February 10, 2011
How to change your password

In an ideal world, we would all change our Net-ID/email passwords regularly. In real life, though, most people change them rarely if at all. Sometimes you're going to want to change your password, however. In particular, you might want to change it when someone else has gotten access or you think they might have gotten access.

Here are three straight forward ways to change your password*

1. On a PC that is on the IASTATE domain (you have to login with your Net-ID and password)

--When logged on to your computer, type Ctrl-Alt-Del
--Select Change a Password
--Type your old password. Type your New password. Confirm your new password.
--Click OK

2. In a web browser, go to http://exchange.iastate.edu

--Log in with your Net-ID and password
--Slect Options
--In the left-hand column, select Change Password
--Type your old password, your new password, and confirm your new password.

3. In a web browser, go to http://asw.iastate.edu

--Log in with your Net-ID and password
--Click on Manage Net-ID
--Click on Change your Password
--Type your current password, your new password, and retype your new password.

*Remember, when you change your Net-ID password, it changes both your email login AND your computer login if you're on a Windows machine.

Posted by dcoates at 03:27 PM
January 07, 2009
If you see this message...

Some of you may be seeing the following message when you start up Outlook:

'The Add-in "Outlook Scan" (C:Program Files\McAfee\VirusScan Enterprise\Scanotlk.dll) cannot be loaded and has been disabled by Outlook. Pelase contact the Add-in manufacturer for an update..."

The fix for this is as follows (assuming you are using Outlook 2007):

  1. Under the Tools menu, go to Trust Center, Add-ins
  2. Choose 'Exchange client extensions' from the drop-down list labelled 'Manage' near the bottom of the screen.
  3. You should see 'Outlook Scan' listed twice. Unclick the first one. Click OK.
  4. Close Outlook
  5. Restart Outlook to verify that the error no longer occurs

If you have problems or questions, you can call the EIT hotline at 515.294.1725.

If you're interested in why this might be happening, here's a brief explanation. Yesterday, we made available an update to McAfee VirusScan, which downloads automatically to your computer. For some people, this created a conflict between an older version of the Outlook Scan plug-in and the new version. Unclicking the first Outlook Scan in the instructions above, removes this conflict and eliminates the error message.

I should add that this has affected very few people, but wanted to get the information out there for those who are seeing it.

ETA (Edited to Add): Some people have reported that although they see the above error message, they only find one 'Outlook Scan' listed under 'Exchange client extensions.' In that case the solution is as follows:

If you are running Windows Vista:

  1. Close Outlook
  2. Open the Start menu, Click on 'Computer'
  3. In the address bar of the window that opens up, type in C:\users\username\appdata\local\microsoft\outlook
  4. In the list of files, find and delete 'extend.dat'
  5. Close the Computer window
  6. Start Outlook, confirm the error no longer occurs.

If you're running Windows XP look in C:\documents and settings\username\local settings\application data\microsoft\outlook instead. Otherwise the instructions should be the same.

Posted by dcoates at 09:18 AM
August 07, 2008
How to Tell the Good Stuff from the Bad Stuff

As I've noted before, about 90% of all email is spam. This means that no matter how good your filtering is or how much your organization or ISP does to control spam, you will get spam in your mailbox. Most of this spam will be obvious, but occasionally, it can be tricky to tell if it really is spam or might be a legitimate email. In phishing scams, for example, spammers count on your confusion to get you to click on a bogus link or open a malicious attachment. When spam filters are catching most of your spam, you need to be even more alert to catch the ones that slip through.

So, how do you tell the good stuff from the bad stuff? Here are some pointers:

  1. No one from EIT or ISU's ITS will ever send you an email signed 'The iastate.edu support team' or 'the iastate.edu help desk' or any variation thereof. Email from either EIT or ISU's ITS will always be from a person. And it should be possible to look that person up in the ISUE or ISU staff/student directory.
  2. No one from EIT or ISU's ITS will ever ask you to send your password to them via email.
  3. No one from any legitimate business (not your bank, not your credit card company, not anyone) will ever ask you to send them your password via email. It will not happen. They may send *you* your password via email, but only if you've requested an email reset. No legitimate business will ever reset your password out of the blue.
  4. Bad grammar and spelling. None of us are perfect, especially when we send email. However, you'll find that 99 times out of 100, spam and phishing emails are poorly spelled and poorly written with missing words and sentences that often don't quite make sense. In addition, there will be deliberate misspellings in an attempt to slip past spam filters.
  5. Phishing scams will use logos from legitimate businesses to make you think you're going to a legitimate website if you click on their link. They will try to direct you to a bogus site and get you to put in your login and password. Pay attention to the URL. You should not (for example) trust any site where the URL is just an IP address (which would look like --
  6. If you aren't sure whether an email is a scam or from an organization you do business with. Go to the site directly (rather than clicking on the link). Then you'll know you're on the right site.
  7. Do not open attachments from emails that are unsigned or from someone you don't know.
  8. Scam emails will contain phrases like--
    • URGENT!
    • Act now or your account will be closed!
    • A friend [your boyfriend, a family member, your neighbor] has sent you an e-card!
    • Security has been breached! Send me your password.
  9. Offers that sound too good to be true are too good to be true.
  10. If it looks like it's from a person you know, but doesn't sound legitimate, contact that person and ask them before you open the email and particularly before you open any accompanying attachments.

