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Digitalk: Where IT's At

Employee Self Service

The implementation of the new payroll system in July 2006 will provide Institute employees with additional Employee Self Service (ESS) tools. Currently, ESS tools are available for benefits, contact information (including address) and three types of personal information transactions. Eligible employees are encouraged to use ESS to review, update and/or enter emergency contact information, info on ethnic origin and military service (needed for mandatory government reporting) and education information (which may be required for research proposals, surveys etc.).

To log on to ESS, go to

Intel Macs: To buy or not to buy?

In January, Apple released a new iMac that sports Intel's Core Duo processor. An Intel-based laptop, the MacBook Pro, is due out this month. While Apple's switch to the Intel chip is all about speed, the only IS&T-supported applications that run natively on the new Macs are Safari, Mail and Fetch. For now, most other applications -- such as Office 2004, Dreamweaver and FileMaker -- rely on Rosetta, an Apple technology that translates PowerPC instructions into Intel instructions on the fly. The resulting drag on performance won't impact casual users, but will be a roadblock for those who work extensively with processor-intensive applications such as Photoshop. And a few applications -- Virex, SAPgui, and MATLAB -- don't run on the Intel Macs at all.

What's a prospective Mac buyer to do? For advice, check the MacPartners blog at For MIT pricing on Apple products, see

MIT's central Windows domain

IS&T provides a centrally managed Windows environment, the domain, to enable the seamless sharing of resources through its integration with MIT's Kerberos realm, Moira database and standard DNS namespace.

The domain provides a set of tools for departmental IT administrators, including group management, "containers" to manage groups of machines, and streamlined software installation. Individual users can access their home directories on the server from any machine in the domain. They can also view, copy or restore older versions of files in their home directory, as far back as 64 days.

To learn more about, including how to join the domain, visit

Webcasts for e-mail migration

IS&T strongly encourages members of the MIT community to migrate to the e-mail application bundled with their operating system. If you're preparing to move from Eudora to Outlook 2003, Outlook Express or Apple Mail, IS&T has developed webcasts to walk you through the procedure. A voiceover provides instructions as your browser displays the appropriate screenshots. You can pause, rewind or skip ahead using buttons at the bottom of the window.

Separate webcasts cover topics ranging from configuring your new e-mail client, to importing Eudora mail, to backing up your address book. To get started, go to

Digitalk is compiled by Information Services and Technology.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 15, 2006 (download PDF).

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