This year a pilot program between IT and Berkeley Lab Property Management used BigFix in the Lab’s Wall-to-Wall inventory campaign to certify the existence of a DOE tagged asset. Any DOE-barcoded system running BigFix and present on the LBL network can be automatically verified for inventory purposes, without the barcode being scanned. This saves property reps and staff time normally spent digging through closets and desk drawers for missing laptops. There are currently over 3500 DOE assets accounted for in BigFix. Manual scanning of barcodes has become a thing of the past.
During the pilot it was discovered that there are many systems in BigFix whose serial numbers do not match any records in Sunflower. Some of these were the result of data entry errors, but there are still some computers that have serial numbers which are unable to reconcile with Sunflower. As a result, Berkeley Lab IT will begin an on-going campaign to request help from users to tag their systems by providing the DOE number.
Users logged into affected computers will see one of the following windows:
Does the computer have a DOE number?
Specify Yes or No
If "Yes", go to Step 2.
If "No", We Thank You!
If "Cancel", window closes.
Enter the DOE number and verify before clicking “Submit” or “OK”
We Thank You!
If you need help installing BigFix, enter a help ticket by clicking on the Request Help link below.
Additional Help Resources
Do you use LaTeX to edit your professional documents? Would you like to easily and quickly collaboratively write and publish online? The solution is Overleaf (https://www.overleaf.com/org/lbl/). Overleaf provides a collaborative LaTeX editing environment with real-time interpretation of scripting supporting rapid editing.
Online collaboration in Rich Text or LaTeX editing. Easily switch between either mode.
Real-time collaboration in your browser for sharing and editing projects with authorized users. You can remove collaborators at any time.
Real-time preview of projects to review your document while editing and writing - type on the left and see your finished document on the right.
Integrated, streamlined publishing allows you to publish immediately and directly to the journal of your choice with an integrated submission system to dozens of publishing partners.
A Teaching Toolkit which allows you to quickly and easily create assignments on Overleaf to send out to students; these assignments can then be completed online on Overleaf and submitted back to you with a single click for marking and review.
The IT Division is providing Overleaf for FREE, get your Overleaf account today!
Berkeley Lab Overleaf Portal - https://www.overleaf.com/org/lbl/
Official Overleaf website - https://www.overleaf.com/
Overleaf Video Tutorial - https://www.overleaf.com/tutorial
Free online LaTeX introductory course - https://www.overleaf.com/latex/learn/free-online-introduction-to-latex-part-1
Overleaf Templates - https://www.overleaf.com/org/lbl/#!templates
Overleaf FAQ & Help - https://www.overleaf.com/org/lbl/#!help
As reported back in February on IT Spotlight, Apple is actively warning users that running a 32-bit application will be phased out in the macOS release of 10.14 (see 32-bit Applications Being Phased Out for Next Major Release of macOS). At this time Apple is previewing macOS 10.14 at their developers conference in June 2018, but a release date is unknown at this time.
What is Paperpile?
Can’t keep track of all your papers and reference materials. Compiling bibliographies driving you nuts? Use Paperpile, a citation management tool integrated with the Google apps ecosystem. The IT Division has recently acquired Paperpile and is providing it FREE to all Lab employees. What you can do with Paperpile:
Easily organize your papers, folders, PDFs in Google Drive and automatic insertion of citations within Google Docs
Search your library quickly by keyword, author, journal, publication year and more from any device, at any time, from anywhere
Gather accurate metadata, abstracts and PDFs with one click
Import and export of citations from BibTex, RIS, Zotero, and Mendeley, and Endnote
Search and import across Google Scholar, PubMed, ArXiv from within Paperpile
Easy generation of LaTeX Citations
Save supplementary files in any format
Annotate PDFs with those important ideas and share them with your colleagues
Collaboration citation folders and citation sharing
Citations can be exported for use in Endnote
Where do I get Paperpile?
Paperpile is a web-based application and is licensed for all LBL users.
To get started,
Go to https://paperpile.com/
Click "Sign In"
Click "Sign in with Google"
Sign in with your Berkeley Lab Identity credentials
Note that Paperpile currently only supports Chrome browser.
What is a browser cache?
A browser uses a local cache (pronounced “cash”) to store copies of recently accessed website information to quickly display data to a user at a later time. Having pages and images cached prevents the browser from having to re-download content, which can greatly increase the speed at which pages are loaded.
Why should you periodically clear the cache?
