OS X Keyboard Shortcuts

I frequently use  windows and Macintosh Os X keyboard shortcuts. Here are some my favorite Mac Keyboard shortcuts used in the finder.

Key Combination                What it does.

command c                               Copy item.

command v                               Paste item

commnad x                               Cut item.

command a                               Select all items.

command i                                Get Info.

command m                              Minimize Window.

command e                               Eject media.

command o                               Open selected item.

command n                               Open new finder window.

command delete                      Move to trash.

command shift 3                      Capture the screen to a file on desktop.

command shift 4                      Allows you to captube a portion of the screen that you select, to a file on the desktop.

command tab                            Switch applications.

spacebar                                    Quick view since  OS X 10.5

shift command h                      Open the home folder.

shift space.                                 Allows you to quickly do a spotlight search.

shift option speaker                 Allows you to get a finer control of adjusting the volume on your mac.
volume up and                 
down key.

shift option Screen                   Allows you to get a finer control of adjusting the brightness of the display.
Brightness up and               
down key.

Campus Anti-Virus policy for personal computers

For many years UMF has maintained a rigid policy that all students and employees connecting a personal Windows computer to the university network must be running the UMF anti-virus software package. After much debate we have decided to back down and simply recommend it. Why did we require and now why are we stopping?
The answer actually lies in the maturity of computer networks and steps taken by Microsoft over the years to cure some of the rampant vulnerabilities in their operating system. Years ago, a single computer with a virus could take down the core of our network and infect others on campus. In fact, I spent countless hours a decade ago on the phone with network hardware vendors combating these outbreaks and trying to stabilize the resource. Today, much more robust equipment prevents a single device from wielding that kind of power. Windows itself has far greater protection from network borne viruses and requires specific permission from the operator before allowing software to make significant changes.  This is very good news for us in ITS and all of you.
So why not still require the UMF package? It seems like a good policy right? It does but, so many people already have their own when arriving at UMF and we are discovering that the inconvenience of removing one piece of software to add another has finally outweighed the benefits of a requirement. This is a change in thinking that goes along with the idea that information security and basic computer ownership is the responsibility of everybody, not just a single department. We hope that every person that uses a computer at UMF updates their computer on a regular basis and verifies the existence of anti-virus just as they remember to change the oil in the car and not leave the keys in it when parked in a bad neighborhood. That all being said, we still offer anti-virus software to all members of the UMF community and will continue to consult on these issues.
Play safe.

What We’re Doing About Data Security

I’d like to sell you something that you may not want.  It isn’t pretty, it isn’t particularly cheap, it can be a little inconvenient, and neither of us have much choice about it.  But you want it, trust me.  More computer security is good for you.

Over the years 2005-2011, over 543 million electronic records containing private personal information were lost, stolen, or otherwise exposed to people who shouldn’t see them.  For comparison, the total U.S. population is around 313 million, so on average everyone has been affected and some more than once.

Some incidents involved relatively harmless data like names and addresses, but many provided identity theft gems like social security numbers, credit card numbers, and user passwords.  In addition to the obvious risk for victims whose data was accessed, a breach is expensive for the organization involved.  The response costs about $200 per record, so larger incidents can easily cost millions of dollars.

UMF has never experienced a major data breach, and we’d like to keep it that way, so we’re implementing new security changes to stay ahead of the threat. Here are some of the steps we’re taking:

  • All staff/faculty computers are now issued with full hard disk encryption, so if one is lost or stolen, no private data can be accessed.  We also offer help to staff who want to encrypt their current computer.  For Mac folks with with OSX Lion, we have a blog post explaining how to protect your computer using Apple’s built-in FileVault utility, and more tutorials will be available in the future.
  • All new staff/faculty computers also have sleep or screen saver settings that lock access when the computer is not in use and require a user password to unlock.
  • UMF staff are required to pass an information security test, to ensure that they understand what needs to be protected and how best to do so.
  • We recently completed extensive risk assessments of our servers, which allowed us to identify needs and implement additional security where it will be most helpful.
  • Last year we made extensive network changes to prevent unauthorized network access to all computers that process credit card transactions.

