Update from the Information Technology Standards Workgroup
February 25, 2004
The IT Standards Workgroup serves as a guiding influence on the direction of information technology investment at the University of Vermont. In the interest of ensuring faster, more consistent, and generally better support for your investments, the committee will set the standards for centrally supported and centrally managed technologies.
These standards will include all types of information technology purchased by the University. It is not the aim of this group to limit the choices available to members of the University community, but rather to recommend directions for technological investment to individuals and departments.
Our policies and procedures are explained at our web site.
Several important changes that have long been planned have taken effect or will take effect soon:
- Support for Apple Macintosh Systems 8 and 9 ended effective December 31, 2003
- Secure communications now is required between UVM host computers and off-campus computers
- Support for Window 98 and Microsoft Office 97 will end effective June 30, 2004
If you would like to be aware of the standards discussions, please join the firstname.lastname@example.org listserv. See "Getting involved" below.
Apple Macintosh operating system support
Apple's Macintosh OS X now is the only supported operating system on Apple Macintosh computers.
Apple has released several upgrades for OS X which address many stability and preformance issues. Technical support staff may recommend upgrading to the current version, which may involve a license fee, as a first step to resolving known issues with earlier releases of OS X.
The IT Standards Workgroup adopted the following recommendations
in 2002, in alignment with Microsoft product lifecycle policy:
Support for Windows 98, Office 97 will end effective June 30, 2004
- Support for Window 98 will end effective June 30, 2004
- Support for Microsoft Office 97 will end effective June 30, 2004
- Support for Microsoft Office 98 for Macintosh will end effective June 30, 2004
This change in support policy has been announced in the 2002 Standards Announcement, the 2003 Standards Announcement, and the UVM IT Newsletter, among other forums. We extended UVM support for the Microsoft Office 97 and 98 products past Microsoft's dates until June 30, 2004, to ease departmental planning and transitions.
For additional information or to participate in the discussion, please See "Getting involved" below.
Secure communications now is required between UVM host computers and off-campus computers
from the article Security enhancements on schedule for January 5 by Dean Williams:
Starting Monday, January 5, 2004, all access from off campus to servers and host computers provided by Computing and Information Technology (CIT) will require software that encrypts -- securely scrambles -- all communication over the Internet. This requirement applies when you are using a dial-up, DSL, or cable modem service to connect to zoo.uvm.edu for terminal sessions (most commonly, to use pine for email) and for file transfer (such as publishing Web pages and saving files on your Zoo.uvm.edu account). This security enhancement was announced over two years ago, and was deferred from July 2003 to January 2004 to give everyone additional time to prepare.
See http://www.uvm.edu/cit/news/?Page=News&storyID=4392 for full article.
Members of the UVM IT Community have identified some topics for consideration by the Standards Workgroup in the near future. The topics and some of the main discussion points are listed below:
Recommendations for email client software
- Eudora provides poor IMAP implementation; recent versions have been buggy
- Mozilla Thunderbird is a good alternative to the OS-bundled mail clients
- Outlook Express and Apple Mail are included with their respective Operating Systems
- What email clients support the new security requirements?
Recommendation that UVM migrate support from Netscape to Mozilla
- Netscape is a "dead product," not being actively developed
- Mozilla project now is a viable alternative
- What about Netscape composer? Nvu is a free editor based on the Netscape Composer source code.
Recommendation for software to prevent installation of and remove malicious software (malware)
- Removing, repairing compromised systems is an increasing support issue (time = $$$)
- Antivirus products currently are not addressing this area
- There are some well-respected products: Ad-Aware, Spybot Search and Destroy
- UVM School of Business has licensed Pest Patrol
- This issue is tied closely to indiscriminate use of Peer-to-Peer file sharing applications
Current Recommended Software
|Operating Systems||Windows XP Pro||Macintosh OS X|
|Office Suites||MS Office Standard (XP, 2003)
Lotus Approach, Lotus 1-2-3
|MS Office Macintosh (2002, v.X)|
|Email software||Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, Eudora 5||Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, Eudora 5, AppleMail|
|Web Browsers||Internet Explorer, Netscape||Internet Explorer, Netscape|
|Antivirus||Symantec Antivirus||Symantec Antivirus|
|File Transfer||SSH Secure File Transfer||Fugu|
|Calendaring||Oracle Calendar||Oracle Calendar|
Complete list available online at http://www.uvm.edu/cit/software/?Page=recommended.html
See also a list of current software licenses http://www.uvm.edu/cit/licensing/
Resources for planning and migrating to standard tools
- Consulting services are available to help plan migration to current, supported operating systems.
- Reduced-cost licenses for current versions of these applications are
available through the Microsoft Select Agreement.
- Need-based funding is available through the CAP program to help units
offset the cost of replacing old hardware and software.
- University Training and Development is providing self-paced classes for
many software applications and operating systems.
The IT Standards Workgroup is an open body. Participation by members of the UVM Community is vital to the successful. You can participate in a variety of ways:
- Email your ideas to email@example.com
- Read the IT Standards documentation, including the communications of the listserv, at http://www.uvm.edu/itnetwork/standards/.
- Join the it-standards listserv and listen to the discussions. See http://list.uvm.edu/archives/it-standards.html.
- Join the it-standards list and participate!
On behalf of the IT Network and the Standards Workgroup,
Coordinator, Information Technology Standards Workgroup
Computing Analyst III, Computing & Information Technology
This document is also available online at http://www.uvm.edu/itnetwork/standards/?Page=stds-update-2004-Feb.html
Last modified August 24 2004 10:31 AM