Tips for effective use of our network
Here are some tips to improve the performance of your computer
on our network.
- If you use Windows 2000 or an earlier version of Windows, it may be
necessary to give it a password for the server before it will let
you print. The easiest way to do this is to browse to engram:/temporary
(using "My network places").
If it asks for a password and username, type "brni" for each. Note:
this only works for local users on shared resources. Shared resources
include "temporary" (for storage of temporary files) and the printers.
You could also browse to your home directory and type in your real
For W2k users, this needs to be done whenever you first boot up.
It is not necessary in Windows XP or Vista. Only some W2k users
need to do this step.
Some versions of Windows can't login to two different accounts on the
same computer. So if you're logged in as a guest (on /temporary), you
may have to reboot or close the connection by typing
net use /delete *
before you can login to your home directory.
- Printer drivers for all our shared printers are stored on the server
at engram:/temporary/drivers. Some people have also placed additional
material there, such as printer help files or printer installation
software. These printer drivers can be used by Windows users for setting
- Don't install software like Kazaa or Napster (music sharing programs)
or ChainCast (a modified version of Windows Media Player used by some
dishonest Internet Radio Stations). These programs are very harmful to
the network. This software will turn your computer into a server and
cause thousands of people to connect to your computer to download files
that have been put there by other people. This will not only fill up your
hard disk with junk, it will clog our T1 connection, making Internet
access slow for everyone.
- Give your computer a name that allows other people to figure out
who it belongs to. Alternatively, set your Browser Comment String
to indicate your name or the computer's location (please ask if you
don't know how to do this). If your computer should get a virus or
other problem that causes it to clog our T1 line, and we can't figure
out where the computer is located, the only way to find your computer
is to unplug you and wait for you to complain!
- This brings us to Number 3. Please complain immediately when something
stops working or becomes slow (most of you have been very good
- Let us know if you want us to carry additional Usenet groups,
if you have files that need to be on our Website or ftp site,
if you need to set up a new server, or if you need computer
security advice. We are also happy to
discuss your computer security concerns.
EMAIL AND VIRUSES
- Everyone is automatically given an email alias along
with their username. This alias is the same as the person's first
name. So if you forget someone's email address,
sending it to "linda" (for example) should work.
- We also have aliases for groups:
brni = everyone at the institute in Rockville, including
administrators in W. Va. and former employees who still receive email.
staff = everyone currently working at BRRI in Rockville.
announce = everyone at BRNI plus
several administrators in W. Va.
isotope = all radioisotope users at BRNI
postmaster = The person to whom reports of email
problems should be directed
abuse = The person to whom reports of abuse of
the computers should be directed
webmaster = The person to whom reports of problems
with our engram Web site should be directed
Anyone, including persons outside the institute, can use these aliases.
Let us know if you want to add a new group or change your alias.
- All incoming email is scanned for viruses. If a potentially harmful
attachment is found, the scanner renames the file to prevent it
from executing. If you're sure the attachment is safe, save it to
disk and rename it with the correct extension (e.g., .wpd for
Word Perfect Document, .doc for MS-Word files).
- Don't click on email attachments.
An attachment can have a hidden extension of .PIF, .EXE, .VBS,
etc. which could indicate a virus or worm. Files that appear to
be JPEGs or .DOC files can also
contain viruses. Even with our email virus scanner,
some of these viruses can still slip through. Also, if you download
a program from the Internet, scan it for viruses with an
before running it.
- Don't store incoming email messages in your Inbox. Also,
remove large emails (images, MS Word documents, etc) from your
Inbox on the server.
These items will slow down your mail considerably.
Move them to a different folder.
- If your network connection or computer suddenly becomes slow,
let us know immediately. You might have a virus or trojan that
causes your computer to send out huge amounts of traffic (including
your personal files) onto the Internet. This can get your computer
(and you) in big trouble.
- If you are running Windows, get the latest copy of
an antivirus program and run it at least once a month to
check your computer for viruses.
- Don't send email as MS Word attachments. It will go unread by
those of us who don't use Windows, and may get bounced by
servers that check for viruses.
- Don't send mail as HTML. Many people read their mail remotely
and will simply delete HTML mail unread, because it is too
inconvenient to read.
- Also, don't send mail in RTF (rich text format). This will cause
your attachments to be lost due to a bug in Outlook.
- If you read your email from two or more computers, make sure they
are set up the same way. For example, don't set one to use POP3 and
the other to use IMAP. This will cause major problems with your email
if you should accidentally use them both to read your email
simultaneously. One person has already done this and received a
flood of error messages, and later discovered that one of their
emails had not been sent.
- Do not connect any wireless devices to our network. Wireless
modems, switches, etc. pose a serious security risk. We can
provide you with many faster alternatives to wireless connections.
- We periodically check security on all Unix servers with Nessus
for security vulnerabilities. Let us know if you want us to scan
your computer too.
PRACTICES TO AVOID
Please avoid the following practices:
- Please don't put Napster software on your computer. Napster is
badly written and has inadequate controls on its bandwidth usage.
One computer running Napster will saturate our T1, causing slow
performance for everyone. Any computer found to be using Napster
on our network will be disconnected. We are currently working on
a QoS solution to allow Napster users to co-exist on our network.
- There is a software product called "SpamCop" that is supposed to
protect against receiving unwanted email. Unfortunately, this program
sends spam to network administrators and also blocks many legitimate
email messages. We block all packets to and from
TIPS FOR WINDOWS XP USERS
Windows XP users no longer need suffer an inferiority complex. Here are
some tips that can make your OS almost as functional as the earlier
versions of Windows.
- If the network seems slow, check the Web page for our router
to see if there is a problem.
- The freezers are connected to an alarm system that sends email
whenever the temperature increases beyond a specific point.
Let us know if you want to be added to the freezer alarm list.
- Go to the freezer alarm Web page at
any time to check the status of our -80° freezers.
- You can check printer status at
any time to check the status of the printers in room 305, remove
stuck print jobs, or restart the printer server in the event of