Digitalk: Where IT's At

Certificate renewal

June is quickly approaching, and that means renewal time for MIT personal certificates. These certificates provide access to MIT's secure web applications, including benefits, SAPweb and WebSIS. It's also time to renew the MIT Certifying Authority (MIT CA). The MIT CA authenticates MIT's secure web servers to your computer.

Renewal of certificates is not automatic, and personal certificates obtained in the past year are set to expire on July 30. MIT community members can get their new MIT CA and personal certificates starting June 5. Go to

Note that if you use certificates on multiple machines, you will need to get a new certificate for each machine. For assistance, contact or x3-1101.

Math tools

IS&T recently launched Mathematical Tools at MIT, a web topic page that gives the community access to comprehensive information on math software and related topics. It's located at

This resource features an overview of commonly used computational and numerical software packages (MATLAB, Mathematica, Maple). It also has links to software licensed on Athena or for private machines at discounted rates; tools for web publishing (e.g., mathML); and tutorials and FAQs. Students can download MATLAB at no charge for academic use on their personal computers.

Technotrash recycling

The MIT Department of Facilities has started a Technotrash recycling program on campus. A range of items can be placed in the specially marked bins for recycling: cellphones and PDAs; diskettes, CDs, DVDs and tapes; and rechargers and rechargeable batteries. It's fine to toss in the jewel cases and packaging too.

So far, Technotrash bins have been placed in three locations: Building 9, 4th floor; the Stata Center, Dreyfoos Lobby; and the Stratton Student Center, main lobby.

To learn more, go to

Connections for guests

Campus guests can register their computers for one to five consecutive days of network service, up to 14 days per year. To connect laptops to MITnet, visitors need a wireless network card that supports the 802.11 a/b/g standard. The laptop also needs to be configured for DHCP, which obtains an IP address automatically. Many network cards are configured for DHCP by default. Firewall software, if running, needs to be disabled until the registration process is complete.

To register, visitors should start up a web browser and select "visitor registration" from the onscreen menu. A web page will display the MITnet rules of use, followed by a screen requesting the visitor's contact information, number of days of connectivity, and event for which they are on campus. The connection takes about 10 minutes to activate. For more information, see

Digitalk is compiled by Information Services and Technology.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 17, 2006 (download PDF).

Topics: Campus services

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