Tuesday, September 25, 2007

iWeb Workshop!!

This Friday, September 28, from noon - 1pm, we will be holding a free workshop on how to use Apple's iWeb software, which is available in the Digital Media Lab, and comes free with every Macintosh computer.

iWeb makes it easy to create a website that’s stunningly beautiful — and totally you. Start with an Apple-designed theme, then customize it with your own text, photos, movies, and podcasts until it’s exactly what you want. And switch themes with a click anytime.

Apple's own Mike Wolk will be teaching the workshop in the Seminar Room in the Weigle Information Commons. Walk-ins are welcome and no registration is necessary! See you this Friday!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Acetate Connection

Scrrraaaaattttcchhhhhhh! That's the sound of car keys on the scanner. If you're scanning anything other than books, magazines, or other paper products, please be extra careful with the scanner. Ask the lab consultant on duty for a piece of clear acetate (ok, technically it's "Dura-lar, the acetate alternative") to put down under the items you're scanning--like car keys, candy, paper clips, your hands and face, pens and pencils, iPods, scissors, staplers, and so forth--so we can keep the scanner glass clean and scratch-free.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sheet Feeder Broken

Alas, the sheet feeder on our scanner is broken. kaput. dead. gone. 6 feet under. This is an ex-sheet feeder. (or maybe it's just pining for the fjords.) When you try to use it, either it doesn't feed the paper, or it actually chews the paper up. We've tried everything but have finally given up. The manufacturer's website (I still can't believe this) actually recommends hitting the scanner to fix this problem. And we did hit it. Several times, in fact, before we even knew we were supposed to. :) Anyhoo...

The flatbed part of the scanner still works fine. We're working on replacing the sheet feeder functionality with a dedicated sheet-fed scanner, which will hopefully be much faster than the one we've had all along.

Update: Thanks to Pat Heller for the following information:
Wharton Reprographics will do scanning for you

Basement of Steinberg Dietrich
3620 Locust Walk
Suite 400

$7.00 per ¼ hr. labor fee

Thursday, September 13, 2007

iMovie tip

All you guys with your own Mac laptops and desktops: remember that iMovie comes free on every Mac, so you can capture your footage here in the lab and then transfer it to your own computer. That way you can work on it whenever you want, without having to worry about walking all the way to the library, or whether the lab is full when you need to edit your movie.

If you have a laptop, just bring it in and we can help you capture video footage directly to your computer, or we can transfer it to your computer with our portable hard drive. For those of you with desktop machines, you'll need a hard drive of your own to take your footage back to your dorm room.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Lab Closings Page

We've added a new webpage that lists all scheduled lab closings, such as when we offer open workshops to the general Penn public, or we close when a class needs to use the lab. We're hoping this helps people avoid coming to the lab only to be disappointed when they find it's closed for a class. Since we add workshops in an ongoing way during the semester, the page is somewhat dynamic and may not always be totally completely 100% up-to-date, but I promise we'll do our best. You can find the page here:


and linked from the sidebar on the right side of the blog you're reading.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Storm Worm virus alert

Given the popular nature of downloading free music and movies, we just wanted to pass along the following security alert from the University's Information Security Officer regarding the Storm Worm virus:

Today the Storm worm switched to new bait that might prove irresistible for some segments of campus.

The worm arrives in your email inbox as spam, warning that the RIAA is tracking you if you download free movies or music. You are pointed to a link to download Tor, a popular anonymous internet routing implementation. But if you follow the instructions, you infect your machine with the Storm worm. Your machine is then drafted into a network of hacked machines used to crash popular websites and carry out identity theft attacks. Other versions of the scam send the Storm worm as an email attachment rather than send you to the web.

Other Storm worm bait that has hooked victims include: -Bogus email warning that your face is all over YouTube. If you click on the purported YouTube link, you're asked to first install a video codec (which, in truth, is the Storm worm).

-Bogus email informing you that an account has been created for a free music/movie service. The email includes an account name and a password and instructs you to log on, but first you need to install a (bogus) media player. Same result: Storm worm infection.

-Bogus email forged to look like it's from Amazon (or EBay, or PayPal, or many large banks) warning you that you have unpaid fees (or that your purchase is (in)complete, or that your information is out of date). If you click on the bogus link and follow the instructions: Storm worm.

-Bogus email announcing that you have an electronic greeting card. Same result as above.

-Bogus email with news announcing "Chinese (or Russian) missile (or satellite) shot down by Russian (or Chinese) satellite (or missile)"

-Bogus email announcing "Saddam Hussein (or Fidel Castro) is alive (or dead)."

All the usual advice applies:

Be wary of unsolicited email asking you to click on links or to install software. If you think it might be legitimate, type the URL into your browser rather than click on the link. Or check it out by calling the organization using a phone number from a service like switchboard.com.

Electronic greeting cards are highly suspect these days. If you don't recognize the sender, hit "delete". (If it's a secret admirer, don't worry, they'll eventually find you.)

Be wary of email with links to outlandish news stories. If you get email claiming that Jimmy Hoffa's body was uncovered by a road crew on I-95 below the Commodore Berry, don't click on the link. Instead, point your browser at your favorite news site.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Shortened Hours This Week

Welcome back! The lab will have shortened hours this week while we hire new lab consultants and gear up for the semester. This week only, our hours will be

Tuesday-Friday, September 4-7: 10am - 6pm
Saturday, Sunday, September 8,9: Noon - 6pm

We hope to be back to our regular hours starting next week! Stay Tuned!