Our current security push is part of a larger effort underway on all University of Maine System campuses.  If you’d like to know more about the new System-wide security policies and plans, visit the System’s Office of Information Security web site.

Tom O’Donnell
Senior Manager of Network and Server Systems

The Linux Operating System

Whether you have heard of Linux or not, you have more than likely used it. Linux is everywhere, and though you may not realize it, you probably use it more than you think. Linux can be on your cellphone (Android for example, is based on Linux), your home wireless router, ATM Machines, most websites (including Google) use Linux on their servers, …etc. It’s hard to do anything nowadays without using Linux in some form or another.

Linux is an operating system, just like Windows and Mac, but it is open source. Open source means that it is free to use, redistribute, and change at your will. This comes with a lot of benefits. First is obviously the free part, and it comes with an open source program for almost anything (and still more) that you can think of. Linux is more secure than other operating systems because of the amount of people that collaborate from all around the world to make it that way.

There are many different distributions of Linux out there, one being Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a great choice for Linux beginners because of its similarities to Windows and Mac. I used Ubuntu for all four of my college years without a problem. Some people are scared to try Linux because they think it’s only for tech and hardcore computer geeks. This may have been true 10 years ago, but things are changing and becoming a lot easier for people to make the switch. Not only can you find a drop in replacement for almost anyprogram you are used to for free, but you have the ability to completely customize almost anything to your liking. It’s nice not being locked down by a company telling you what you can and can’t do with “your” computer.

Linux is not going anywhere, and will continue to become more and more popular on home computers. I would recommend it to anyone, and you won’t ever have to worry about viruses. Give it a try, you won’t look back!

Kieran Nichols
Web Developer

Free Online Tutorials & Software Training

Do you wish we offered free courses to teach you the basics-to-advanced features of software such as Microsoft Office (Word, EXCEL, Powerpoint…), Adobe (Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Photoshop…), Google (Docs, Earth, Sites…) and other popular software? Or maybe it is 1am and you find yourself in need of a brush-up on APA or MLA research paper basics? The University of Maine at Farmington has partnered with Atomic Learning, a web-based service which allows UMF students/staff/faculty access to hundreds of step-by-step video tutorials. The University has purchased this service which provides 24/7 on-demand training and to further support the academic needs and interests of our community.

Does this interest you? If so, this service is available from the LaunchPad of our myCampus Portal: https://mycampus.umf.maine.edu

When you first log into the portal, you will notice a section in the left-hand navigation named “LaunchPad” under the UMF Logo. Find the funny-looking blue “A” (has a red dot in the middle) and hover your mouse over the icon – you’ll notice a message “UMF Atomic Learning” pops up. Click on this link and the myCampus Portal will automatically login to Atomic Learning where you will be presented with an easy-to-use interface to videos and tutorials. Don’t know where to start? Try the “Getting started tips” for a better understanding of the Atomic Learning potential.

Tiffany Maiuri
Director of Application Development and Support

When Good Cookies Go Bad

Having trouble signing into MaineStreet? Are you getting a “Your Log in and Password are invalid” message? It may be that you have too many cookies! Follow the steps below, based on on your web browser, and it should clear up your problems.  Remember to close out of your web-browser after you do the cleanup and start a new session.

Every time you visit a web page, the web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.) stores information from the websites you visit. This is called the browser’s cache. The cache contains a record of the items you have seen, heard, or downloaded from web, including images, sounds, web pages and cookies. Typically, these items are stored in what is called the “Temporary Internet Files” folder. You should periodically clear the browser cache to help your web browser function more efficiently. It is also important to clear browser cache when upgrading to new software systems. Information is provided below about how to clear cache from various browsers and browser versions.

If you are not certain which version of a browser you are using, select the Help menu option located at the top of the browser window and then, depending on the browser, click on “About Mozilla Firefox” or “About Internet Explorer” or “About Safari.”

