|University of Toronto||Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering||
The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of
Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)
|Jim Prall, ECE Systems administrator||
my photo album -
Our Morocco trip album
|My pages on climate scientists and skeptics|
|Website for APS111 fall 2012 seminar group on 'Responding to global warming: geoengineering' here.|
My blog, 'Green Herring'
My Lists of Climate Scientists pages.I list over 2100 authors on climate change, including all 619 members of working group 1 of the IPCC 4th Assessment Report, with links to their university or research lab home page. I also list signers of open letters or declarations for or against action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and compare the standing of the various signers.
I am a system administrator and tech support contact for all research computing within ECE, along with our support group of Eugenia, Jay, Norman, Yong and Matthew.
All support requests should be addressed not to me directly, but to our common support email that connects to our "RT" support ticketing system using the ECE help email address which you should have received already.
This page has been validated to HTML 4.01 specifications.Steps to add a direct TCP printer in Windows 7 Steps to add a direct TCP printer in XP
|ALL Windows users (both laptop and desktop PCs, at home and at ECE) need to review the vital security precautions I've listed at: Windows security advice. In short: be sure every Windows computer you use has the current release of Symantec Antivirus, Windows Defender, Spybot S&D, windows updates, updates to critical 3rd party apps and plug-ins, particularly Adobe Flash, Reader, and Shockwave. Have strong passwords assigned to every windows login account. Do all your web browsing and daily work in a standard (limited) user account, never from an account with Administrator rights. Use a router with firewall for your home connection (most wired and wireless routers now include this.) Consider running ZoneLabs' ZoneAlarm for added security. Disable or cancel the "autorun" feature when inserting USB keys.|
|Laptop battery recalls: click HERE for a list of laptop models that have had safety recalls of their battery packs due to instances of FIRE. All laptop users should check this list!|
|This page:||Top Picks - vital||PC Stores||Interesting Links||Books|
|UofT links:||Licensed Software Office||Procurement||UofT Network Operations Centre - Events & Outages||UofT central I.T.S. (Information & Technology Services)||UofT Library Catalogue||Online journals||RefWorks web-based citation manager (like ProCite, EndNote), licensed for UofT||Create Change - on journal pricing||UTORProtect procedures and guidelines||Computer and Security Policies||Ali Nabavi - ECE power engineering R.A.||Faculty of Music performances|
|Google Scholar - Google for journal articles! Tip: set up UofT in your Scholar Prefs under Library Links, and Google with then add "GetIt" links to e-journal articles beside search results for every journal UofT has a subscription!|
|Reference||Weather radar||Intellicast Weather||Wind
||PC Stores||T.O. maps||211 community info||M.W. Dictionary|
|Software||TeX for Windows: Miktex plus TeXnic IDE||TeX archive||Linux Journal||Fedora Legacy for RH 7.3, 9||Windows security tips||Stay Safe Online||U.S. CERT||My Security Links|
|Engineering||IEEE||Desktop Engineering magazine on desktop computing in Engineering applications||Engineering Tips||Globalspec - specs, parts, info||engineering.com - incl. job search||Careerbuilder.ca job search||Comp.risks archive|| MATLAB Central
||MATLAB help||Fuel Cell Today||Hybrid Car mileage|
|Sailing||Vendee Globe Around Alone race||Ellen MacArthur solo||CYA||YachtWorld||Sailing.org ISAF||Sailing World||Sailing Anarchy||Web
|Miscellaneous||Dave Barry||The IgNobel Prizes||News of the Weird||Nutraingredients||Houshang's page||Virtual U.--run your own Univ. in this free simulator||Long hours at computer linked to eye damage!|
We've recently reviewed several X11 servers for MS Windows. We had previously recommended X-Deep/32 from Pexus, but this is no longer available as freeware. It may still be suitable as a purchased commercial product for those willing to pay. That leaves two other free X11 option we know of, Xming and Cygwin. Xming is compact and simple to install, and it works. One drawback of Cygwin for people used to MS Windows is the complexity of Cygwin's unix-like environment (with its many package options and potentially many thousands of small files on your windows disk.) However some find Cygwin the most powerful and full-featured. Take your pick.
Many of the security problems in Windows get in through the aging web browser, Internet Explorer (the familiar 'blue e' icon). There has long been a choice for Windows users to install another web browser instead, such as Netscape. More recently, two new alternatives have become available: Firefox and Google Chrome. Firefox provides tabbed browsing, automatic pop-up blocking and lots of other web security enhancements, and is extensible with many free plug-ins for added features. In May 2005 the Mozilla team marked 50 Million downloads of Firefox!
One major plus for Firefox is unlimited text zoom, which I find immensely beneficial. Use CTL-[+] to enlarge and CTL-[-] to reduce text size, or use CTL+[scroll wheel] to scroll through multiple text sizes quickly. A nice break from squinting at small type! Internet Explorer limits you to only 5 text sizes in total.
All users of Mozilla Firefox should update to the latest version download here.
