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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 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

Spring 2007 Tech Briefings

  • April 6: Network Troubleshooting Tools
  • April 13: Web Video Captioning Technologies
  • April 20: Creating Demos and Tutorials using Captivate, Camtasia, or Snapz Pro
  • April 27: No Tech Briefing (All Day Security Class)
  • May 4: WebEx at Stanford
  • May 11: iTunes at Stanford: Producing and Publishing Podcasts
  • May 18: What Google Can Do for Your Website
  • May 25: No Tech Briefing (Memorial Day Weekend)
  • June 1: Stanford Desktop Tools
  • June 8: RSS Feeds, Blogs, and Podcasts
  • June 15: No Tech Briefing (Graduation Weekend)
  • June 22: Getting Your Web Site to Deliver to ALL - Universal Accessibility
  • June 29: Home Networking


Date Topic Presenter(s)
April 6

Network Troubleshooting Tools

Networking uses a number of tools to troubleshoot various networking problems.  This class presents a brief intro to these tools and how they are used.  Find out how to troubleshoot DHCP problems, network slowness, and other topics.  Feedback is welcome as we have been updating the LNA Guide with a list of useful tools.

PowerPoint Slides from Kent's talk.

Kent Reuber, IT Services

April 13

Web Video Captioning Technologies

Web-based video content has become an important means of sharing information to a diverse and sophisticated audience.  Whether via Stanford on iTunes or as part of a streaming media solution on your web site, maximizing benefit from your investment in time and resources means that providing captioning and transcripts is fast becoming a must-do production task.  Find out about the technologies involved, and learn how to create captioned materials, either by doing it yourself or outsourcing through existing on-campus production channels.  Discover why captioned video not only aids those with auditory impairments, but makes your video more valuable to researchers and search engines and increases the shelf life of your video content. 
REMEMBER: Universal Accessibility benefits all.

Slides from John's talk

  • Slides were created using Eric Meyer's very nifty S5 slide presentation system [].
  • Printing out the presentation also includes the speaking notes
John Foliot, Stanford Online Accesiblity Program
April 20

Creating Demos and Tutorials using Captivate, Camtasia, or Snapz Pro

Screencast software (such as Captivate, Camtasia, and Snapz Pro) is used for a wide variety of reasons:

  • creating engaging animated demonstrations of web-based tools, software, and hardware for training purposes
  • adding voice and/or video to PowerPoint Presentations
  • demonstrating processes and tasks for other employees including temporary employees or to serve as a procedural manual

Come see Mark Branom demonstrate three of the most commonly used screencast tools -- Captivate, Camtasia, and Snapz Pro.

Mark Branom, IT Services
April 27

No Tech Briefing

All Day Security Class in Turing Auditorium

May 4

WebEx at Stanford

Chris Lundin (IT Services) and Eric Montoya (WebEx), will demo and answer questions about the WebEx tools that can be licensed on campus. There are over 170 licensed WebEx user on campus already.

WebEx software can facilitate:

  • holding "virtual meetings" without traveling across campus,
  • gathering groups quickly to review materials,
  • leveraging colleagues at other institutions,
  • delivering real-time lectures, demos, and presentations,
  • providing virtual office hours,
  • quick-response remote desktop support assistance, and
  • cross-functional group collaboration
Chris Lundin, IT Services and Eric Montoya, WebEx
May 11

iTunes at Stanford: Producing and Publishing Podcasts

Podcasting has become the most cost-effective and efficient way to distribute digital audio and video files over the Web. By subscribing to podcasts, listeners can consume the information presented whenever they need to, not just whenever a broadcaster decides to present it. Faculty can deliver educational content for listening or viewing on a computer or iPod, freeing learning from the constraints of the traditional physical classroom. Staff can use podcasts to deliver informational content about their department or group, to provide news about events in the department, and to disseminate other information in an engaging manner.

In this presentation, Mark Branom (IT Services) and a panel of experts -- Jeremy Sabol (Center for Teaching and Learning), Kim Hayworth (Academic Computing), and Scott Stocker (University Communications) -- will discuss some of the techniques and basic tools to create, edit, and produce podcasts, as well as how you can publish your podcast on Stanford iTunes.

Click here for links to the resources discussed at the Tech Briefing.

Mark Branom (IT Services), Jeremy Sabol (Center for Teaching and Learning), Kim Hayworth (Academic Computing), Scott Stocker (University Communications)
May 18

What Google Can Do for Your Website -

Nancy Blachman, author and developer of Google Guide, will show you how to get more visitors to your website and generate (more) revenue. She will share her experiences in designing, developing, and promoting Google Guide,, which is now the top result forqueries including [ Google tutorial ], [ Google guide ], [ using Google ], [ Google quick reference ], [ Google coffee mug ] , and [Google favorite features ].

In this presentation, Nancy will cover creating content for your website, linking to search results, getting your site listed in Google, improving your site's ranking, publicizing and advertising your website and generating revenue from AdSense.

Nancy Blachman
May 25

No Tech Briefing - Memorial Day Weekend

June 1

Stanford Desktop Tools

This week's session will focus primarily on the new version of Stanford Desktop Tools for Windows.

Some improvements have been made to the offering and we'll be covering that and the process of moving off of PC-Leland.

Everyone on campus needs to move off of PC-Leland and MacLeland prior to April 2008, so this is just ramping up the communications about that.

Click here for today's PowerPoint Presentation on Stanford Desktop Tools.

Ammy Hill, IT Services
June 8

RSS Feeds, Blogs, and Podcasts

In this week's session, Mark Branom (IT Services) will show you how to create and use RSS feeds -- those XML files that are used by web publishers to broadcast blogs, podcasts, and other content by "pushing" it to their users. Join Mark as he demonstrates how to use these relatively new technologies.

Click here for the PowerPoint slides from today's talk

Mark Branom, IT Services
June 15

No Tech Briefing - Graduation Weekend

June 22

Getting Your Web Site to Deliver to ALL -  Universal Accessibility

To help web designers and online content creators produce material that is accessible to the greatest audience possible, The Stanford Online Accessibility Program ( provides guidance to those at Stanford community who share information via the Web. The recommended standards and best practices enhance the user-experience for everyone, including those with disabilities. Come meet John Foliot (Academic Technology Consultant) and discover how he can assist you -- from enhancing the search-ability of your site to future-proofing your content for emerging technologies. REMEMBER: Universal Accessibility benefits all.

John Foliot, Stanford Online Accesiblity Program
June 29

Home Networking

Join us as Kent Reuber present some basic info on setting up home networks on Stanford DSL, Stanford West, and non-Stanford DSL/cable modems. He will talk about the basics of print servers, wireless access points, and routers. He will also present some example home network diagrams that you may want to follow. He won't be covering specific products there are simply too many products out there. He will, however, give you some recommendations on home network configurations that can be used with many different products.

Kent Reuber, 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

To subscribe to the Tech Briefings Mailing List, either:

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.

Last modified Thursday, 14-Jun-2007 10:04:19 AM

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