Technology Training Services

Tech Briefings

Timely Info for Power Users and Stanford's Technology Support 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 ITSS staff, 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 Phyllis Olrich at 725-1541 or send email to techbriefings-owner@lists.stanford.edu.

Fall 2005 Tech Briefings

October 14: To NAT or Not?
October 21: Introduction to COMSOL MultiPhysics Software (FEMLAB)
October 28: Tips and Features of Books24x7 Referenceware
November 18: Macromedia Tech Day
December 2: Power Googling: Getting What You Want From Google
December 9: What's New From Apple CANCELLED

Oct. 14
To NAT or Not?

Network Address Translation (NAT) is a technique often used for "hiding" an entire network behind a single public IP address. Not only does it conserve precious IP addresses, but because of the firewalling feature provided by NAT, it is becoming increasing common to use this simple protection mechanism for networks. This class will discuss how NAT routing works, how the firewalling feature works, and what protocols don't work. We'll help you decide if you want to use NAT routers on your home network, and we'll discuss example layouts. Download Kent's PowerPoint slides here.

Kent Reuber
Oct. 21

Introduction to COMSOL MultiPhysics Software (FEMLAB)

This seminar is for academic users and researchers who want to learn about COMSOL Multiphysics – a modeling package for simulating any physical process describable with partial differential equations (PDEs). Representatives from COMSOL will show you how to use the COMSOL MultiPhysics graphical user interface to model physics phenomena in a wide variety of application areas. Learn how to create and solve mathematical models step-by-step, and get an overview of COMSOL MultiPhysics' capabilities and the modeling process. Through Stanford's Software Licensing office, Stanford users can obtain COMSOL MultiPhysics software at a significantly reduced price.

Special time: 2:00 to 4:00 P.M.

Representatives from COMSOL
Oct. 28

Tips and Features of Books24x7 Referenceware

With Books24x7, you can search 5,000 full-text technical and desktop books online, finding just the information that you need. You can access all of this content at work or at home via the Internet. During this seminar, you will learn how to conduct searches, create bookshelf folders and notes, and share content with colleagues.

Whether you are a registered user of Books24x7 or just want to learn more about this valuable online resource, please join us for a demonstration of this tool which will include tips and tricks and an overview of the functionality.

Carolyn Dawson, Books24x7
Nov. 18

Macromedia Tech Day

8:45am – 9:00am Arrival and Sign-In
9:00am – 10:45am

Create Digital Learning Experiences with Breeze and Captivate
For faculty and academic services staff who want an easy way to use PowerPoint, MS Word, streaming video, and rich media to enhance the teaching and learning experience. Learn how to quickly create online demonstrations and simulations using Captivate and Breeze.
Featuring Macromedia Breeze™ and Macromedia Captivate™

10:45am – 11:00am Break
11:00am – 12:00pm

Getting Started with Contribute
The easiest way to keep your content up to date. This session will focus on Contribute used in a department setting. Of special interest to current users of Dreamweaver or Front Page and new Contribute users, but also for anyone responsible for campus and department web page content.
Featuring Contribute 3.0™

12:00pm – 1:00pm Break
1:00pm – 1:50pm

Flash Video
A demonstration of Flash Professional 8 and Flash Communication Server and how they can be used to enhance the teaching and learning experience with streaming video content.
Featuring Flash Professional 8 and Flash Communication Server

1:50pm – 2:00pm Break
2:00pm – 3:30pm Build Engaging Web Sites with Studio 8 (includes Dreamweaver)
Get the most out of Studio 8. This session for Web Designers and Developers will highlight the latest features of Studio 8. A special emphasis will be placed on the new video features of Flash and Dreamweaver.
Featuring Studio 8 and Flash Player


John Schuman, Macromedia
Dec. 2

Power Googling: Getting What You Want From Google

In this presentation, you will learn:

  • How to select terms and search (more) effectively
  • How Google interprets your query
  • What's included with your results
  • How Google works
  • How to invoke search operators (aka advanced operators), even undocumented ones
  • When Google added services, features, and options (Google's Feature History)

Materials for this session can be found at:


Nancy Blachman has been using Google since the spring of 1999, when Google was less than one year old. She has written over a half dozen tutorial and
reference books, including How to Do Everything with Google, Mathematica: A Practical Approach, Mathematica Graphics Guidebook, Mathematica Quick Reference, Maple V Quick Reference, and Putting Your Heart Online. She is president and founder of Variable Symbols, a company that specializes in software training and consulting. She obtained a B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Birmingham, U.K., an M.S. in Operations Research from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University, where she taught for eight years.
Dec. 9

What's New From Apple - CANCELLED

We'll reschedule in 2006.

Great gift ideas for the holidays! Come see Wyn Davies from Apple talk about the latest gear that Apple has to offer. Learn about Aperture, the first all-in-one post production tool for photographers. Learn tips and tricks for using Tiger!

Wyn Davies, Apple

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

To subscribe to the Tech Briefings Mailing List, send email to majordomo@lists.stanford.edu with the message

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Suggest a Topic

Is there a particular topic you would like to see presented as a Tech Express? Let us know! We'll do our best to accommodate you.

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Tips for Presenters

So, you're going to give a presentation at an upcoming Tech Express. 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.


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