Skip navigation



RSS Feed - Click to SubscribeTech 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 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

Summer 2007 Tech Briefings


Date Topic Presenter(s)
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

Click here for PowerPoint Presentation

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
July 6

No Tech Briefing - Fourth of July week.

USA Flag and eagle.  Image courtesy Pam Roth from,

July 13

What's New From Apple

Come hear Stanford's Apple rep Wyn Davies talk about the exciting new Apple products.

Wyn Davies, Apple
July 17 (Tuesday)

MS Office 2007 - Note special day (Tuesday)

Shane Devenshire (Mentor Training) will be on hand to demonstrate the newly updated office suite from Microsoft -- MS Office 2007.

Shane Devenshire holds the prestigious title of being one of only 40 Microsoft-designated MVPs in Excel in the world. He has authored and co-authored dozens of books and articles on Excel and Access. Shane has been consulting and teaching in Excel and Access for over 20 years, and consistently delights customers and classes with his extensive knowledge. If it can be done, Shane will know how to do it. If you are a frequent user, don't miss this presentation!

Shane Devenshire, Mentor Training
July 20

FileMaker Pro - What's New

FileMaker Pro 9, which was announced and shipped on July 10, 2007, has a host of new features to make developing, managing and deploying your databases easier than ever. It also provides new functionality to vastly enhance the opportunities and ease of connecting to SQL data sources like Oracle, MySQL and SQL Server.

FileMaker Server is brand new as well with new features to make it easier to install and deploy. There is also a brand new administration tool with features to help you more effectively manage your FileMaker Server environment.

Alexei Folger, Senior System Engineer with FileMaker will be on hand to demo these exciting new products and answer your questions about FileMaker.

Phil Smith and Alexei Folger, FileMaker, Inc.
July 27

Clean Slate Design for the Internet & GENI

The Internet has - without a doubt - been a mind-blowing success. It is often said that the constancy of the architecture ( it is essentially unchanged in 40 years) is a sign of strength. I disagree: The basic Internet is only unchanged because we can't change it - the legacy of billions of users makes it too daunting. If we could change it, we would. Instead, we have added every conceivable carbunkle onto it, making it almost unrecognizable. We've undermined its strengths, and not been able to overcome its weaknesses. Looking forward, the Internet's shortcomings won't be resolved by the conventional incremental and 'backward-compatible' style of academic and industrial networking research. Instead, we need to step back and rethink -- just as we do in pretty much any long-term academic endeavor. And this is where new programs step in: NSF has started a sea-change in networking research, towards much more radical architectures (the FIND program), and is working towards an experimental infrastructure on which to test new architectures (GENI). Here at Stanford, we have started the Clean Slate Program - a new interdisciplinary program across EE, CS, MS&E, and GSB.

Professor Nick McKeown, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
August 3


Join Tim Torgenrud as he shows us how to use the various web tools in the Stanford Web Services environment, including such tools as Movable Type, WordPress, wikis, and guestbooks.  Tim will provide a brief overview of issues to look for in bringing PHP and other scripting tools, blogs, wikis, PIMs, and such into the Stanford Web Services environment, while providing a forum for participants to ask about the Stanford Web Services environment and its offerings.

Tim Torgenrud, IT Services
August 10

Using Open Source Software and Other Freebies (a.k.a. Alternatives to MS Office and Sound, Video, and Graphic Manipulation software)

Do you wish you had office applications at home? Is your department running out of funds because you're spending too much on licensing fees for tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Illustrator, and Photoshop? Come to this Tech Briefing as our instructor, Mark Branom, demonstrates Open Source and other free alternatives. Topics will include, Audacity, Picasa, GIMP, Google Docs and Spreadsheets, and Google Page Creator.

Mark Branom, IT Services
August 17

Stanford Desktop Tools

This week's session will focus on the new versions of Stanford Desktop Tools. Some improvements have been made to the offering and we'll be covering that and the process of moving off of PC-Leland and MacLeland.

Everyone on campus needs to move off of PC-Leland and MacLeland prior to April 2008.