Sometimes browser performance seems sluggish because the cache gets large and bloated. Websites can also behave erratically if the content on the server has changed from that in the cached copy. This can result in page loading errors, performance issues, and in some cases, security issues. For example, a recent change to the login page for the Lab’s FMS was resolved by clearing the cache.
Clearing your cache is like rebooting your computer. This is usually the first step to diagnosing a browser issue with a website. Next time you visit a website, your browser will download and cache the latest data.
How to clear my cache?
For more instructions on how to clear your browser cache, please see FAQ article Clearing Browser Cache.
The IT User Support Group now offers an easy and convenient way to order a computer, new or repurpose (used, hardware at no charge). We provide the lowest-cost, and highest-quality services available, based on standardized hardware and software configurations, automated management systems, and years of expertise. We provide the following services for all new and re-purposed workstation requests:
- Help selecting the ideal computer for your work and budget
- Procurement of hardware and accessories
- Enrolling computers in our management systems
- Pre-configuring computers with Berkeley Lab recommended software and settings
- Delivery, installation, and configuration based on customer needs
Support labor costs are $100/hr. Labor is not charged to Operations staff, as part of the Operations Desktop Support program.
To order your computer now, see the Request a Computer FAQ.
Microsoft has entirely changed their approach to updating Windows 10. Now they are releasing major builds twice a year which are much larger downloads that require longer install times with a REBOOT.
Each build will have an end of lifecycle and will cease to be supported as defined by their End of Service date, see IT Spotlight article, Windows 10 Lifecycle and the Need To Update Regularly (https://commons.lbl.gov/display/itfaq/2018/03/01/Windows+10+Lifecycle+and+the+Need+to+Update+Your+System+Regularly).
Users should know that they must regularly commit to updating their Windows 10 operating system or risk cyber threat and/or block, not to mention further increased time to update your system. Falling behind on updates could take several hours to upgrade your system resulting in loss of productivity. The more frequent the update and REBOOT, the less downtime.
To update your Windows 10 system:
Select Start button
Select Update & Security
Select Windows Update
Select Check Updates and update your system if there are updates
Note: There are optional settings in the Advanced Settings section where you can set download and reboot options to meet your workload.
Don’t forget that you should always backup your system before updating. Berkeley Lab IT provides Druva inSync for this purpose (https://software.lbl.gov/swSoftwareDetails.php?applicationID=184).
Friendly reminder it is always wise to reboot your computer at least once a week to ensure the health of your computer.
Apple announced last year that they are beginning to phase out support for 32-bit applications for macOS. Beginning in January 2018, the Mac app store will no longer accept any 32-bit apps. Starting with macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, Apple will begin warning users about installed applications that are 32-bit, but will continue to run them without problems.
Apple has not yet announced the release date of macOS 10.14, or when Mac users will no longer be able to run 32-bit applications.
It is recommended that all users review their current software, and begin working with vendors to determine whether 64-bit support will be added, and whether you should budget now for an upgrade.
To check if an application is 32-bit or 64-bit do the following:
Type “Command ⌘ + Space bar”, or click the magnifying glass in the menu bar, to launch Spotlight
Type in System Information and hit Enter when it shows up
Scroll down to the Software section in System Information
Click Applications and wait for your applications to load
The column to the far right in the Applications table will give you a simple, "Yes" or "No" answer as to whether or not your app is 64-bit
As for Windows users, Microsoft has not announced any plans to deprecate 32-bit support for Windows, but users should begin to review Windows applications also.
We’ve all heard the stories about major data breaches at some of the largest online businesses. 3 billion Yahoo customers had their usernames and passwords compromised leaving those users vulnerable to hackers. Target was breached in 2013, exposing the information of 41 million customers.
A strong password is no longer enough to protect you and your data. Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) provides a second layer of security beyond your username and password. Think of it this way: your username and password are “something you know.” MFA requires both “something you know” and “something you have.” At Berkeley Lab, the “something you have” is a physical token that will generate a unique one-time password (OTP). Under MFA, a hacker who has your credentials still can’t access your account, because they lack “the something you have.”
Berkeley Lab has implemented MFA protection for your Berkeley Lab Identity. As a computing best practice and to help protect you against credential theft, you can choose to add MFA protection for your Single-Sign-On (SSO) logins, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Team Drive, LETS, HRIS, etc.
