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					        i n fo r m at i o n SER VICES
                                                                edinburgh bits
                                                                       August 2006 Volume 16 Issue 12

Power Management rolls out to the labs
 As indicated in the February issue of BITs, Desktop
 Services has successfully rolled out a campus-wide
 power management scheme to all the PCs in the open-                                Power Management rolls out to     1
                                                                                    the open-access computing labs
 access labs. The College of Medicine and Veterinary
 Medicine will be able to use the same scheme in its                                SuperJANET5 imminent              1
 Student Labs by the start of the next academic session.
                                                                                    LapLAN                            2
   Power management on individual PCs is quite easy to set up, but deploying
                                                                                        Differences in LapLAN2
 it to large numbers of PCs in a controlled manner has taken time to develop.
   Through a combination of logon scripts, scheduled tasks and utilities, lab       New UK demographic data           2
 computers that have been idle for a set time period (currently configured to        WebCT Vista update                2
 be 45 minutes) will automatically enter ‘Standby’ mode. Users only need to
                                                                                    The Lecture 2.0                   3
 press a key or move the mouse to reactive the login screen. Standby mode
 uses considerably less power than normal operation, but still allows EUCS to       Film & Sound Online               3
 maintain and update PCs with antivirus definitions and security updates at
                                                                                    PDP and e-Portfolios              3
 set times during the night using configurable scheduled tasks.
   It is anticipated that, following successful trials in the open-access labs,     Learner Driver recalled           3
 this technology can be extended to Computing Officers in Information
                                                                                    Some meetings                     4
 Services and Schools as part of a range of utilities developed by Desktop
                                                                                        The HEA Centre for Information
 Services to assist in the management of the Supported Desktop. This would              and Computer Sciences 7th
 allow them to apply this power-saving technology based on agreed policies              Annual Conference
 within their School or College.                                                        Dimensions of e-learning
                                                        Vladimir Zirojevic (EUCS)       Pedagogic Research
SuperJANET5 imminent                                                                    Supporting Online Learning
 SuperJANET is the UK academic               Appleton Tower to Glasgow. The             The Semantic Web
 communications network, through             proposed configuration is shown             Learning on Screen
 which the University network EdLAN          at
                                                                                    e-Science MSc                     4
 achieves its external connections,          eastman0310.htm
 and it is about to evolve to                  One of the key aspirations of        Fortran is 49½                    4
 provide new services and even               these developments is to have
 higher bandwidth. This will be the          alternative routes to the Internet,
 fifth generation of SuperJANET:              to ensure service continuity and
 SuperJANET5. EdLAN and EaStMAN              availability in the event of serious
 hardware and software have been             failure of EaStMAN or SuperJANET
 upgraded over the past few months           circuits at any one core site.
 in anticipation of SuperJANET5                As well as being more resilient,
 features and services.                      SuperJANET5 enables reserved-
   The switchover to SuperJANET5 is          bandwidth channels to be set up
 scheduled for 3rd October (though           between research groups. Several
 this might change). After the               projects in the University are
 switchover, the metropolitan area           already using or preparing to use
 network EaStMAN (through which              this, through the UKlight network
 EdLAN is connected to SuperJANET)           – which is being incorporated into
 will have its single SuperJANET4            SuperJANET5; see
 1Gbps connection replaced by two  
 2.5Gbps connections. One of these             For more information please see
 will connect The King’s Buildings 
 to Leeds, the other will link                              George Howat (EUCS)

                                                                                                                     page 1
                      edinburgh bits
                                                                                 C&IT news from Information Services

