MMM Minutes 11/20/03

Minutes of Smathers
Middle Manager's Meeting
November 20, 2003

Present: Shelley Arlen, Denise Bennett, Rich Bennett, Gary Cornwell, Robena Cornwell, Michelle Crump, Trudi DiTrolio, Carol Drum, John Freund, John Ingram, Iona Malanchuk, Patrick Reakes, Bob Singerman, Jan Swanbeck, Carol Turner
  1. There has been a massive increase in spam. The latest round is designed to beat the mail filters by imbedding words and HTML tags that defeat the grading system of the filters.
  2. There is no way to filter out all of it. There’s not much more to do except hit delete. There may be a global solution down the road, but for now, deleting is the most effective.
Remote Access to Exchange Mail
  1. Web email interface is not working. There was a glitch around noon one day – the server was sluggish – we rebooted, then the Web client access was no longer functional. We can’t seem to get it back up.
  2. POP 3 and IMAP servers can be set up to talk to our server. Our outgoing mail does not accept off-campus mail. With this current standard, no outside mail gets in. You have to configure it to do both.
  3. Be sure to check the box to leave mail on the server.
  4. Outgoing should be set to Yahoo, Hotmail or your local ISP. Incoming mail should be set to our server (SmathersNT2).
  5. We’re not giving up on the Web client, but it may remain dysfunctional. The security patches may have caused the server problem - but we can’t undo those.
  6. There are lots of ways to access email remotely, the easiest is no longer available.
  7. VPN with Outlook will work. It is the same as the access we have here at work, but slower.
  8. Out-of-town set ups – can reconfigure POP client – takes longer, but will work.
  9. Yahoo lets you go through their Web interface, then access multiple accounts.
  10. Will these instructions be written down anywhere? We will make the best general principles accessible. It is inevitably different for each Web interface.
  11. Laptops – VPN preferred, if it will work. Sometimes it’s not always an option.
  12. Is Microsoft aware of the Web interface problem we are having? We have not seen anything from them that acknowledge the problem. We are running an old version of Exchange – 5.5. We may skip Exchange 2K (lots of problems) and go straight Exchange 2003. We will try to move towards a more modern email server in the next several months.
Network Software Patching
  1. Trend Anti-Virus – we are changing the server it resides on. Should improve the performance on updates/machines.
  2. Liaisons have been notified.
  3. It is not a good idea to put our Trend Anti-Virus on your machine at home. For one thing we aren’t licensed for it. You will have trouble deleting it if our passwords have changed. Use the Trend personal product for home.
  4. Public machines – Will & Marvin have worked out an involved process for moving Trend to the new server so that we don’t have to take the security off the machines.
  5. If a machine is still on the old server, it may work for now, but not much longer. It will be permanently moved soon.
  6. The move is painless – takes about 3 minutes to move form NT2 to NT14 – move should be transparent.
  7. Robena notes that Will’s instructions regarding the move were well written.
Centralized Patch Push
  1. There is now a campus site for centralized patch-push software. This should theoretically push the MS updates onto machines without the liaisons having to do so.
  2. This should work; hassles enforcing updates should be eliminated.
  3. We’ve purchased the software and will be working on getting it functional in the next few weeks.

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Last updated November 21, 2003
by Debra Fetzer