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Timely Info for Power Users and Stanford's Technology Community


Held Friday afternoons in Turing Auditorium, Tech Briefings are informal, interactive seminars on computer-related topics of interest to the Stanford community. These sessions are intended for power users, Expert Partners, and those with IT responsibilities, but are open to everyone - faculty, staff, and students. The Tech Briefings, led by knowledgeable IT Services staff or other IT professionals, run from 2:00 to 3:30 P.M. No registration is required - just come on by and learn something new. No fees. No fuss.

Turing Auditorium is Room 111 of Polya Hall. See this map to Polya Hall.

The success of these sessions depends on you! Questions from attendees are strongly encouraged. Topics are announced in advance through the techbriefings mailing list and on this web page.

Because we are presenting emerging technical topics, please feel free to contact the Tech Briefing coordinator with any questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns. Call 723-4391 or send email to

Winter 2010 Tech Briefings

  • Drupal Workshop, Part Three: Backing Up, Restoring, and Updating
    Clearing Away the Clouds: Cloud Computing at Stanford
    Google Analytics
    Getting Started in Data Visualization using JMP
    Apple Presents: MacWorld Update
    Shopping with Stanford's SmartMart
    Securing Stanford Email
    Drupal 7: What's New?
    Open Source: Revolutionize Your Research: Zotero and LibX
    Drupal Workshop: Introduction to Content Types, Fields (CCK), and Views
Date Topic Presenter(s)
Jan 22

Drupal Workshop, Part Three: Backing Up, Restoring, and Updating

In Part Three of the Drupal Workshop series, please join us as Sharon Krossa will be covering the following aspects of maintaining a Drupal site at Stanford:

  • Backing up your Drupal site
  • Restoring your Drupal site from a backup
  • Updating your Drupal site using the Stanford Collaboration Tools Updater

Bring a laptop and follow along!

Although this session is Part Three of a series, it is not required for you to have attended the first two sessions.

Handouts Available:

Sharon Krossa, IT Services
Jan 29

Clearing Away the Clouds: Cloud Computing at Stanford

Presentation (PDF)

This Briefing will discuss the general topic of Cloud Computing. In particular it will talk about the concept, some available implementations, cloud based applications and finally talk about several specials that are available to those campus users of the Amazon Web Services suite (AWS).

The Amazon Web Services is composed of the Elastic Cloud service (EC2), 'rent a computer on an hourly basis', the Simple Storage Service (S3), 'store your data in the cloud' and a few other online business oriented services. Amazon's offerings are the best known Cloud Computing offering but many other offerings are available and will be talked about.

Phil Reese, IT Services
Feb 5

Google Analytics

In this age of data, the challenge is not always how to get more numbers, but how to make the numbers move in the right direction! Google Analytics is the world's most popular Analytics tool, and has helped millions of businesses optimize their sites.

In this presentation, Beth Liebert, a Product Manager for Google Analytics, will present some key strategies for how to improve ROI and conversion rate on your sites through using Analytics reports.

We'll demo some tips and tricks and discuss future trends in the world of online measurement.

Beth Liebert, Google

Mark Branom, IT Services

Brian Young, IT Services

Feb 12

Getting Started in Data Visualization using JMP

JMP software drives you through statistics using point, click, drag, and drop, and then displays results as statistics and multiple graphs in the same window. It allows you to subset, perform subsequent analyses, and create 3D and moving graphics to help understand the results of your analyses.


  • JMP Introduction
  • Basic Navigation and Analysis
  • Regression Modeling and ANOVA
  • Multivariate statistics
  • Data Visualization

Presenter Melodie Rush is Statistician and founding member of JMP's academic team, bringing a wealth of commercial experience with both JMP and SAS. She hosts the academic Webinar, JMP for Professors and Students and on site training at universities. She has a BS in Stats and a MBA with a Statistics concentration from NCSU.

Melodie Rush, JMP

Feb 19

Apple Presents: MacWorld Update

Come hear Stanford's Apple rep Wyn Davies talk about the exciting new Apple products, direct from Macworld 2010.

Wyn Davies, Apple
Feb 26

Shopping with Stanford's SmartMart

Please join us for this introduction to shopping with Stanford's SmartMart.

SmartMart is a one-stop shop for all your buying needs, be it office or lab supplies, computers, oligonucleotides, and so much more...over two and half million items are available online.

The presentation will include search tips, creating favorites, and assigning shopping carts.

Cheryl Penn, Purchasing and Contracts
Mar 5

Securing Stanford Email

In this session Ammy Hill will discuss the recommended configuration settings for email.

Regardless of what email client you’re using – Outlook, Mac Mail, Thunderbird, or something else – it’s likely your settings need an update. Learn how to prepare your computer for changes coming to Stanford Email in Summer 2010.

Upcoming changes to Secure Email and Webmail will also be discussed.

Ammy Hill, IT Services

Mar 12

Drupal 7: What's New?

Presentation (PDF)

Drupal 7 is the next major release of the Drupal Content Management System and will provide many new features and functionality improvements.

This Briefing will cover these major changes and discuss how they will contribute to making Drupal 7 the best release of Drupal yet.

Come to learn when Drupal 7 will be available and what it can do for your website.

Matt Cheney, Chapter Three

Mar 19

Open Source - Revolutionize Your Research: Zotero and LibX

Zotero is a free, open source plugin for Firefox that helps you "collect, manage and cite your research sources." LibX is a free, open source plugin for Firefox that gives you speedy access to all of your library's resources.

Taken together, the two have the ability to revolutionize your research!

Brought to you by the Stanford Open Source Lab.

John Bickar, Technology Specialist, Cubberley Library

James Jacobs, Government Documents Librarian

Mar 26

Drupal Workshop: Introduction to Content Types, Fields (CCK), and Views

This is the fourth in a series of hands-on workshops covering Drupal installation and development at Stanford. Bring a laptop and follow along!

Part 4 - Introduction to Content Types, Fields (CCK), and Views will go step-by-step through creating a To Do List and Change Log for your site. To Do Lists and Change Logs are very useful for site development, and making them will involve:

  • Creating & customizing content types
  • Using the contributed module Content Construction Kit (CCK) to add custom fields
  • Using the contributed module Views to create lists of information from multiple nodes

If following along on your laptop, there will be pre-configured Drupal sites available for use during the workshop. (No advance registration required!)

Sharon Krossa, IT Services


Links to Previous Quarters

Click on these links to previous quarters to see the Tech Briefings/TGIF topics we have presented in the past. Links to handouts for most presentations are also available at these sites.

Subscribe to the Tech Briefings Mailing List

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Tips for Presenters

So, you're going to give a presentation at an upcoming Tech Briefing. Find out what services we provide and what's expected of you. Refer to this PowerPoint document Tips for Presenters for guidelines on preparing for your presentation. You will find templates, as well as other useful information regarding timelines, marketing, and resources.


Last modified Friday, 17-Sep-2010 03:01:26 PM

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