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Digitalk: Where I/T's at

MIT's computing environment is rich in tools and services to help you get your work done. But keeping track of it all and figuring out "what's in it for me?" can be a challenge. This new monthly column features news and tips about using information technology (I/T) at MIT. These pointers will help you work more effectively, and keep you up to date on I/T developments that impact the community.

Auto vacation replies on e-mail

Information Systems (IS) has introduced an e-mail auto-responder service that lets you set a customized "away message" and notifies people sending you e-mail that you are not actively checking e-mail. To set up an e-mail vacation reply, go to (you'll need an MIT web certificate first), type your message and activate the system, which takes effect immediately. The auto-responder replies only to messages that are addressed directly to you at in the To: or Cc: field of a message. It will not respond to messages posted to mailing lists of which you are a member.

Your e-mail will still be deposited in your Inbox while you're away. Just don't forget to deactivate the auto-responder when you return.

TechTime calendar

TechTime, MIT's supported personal calendar, is open to any member of the community who has a Kerberos ID and an MIT personal certificate. TechTime lets you maintain your calendar through your web browser and also coordinate with the schedules of other TechTime users. To learn more, take a Quick Start class from Information Systems (IS) or go to

Employee self-service

Thanks to Financial System Services' HR-Payroll Project, MIT faculty and staff can update their personal information using an employee self-service (ESS) function on the web. The types of information that can be updated include primary and alternate MIT office addresses; office telephone, MIT pager and mobile phone numbers; e-mail address; and home information. Employees can also verify their name, department and position title, and view their health and welfare benefits choices online. Access ESS by going to

Software desupport

As of June 30, IS will discontinue support for the following applications and operating systems: Eudora 4.3; FileMaker Pro 4.x; Netscape Navigator 4.7.8; Mac OS 8.6 and 9.0.4; Windows 98/98SE and NT 4.0 Workstation. IS will provide assistance in upgrading to a current version. For details, see

Conference calling

You can schedule a call for six or more participants with the help of an MIT operator and a technology called Audio-Bridge. It uses standard telephone lines to connect multiple users from MIT or anywhere in the world. See

Need help?

For general computing questions, contact the Computing Help Desk at or 253-1101. For business computing questions, contact the Business Liaison Team at or 252-1177.

Digitalk is compiled by Information Systems.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 7, 2003.

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