October 31, 2006
Battery Recall Update and Reminder

On August 19th, we sent out information via email to all staff about the Dell laptop battery recall. A number of batteries, manufactured by Sony, have been found to be defective and can overheat and even catch on fire. If you haven't checked to see if your battery is one of the recalled batteries and request a replacement, you can go to:


In addition, Sony batteries in other computer models are also being recalled. This includes Apple, Gateway, Lenovo/IBM, Fujitsu, and others.

All told, Sony is expected to spend some $250 million replacing 6.5 million defective batteries (Dell's is the largest recall at 4.1 million; Apple is recalling 1.8 million batteries; Toshiba is recalling approximately 340,000).

Posted by dcoates at 10:51 AM
October 23, 2006
Announcing Internet Explorer 7

Last week Microsoft released version 7 of the Internet Explorer web browser (IE7). Internet Explorer updates are included as part of the regular Windows update process so you will automatically receive this update in the near future. IE7 offers a number of benefits and a streamlined interface. Some of the important changes include:

  • tabbed browsing - browse multiple web pages within a single IE window

  • integrated search - a search box always available to the right of the address bar

  • improved printing - IE scales text appropriately so you won't end up with one line of text on your last page (usually)

  • improved security features - many under the hood changes as well as a new phishing filter

  • RSS feed support - stay up to date with basic RSS support right in your browser

Take a quick tour or view a more complete feature list for more information. For the tech savvy folks (everyone reading this blog!) IE7 is the version of Internet Explorer that will be included with Windows Vista when it releases later this year, so working with IE7 on XP now will give you a head start on Vista.

We will be posting more specific details (including when you might expect IE7 to appear in your automatic updates) later this week.

Posted by dddugan at 03:44 PM
October 02, 2006
Online Seminar Series on Breeze and General IT Topics

We're going to be offering two new online training series for ISU Extension staff:

  1. General Information Technology Topics
  2. Using Breeze Meeting

Each class, held regularly via Breeze, will last 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes for questions. Since everyone's needs and interests vary, so does the flexibility of these series. You can sign up for one, all, or none of the classes in a series. Even better, with Breeze, you can participate in a class right from your own office!

The General IT Topics series begins Monday, October 16th and will continue on the third Monday of each month with a different topic.

The Using Breeze Meeting series begins Monday, October 9th and will usually continue each week on Wednesdays with a different topic each time.

For a list of topics and registration information, go to http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Comp/Training/online

Can't attend a 'live' session? Class recordings will also be linked from this page after the event.

If you have questions about these offerings, contact Robin Brekke via email at rbrekke@iastate.edu or via phone at 515-294-8658.

Posted by dcoates at 11:12 AM
Cleanup status

Was anyone paying attention when I asked for help cleaning up office file shares (S: drives)? Apparently not too many! There has been a minor improvement, to the tune of about a 5% reduction in used space. I know we can all do better than that, so let's get out our brooms (aka delete keys) and file boxes (aka CDs/DVDs) and get rid of or archive that old data. Ten minutes a day will make a difference!

Posted by dddugan at 10:54 AM