 LapLAN                                          New UK demographic and income data
  The original LapLAN service was                 The Census Dissemination Unit (CDU) at MIMAS, based at the
  introduced to allow users to connect            University of Manchester, has released a 2005 update of an Experian
  their laptops to EdLAN. At the time             geodemographic dataset for academic use. The dataset includes the
  very few laptops had built-in ethernet          Median Household Income, and is supplied for super output areas (SOAs)
  interfaces, let alone wireless interfaces       in raw ASCII format for the entire UK.
  – but these are now common, and it has            The dataset has three main components:
  become important to make LapLAN easier          • Mosaic UK household classification
  to use and more easily scaled up to                Classification of all 24 million UK households into 11 socio-
  accommodate increasing demand.                     demographic groups, 61 types and 243 segments.
    Laptop users can now access EdLAN             • Median Household Income
  through one of the University’s many               Using data from a number of surveys, including MORI’s Financial
  Wireless Access Points. People who need            Tracking Survey, models have been developed to predict personal
  the higher bandwidth and reliability of a          income for a number of standard employment types. These are
  wired connection can use LapLAN2. A pilot          accumulated to create household income based on the composition
  LapLAN2 service has been running since             of the household.
  September 2005, with various ethernet           • Population Projections
  ports marked as LapLAN2 and offering two           Experian has produced contemporary estimates, as well as five-
  modes of authentication.                           year and ten-year projections, of resident populations split by
    The old LapLAN service will close on             gender and age.
  15th August, and its 11 ports converted         For further information please visit
  to LapLAN2. The procedures for using the        Alternatively contact the Data Library (email , tel 511431
  new service are straightforward.                or 503304).
    Instructions on how to use LapLAN2                                                       Stuart Macdonald (Data Library)
  are provided at
  uk/nsd/access/laplan2.html                     WebCT Vista update
    All users who have registered for             The MALTS e-learning team is continuing work on the upgrade to WebCT
  LapLAN using IDMS will be informed by           Vista to ensure all the necessary systems are in place before the start
  email of the change, and posters will be        of term. The timetable for roll-out of Vista functionality is available
  displayed next to existing LapLAN ports.        (and regularly updated) at
    The locations of LapLAN ports are             upgrade/timetable.phtml
  shown at             Student access to WebCT Vista will start on 28th August, on which
  student/laplan.html                             date the MyEd WebCT channel will switch from its current default of CE4
  Differences in LapLAN2                          to Vista, and all users – students and staff – will access Vista through
  With LapLAN2 – in contrast to LapLAN – it       that route. An option to log into Campus Edition will be provided on the
  is the user rather than the computer that       myWebCT page in Vista.
  is registered and authenticated. Anyone           We are continuing to provide ‘Vista Fundamentals’ workshops for
  who has already registered to use the           staff planning to build and maintain courses in WebCT Vista. There are
  VPN/Wireless service is already registered      workshops on 21st, 23rd and 30th August and 8th September. Details of
  to use the LapLAN2 service, and should          these and how to book a place on them are at
  use the same UUN and password as they 
  do for VPN or Wireless. Anyone who is             We are happy to discuss departmental workshops for groups of staff.
  not already registered but is registered        Contact if you wish to discuss this option.
  with EASE can register for all three EdLAN        We are also making a range of resource materials available for staff:
  access services using the VPN / Wireless /      training documentation, factsheets and FAQs. These are being edited and
  LapLAN2 registration page at http://www.        added to as we develop our understanding of this new system and staff           requirements for using it. Please check these web pages regularly for the
    There is no requirement to use the web        latest information and updates:
  cache with LapLAN2.                     
                             Bill Byers (EUCS)                                                      Wilma Alexander (MALTS)

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                                                                                   edinburgh bits

