Information Resources


September 26, 2011

With an Academic Commons Open House coming up this Thursday, I figured this would be a good time to formally introduce the folks who have been inundating you with blog entries and mass emails about network emergencies.

Oxy Network Diagram from June 2011

And this is only part of what we do

What NOS stands for and other facts you would likely have been better off not knowing after the break.

Networking, Operations and Systems

That's what NOS...

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September 22, 2011

Just about all of the major browsers have a private browsing function and they all work pretty much the same way - they discard your browsing history, browser cache, and information that you typed into forms once you close the browser.

They're all pretty much the same

But does it actually protect your privacy? It depends on what kind of privacy you're after. More on this after the break. Allegedly, the value of a private browsing mode is that it would allow for use cases such as a thoughtful people who use a... Read More

September 21, 2011

It seems that if you're already using your phone's ability to know where it is in the world, there should be a way to get the phone to tell you where it is if you were to lose it. Right?

Google's Device Location

Found it!

It's easier than you think and costs nothing.  Instructions after the break.

Got an iPhone?

Apple offers an app and associated service called Find my iPhone which does pretty much...

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September 21, 2011

If you were to ask Facebook how many users they had, they would tell you that as of 21 Sep 2011, there are 750 million active users and 70% of them are outside of the United States. That means 225 million users in the United States - amost 75% of the national population - is using Facebook. It's easy to see, then, why so many folks find it easy to disregard the naysayers and find a sense of safety and comfort in the fact that they are just small fish in a very, very big pond. But is it really as safe and anonymous as the numbers seem to suggest? Spoiler alert: It isn't.

... Read More

September 15, 2011

As you can guess from our schedule of activities for this Saturday, the point of maintenance boils down to keeping stuff up to date and fixing stuff that's broken. So why do we need to keep things up to date and why can't we fix the broken stuff some other time?
Automatic Updates

Where's the "Restart Never" button?

Excellent questions. Potentially unconvincing answers below the break.

Why bother with updates?

For a while, not updating systems was the norm and this was for all the reasons that are likely to... Read More

September 12, 2011

ITS will be performing scheduled maintenance this Saturday, September 17th, 2011, from 9:00am to 12:00pm.  During this maintenance period, you may be unable to access ITS services.  If you encounter any problems, please wait until the maintenance period has elapsed and check if you still run into problems before reporting them to the Technology Helpdesk via email at or by voicemail at (323) 259-2880 (x2880 from on campus). We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this maintenance may cause. Have any questions about why we do the things we do and when we do them? Please feel free to send me an email or leave a comment and keep an eye on our blog - we'll have a maintenance FAQ/Q&A posted soon. Boring technical details about what we'll be doing this Saturday below the break. Here's the breakdown of how we'll be spending... Read More

September 8, 2011

Update - Didn't realize comments were disabled.  Sorry about that.  Still new to this.  Questions, comments or criticisms, they are all equally welcome. In case you didn't notice, our campus Internet connection was having problems yesterday afternoon, starting at about 2:55pm until about 4:10pm. You can see that outage memorialized on this activity graph for our Internet link:
Usage graph for 08 Sep 2011

Where did everyone go?

The green area represents download activity (including web browsing and streaming) while the blue line represents upload activity.  Clearly, the outage occurred when campus Internet... Read More

September 2, 2011

In a nod to "going green",

PDFITS is offering a new option for Banner users to save reports and programs into a PDF rather than printing them out. Simply specify PDF as the printer in the Printer Control block when you submit a job. The script converts the output into a PDF and puts your files into a new, Windows-accessible directory. If you would then always want the program in question to print into a PDF, the printer default of PDF may be saved on GJAJOBS for that program. However, that setting changes the print option for all users of that particular program, not just for you (although users can override it upon submission). ITS believes this will be a good (and green) service... Read More

September 1, 2011

Just in case you were wondering if that jolt was a truck driving by or an earthquake or, as Paul suggested, a truck driving into the library; it was an earthquake.  Check out our local seismograph: and from USGS: It's the large blue block north of San Fernando.  The small ones... Read More

August 25, 2011

The Information Resources (IR) division provides the Occidental College community with a rich environment of people, texts, technologies, and learning spaces designed to enable discovery, creation, and scholarship. Over the summer, the division reorganized to better meet changing needs of the Oxy community. This fall, IR staff launch a focused portfolio of new and existing services, as well as enhanced access to technology for students in re-arranged and remodeled spaces. With these first steps toward creating a more cohesive intellectual center for the Oxy community, the Academic Commons begins to materialize. Just inside the front door, a new comprehensive Info Center provides a single point for service and questions. A staff and building directory at the main entrance as well as new signage assist in navigation. The IR groups and services in the building include

Info Center

“Start here”…. for research...

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  • Info Center:

    (323) 259-2640

  • Technology Helpdesk:

    (323) 259-2880

  • IR Operations Offices: (323) 259-2832