Internet Explorer 8

1. Close all open browser windows except one.

2. From the Tools menu located near the top of the open browser window, click Delete

Browsing History.

3. Deselect Preserve Favorites website data, and select Temporary Internet files, Cookies,

and History.

4. Click Delete.

5. Close browser window and re-launch.

6. Please be aware it might be necessary to reboot your computer to completely clear the

browser cache.

Internet Explorer 7

1. From the Tools menu located near the top of the browser window, select Internet Options.

2. Under “Browsing history”, click Delete.

3. At the bottom of the Delete Browsing History screen, click Delete All. A warning will display

that asks “Are you sure you want to delete all Internet Explorer browsing History?” Check the

Also delete files and settings stored by add-ons box and click Yes.

4. Click OK on the Internet Options screen.

5. Please be aware it might be necessary to reboot your computer to completely clear the

browser cache.

Internet Explorer 6

1. From the Tools menu located near the top of the browser window, select Internet Options.

2. On the General tab, in the Temporary Internet Files section, click the Delete Cookies


3. When that is finished, click the Delete Files button.

4. Click OK and then OK again.

5. Please be aware it might be necessary to reboot your computer to completely clear the

browser cache.

Firefox 3.5 and above for Windows

1. From the Tools menu located near the top of the browser window, select Clear Recent


2. From the Time range to clear: drop-down menu, select Everything.

3. Click the down arrow next to “Details” to choose what history elements to clear. You should

check Browsing & Download History and Cache. Click Clear Now.

4. Close browser window and re-launch.

5. Please be aware it might be necessary to reboot your computer to completely clear the

browser cache.

Firefox 3 for Windows

1. From the Tools menu located near the top of the browser window, select Clear Recent

History, and then select the items you want to delete: Browsing & Download History,

Cache, Cookies.

2. Click Clear Recent History.

3. Close browser window and re-launch.

4. Please be aware it might be necessary to reboot your computer to completely clear the

browser cache.

Firefox 3.5 and above for Mac OS X

1. From the Tools menu located near the top of the browser window, select Clear Recent


2. From the Time range to clear: drop-down menu, select Everything.

3. Click the down arrow next to “Details” to choose which elements to clear. Click Clear Now.

4. Exit and re-launch the browser.

5. Please be aware it might be necessary to reboot your computer to completely clear the

browser cache.

Firefox 2.0 – 3.0 for Mac OS X

1. In Firefox, from the Tools menu located near the top of the browser window, select Clear

Private Data.

2. Select the elements you want to clear: Browsing & Download History, Cache, Cookies, and

then click Clear Private Data Now.

3. Exit and re-launch the browser.

Safari for Mac OS X

1. From the Safari menu, select Reset Safari.

2. From the menu, select the items you want to reset, and then click Reset.

3. Please be aware it might be necessary to reboot your computer to completely clear the

browser cache.

Angie LeClair
Administrative Assistant

Tim’s Ten Tips for Terrific Taping

It’s that time of year when it’s time to think about thinking about that video project that’s due at the end of the semester.  Let’s take a minute and go over a few things that will save a lot of pain and anguish.

1. If your camera or recording device records to an internal hard drive or removable media (such as an SD card) check the record settings.  Typically the default settings are a compromise of image quality and recording time.   If the final result is a DVD that will be shown to your professor and classmates you don’t want to end up with a bunch of fuzzy Lego people running around on the screen.  If possible I recommend using the highest quality settings – you want it to look good.

2. Make sure the camera you will be using records the video in a file type that is supported by your editing software.  If you’re not sure, do a quick recording and then copy / download the clip onto your computer’s desktop.  Open your editing software and see if it will allow you to import the clip.  If it does it quickly and directly, the video quality looks good, and there’s audio, you’re ready to move on.  If not, there are usually ways to work around this, but it involves more time and effort.

