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IT Survey Begins

IT Division's user survey kicks off this morning. A statistically valid sample of the laboratory population has been selected by the survey firm retained by IT Division (MOR Associates) and those users received email this morning asking for them to participate in the survey.  IT wants to thank those of you selected in advance for your participation in the survey.  The survey is one of the most critical tools we have in charting our near and medium-term priorities and investments, as well our performance.  

If you have questions about the survey, please contact [email protected]

Following the successful launch of a Calendar app for Android last Fall, Google released a version for iOS devices last week.  

For "power" calendar users, we hope this solves some of the issues we have seen with the built-in calendar app on iPhones.   The description for the Android app is here.

Reference the Google Blog for a brief intro and a link to Apple's AppStore.

After downloading the app, tap the Google Calendar icon and watch the intro slides.  You will then be prompted to login at the Google login screen, (only enter your full LBL email address at this stage, leave the password field blank and continue).   This will redirect you to LBL's Single Sign-On page where you will enter your Berkeley Lab Identity credentials.

Once you are in the app, look at the top left hand corner and you will see a 3 bar icon, tap the icon and you will see the options available, such as what calendars to display.  Settings are found at the bottom of this list: tap settings to add multiple Google accounts by tapping "Manage Accounts" 


Google Blog




IT recently concluded efforts to provide Bitbucket, a distributed version control system for software developers, to lab users. We are in the early stages of rollout and are looking for some early adopters.  Bitbucket supports both Git and Mercurial, works on Windows, Mac, or Linux systems and includes tools to convert from Subversion repositories.

Ask for a repository by entering a help request at

Our FAQ is here.

On January 20, we added a Google Marketplace application called GQueues to the portfolio of applications we are offering LBL Google users. We have a one year subscription for the Lab - enough time to find out if LBL can make effective use of this tool.

GQueues provides an excellent Task Management alternative to the basic version that comes with Google Mail and Calendar.

Click on the "More" Menu and you will find a link for GQueues - similar to how you can find Smartsheet and other services provided through our Google Apps offering.

Go here for additional information

We have recently created a "pilot" service for conference management using Indico, a software tool created at CERN and used extensively for planning and managing large conferences. It continues to be actively maintained and LBL has the latest release.

We intent to make this available during FY12 - and based on customer feedback, continue the service or retire the pilot.

If you are organizing a conference and have used something like Indico, you might want to use the LBL service. Here's how:

  1. Go to
  2. Login using your Berkeley Lab "LDAP" credentials
  3. If you plan on creating content, send a request to asking for rights to one of the categories (content is divided into categories which we have implemented as divisions).
  4. The IT Help Desk will assign manager rights for your area

Not familiar with Indico? You will find a nice help manual using the help link.

Note: this is not a replacement for the excellent assistance that Berkeley Lab Conference Services provides - it is just another tool that can be considered.   The Conference Services web site is here.

Google+ was released to Enterprise Customers and we added it to the LBL domain on October 27.

Feature highlights

  • Google+ Profiles: Create a profile with information about yourself. For example, you can add information about your projects or expertise and share it only with other employees. You can choose which information is visible to others inside or outside our organization. The only exception is your name, which is always publicly visible. Learn more about Google+ Profiles
  • Circles: Share information with specific people by organizing your coworkers and other contacts into circles. For example, create circles for different teams, projects, or special-interest groups. Learn more about circles

Also, when posting content, you can quickly share it with everyone in our organization, even if you haven't added all of them to a circle, by choosing Berkeley Lab from the list of sharing options.

  • Streams: You receive posts from others in your stream. This is where you can find and engage with content that’s shared with you. Learn more about streams
  • Hangouts: Connect and communicate with your coworkers in multi-way video rooms called hangouts. You can also preview Hangouts with extras, which provides screen sharing and integrates with Google Docs for collaborative editing. When you start or join your first hangout, you’ll be prompted to install the Google Voice and Video Chat plug-in for your web browser. You’ll also need to connect a webcam and use a computer microphone (preferably a headset). Learn more about hangouts
  • Picasa Web Albums: Because Google+ uses Picasa Web Albums for photo sharing, we’ve also turned on this service for your Google Apps account. When you share photos, they’re stored in Picasa Web Albums, which you can access at
  • Mobile access: You can use Google+ on mobile devices, using either a native app or a mobile web browser. Learn more

Sharing information outside Berkeley Lab

With Google+, you can share information that’s visible to others outside our organization. When sharing outside Berkeley Lab, please follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure you don’t share internal or confidential information on your Google+ Profile
  • Don’t post internal or confidential information to anyone outside the Lab or with any circles you create that include people outside.
  • Consider creating separate circles for people inside and outside the Lab

If you have questions or need help with Google+

Make sure you check out these Google+ resources:

For customers on Google's Rapid Release Schedule (which includes Berkeley Lab), a new Presentation Editor within the Google Docs suite of tools is being deployed.

