MMM Minutes 4/1/99

Minutes of Smathers
Middle Manager's Meeting
April 1, 1999

Present: Rich Bennett, Suzanne Brown, Gary Cornwell, Michelle Crump, Carol Drum, Barry Hartigan, David Hickey, Martha Hruska, Tom Minton, Richard Phillips, Jan Swanbeck, Carol Turner
Melissa Virus
  1. Hard copies of the Melissa virus were distributed.
  2. Melissa is an unusually virulent virus - able to run in both Mac & Windows environments. It attaches 50 copies of itself to the address book, then ships them out. The subject line reads "important message from" and then lists an unfamiliar name.
  3. The virus code is very simple & easy to read (and, therefore, to duplicate) and its author even had a sense of humor.
  4. It has spread faster than any other computer virus ever has.
  5. Virus catchers can't write the code fast enough to catch this type of virus. There are fixes listed on McAfee & other virus scan sites.
  6. The University has emerged virtually unscathed - there have only been a few isolated reports of it.
  7. We are urging our staff to be very careful - don't open anything or run any programs that are unfamiliar.
Networking
  1. NERDC is currently on a crash program to fix the ATM core. They are working with the vendors, should be fixed within 10-14 days.
  2. We had a brief library-wide mail outage on Tuesday. Bill accidentally tightened up the mail server security so that outside mail was unable to be received. It was fixed within an hour - as soon as we were aware of the situation.
  3. We will soon be putting out Linux servers in every building to alleviate congestion. Right now we have achieved proof of concept with them, but not reliability. One server (dubbed "Squid") will be used as a web browser to control web email filtering. We will also be using these for ATC Standalone & print queues. The Linux operating sytem is inexpensive (no NT server licenses). We will put 2 identically configured machines in each closet, one to run as a server and the other as backup.
Non-Business Use of Computers
  1. Systems repair techs have been encountering incidents (when on service calls) where staff members have installed games, graphics & other recreational devices on their machines. Sometimes these programs fight for HD space and cause other problems within the computer. Occasionally, staff members have been hostile to the suggestion that these recreational devices are causing problems. Bill suggests a policy be drawn up addressing the issue. When computers were first introduced in the Libraries, such items were thought to promote computer bonding. It is advisable to take the recreational stuff off the computer - then see how it performs when gradually adding it back. If we push too hard about this, it is possible that users will just bury the stuff further down in their computers. The problem occurs when Systems techs encounter hostility at the suggestion of removal and that these techs are spending time on non-business related problems. Consensus rules that a policy will be drafted by LMG addressing business vs. recreational computer use.


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Last updated February 17, 2000
by Debra Harris
debharr@mail.uflib.ufl.edu