3. Turn off the date / time display on the camera.  If this is left on during recording it will be there on your video.  Not only is this annoying, it makes it easier for viewers to tell where you did the edits and it also shows your professor that although you’ve been working hard on your project all semester somehow all the video was shot over the last two days.  Ouch!

4.  Turn off any video effects or transitions.  Most cameras can do an amazing assortment of tricks – recording in black and white, strobing, making freeze frames, etc.  While these are nice, you can create all of these later with your editing software.  Unfortunately the software can’t undo them if that’s the way the original video was recorded.  Save yourself a headache and concentrate on recording good, clean video.

5. Use a tripod.  If your subject is stationary your camera should be too.

6.  If you’re not going to use a tripod at least turn on the image stabilization.  It’s not perfect, but it helps (especially if you’re coming down from that sugar high or working on your 5th cup of coffee).

7.  Keep it on the level.  Camcorders and other devices are light weight and easy to handle.  Sometimes there’s the temptation to rotate the camera 90 degrees to make the picture fill the viewfinder better (just like my digital camera!).  The problem is most software programs won’t let you correct for this, and if they do it takes a long while to crunch all those pixels to the correct orientation.  Laying the LCD on its side while you playback your video is not an option.  If it helps think of it in printer terms:  Video recording – landscape OK, portrait Nay. (Sorry, my kids had a unit on Patch the Pony).

8. Always start recording a little early and leave it on for a few extra seconds at the end.  When I’m recording people I always start the camera about 5 seconds before I ask them to begin.  You can always edit out unwanted stuff, but if you start late or the end gets taped over by the next segment its more challenges you’ll have to work around.

9.  Keep the sun, windows, or strong light sources behind you or off to the side.  Most cameras automatically adjust the aperture based on the amount of available light.  If there is a lot of light coming from behind or near your subject the camera is going to compensate by making the person appear very dark or as a silhouette.  Unless your topic involves people in the witness protection program make sure you position the camera properly so their smiling faces are clearly visible.

10.  Take some extra shots.  Before you head out shooting it’s a good idea to jot down a list of the types of shots and scenes you need.  While you’re on location do at least a couple of takes and get some additional shots using different angles and zooms.  With editing it’s always better to have too many good choices than scrambling to find something that will have to do.

11.  BONUS!  Keep the original video until the project is finished.  You’ve heard it many times before (and you’ll hear it many times again) keep a complete copy (and / or the original) of all your video.  If someone records over your tape, the laptop crashes, the SD card gets reused / reformatted /damaged / lost you don’t want to have to pick up the pieces and start all over.

I hope this has been helpful.  If you have any questions or require additional information you can contract me at hupp@maine.edu, (207)778-7445, or stop by my office – Room 002 in the Computer Center.  Good luck with your award winning video!

Tim Hupp
Academic Multimedia Specialist/Video

Find Upcoming Events on the Portal…

Looking for something fun to do this week?  On every page of the UMF portal, you can get quick access to UMF’s upcoming events and excursions.  Look at the top-left of the portal.  See the Calendar icon?  If you put your mouse over that icon, you’ll be presented with a drop down list of the upcoming events and excursions.  Click on the event title for more information.

jamies bog tip screen shot

What else can you see using the quick access icons? Occasionally, you may receive a campus message through the portal.  The My Messages icon will drop down a list of all your portal messages.  If you click on the icon, you can go to a page that allows you to read the messages again or delete old messages.  Another, maybe unfamiliar icon, the Community icon, will drop down a list of portal Communities that you belong to.

Jami Holmes
Web Services Manager

Ergonomics- who knew how complicated it can be!

Recently, I had the benefit of a professional assessment from Michael D. Sauda, the Safety and Environmental Manager for the University of Maine System.  He and I reviewed my typical workday, work area and concerns about proper ergonomics.   Not only did he provide tips that will immediately correct some of my bad posture habits, but he will also be following up with recommendations to optimize my work area for comfort and productivity.

