Computer Science Teaching Lab in Res.I, local word processing is not possible.

(warning) External services are unsupported by Jacobs University.

Laptop for Rent

In addition, an external company offers laptops for rent, see Laptops for rent available for details and contact information.

For incoming students who have ordered a laptop, which is currently delayed, a small number of machines are available for rent for a favorable fee until end of September 2007.

The laptops are installed with a German Microsoft operating system, and a German Office program suite. Jacobs University software is not installed. They are different machines than those issued by Jacobs University, and not supported by Jacobs University.

If you would like to inquire about this offer, pleace contact

Company CampusPoint
Mr. Funke
Tel. +49 421 200 7413
mailto:michael.funke@campuspoint.de http://www.campuspoint.de/
Mo-Fr 10-18

Contact in English is okay.

The Computer Science Teaching Lab in Research I has been adapted to be used for basic email and office document use for incoming students whose laptops are delayed (see also How to use thin clients for office documents). Therefore, unattended opening times are planned for that room until the laptops arrive, so that our new students have access to email and office documents.

To prevent theft and abuse during unattended opening times, a video camera has been installed.

Videos are not used for control of behavior, personal tracking or monitoring. Videos are automatically deleted after a few days if no incident appears. Signs have been put up outside and inside the room to announce the surveillance.

The camera is directed towards the door. Instructors at the black board are not monitored. The porters have the option to access the live video feed by web browser.

This installation has been co-ordinated with the IT faculty committee, admin, and the Datenschutzbeauftragter (Data Protection Officer).

Exemplary image:

Due to the high demand for laptops by incoming students, a second laptop ordering round is available.

The laptop and the payment options are the same as in the first ordering round, see http://teamwork.jacobs-university.de/x/JU0 for the original offer.

Issuing of 2nd round laptop orders should not be expected before mid-October, but might also be later!

To order a laptop in this second round, send an email to h.kobbe@jacobs-university.de, no later than September 7, 2007.

This is the last chance of getting a private laptop procured by Jacobs University in 2007.

The computer worm W32/Spybot-NX has been detected on several computers in the faculty network.

To protect users, infected computers are isolated into a quarantine network.

If your machine is affected, please contact Service Desk for Faculty and Staff.

Here is an interesting article "Advice for Students: Use a Wiki for Better Note-Taking":

It's back to school time, and it's time to make good on the promises you made yourself last year to be more organized this time around! One of the stumbling blocks I see most often in my students is taking — and keeping — good notes for their classes. Ideally, you'd like to have notes on all your reading, as well as notes from lectures, and you'd like to have both available when you need the to study for an exam or write a paper.

Enter the wiki. [...]

Some suggestions for your wiki

The collaboration features of wikis make organizing study groups easy and very effective. Gather up a few students in your class and divide your topic up into pieces for each person. As you work, you can link to your co-students' pages, and vice versa. As new material is covered, you can go back and edit each other's pages or correct each other's mistakes.

Whether you create your wiki with a group of on your own, the ability to link topics and ideas creates a very effective review tool. Before a test or while preparing a paper, browse through your wiki, following links from page to page to refresh your memory of how things fit together.

Wikis are also useful for making connections between topics in different classes. While this might not be relevant for every class you take, for classes in your major be especially diligent in creating links to existing pages. At the end of your studies, you will have a rich repository of ideas and work in your discipline to call on as a reference.

This

is a wiki. You can create your own, personal space, and edit to your liking. You can also add other users to your wiki for collaboration. Or you can setup a common working ground for your class.

(thumbs up) You can create your personal home space after login by clicking on "Preferences" below the search box on the top-right, then "Create personal space" just below. It's a space with your name, and functions as any other regular space. A home page on the world wide web was never easier! Also see Confluence Tutorials.

In the past, WiFi/WLAN Access has been cumbersome and error-prone.

This service will be improved on Friday August 24, 2007, ready before o-week:

  • Connecting to the wireless network will no longer require a "secret" key.
  • According to our university's new name the wireless network will be called "JACOBS".
  • It will advertise itself: no more "searching for wireless networks".
  • To enhance stability and manageability, WiFi/WLAN Access will require login of Jacobs University's members with CampusNet username/password, either
    • via web browser (easier to use), or
    • via VPN access (more secure).
  • Guests and conference attendants can get WiFi/WLAN Access with temporary accounts provided by their hosts, via IT Support.

Using a web browser without login to the network will automatically show a login page.

The legacy "IUB-Bremen" network will cease to exist on that day.

On Thursday 23 August 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.

Between August 22 and 24 all student voiceboxes will be reset. This means, that all recorded messages and self-recorded greetings will be deleted; the password of the voice boxes will be reset to default. See How to access HiPath Xpressions PhoneMail for details.

This is to ensure, that newly arriving students will find a proper setup upon arrival.

Additional Information

  • Your voice box can only be accessed from your telephone.
  • The voice box is activated by default and will pick up after five rings.
  • If there is a stored message, you'll receive a voice indication upon picking up the handset (in German: "Nachricht liegt vor!").
  • Outgoing calls can be placed, even if there are messages waiting.
  • Upon accessing the voice box via telephone for the first time, a new PIN has to be set.
  • Student phones are configured for English language (except, the message waiting indication is in German).
  • To connect to the voice box, call 4900.

(lightbulb) See How to access HiPath Xpressions PhoneMail for details.

(thumbs up) The reset has been performed on Wed August 22, 2007.

Due to a global shortage in computer parts the laptops incoming students have ordered from Jacobs University will be delayed. According to current information the laptops will be available end of September at the earliest.

Until the laptops are delivered the stations in the undergraduate teaching lab in Research I will be available as an interim substitute. The stations will allow email and Internet access and are equipped with an alternative office suite. It is possible to write alternatives to "Word" documents, "Excel" spreadsheets, and "PowerPoint" presentations. PDF documents can be generated and read. Though, as this is an alternative to Microsoft software, interoperability issues should be expected, esp. formatting and advanced features might not transform well.

The systems can not run Microsoft-based software. Software installation by students is not possible. Disk space is restricted to 50 MB.

Affected students are listed in Laptop Orders 2007 (access restricted to Jacobs University members).

Here are some findings of the short paper USC Confluence: A Campus-Wide Academic Wiki, published within the EDUcause learning initiative:

In the context of teaching and learning, USC found that the wiki offers unique flexibility: as a tool, it combines features of an e-portfolio, a content management system, and a blog, while supporting the collaborative construction of knowledge in ways that these more familiar technologies do not.

Basic use categories identified:

  • Student journaling
  • Personal portfolios
  • Collaborative knowledge base
  • Research coordination and collaboration

The software used is the same

works with. See About Teamwork for possibilities of use and Confluence Tutorials on how to employ this system at Jacobs University.

On Thursday 09 August 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.