Google has added many of your most requested features, including:

  • Transitions to move between slides with simple fades or spicier 3D effects
  • Animations to add emphasis or to make your slides more playful
  • New themes to create beautiful presentations with distinct visual styles
  • Drawings to build new designs, layouts, and flowcharts within a presentation
  • Rich tables with merged cells and more options for adding style to your data

If you want to get regular updates on Google Products, consider joining the Labs Google Users Group

Google is showcasing another option for web Gmail users. Using the Preview Pane Lab, you can decide to have a mail experience that looks like Thunderbird (list of emails on the top with the selected message displayed in the bottom pane - a horizontal split) or the iPad look with a vertical split.

This is a new lab, so there are a few conflicts with other labs as well as a few bugs. When the preview pane lab is enabled (as reported by early adoptors):

  • The right side chat lab stop working
  • The multiple inbox labs stop working
  • The lefthand side bar also has weird scrolling behaviors. Some of the gadgets are lumped together and and there are scrollbars within scrollbars

If these or other symptoms cause problems, the lab can be disabled. We think it is worth a look, since it gives us an indication of where the product might evolve in the future.

Labs can be found by clicking on the wrench symbol in the upper right (either click settings for the whole range of settings for Gmail, or just the lab link)

locate the preview pane lab and enable it

Selectively implement either of the two new options or turn it off.

Google is introducing a new look to their product line. At this point, Gmail and Calendar have been the first to surface these changes, but others are on the way. 

For example, Gmail has a new theme that can be selected after you click the gear symbol in the upper right corner of the window (a theme that will eventually be the default). 

Once the available themes are visible,  select the dense version - at the bottom of the display.

The type of inbox you use is also selectable in the web interface.

Google provided a nice write-up concerning their plans - you can find it here.

Google is gradually rolling out some changes to the look and feel of their products. In Google calendar you can "opt-in" to the new look by clicking on the gear icon in the upper right and selected the link titled "Try the New Look".

As an example of the changes, compare the selection of calendar ranges (day, week, etc) on the upper right in the old "classic" view.

as compared to the new look

For more on the changes that should be coming to a calendar near you in a few days (if not already there), read this blog article from Google.

Beyond look and feel, you might try the "speedy meeting" setting in your general calendar settings area (also available via the gear icon) and checking the speedy meeting checkbox. 25 minutes of meeting time is reserved for half hour time slots and 50 minutes for one hour time slots. This gives your guests time to get to the next meeting.

When sharing calendars through Google Calendar, lab users may notice empty time slots in other users’ calendars. Most times, those empty slots indicate availability for a meeting, event, etc. However, sometimes users may not be available for any empty time slot due to workload or other arrangements that are not indicated otherwise on their calendar. To prevent any scheduling confusion, Google has created appointment slots for lab users to set. 

Lab users can set up blocks of time to offer as “appointment slots.” When setting an event (as users normally do by clicking the desired time frame on the calendar), users will notice a new tab in the bubble that appears called “appointment slots.” From there, users can offer a single appointment slot or multiple slots of a particular amount of time (i.e. 15 mins, 30 mins, etc.). 

Additionally, users can offer the URL that links directly to their personal appointments page.

Click here for more information. 

Instead of using the standard 30 minute time slots for meetings, users can change the default meeting length to 15 minutes. Specifically, rather than having to manually change the meeting length by clicking into the event page, users can change the default length in the Google Calendar settings page.

Additionally, Google Calendar now allows users to select a specific date range to print.

Click here for more information and instructions.

In addition to Gmail’s basic star feature, Google now provides different stars for visual reminders. Users can set which stars and the order they want to use them in Gmail’s settings.

For organizing emails, users have the ability to label their emails. Gmail recently made small improvements for this function, such as nested labels, sticky collapse/expand ability, and better editing options.

Thanks to Gmail’s new changes to IMAP controls, users who access Gmail through IMAP clients (i.e. Outlook, Thunderbird, iPhone mail application) can enjoy new features such as syncing only selected labels and limiting the folder size limit.

Click here for more information.

Google Calendar now offers the ability to color code events in a single calendar. More information:

Pivot Tables are now available within Google Spreadsheets. This important feature has been frequently requested by LBL users. More information:

LBL users now have access to new refinements in the Google Docs List. You can upload entire folders to Google Docs, or drag and drop files directly on to the Docs list to initiate an upload and/or conversion. More information is available on the Google Apps blog.

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