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InformationTechnologyServices NEWSLETTER FOR LINCOLN UNIVERSITY STAFF AND POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS
ChangesWe are making some changes to the way
the HelpDesk operates so we can
improve the service we offer as well as
providing a better working environment
for the HelpDesk staff.
monthly byInformation Technology
Our HelpDesk does a really good job at dealing with a huge range of support calls. In some
areas they are expert, in others they need to refer your call to other people. From the startof April, ITS software consultants will also be providing first level support. With this newarrangement we will be able to provide you with ready access to specialists in a wide rangeof areas.
All calls to the HelpDesk are logged and depending on the nature or likely duration of acall, that call may be assigned to a software consultant who will then call you back. Whilst
appreciating that many of you will wish to get your problem solved at the time of your first
call to the HelpDesk, it is more efficient to work this way. When the person answering yourcall can give you a quick answer, they will do this. If your issue is more involved then by
referring the call we can free up HelpDesk staff to answer more incoming calls and attend
to repairs, installations, tape restores etc. During busy times the software consultantswill also join the HelpDesk phone queue to answer calls.
You can now get your Novell network passwords changed in most departments by the ITS
Trusted Agent, typically a senior member of your departments administrative staff. Thiswill be much quicker than having to come down to the HelpDesk counter.
Where possible we recommend logging calls to the HelpDesk via the Pmail IT services job
request icon ( ) or an email to [email protected]
If you do ring the HelpDesk please LEAVE A MESSAGE, if your call is not answered! We check
for voice messages very frequently and will get back to you as soon as possible.
Normally the staff HelpDesk counter is open from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. From 20 March theHelpDesk will be closing its counter each Wednesday at 3 pm. This is to enable the HelpDeskto have regular meetings, attend staff training, and catch up on some paperwork. Whilstthe counter is closed you may continue to call 8048 and log calls with an ITS staff member.
Urgent calls will be dealt with immediately, others will be logged and referred on to theappropriate people.
Most keyboards on campus now include two special Windows keys
the Windows logo key (
B) and the Application key ( ). These
two keys let you access many shortcuts from the keyboard. These
are summarised below:
Display or hide the Start
Display the System Properties
By now most staff on campus have had the
opportunity for training in the voice mail
system. I would like to remind users about
some of the system features and offer some
1. If you are away from campus, set a temporary
Open the Run
message letting callers know this. Use option
Display the shortcut menu for the selected item.
8 3. Another good feature is that you can set an
expiry date for the temporary message so that it
automatically is deleted and reverts to your
Some keyboard shortcuts may not work if StickyKeys is turned on in Accessibility
standard greeting. Use option 8 3 9 for this.
2. If you forget to set a temporary absence greeting
at work, you can set one up from home (or
anywhere with a touch tone phone). Dial 325-
3838 then extension 3838 and your login details.
3. When replaying a message, you can call the user
who left the message by dialling 9 during
4. A shortcut for entering your mailbox from your
extension: After you have dialled the access
number (3838) dial # then your password #.
Several groups around campus have begun reorganising their share directories.
ITS test marking
These include ITS, AMAC, Lincworks and Student Enquiries & Admissions. The
aim of this work is to tidy up existing files and develop consistent filing and
sharing procedures. This work is already important, but the demise of some local
hard disk drives raises it to urgent status. This should provide good motivation
ITS have prepared a document containing guidelines for users
of the multiple-choice test marking service. The document,
which is available on the web, identifies the information ITS
require before marking your test. It also contains details of
Rationalisation of local, personal (H:\) and shared (U:\) drives,
the format of the test results produced and the statistical
If you would like more details about your departments share directory, please
contact your department information co-ordinator. Co-ordinators wishing to
If you use the ITS test marking service please take a look at
start work on this should contact Peter McNaughton, ITS
this document which you can find on the ITS web page at
Many people have asked me recently about how to block the growing volume
of junk mail (commonly called spam mail) coming in to them. The best place
to block junk mail is at the server level (before it reaches your mailbox) and
ITS are currently investigating options for doing this. Until we have a product
that can do this, the only defence we can suggest is auto-deleting messages
once they have got to your mailbox.