Mark Branom, IT Services
August 24

7 Secrets to High Google Rankings

Media files from Stephan Spencer's presentation:

During this rich presentation, spanning SEO (Search Engine Optimization) fundamentals as well as advanced tricks and tactics that only the elite SEO experts know, you'll learn how to:

  • Check your "Google Pulse"
  • Estimate missed opportunity costs
  • Ensure Google crawls 100% of your site, including dynamic pages
  • Design your pages to dominate rankings
  • Avoid getting banned by Google
  • Wield invaluable SEO tools you've not yet heard of
  • Build high-quality links from trusted sites, and boost your PageRank along with your rankings
  • Prepare for changes to come... and so much more!

Stephan Spencer is the founder and president of Netconcepts, a web agency that specializes in search engine optimized e-commerce, as well as email marketing through its GravityMail division. Clients include Discovery Channel, REI, Home Shopping Network, AOL, and Verizon, to name a few.  

Stephan is a frequent speaker at Internet conferences around the globe (including Berlin, London, Toronto, Santiago, Auckland, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and places in between) for organizations such as the DMA, the AMA,, JupiterMedia/IncisiveMedia (Search Engine Strategies), Internet World, IQPC and IIR. 

Stephan is a Senior Contributor to MarketingProfs, as well as a monthly columnist for Practical Ecommerce and for Search Engine Land. He has contributed to DM News, Multichannel Merchant, Catalog Success, Catalog Age, and others. Stephan is an avid blogger, blogging on the Searchlight Blog (part of the CNET Blog Network), the Blog, Natural Search Blog,, MarketingProfs Daily Fix, and, among others. He is co-author of the analyst report "The State of Search Engine Marketing 1.0 – New Strategies for Successful Cataloging" published by Catalog Age. 

Stephan Spencer, Netconcepts
August 31

No Tech Briefing -- Labor Day Weekend

Patriotic old women make flags. Born in Hungary, Galicia, Russia, Germany, Rumania. Their flag-making instructor, Rose Radin, is standing. Underwood and Underwood.  Image courtesy

September 7

iPhone at Stanford

Apple Inc. released its highly-anticipated iPhone on June 29, 2007 to almost unprecedented demand. Part cell phone, part personal computer, part iPod™, the iPhone includes an email client, a full-featured web browser, and a wireless card that will enable people to easily connect to many popular Stanford services. Come to this Tech Briefing with your questions and concerns as we discuss how the iPhone works in the Stanford environment.

Mark Branom and Stanford IT Services iPhone Team, IT Services
September 14

Introduction to Networking

PowerPoint Presentation

PDF of Presentation

If you've ever been curious as to how computers talk to each other, this class will give a brief overview of some of the concepts of computer networking. This class will be a very basic introduction to common modern networking technology and terminology and how they apply to Stanford. Topics covered include networking models and protocols, ethernet, wireless ethernet, the Internet Protocol (IP) and networking equipment. 

Drew Saunders, IT Services
September 21

MS Office 2007

Shane Devenshire (Mentor Training) will be on hand to demonstrate the newly updated office suite from Microsoft -- MS Office 2007.

Shane Devenshire holds the prestigious title of being one of only 40 Microsoft-designated MVPs in Excel in the world. He has authored and co-authored dozens of books and articles on Excel and Access. Shane has been consulting and teaching in Excel and Access for over 20 years, and consistently delights customers and classes with his extensive knowledge. If it can be done, Shane will know how to do it. If you are a frequent user, don't miss this presentation!

Shane Devonshire, Mentor Training
September 28


Come see a pro put TechPort through its paces.

Susan McGovern, Learning Consultant with SkillSoft, will show us the online IT training – over 1,500 IT courses and 6,000 unabridged IT books --  her company provides for our TechPort site. (TechPort is available to anyone with a SUNet ID. More information at

The demo will include how to search and find the, utilize Bookmarks, access LIVE online Expert Mentors 24x7 to answer questions on MS Office, Cisco, Java, Project Management and many other technical topics, and she’ll announce upcoming course releases.

If you're a TechPort user, come see how to get the most out of this training offering. If you've never seen or used TechPort, this is your chance to see it in action.

Susan McGovern, SkillSoft

Looking ahead to Fall Quarter...

  • October 5: Creative Suite 3 Series -- Acrobat 8
  • October 12: Intermediate Networking: Ethernet and IP
  • October 19: Symantec
  • November 2: Creative Suite 3 Series -- Photoshop CS3
  • November 16: Home Networking
  • December 7: Creative Suite 3 Series -- Dreamweaver CS3


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 Monday, 15-Oct-2007 02:45:34 PM

Stanford University Home Page