New IM service available
IS&T is piloting Jabber as an instant messaging (IM) service for MIT, and the community is invited to participate. Jabber lets MIT users communicate with one another and with Jabber users elsewhere on the Internet. It also supports chat rooms for group communication.
Jabber uses open-source, XML-based protocols to create standard IM functionality: one-to-one chat, multi-user chat, and the ability to subscribe to someone else's presence (see www.jabber.org for details). MIT's Jabber service uses the MIT namespace (email@example.com) for easier identification of screen names.
Jabber is not a multi-protocol IM client, but IM clients that support Jabber let you chat with users on AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo and other commercial services. IS&T recommends Gaim as a client for Windows, Linux and Athena, and Adium X as the client for the Macintosh. For more information, visit IS&T's Jabber page. Pilot participants can submit comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interlibrary borrowing made easy
MIT Libraries' users can now request books, articles and other materials from academic libraries worldwide through a new web-based system. ILLiad lets MIT users access materials from libraries outside of MIT in support of MIT-related work and research. Locally this includes access to the 18 other member libraries of the Boston Library Consortium, as well as to Harvard Libraries.
New users can register at libraries.mit.edu/illiad.
Training for HR-Payroll
The HR-Payroll Project is heading into the home stretch, with implementation of the new SAP Payroll system set for July 1. Several new electronic tools for faculty, DLC administrators and employees (including students paid hourly) will be available for payroll functions that today are done on paper.
To ease the transition to the new system, an extensive curriculum of classes will begin on May 30 and run through the summer, with refresher classes in the fall. Class descriptions and details about schedule, location, seating availability and registration requirements can be accessed via the Employee Self Service (ESS) web site at web.mit.edu/sapwebss/.
If you have questions about which classes to attend, check with your local human resources or payroll administrators. The training registrar at email@example.com can field questions about the schedule. For help using ESS, contact the computing help desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or x3-1101.
To learn more about the new payroll system and tools, visit the HR-Payroll Project web site at web.mit.edu/ist/delivery/hrpayroll/.
Windows OS agreement extended
IS&T has extended its Microsoft Campus Agreement for Windows operating systems and Client Access Licenses (CALs) to all MIT students, including graduate students not previously covered by their departments. This agreement already granted MIT faculty, staff, undergraduates and graduate students in participating departments the right to use Windows XP Professional and subsequent OS releases from Microsoft.
Windows XP Professional upgrades are available via an ISO image or zip file from msca.mit.edu/. A personal certificate is required. IS&T encourages all members of the MIT community using Windows 2000 to upgrade, except those using workstations targeted for replacement during the academic and/or fiscal year.
For more information on the Microsoft Campus Agreement, visit web.mit.edu/ist/services/software/msca.html.
Digitalk is compiled by Information Services and Technology.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 26, 2006 (download PDF).