The Lecture 2.0                           Film & Sound Online                      PDP and e-Portfolios
 The central theme of the recent           From the start of the new academic        The University has decided to license
 DIVERSE international conference          session, the Education Media OnLine       the WebCT Portfolio tool – now
 (Developing Innovative Video              service (EMOL) will become Film &         known as Blackboard Portfolio – to
 Resources for Students Everywhere)        Sound Online. EDINA is updating the       support work being done on PDP and
 was not an all-out attack on the          look-and-feel of its user interface,      e-Portfolio development throughout
 tradition that is the university          and adding important functionality        the University. This tool can be used
 lecture (well, maybe it was from          – such as classifying all content         independently of WebCT Vista, but
 some delegates) – but the majority        through the UNESCO thesaurus              can also be closely integrated with it.
 were there to discuss the ‘hows           for ease of browsing. For further           A number of pilot projects using
 and whys’ of using technologies,          information, contact the EDINA            the tool will be running throughout
 streaming media for example, to           Helpdesk (email          2006–2007, across different subject
 enhance and capture the lecture             EDINA is currently commissioning        areas and levels of study. For
 event.                                    authors to create thematic film            more information about e-portfolio
   The ‘hows’ of course could easily       trails using Film & Sound Online          developments at the University see
 have dominated discussions, but           materials. A fee of £500 is offered
 the bigger question of ‘why’ almost       for each completed film trail. For         eportfolio/
 always took over proceedings              details see                      Wilma Alexander (MALTS)
 – leaving delegates with more             makefilmtrails.html
 questions than answers.                     The Culverhouse Classical Music       Learner Driver recalled
   ‘iLectures’ – the electronic capture    Collection has been added to Film &       The ‘Learner Driver’ conference was
 and delivery of lectures over the         Sound Online. This comprises over         held at Heriot-Watt on 31st May, and
 web – means many different things         50 hours of downloadable, copyright-      included keynote presentations by
 to many people, from a simple audio       free classical music, and some            Bill Harvey of the Scottish Funding
 recording of the live lecture and         associated scores, from the 17th to       Council on ‘transforming learning
 perhaps delivery of the audio file         the 20th centuries, including works       in Scotland,’ Carol Twigg of New
 to the ubiquitous iPod or similar         by Bach, Beethoven, Dvorak, Handel,       York’s National Council for Academic
 personal MP3 player, all the way          Haydn, Liszt and Mozart, and less-        Transformation with ‘a transatlantic
 through to attempting to capture          celebrated pieces by composers such       perspective,’ and John Stone, Chief
 the ‘look, feel and smell’ of the         as Granados, Litolff and Warlock.         Executive of the Learning and Skills
 lecture theatre environment and             As with existing EMOL collections,      Network, on ‘putting into practice a
 all the presentation systems used         users are permitted to use Culver-        learner-centred vision’.
 within – that is, recording the audio     house material in VLEs or on disc,          These three presentations are now
 and video of the lecturer and the         relieving pressure on hard-pressed        available on the Web, at http://www.
 audience, and synchronising this to       libraries and allowing staff and
 the output from the data projector,       students to produce customised CDs.         Dr Twigg’s presentation was
 chalkboards and visualiser etc., with       A unique feature within EMOL of         about the American experience
 the aim to provide a near replica.        this collection is that manipulation      of enhancing courses with C&IT,
   Oh, and of course this has to be        of downloaded music and scores            and included such comments
 done with zero-extra-effort for the       is allowed. Users are permitted           from academics as “It’s the best
 lecturer.                                 to repurpose the files, including          experience I’ve ever had in a
   Further information about               stretching or compressing the music,      classroom,” “It’s a lot of work during
 DIVERSE is at                             looping user-defined sections and          the transition – but it’s worth it,”         altering the pitch, as well as using      and “The quality of my worklife
   MALTS and EUCS are currently            any future software developments.         has changed immeasurably for the
 investigating these areas and if            The files can also be used to            better.” There is more on the theme
 you have any questions – or indeed        accompany film clips, although             of improving learning and lowering
 answers – please get in touch (email      permission should be obtained from        cost at                     the film-owners beforehand.                                     Caroline Porteous
             Andy Pryde (MALTS & EUCS)                         Rick Loup (EDINA)           (JISC Regional Support Centres)

                                                                                                                       page 3
                       edinburgh bits
                                                                                 C&IT news from Information Services

