Blog from October, 2010

Unthread Your Gmail

It's the #1 feature request from Berkeley Lab users. Now you can turn off Gmail's Conversation View.  Learn more>>>

IT has helped coordinate a sitewide license for ChemDraw.  Anyone at LBL can use the software at no cost.  Learn more>>>

We have also arranged for an on-site technical seminar on ChemBioDraw.  The first session will be held from 10am - 11:30 am in the bldg 66 Auditorium on Wednesday November 10.  A second afternoon session will be held in Emeryville (JBEI) from 1:30pm to 3pm.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Hot Keys
  • Synthesis Tools
  • Stereochemistry
  • Nicknames
  • Hotlinks
  • Name to Structure, Structure to Name
  • NMR Tools
  • Sequences
  • ChemDraw for Excel
  • Tables
  • TLC Plates
  • and many more
Priority Inbox for Gmail

Priority Inbox can help save you time if you’re overwhelmed with the amount of email you get. It attempts to automatically identify your important incoming messages and separates them out from everything else. Gmail uses a variety of signals to prioritize your incoming messages, including who you’ve emailed and chatted with most and which keywords appear frequently in the messages you opened recently.

More from Gmail>>>

Gmail now offers the ability to turn off conversation view.  Read more here

IT Test Blog Post

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Fall marks the anniversary of last year's successful mobility competition and an opportunity to take stock of where the Laboratory is with its mobile strategy. At this time last year, our calendar and collaboration systems were supported by a small minority of mobile devices, and then only with kludgy third party workarounds.  Email, since it was based on the open standard IMAP, was supported by many devices, but "push" was unavailable.  Today, with our transition to Google Apps, we are pleased to provide the Laboratory with full support for email and calendar services across almost all modern smartphone platforms.  Further, both the Google Apps collaboration apps as well as our enterprise wiki Commons support viewing today, and will be supporting editing in the near future.   If you're an iPad user, you've also benefited from Google Apps tablet web-interface, which provides a nearly fully functional Gmail web client in a form-factor designed for tablets.  This is a small example of the continuous innovation in mobile we're expecting as part of our partnership with Google. 

At the same time, the evolution of the devices and the capabilities of their browsers continue to make new things possible without major changes to our underlying systems.  For example, last year, filling our your timecard on LETS with Mobile Safari on the iPhone wasn't possible -  Today, it's reasonably straightforward.  Our application hasn't changed, but the browser's capabilities have.

In the next year, we're looking forward to further evolutions of our mobile strategy.  The mobile portal will be updated and we're expecting the launch of a local iPhone app store designed to distribute custom LBL applications.  We'll also be working with the operations divisions to understand how mobile (including the ideas submitted in the contest) fits into the overall strategy for enterprise applications. For example, we're currently working with EHS to pilot a mobile-phone based safety walkaround application.  We're also piloting a safety refresher course that's mobile and location-enabled, allowing for a new, more interactive (and hopefully effective) training experience.

In my next update, I'll cover the advances we've seen on the science side in the past year.  In the meantime, be sure to visit for information about mobile devices and capabilities, and places to submit your ideas for mobility at LBL.  -Adam