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Digitalk: Where IT's at

Services relocated from W20 to N42

As part of a strategic effort to provide a combined walk-in center for clients, all Information Services and Technology (IS&T) services previously available in the basement of the Student Center have been relocated to the front area of Building N42 at 211 Massachusetts Ave. In this combined service center, clients will be able to meet with consultants for hardware and software repair; look at demonstration models and discuss new computer purchases with consultants; take care of computing account activities such as password resets; pick up requested copies of volume-licensed software and receive directions and contacts for other IS&T activities, meetings and consultations.

Other IS&T activities are also being relocated from W20 to N42, including the Athena consultants and Athena Cluster Services. Contact information (including e-mail addresses) for the groups that have relocated to N42 remain the same, and directory and service information on the IS&T web pages have been updated.

Support for Red Hat Linux

IS&T now offers full support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 and Red Hat Network. This marks the first IS&T release for Red Hat's premier Linux operating system and update service.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 is the successor of Red Hat Linux 9, which the vendor stopped supporting on April 30. Red Hat Network is a locally hosted update service that enables machines owned by MIT or by MIT students, faculty, or staff to automatically download the latest updates and patches for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0.

For information about Linux support go to the IS&T web site at

Dealing with malware

"Malware" is a term for any software that gets installed on your computer and performs unwanted tasks, often for some third party's benefit. These programs can cause anything from simple annoyances (pop-up advertising) to serious computer invasion and damage (stealing passwords or introducing worms and viruses). Additionally, some malware is designed to transmit information about your web-browsing habits to advertisers or other third parties.

Currently, only Windows machines are susceptible to most adware or spyware products (two types of malware). VirusScan Enterprise 8.0i for Windows (available at contains integrated anti-spyware functionality. However, your computer may still be at risk, since no one product can catch all malware. To find out more about malware and how to deal with it, go to the IS&T web site.

Apple catalog available on ECAT

With support from the MIT Procurement Department and IS&T, Apple Computer's ECAT catalog is now available to the community for Institute and personal purchases. Through this catalog, community members have access to MIT-recommended Apple desktop computers and laptops, as well as the entire line of Apple products. The new catalog lets purchasers custom configure systems; Institute orders can be submitted to Apple through SAP.

Having this direct relationship with Apple will improve order accuracy, reduce delivery time and provide better pricing for institutional orders. For questions or comments about this partnership, contact Mary Bacci at or Laura Simmons at For assistance with selecting and configuring an Apple system, contact an MIT presales consultant at 253-7686.

Countdown to retiring support for Windows 2000

Microsoft will end mainstream support for Windows 2000 on March 31, 2005. In anticipation of this, IS&T will stop providing full support for Windows 2000 as of December 31. Windows 2000 users should plan to make the transition to Windows XP Professional this fall. For details, go to

Digitalk is compiled by Information Services and Technology.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 15, 2004 (download PDF).

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