If you're not sure, ask the Extension IT support desk. And trust your instincts. If it sounds suspicious, there's probably a reason. Delete it.

Posted by dcoates at 10:32 AM
July 09, 2008
Adobe Connect upgrade

We recently upgraded to Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro 7. If you haven't yet attended a meeting in the new version, you'll find that a few things have changed, although most things will still look fairly familiar.

Some changes:

--Audio has been separated from video. If you're having a Voice Over IP meeting (VOIP) with no telephone, you don't have to enable video in order for a participant to speak. Participants will still need a microphone.

--New icons. Under 'My status' the icons have changed. In addition, there are some new icons to indicate Laughter, Applause, Stepping away from the computer, as well as the ability to Agree and Disagree. There are new icons for the new Audio controls, as well as icons to indicate who is speaking and who has the 'mic' when a particiapant's audio has been enabled.

Figure 1: Some of the new status icons in Adobe Connect Pro 7:


Figure 2: New audio icons with user status options (these are the same options that appear under the 'My status' drop down)


Posted by dcoates at 08:39 AM
April 09, 2008
Managing Your Email, Part One

As you know, all your most recent email resides on the Exchange server on campus rather than your local computer. This means you can have access to your email wherever you are.

However, there are three critical things to keep in mind in this context:

  1. The more email and attachments you have stored on the central server, the slower Outlook will be on your computer, especially when you're starting up or shutting down Outlook.
  2. Server storage is not infinite. Every large attachment or hundred more emails you store in your mailbox takes up space. The less space on the sever the slower it runs and the less effecitvely it can handle your email (Note: server space is not currently a problem, but it may be a problem in the future unless we all manage our email storage efficiently and effectively).
  3. Emails and attachments can be archived and saved. Just because an old email isn't on the server any longer doesn't mean you can't still access it quickly and easily.

Here are four EASY ways to more effectively manage your emails (See Four Simple Steps to Managing Your Mailbox Size for details)

  1. Check your current Mailbox size (if it's under 300M, congratulations! You're doing a pretty good job of managing your email. If it's over 300M, check out the rest of these suggestions. Really, they're EASY.)
  2. Make sure your Deleted Items are actually being deleted. Your Deleted Items folder counts against your total Mailbox size. Be sure that this folder is getting emptied. You can empty Deleted Items at any time by right-clicking on 'Deleted Items' and selecting 'Empty "Deleted Items" Folder'.
  3. Check your AutoArchive settings. In some cases, AutoArchiving has never been turned on. In other cases, it's only AutoArchiving your inbox when you also want it to AutoArchive all the folders that you're storing on the server.
  4. Set some folders to AutoArchive more frequently. For example, if you send a lot of large attachments, configure AutoArchive on your 'Sent Mail' folder to less than 6 months.

If you're reluctant to store fewer emails or attachments on the server because you think you might need them some day, consider the following:

  1. How often do you really look at any email more than 3 months old? Once a year? Once a month? Never? Remember that your old email will still be available directly through clicking on your Archive folders and through Search when you're using your main computer.
  2. Temporary increases in storage use while you're handling big projects is normal. These suggestions are to help you handle long term mailbox issues.
  3. You'll often find that half your mailbox storage is actually the result of a few very large attachments. You can identify these attachments by going to 'Search Folders' and clicking on 'Large Mail'. If you still need the email but don't need the attachment, right-click on the attachment and select 'Remove'. Or, if you need to edit or use the attachment, right-click, select 'Save As' and then, once you've saved it to your hard drive, right-click and select 'Remove'.

If you need help implementing any of these suggestions, contact the ISUE Computer Support Hotline at 515-294-1725 or via email at eithotline@iastate.edu

Posted by dcoates at 11:02 AM
September 21, 2007
It Might Not Be Your Battery

If you're living in Story or Boone counties and have Verizon wireless, you may have noticed that your cell phone has been losing its charge much more quickly than usual, sometimes in less than twenty-four hours.

According to our Verizon rep, this is because Verizon is in the process of testing EVDO for this area. They're doing their testing in the evenings and on weekends and repeated switching between EVDO and National Access will run down the battery. They hope to finish testing and get EVDO on line in Boone and Story counties in two to three weeks. Battery life should return to normal once testing is completed.

So, the bad news is you may have to pay more attention to your battery charge for the next few weeks. The good news (at least for those with a data plan) is that EVDO offers true broadband speeds and access will be much faster locally once EVDO is fully operational in Boone and Story counties.

Posted by dcoates at 08:41 AM
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
September 19, 2006
Mapping to the S Drive

The following PDF demonstrates how to map to the S Drive.

Download file

Posted by mmauton at 11:05 AM
August 24, 2006
Changing Passwords

This pdf file will instruct you on how to change your Administrator and NetID password. It also provides information on what to do if you have lost/forgotten your passwords.

Download file

Posted by mmauton at 04:38 PM