 Some meetings                                                                      Fortran is 49½
  The HEA Centre for Information and Computer Sciences 7th Annual                     In 1954 a team at IBM led by John
  Conference, 29–31 August 2006, Trinity College, Dublin                              Backus began working on the first
  Key topics for this year’s conference include Emerging Technologies, Virtual        high level programming language,
  Learning and Teaching, Evaluating teaching methods, Impact of technology            FORTRAN, which was announced
  on the curriculum, Collaborative Learning, Multimedia/Interactive Learning,         to the computing world at the
  Managing Change, and several others. Further information is available at            Western Joint Computer Conference                     held in Los Angeles, California, in
  Social dimensions of e-learning                                                     February 1957. In mid-April 1957
  The Higher Education Academy is organising three meetings in its ‘Supporting        the first documented delivery of the
  Sustainable e-Learning Forum’ programme for 2006. The first is at Edinburgh          FORTRAN compiler, for the IBM 704,
  University on 4th September. ‘Formal and informal learning: Bridging                took place to Westinghouse-Bettis.
  the gap’ is an ALT-C pre-conference meeting, led by two internationally-               2007 marks the 50th anniversary
  renowned experts on technology-supported learning. (The other meetings              of these landmark events as well
  in the programme are at Leicester on 20th October, and Manchester on 8th            as the BCS’s own 50th anniversary.
  December.) There are full details at           The BCS Fortran Specialist Group
  Pedagogic Research and Academic Identities                                          and the Computer Conservation
  The 1st International iPED Conference, iPED 2006, will be held on                   Society have organised a meeting to
  11–12 September at Coventry University TechnoCentre, to bring together              commemorate this major milestone
  researchers, practitioners and policy makers to explore the themes of               in the history of computing and
  Pedagogic Research and Academic Identities. There will be keynote talks, a          information technology. Details can
  programme of workshops, posters and presentations. The details are provided         be found at http://www.fortran.bcs.
  at                           org/2007/jubileeprog.php
  Supporting Online Learning: an interactive day                                         (EUCS still runs a Fortran course!)
  The details for this event in Westminster, London on 12th September are at                             John Blair-Fish (EUCS)
  The Present and Future Semantic Web                                                E DINBURGH BIT S
  Web Futures and the Labgroup day is a one-day Round Table event at which           Editor:
  participants from commercial and research backgrounds will examine how far           Nick Stroud, Computing Services.
                                                                                     Published by:
  along the visionary path of the Semantic Web we have travelled. It takes place
                                                                                       Information Services
  on 13th September at the Hewlett Packard Labs, Bristol. The details are at           The University of Edinburgh                                    Contributions:
  Learning on Screen                                                                   Telephone: 0131 650 3345
  The British Universities Film & Video Council’s annual ‘Learning on Screen’        Distribution queries:
                                                                                        BITs is distributed through School offices;
  conference is on 19–20 September at the Old Library in the Custard Factory            secretaries please notify changes in
  in Birmingham’s revolutionary new arts and media quarter in its regeneration          requirements to Carla Zaccardelli:
  zone. The details are at                         Telephone: 0131 650 4999
                                                         Wilma Alexander (MALTS)     Printed by:
 e-Science MSc                                                                          University of Edinburgh Printing Services
  Places and funding are currently available for the e-Science MSc/Diploma           BITs on the Web:
  programme at the University of Edinburgh for 2006–2007.                        
                                                                                     BITs RSS feed:
    The e-Science MSc programme is a collaboration between the Schools of
  Physics and Informatics, in conjunction with the National e-Science Centre,        Some acronyms explained:
  and aims to provide students with a grounding in e-Science and experience of  
  working with e-Science and Grid Computing technologies. Students can design
                                                                                     NB: if you fail to access a URL shown in BITs,
  a curriculum tailored to their individual interests.                               please email
    Applicants need proven expertise in a programming language, otherwise
                                                                                     Contributions to BITs are welcomed.
  entrance requirements are very broad. Further details are available at
                                                                                           Copy deadline for September BITs:
                                                           Robert Mann (Physics)              F r i day 1 1 th A u g u s t

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