Blog from June, 2014


Update: 6/26/14

Wireless access points at LBL that support eduroam include 33, 50E, 50F, 65,70, 70A,  65A, 65B, 88, 90 & 90 trailers. The current list of buildings with this support can be found at the Wireless - Upgraded page.


We have begun initial testing of our EDUROAM wireless implementation and invite lab employees who have an interest to try it out.

Eduroam (education roaming) is the secure wireless access service developed for the international research and education community. We have started to make this available to travelers who come to the lab (Bldg 50F was our first installation - and future growth depends on the modernization of our wireless infrastructure which is in progress).   The primary reason we decided to pursue this project is because of the advantage it gives our employees when on travel - eduroam has been installed all over the world (54 countries according the eduroam web site).  When a lab laptop or mobile device is configured (see our faq), accessing eduroam will result in an authentication against the labs enterprise directory - no matter which eduroam site you may be at.

The SSID for LBL's test implementation is eduroam. This network is currently in test mode as of 6/11/14 with limited availability in the IT space in Building 50 F. The IT Networking Group will expand this network once the planning stage is complete.  The next set of buildings will include  50E, 65, 65a, 70, 88 and 90 (in late June)

The LBL FAQ on our implementation is here.

Eduroam's web site is at

Wikipedia's summary can be found here.


IT Training Opportunities

The IT Division is offering two identical Advanced Arduino workshops from 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm on Tuesday, June 24 in Pers Hall (54-130).   Registration can be found on our “Training and Awareness” webpage located here:

The class will introduce advanced concepts, focusing on sensors, actuators, and programming techniques that might be used to monitor or control equipment.  Topics to include:

  • Sensors using the SPI and 12C interfaces
  • LCD interface using a 4 bit parallel port
  • How to set and read a real time clock with battery backup
  • How to use IR for control (via TV remote) or communication between Arduinos
  • How to filter and smooth sensor values
  • How to program a servo loop to keep an actuator within a target range

Requirements:  Basic familiarity with Arduino software and hardware (i.e., know how to modify and upload a program, understand basic programming concepts, know how to use a solderless breadboard to connect simple sensors and actuators to Arduino).  A laptop with Arduino installed and known to function correctly (i.e., can compile and upload sketches to Uno).

Arduino kits and all other necessary materials will be provided for use during the workshop or you may bring your own.  Kits are also available for purchase with a valid PID.

We also offer a variety of classes from beginner to intermediate levels in Excel and specialized Excel/PPT courses focusing on data analysis and presentation of financials.  For more details on our training course offerings, click on our training link above.




The New WWW

Public Affairs, supported by IT, launched their new Home Suite (www, today at berkeley lab, newscenter) over the weekend.  A few notable technical features include:

  • Responsive Design:  The site dynamically adjusts to the size of your screen, reconfiguring itself for readability and usability from smartphone to widescreen monitor.  To see how it responds, just drag the right edge of your browser to make it more narrow and watch the menus collapse and reconfigure themselves to the width of the screen.    Some adjustments can only be viewed on mobile devices.  For example, on a mobile device you'll see the addition of a top menu item called "Directions to Lab" which provides easy access to maps and directions when you're on the go.
  • Content Management System:  We're a high tech, early adopter sort of place at LBL but sometimes we stick with what works for awhile.  While the lab has probably had instances of virtually every big open source content management system over the past decade, we've never used a CMS on our main site.  In fact, much of the directory hierarchy of our main site had remained unchanged since it was stood up as one of the first 250 sites on the nascent world wide web (we think we were actually in the first 100, but the exact numbers are lost in the mists of internet history).  Among the things in our now preserved but unshared /web/ directory was a list of "the other sites on the www"!  We chose Wordpress for our CMS and there are a number of reasons we're excited about it as a platform going forward.  See more about this below.
  • IPv6: Our new supports ipv6, an important step as the world transitions to the new standard to accommodate future internet growth.  


So what does this mean for you?  Well, in addition to having a cleaner homepage to look at (we hope you feel this way), we're excited to begin offering Wordpress hosting, templates, and support to the broader laboratory community. is already making use of early release templates and JGI and PBD are making use of our hosting services.  Check back soon for more info on how Wordpress fits in to our content and collaboration offerings and how to engage the set of services that will be offered by IT and CSO.