To adopt MFA for your account, follow these simple steps:
Update your Notification Information at https://password.lbl.gov
Set up Google Authenticator
Get a YubiKey token by either
submitting a ticket to firstname.lastname@example.org
attending an IT workshop in your area
Enable MFA by checking “Opt-in to MFA” at https://identity.lbl.gov/mfa/
Detailed instructions are available in the Multi Factor Authentication Instructions page.
For additional help, create a ticket by emailing email@example.com.
Do you want to:
Increase your computer security, and reduce the effort needed to keep it that way?
Inventory and report potential computer software and hardware issues?
Help find and track your computer assets?
BigFix can help! In fact, Berkeley Lab IT has BigFix deployed on over 4000 Windows, Mac and Linux systems across the Lab. We recommend that all employees install BigFix on all desktop and laptop systems at the Lab. To get started now, install BigFix from software.lbl.gov.
The single most important thing you can do to protect your system is to keep the operating system and all applications up to date with the latest patches. Hackers target computer running obsolete operating systems and applications, which have well-known and easily-attacked vulnerabilities. For example, if you are running an older web browser, email program, image viewer, instant messaging, or even media player, your system is susceptible to infection with no action on your part other than viewing a malicious site. By installing BigFix, you can be sure that your system will always be running the latest version of the operating system and the most commonly compromised applications. For more information, see https://commons.lbl.gov/display/itfaq/Patch+Management+Services.
BigFix is also used to detect and report on common issues with your system, including low disk space, vulnerable programs, and even failing hard drives. IT User Support can then proactively help you address these problems before disaster strikes! For example,
In October 2017, the popular system utility CCleaner was hacked, and malware was embedded into the newest updates. We were able to identify who had CCleaner installed, notify users of the vulnerability, and help them clean up their systems. For details, see https://commons.lbl.gov/display/itfaq/2017/10/12/CCleaner+Hacked.
In October 2017 Microsoft released a Windows patch that could cause a computer to fail boot. IT User Support was able to identify these systems, and worked with the users to ensure that reboots were done in a way that wouldn’t impact their work.
BigFix is also being used in the Lab’s current Wall-to-Wall inventory campaign! Any DOE-barcoded system running BigFix and on the LBL network can be automatically checked in to SunFlower, saving your property rep from having to manually scan the barcode. This pilot program is currently under development by the IT and CFO divisions.
For these and many other reasons, we encourage you to install BigFix on your computer systems. BigFix is available from software.lbl.gov.
If you want further information regarding BigFix or need help installing BigFix, enter a help ticket by clicking on the Request Help link below.
Some CCleaner installers were found to have third party malware embedded. Though CCleaner fixed their installers quickly, some of users downloaded and unknowingly installed malware. A project in IT User Support was initiated to identify these systems and notify users that their computers could be compromised. We requested removal of the software and a complete Sophos scan to be run to confirm removal of the infected software. We are continuing to monitor systems for potential threat using BigFix.
IT User Support advised staff to do the following:
Please note as a part of this investigation, we discovered that the free version of CCleaner cannot legally be installed on Laboratory computers. The IT User Support will be issuing a BigFix offer to remove this software at user convenience. If you don't have BigFix installed on your system please see our IT Software Download Page at https://software.lbl.gov/.
This project was possible because IT identified affected systems with BigFix. To get BigFix for your computer, please visit software.lbl.gov.
As of October 16, 2017, Adobe will no longer be supporting and providing security patches for Acrobat 11 and all previous versions. If a security vulnerability is identified after October 16, 2017, Cybersecurity may block you from our network unless you do one of two things:
Option 1: Upgrade to Adobe Acrobat DC
Adobe has now moved to a cloud based subscription model of Adobe Acrobat, called Adobe Acrobat DC. The current cost for Adobe Acrobat DC from the Lab’s software site is $160.00 per year. This is an annual subscription with the potential to increase between 3 to 5 % annually.
There is no direct upgrade path from older versions of Adobe Acrobat to Adobe Acrobat DC. Adobe Acrobat DC can be obtained from our Lab’s software download site, https://software.lbl.gov/swSoftwareDetails.php?applicationID=1. As a reminder, all Adobe products should be purchased through the Lab’s software download site.
Option 2: Use an alternative PDF reader/document signing tool
CutePDF is available for free on software.lbl.gov to support PDF generation. For users who use Adobe Acrobat as a signature tool, HelloSign is a free alternative solution to Lab employees. Windows 10 and Mac users can generate PDFs using the built-in print to PDF function. If you wish to obtain further information regarding PDF generation or HelloSign, please submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.