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 techexpress-owner@lists.stanford.edu.

Winter 2005 Tech Briefings Schedule

January 14: Home Networking
January 21: To be announced
January 28: To be announced
February 4: To be announced
February 11: What Google Can Do For You
February 18: A Windows Desktop Security Primer
February 25: Secure File Transfer
March 4: To be announced
March 11: POSTPONED – Creating Online Training withCaptivate
March 18: Just Added to the Schedule! HelpSU: Best Practice Makes Perfect

Date Topic Presenter(s)
1/14/05 Setting Up a Home Network

Join us as Kent Reuber and Mark Branom present some basic info on setting up home networks on Stanford DSL, Stanford West, and non-Stanford DSL/cable modems. They'll talk about the basics of print servers, wireless access points, and routers. They'll also present some example home network diagrams that you may want to follow. They won't be covering specific products – there are simply too many products out there. They will, however, give you some recommendations on home network configurations that can be used with many different products. The PowerPoint slides for this presentation are available at http://homenetworking.stanford.edu.

Kent Reuber, Mark Branom
1/21/05 To be announced  
1/28/05 To be announced  
To be announced
What Google Can Do For You New!

Google is so easy to use, why attend this presentation? If you're like many people, you use only a small number of Google's services and features. Learn how to go beyond Google's deceptively plain interface and take advantage of many shortcuts and underutilized capabilities. For example, get driving directions by entering a US street address into Google's search box. If you aren't sure whether a word is hyphenated, search for it with a hyphen, e.g., [ long-term ]; you'll get more results. Find synonyms by preceding the term with a "~," which is known as the tilde or synonym operator, e.g., [ google ~guide] finds guides, tips, help, and tutorials on using Google. The more you know about how Google works, its features and capabilities, the better it can serve your needs.


Nancy Blachman has been using Google since the spring of 1999, when Google was less than one year old. She is author of Google Guide, www.googleguide.com, the most popular online tutorial (top ranked site when you search Google for "Google tutorial"). Nancy 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. Nancy 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.
A Windows Desktop Security Primer

Computer security is a complex subject. But ordinary users of Windows desktop and laptop PCs, armed with a little knowledge and several powerful and easy-to-use tools, can protect themselves very effectively against the vast majority of security threats on the Internet.

Jay Stamps will cover such subjects as how to avoid attacks by computer viruses and hackers, good security practices that won't cramp your style, password facts and myths; and he'll introduce and demonstrate several tools available to the Stanford community that help to lift the burden of Windows security from the shoulders of those who just want to use their PCs to get some work done.

Download a Jay's PowerPoint presentation or a PDF of his slides.

Jay Stamps
Changes Coming to File Transfer at Stanford New!

Do you use Stanford's FTP (File Transfer Protocol) service for downloading computer files via transfer.stanford.edu, edit Web pages with a program like Dreamweaver, or otherwise put files online? Did you know that on February 28, 2005, the old "transfer.stanford.edu" FTP service will be shut down? The old FTP service allows hackers to potentially steal your password. Fortunately, a new, more secure FTP service is already in place. Come to this session to learn how to switch to this new FTP service. Mark Branom will show you how to get free Stanford software that works with secure FTP. Mark will also cover HTML editors that have a built-in FTP program. You may have to upgrade to a newer version that uses secure FTP (for example, Dreamweaver users will need to upgrade to Dreamweaver MX 2004). Anyone who moves files from one computer to another, whether on a Mac or a PC, should attend this session. See http://filetransfer.stanford.edu for more info.

Don't risk revealing your password and/or data to outside snoopers. Be informed!

Mark Branom
To be announced
POSTPONED – Creating Online Training with Captivate New!
Mark Branom

HelpSU: Best Practice Makes Perfect New!

This session is intended for those support staff who use the HelpSU request-tracking system. The session will cover the basic features of the system: how to handle and resolve cases, how to pass cases to other groups, how to send email to customers, how to record time, etc. It will also cover "Best Practices" and include recommendations for ease-of-use. If there is interest, the basics of reporting can be covered toward the end of the session. Good pre-reading would be the "HelpSU for Consultants" web page at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/itss/services/helpsu/consultants.html. Come with your questions and issues.

Chris Lundin

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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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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