Spam rules should be set up as New Mail rules that are applied when the folder is opened
(Tools | Mail filtering rules | Edit new mail filtering rules | Rules applied when the folder
is opened or click the shortcut button on the toolbar ). In the New Mail Filtering Rules
dialogue box that appears, click on the Add Rule button.
Header rules and Expression rules are the best types of rule for catching spam. There is also
a Scan List type, which you can use if you wish.Header Rules
Scan List Rules
allow you to match on text within the commonly used headers of a message,
Finally, you can use the Scan List
rule type to
check a senders address against a distribution
list (black list) that you maintain. When a spam
If the From
field contains MakeMoney
reaches you, you can easily add the senders
If the Subject
field contains viagra
address to your black list by right-clicking the
Note that, with a header rule, the search text you enter is automatically assumed to be part
of the line only. In other words, you shouldnt enter wildcard characters around the text
This emulates Outlooks Junk Mail feature and
it may work for you, although it has never
seemed a particularly good way of catching
Expression rules allow you to use regular expressions to match text anywhere within the
spam, in my opinion, because spammers rarely
message. You can match within the headers or within the body of the message, but note that
you will always be better off matching within the headers only, if you can. Expression matches
on the body of a message will
slow down the opening of the new mail folder.
Here you can use wildcard characters as well as other special characters for expression
What should you do with messages that match
matching. For spam filtering, the asterisk, the plus and the square brackets are most useful.
your filters? Its tempting to just automatically
delete them, but there is always a risk of false
An asterisk allows you to match on a word or multiple words anywhere within the message,
matches. Filtering on the word girls
subject might seem sensible until a friend
matches on the word anywhere within a line
sends you an email about what their children
matches on the words hardcore and sites in the same line,
A plus sign matches multiple occurrences of the last character, e.g.,
matching messages into it, for manual checking
at a lower priority, once a day or even once a
*hardcore + sites
The + after the space will force a match regardless of the
Square brackets allow you to match a range of characters, e.g. [1-3]
would try to match a
1, a 2 or a 3 on the line.
Combining all three of these special characters creates the following very powerful spam
rule which I would recommend for anyone. Set this up as an Expression rule searching the
This matches on the text Subject: at the beginning of the line and, at the end of the line, a
number of spaces followed by a sequence of 3 or more numbers. If you try this simple spam
filter for a while, you may be surprised by just how much junk mail matches this pattern.
A lot of people are now using the automatic reply feature (under the Tools
menu) in Pegasus Mail to let others sending them mail know when they are
away on leave. This is very useful especially when combined with a list of
One problem with the Automatic reply feature is that it doesnt attach your signature to the
message it sends. On messages sent to departmental groups or to the secretaries list (where
the individuals name doesnt appear in the From field), it can be difficult to work out exactly
Al Sheppard is a temporary ITS
staff member who has been
When using an automatic reply, please ensure that your name is clearly visible somewhere in
employed to upgrade the Novell
the message. If you wish, you could copy and paste your entire signature onto the bottom.
clients on staff and PG computers
over the next few months. The
process takes about 30 minutes,
Pegasus Mail tip:
and Al will be contacting staff
directly to organise
appointments for the work.
Upgrading the Novell client will allowus to remotely deploy software updates
as well as offering the HelpDesk theability to fix problems on your computer
by remote control. Remote controlaccess is only possible after you have
If you use Pegasus Mail, you may be interested
This group consists of
representatives from the
Business Development Group
hyperlinks are clicked. Ive written a script to
(Patrick Aldwell, Roy
make this easy to set up under NT simply
click on the Start
button and choose Run,
Bickerstaff, John Clark, Grant
then type PMSendto
into the field and click
Cushman, Roger Field, Jenny
Ross and Tony Zwart).
Clicking on an email address hyperlink will
launch Pegasus Mail (if not already open)
addressed to the address you clicked on.
This will work for hyperlinks in Word, Excel,
profiles has been on test in ITS for some
click Send To menu in Explorer, providing
message. In Explorer, you will be able to
right-click a file or multiple files and choose
Pegasus Mail from the Send To submenu.
This will launch Pegasus Mail (if not already
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