Generally, when I hear the word ergonomics I think about how my workspace and my body should “fit” with each other.   The computer screen must be the correct height and distance from me and the keyboard and mouse should be oriented so that my arms are bent at 90 degrees… the basics I remember learning about over 2 decades ago.

Did you know that if you spend hours every day at a desk there are over 20 features to a chair you should look for before choosing the right one? The backrest should be no less than 12 inches wide and 15 inches high.  It should also conform to the contours of your lower back.   The armrests should be soft, padded and wide enough to support your forearm.  Even the front edge of the seat pan should be rounded so as not to cut off circulation in your legs. And these are only a few of many specifications for proper seating.

Apparently my telephone has been on the wrong side of the desk for decades!  Until today, it has been to my left, within reach if I extend my left arm fully.  While this is not a problem when thinking about grabbing the handset and holding it up to my ear, it’s the twisting of my entire upper body to the left so my right hand can reach the keys to dial… duh!  Of course, I could slide it closer to me while leaving it on the left, but that is valuable real estate for writing/working on laptops that I am not willing to give up.  The phone will be moving to the right of my computer this afternoon!

Lighting is everything!  Reducing the overhead lighting in our area just for a few hours today has not only made my eyes feel so much better, but we have lowered our speaking tone and I even feel more calm.  The overhead lights that were turned off during this “experiment” are using more electricity than a 1600 watt hair dryer when in use. Although it may seem too dark to the average person standing in the room, Mike assures us that it, supplemented with “task lights” at our areas when needed, is the appropriate configuration for our use.

Don’t forget to “break it up”.  At least once every hour you should change the position you are in.  Get up and go for a short walk around the building, go get a drink of water, perform some other task.  Mike likes to stand when placing or taking a phone call.  Not only does it achieve the goals mentioned in this paragraph, but Mike says that it actually changes the tone of your voice to be more “authoritative”.  Not a bad idea.  I think the next time I discuss homework with my (almost 6 foot tall, 219 pound) 14-year-old son, I will use this tactic.  I’m cautiously optimistic…

While there are several other factors that contribute to a beneficial work environment, the key players for me seem to be properly supporting my body and reducing eyestrain while staring at the computer(s) for hours. I will continue to learn about other ways to work better, and the University of Maine System has many resources to do just that.  The best place to start is at hr.umf.maine.edu.  There is a section on that page (lower right) on safety, with PDFs on ergonomics for computer workstations.  While it may seem a lot to take in, I am already feeling the benefits.

Niki Haggan
Technology Support Specialist/Desktop Services

Ten Immutable Laws of Security (Version 2.0)

Back in another life I was the IT Manager for a company that held security above all else. While sitting through yet another computer security seminar, an interesting slide hit the screen. It was titled “Ten Immutable Laws of Security”. The “laws” were put out by the Microsoft Security Response Center that monitors reports of security vulnerabilities. Some reports were the result of flaws in the software so the Center would then create patches for the software. Some reports were due to mistakes by the person using the software – these could be resolved with training not programming. But many reports would fall somewhere in between these two scenarios – not flaws or mistakes but vulnerabilities due to the nature of how computers work.

But as the report that issued this list of ‘laws” stated, “…don’t abandon all hope yet…” simply being aware of these vulnerabilities is the first step in preventing them. The “Immutable Laws” have been updated since back then to more closely resemble modern computing and they still hold true. Details and explanations can be found on the site listed below.

The 10 Immutable Laws

Law #1: If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it’s not solely your computer anymore.

Law #2: If a bad guy can alter the operating system on your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.

Law #3: If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.

Law #4: If you allow a bad guy to run active content in your website, it’s not your website any more.

Law #5: Weak passwords trump strong security.

Law #6: A computer is only as secure as the administrator is trustworthy.

Law #7: Encrypted data is only as secure as its decryption key.

Law #8: An out-of-date antimalware scanner is only marginally better than no scanner at all.

Law #9: Absolute anonymity isn’t practically achievable, online or offline.

Law #10: Technology is not a panacea.


David Descoteaux
Technology Support Specialist/Customer Services