One caution: Firefox is not covered by Microsoft's "automatic updates," so you need to watch for alerts to download each new release to get its latest security updates. That's quite easy, though. Watch for a red arrow circle at the upper-right of your Firefox window, alerting you that a new version or update is available. Click it, download the new version, close Firefox, and run the installer. It's small and quick to download, and really fast installing - well under a minute.
Another package from the Mozilla group is the browser + email suite Mozilla.
Choose any of these alternative browsers over Internet Explorer -- a great way to avoid all the network attacks focused on the seemingly endless supply of security flaws in Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
I have been using Firefox for a couple of months now and I'm mostly
very impressed. A few pages that don't look right in Firefox
require me to go back to MSIE, but only for those.
Another alternate browser I have not tried but that some users
like a lot is
Opera which allows free downloads
of an advertisement-supported version, or you can pay to get it with
Note that Microsoft requires use of MS Internet Explorer on their vital WindowsUpdate and OfficeUpdate sites. Thus, you have to retain MSIE even if you switch to another browser for all your daily web access.
There is a separate update website for Microsoft Office products. Go to Office Online and click on "Check for Updates" there to get patches and updates to your MS Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, FrontPage, Visio). Note that you must use MS Internet Explorer for this - alternate browsers will not be able to get updates (why not? Ask Microsoft...)
If you are infected with the Blaster worm, you can prevent your PC from rebooting by killing the process named "MSBLAST.EXE" before going on with the patch and the FixBlast tool. Open the Task Manager by pressing Control+ALT+DEL (once!); in the Processes tab, find the process named MSBLAST.EXE, click on it, and click "End Process", then confirm that you want to end it. This will allow you to keep working on your PC to remove the worm and prevent it returning.
The more recent Welchia worm may not cause your PC to reboot, but may cause it to be very slow. Open the Task Manager and look for a process named DLLHOST.EXE. You may not be able to "End Process" on this. Get the FixWelch tool, run it, and this will stop and remove the Welchia worm. Then apply the MS03-026 patch (same patch as for Blaster worm) and restart Windows. If you run into any trouble applying the patch or getting up-to-date antivirus definitions, get help from me or anyone you can.
Conserve electric power: Click here for instructions on setting power save mode on your display under Windows. Click here for instructions on setting power save mode on your display under linux.
|FUNCTION||LINK||HOW TO USE|
|Symantec Antivirus (formerly Norton):||UofT ANTIVIRUS DOWNLOAD||Follow link & login with UTORid to download.|
|SpyBot to detect spyware:||download SypBot from safer-networking website||Install, update, immunize, click 'Check for Problems'|
|FUNCTION||LINK||HOW TO USE|
|PuTTY SSH client: UPDATED!||Putty home page||Download new v. 0.6 - security fix!|
|WinSCP secure file transfer: UPDATED!||WinSCP home page||Install the latest version if you have any older version!|
|SSH Tunnel Client v.3 installer:||local copy or original||You can "Run" this installer from here. Example setup screen for UofT|
|Firefox browser||Firefox website||Visit their site to download latest installer.|
|Mozilla browser, mail reader, IRC & news||Mozilla||Visit their site to download latest installer.|
|CD Burner XP Pro - freeware CD/DVD writer for Windows||CDB XP||Visit their site to download latest installer.|
|Browser Plug-Ins||FLASH, ShockWave, QuickTime||Run these installers to let your browser support animated content.|
|Sun JAVA VM||Microsoft's Java is flakey. Go with Sun who invented Java! Download Jaava SE from java.sun.com|
|Adobe Acrobat Reader||Download from adobe.com|
|Show all startups in the registry||Autoruns||Checks the registry for all startup entries, can turn them off. Much easier than REGEDIT!|
|Web JetAdmin - TCP printing to HP Lasers||WJA for Win2000 or WJA for XP||You can "Run" these installers from here.|
|Monitor your hard drive with HD Health:||local copy of 2.1beta or original site||System tray tool to monitor hard drive status and temperature.|
Normal Accidents : living with high-risk technologies by
[New York : Basic Books, c1984.]
-- 5 copies in UT Library system including 2 at Eng. Library.
An excellent survey of the many ways that systems fail and the sometimes bizarre consequences. Memorable and a great source of cautionary lines of thought. I have retold several of the disasters recounted in this book at parties, to good effect.
To Engineer is Human : the role of failure in successful design
by Henry Petroski. [New York : Vintage Books, 1992.]
-- 4 copies in UTL including 2 at Eng. Library.
An enjoyable account of the engineering way of life. Reflections on what it means to be an engineer. Highly readable.
Fatal Defect : chasing killer computer bugs by Ivars
Peterson. [New York : Times Books, c1995.]
-- One copy at Gerstein Library.
An engrossing look at the perils of software-based systems in control of safety-critical applications. Inspired by the fascinating discussions over recent years in the comp.risks newsgroup. A must-read for anyone looking to work in a field where software plays a part in systems control.
The Cuckoo's Egg: tracking a spy through the maze of computer espionage by Cliff Stoll. [New York : Doubleday, 1989.] One of the granddads of the internet as we know it, Stoll writes a truly engaging and amusing account of his time as a "volunteer" unix admin during his grad studies at Berkeley.