February 1999
Volume 2, Issue 2

Inside this Issue...


Anti-virus Software


Did you know...


Social Science Computing Laboratory
Faculty of Social Science
Room 1228, Social Science Centre
The University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5C2

E-mail: ssts@uwo.ca
Web: www.ssc.uwo.ca
Phone: 519 661-2152 
Managing Editor: Les Flodrowski

SSC Network Update


Douglas Link

VAX E-mail/Pathworks Ends

The December 31, 1998 deadline for ending SSCL VAX E-mail and Pathworks is extended to April 30, 1999. This will accommodate the few remaining users who have yet to complete their move to Julian E-mail and the Windows 95/98 operating systems. The two-year period allowed to complete this move cannot be extended again – VAX software will no longer function after April 30th due to license expiry.

Y2K Reminder...tick tick tick!
SSCL and all other computing support personnel on campus are actively planning, testing and upgrading computer systems, network hardware and software to ensure Y2K compliance. All microcomputers in offices throughout the Faculty of Social Science should be checked with a BIOS clock test that can be performed by individual owners or department managers. UWO's Y2K Information Web site (www.uwo.ca/its/doc/year2000), accessible as an icon link from the Faculty of Social Science home page, provides valuable information and instructions that individuals can use to ensure that they are Y2K compliant. Anyone in the Faculty who needs assistance or advice with performing Y2K testing should contact SSCL at extension 2152.

Scan Exam Scanning Service
SSCL offers a free, same-day examination scanning service to Social Science instructors. Some restrictions apply: (a) This is a read-only service – instructors must do their own file editing and marking using Scan Exam software; (b) Only the UWO Markex Scantron Form No. F10193-WU (reddish in colour) is readable by the SSCL reader; (c) The service is available Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; (d) Forms must be given in pre-counted crisscrossed piles of 50 sheets.

User Room Changes Planned
The University's renovation plan for Somerville House has resulted in some of SSCL's user areas being reassigned to Graphic Services. A number of changes and renovations within SSCL are necessary to accommodate these reassignments and are scheduled to occur over the next few months.

To accommodate the reassignment of SSC 1040, the graduate student computer room will be relocated to SSC 1038. A special funding request is before the Provost to finance the upgrade of the graduate room computers to Pentium II 350 MHz systems. The teaching seminar function currently provided in SSC 1038 will be relocated to SSC 1030 providing a combined seminar teaching room and general use computer lab.

The SSCL and StatLab help desks in SSC 1004 are being consolidated with the Student help desk and relocated to SSC 1012. The Data Resources Library (DRL) will receive a new glass entrance door from the main hallway as well as changes to the internal layout.

PeopleSoft Implications For MMS and Scan Exam
Major upgrades to Scan Exam and the Marks Management System (MMS) are being planned for release in conjunction with the Registrar's transition to PeopleSoft for its student record management. The tentative date for this move is Saturday, June 12th.

Among other things, the conversion upgrades everyone to nine digit student numbers, alters class list download formats, alters electronic grade submission upload formats and requires a complete replacement of the existing Scantron examination form. The resulting changes are significant enough that compatibility issues between old and new versions are unavoidable. It is anticipated that with the new releases of MMS and Scan Exam there will be special conversion utilities specifically designed to assist users who wish to retain their old files for use with the new releases. The full extent of the necessary changes is still under review.

Network Servers Upgraded
SSCL has recently upgraded Nexus and Quantus, two of the primary servers on the SSC Network. Both are now dual-processor Pentium 450 class servers designed with fault-tolerant disk, memory and network subsystems. In addition to providing printing, database and authentication services, Nexus acts as the Social Science Internet server, superceding Yoda in this role. Nexus will also provide a scratch storage service allowing individuals to request up to 50MB of additional network storage for their work.