Hopefully, we've gotten to welcome each of you in person either at our orientation session on Wednesday or at the SSCC Consulting office. If we haven't though, please drop by Social Sciences 4226 to pick up a packet of information and to sign up for a 45 minute computer orientation session. We will be doing a group orientation this morning (Friday) at 11:00 in 4226 Social Science for anyone who missed Wednesday's orientation. The amount of computing resources available at SSCC can be overwhelming and a 45-minute orientation is time well spent even for the most experienced computer users.
Due to the large volume of requests we are currently receiving in our Consulting office, expect a longer than usual delay in hearing back from the SSCC staff person assigned your problem. This is especially true for PC support requests which may take several days. We are usually able to tend to other requests within one business day. If you wish to inquire about the status of your request, contact Nancy McDermott, Director of SSCC.
SSCC has the following policy in place for all computers connecting to the building's network for the first time:
If you don't log into the PRIMO domain or you use the building's wireless network, it is extremely important that you keep your operating system patched and your antivirus software up-to-date. If you need assistance, contact our Consulting office by phone at 2-9917, by e-mail at email@example.com, or drop in 4226 Social Science 8-12, 1-4 M-F.
SSCC Publication, Keeping Your PC Secure, contains a lot of very useful information, especially for home PCs, or any other PC that doesn't log in to PRIMO.
Mac users -- There is no need to bring Macs into the Consulting office for scanning. Just make sure you are running Software Update monthly.
SSCC's Fall training schedule is now available on SSCC's training web pages. Once again we are teaming up with Sociology 365, Computing in Social Research, so you'll find many topics offered Tuesday/Thursdays, 9:30 - 10:45, including several SAS classes. Remember that all SSCC training sessions (including Soc 365 sessions) require preregistration. Register early before sessions fill!
Some users have noted an increase in spam messages that are not being filtered by SpamAssassin, and we want to update you about our efforts to fight this continuing problem.
Rest assured that SSCC staff hate spam as much as you do, but stopping it is easier said than done. The human brain has a marvelous capacity for recognizing patterns: you can identify whether a message is spam or not at a glance. Computers cannot. Spam filtering rules are becoming more and more complex, but the spammers are clever people too and continue to find ways to fool them. What's more, the sheer quantity of spam continues to increase. If you get ten spam messages a day, a filter which is 97% accurate might let in a spam message once every three days. If you get 100 spam messages a day, you're likely to see three missed spam messages every day.
Beginning Tuesday, September 8, we will be taking the following steps to try to improve the accuracy rate of SpamAssassin's filter:
Furthermore, the only method we have as staff of knowing how much spam SpamAssassin misses is to look at the number of messages put in not legit folders. If you just delete a missed spam message, it will not be included in our statistics on SpamAssassin's accuracy.
We wish we could promise you that these steps will stop all spam from reaching your Inbox. They will not. But they will help, and we will continue to do everything we can to fight the problem of spam.
As part of our continuing effort to replace all programs that transmit usernames and passwords in clear text, today we replaced FTP with Secure FTP. Both our Linux FTP server (ftp.ssc.wisc.edu) and our Windows FTP server (ntftp.ssc.wisc.edu) are now using SFTP.
If you use FTP on one of our Linux servers, replace the ftp command with sftp (e.g. sftp ftp.ssc.wisc.edu). If you use FTP from a Windows computer, we suggest you use SecureFX, which is site licensed for use by UW faculty, staff and students. Our new publication Transferring Files Using SecureFX gives instructions on installing and using it.