Technology Today is the new name for the TechKnowledge column that appears in Bulletin Today. This column is devoted to issues related to technology at the University of St. Thomas. It is a joint effort of Computing and Communication Services, Instructional Support Services and the university libraries. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Why should you call the help desk? Here are the answers.You can call the Computing and Communication Services Help Desk with any questions you have about computing at UST. If there is anything you need from CCS — for example, if you’d like to request that we install a copy of FrontPage on your office machine, or if you’re concerned about a computer virus, or if you have configuration questions — the Help Desk is the place to call.
You can reach the Help Desk at (651) 962-6230. During semesters, the Help Desk is staffed from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, and 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday. (Hours are reduced during vacations.)
When you call the Help Desk, we will start by requesting your last name. Don’t worry, this is not because we’re out to get you. We use this information to track general demographic trends, as well as to look up the history of problems your computer has had (so if this is the 10th time mice have gnawed through your printer cable, it might occur to us to set a mousetrap).
Keep reading for the top five questions that the CCS Help Desk answers, along with answers and other helpful information for your reference.
What is up with my password, anyway?
Many of our calls involve password problems. Several new policies were introduced this year to improve password security, but these changes have more than a few people feeling a little befuddled.
All passwords expire every 120 days, which means that you have to change your password three times a year. We encourage you to change it more often (say, every 90 days, or four times a year). When your password has expired, if you are at a computer on campus, that computer will force you to change your password. If you try to get your e-mail from off-campus, however, it won’t work. You can change your password from wherever you are, however, using the utility available from the EMS Web login page:
Your password must be at least six characters long, and must include at least three of the following: uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation marks. Your password may not include your first name, last name or username.
If you forget your password (and it happens to almost everyone, sooner or later), we can set a new one for you, so call the Help Desk.
Why can’t I log in to EMS Web?
EMS Web is the web interface for your e-mail. You can access it from http://www.stthomas.edu/email. In the box that says Log On, type your username (e.g., jhnewman). Type JUST your username in that box, nothing else. Then click the Click Here link. A dialog box will pop up. In the Username field, type ust/ and THEN your username (e.g., ust/jhnewman). In the Password field, type your password. Click OK.
If you think you’re doing this right and it’s still not working, check to make sure that you are typing ust/ BEFORE your username, and not after, and be sure that you’ve got a forward-slash (found on the key with the question mark) and not a back-slash (found on the key with the funny up-and-down line). If it STILL doesn’t work, you might need to change your password (see above). If NOTHING works, call the Help Desk.
Where is RFS (Request for Services)?
The RFS system is at http://department.stthomas.edu/RFS/main.html. You can find it in InsideUST, which is at http://insideust.stthomas.edu, the central information source for members of the St. Thomas community. If there’s a resource you can’t find, try InsideUST. If you still can’t find it, call the Help Desk.
How do I create a distribution list in Outlook or Outlook Express?
A distribution list lets you collect a list of addresses, which you can then send to all at once (allowing you to send e-mail to Family instead of email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and so on).
In Outlook Express:
Note: Distribution lists can send mail to up to 100 addresses. If you create a distribution list with more addresses than that, it won’t work. If you really need a distribution list that large, you’ll have to request that CCS create a systemwide distribution list. To make such a request, call the Help Desk.
Why can’t I use the proxy server (and, what is the proxy server and why would I WANT to use it?)
The proxy server is a “gate” to library resources that we buy subscriptions for. Typically, the people who sell us the subscriptions want to make sure that they aren’t made available to the world at large. We use the proxy server to restrict access to current St. Thomas students, faculty and staff. When you’re on campus, you don’t have to worry about this — only when you’re accessing these databases from somewhere off site.
In order to access these proprietary databases from off campus, you have to configure your browser to use the proxy server. However, once your browser is configured to talk to the proxy server, that means that it can’t access any resources that aren’t behind the “gate.” You’ll have to configure your browser again when you’re done with the proprietary databases, and tell it to stop using the proxy server, in order to be able to browse the rest of the Internet.
If that sounds a little convoluted, that’s because it is a little convoluted, but it’s the best way we’ve found to provide these resources to people off campus while keeping the content providers happy. If you will be using the subscription databases frequently, we suggest that you install both Internet Explorer and Netscape on your home computer; use your favorite browser for most of your surfing and keep the other browser permanently configured to use the proxy server.
When you log in using the proxy server, you have to type ust/ before your username (as you do when logging on to EMS Web). For information on configuring your browser to access the proxy server, see the library web site at http://www.lib.stthomas.edu/e-manual/Proxydoc1.htm.
Note: Some people can’t use the proxy server. If you get your Internet access from AOL, Prodigy, or another proprietary online service, you won’t be able to access these databases from off campus at all (because AOL and these other services use a proxy server themselves to provide you with access to their own proprietary content). You also may be unable to access these databases from behind a corporate firewall. But, if you can’t get into it and you think you should be able to, call the Help Desk.