July 31, 2007
Save the Date: Oct. 9 Extension Technology Showcase

Looking for useful, take-it-home information and tools on emerging technologies? Want to jazz up your programs? Let us help!


ISU Extension Core Services is pleased to announce the Extension Technology Showcase set for Tuesday, Oct. 9th at the Gateway Hotel & Conference Center in Ames. This one-day event, held the day before Extension's Annual Conference, will help Extension staff imagine and envision the potential of technology to enhance communications with clientele.


Core Service staff want to help ISU Extension staff improve and fine-tune their educational messages. Do you use Delicious? How about Google Alerts? Know how to use an RSS feed? Our clients are using or will be using many of these technologies. New technologies and tools can help position Extension to stay on target with today's fast-paced, technology-oriented society. Sessions will include digital photography, video creation and publishing, social networking applications, gadgets, and free and easy programs. A clinic will be available to setup VPN/remote desktop and PDAs and to install a software pack (containing free software presented during the conference) on laptops. You will be introduced to tools such as blogs, groove, sharepoint, e-vites, YouTube, Flickr, audacity, GPS, Wii and  iTunes.


Our featured tech guest will be Kevin Gamble from eXtension, who will attend our showcase and answer all of our questions about this national initiative.


Fun, optional evening activities will be available to help set the stage for annual conference the following day.


More information will be coming out soon. Questions? E-mail them to showcase@iastate.edu


Your Extension Technology Showcase committee:


Floyd Davenport

Elaine Edwards

Robin Brekke

Deb Coates

Jed Findlay

Jon Anderson

Jennifer Tabke


Posted by at 04:30 PM
July 25, 2007
Updates and Outages

This morning (Wednesday, July 25th) as most of you probably know there was a problem connecting to the network (S:) drives. That problem has been resolved and everyone should be able to connect to their S: drives once again. If you're still having problems, make sure you've rebooted your machine and, if that doesn't work, contact the Extension Support Hotline at 515-294-1725.

We've been relatively lucky that mass outages have been rare on the Extension network. When you have network problems in your office, you can always call the hotline to find out if the problem is local (just your office) or if it is more widespread. If it's a widespread outage, the hotline may be busy fielding calls and so we will also be posting updated information in three locations:

Once the system is back up, we'll update the information in the places listed above indicating that the issue has been resolved.

Posted by dcoates at 03:58 PM
July 18, 2007
Update: Adobe Connect and Office 2007

Back in April, when we first began moving to Office, 2007, I posted a note of caution when using Powerpoint 2007 with Adobe Connect.

Recently, Adobe Connect released an update which appears to take care of many of these problems. Note:

  • You will still need to save Powerpoint files for Adobe Connect in 97-2003 format (.ppt files)
  • Most 2007 themes now translate correctly in terms of color and fonts when uploaded to Connect meetings (all the themes I've tested have worked, but I haven't tested all available themes)
  • Bullets sometimes convert correctly and sometimes do not. There are always bullets, but they are not always the bullet type in the original theme.
  • There is a new plug-in for creating Adobe Presenter presentations

At this point, If you're planning a Connect meeting and will be using Powerpoint, you may want to upload a sample file once you've selected a theme to be sure that the particular theme (and especially the bullets) will look acceptable in Connect.

Posted by dcoates at 10:08 AM
July 09, 2007
Spamming Malware, Part II

Several of you may have received email that looked something like this:

Dear Customer,

Our robot has detected an abnormal activity from your IP adress
on sending e-mails. Probably it is connected with the last epidemic
of a worm which does not have official patches at the moment.

We recommend you to install this patch to remove worm files
and stop email sending, otherwise your account will be blocked.


...with a link in the body of the message to a purported security 'patch'.

DO NOT click on this link.

Like the 'Someone sent you an e-card' emails many of you may have received in the last week or two, this is an attempt to get you to install malicious software on your computer.

Link to previous entry on this subject: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/technews/archives/002235.html

Remember, if it's not from us (Extension Information Technology) or ISU ITS (Information Technology Services), it's extremely likely that it's not legitimate. Anytime you're not sure if a message is legitimate or not (even if it looks like it's from EIT or ITS, contact us at eit@iastate.edu or the Computer Support Hotline (515-294-1725). We're always ready to check it out for you.

Posted by dcoates at 08:59 AM
July 03, 2007
Spamming Malware

You may have recently received an email with a subject header that resembled:

You've received an ecard from a class-mate!

In the body of the message will be at least one and possibly two links which will lead you to a webpage that will try to load malware on your computer.

Some things to keep in mind when considering whether an email of this type is legitimate or not:

  • The email of a legitimate egreeting should be from the egreeting site, not a yahoo (or other free) address
  • The links should go to the e-card site (and particularly, should resolve to an actual domain name, not a series of numbers like--xx.xxx.xxx.xxx)
  • The e-card should be from someone (not 'a friend' or 'a classmate' or 'a family member')

  • If you have doubts about an email of this type, don't click on any of the links. You can always forward the message to eit@iastate.edu and ask us whether it's legitimate or not.

You can find more information about this particular bit of spam/malware at:


Posted by dcoates at 11:18 AM