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ITS will be implementing Windows XP changes that will affect some of the icons that users see on the computer desktop and lift some restrictions that students have had when using college-owned computers.

The desktop changes are being made in order to make it easier and more intuitive for users to access their files on the Novell servers. The change affecting students is being made to meet the needs of faculty working with students, and offices which employ students. All changes will occur automatically during the Novell login process sometime towards the end of the week of August 9. On the day that the changes occur a pop-up Wordpad document will appear (right after the Novell login) explaining what is happening and what the changes are:

  • The "My Documents " folder icon will be replaced with a large red "N" (for Novell) icon which will be labeled "My Novell Folder (G)". The icon is being changed to make it easier to identify, but its functionality -- a shortcut that points to the Novell home directory (personal folder) of the logged in user -- will be exactly the same.

  • The "My (local) Documents" icon will be replaced with a "My Documents" icon. Again, only the name is changing. This icon will retain its same functionality as a shortcut that points to the My Documents folder on the local hard drive.

  • The "Main" folder will no longer open automatically upon startup, but the icon for it will remain on the desktop for quick access to items in the Main folder.

  • Students will now have the ability to save files locally to the computer they are logged into (except for lab computers). Previously, once students logged out of a computer, any files that they may have saved were automatically deleted. Such files will now remain until manually removed.

ITS also wants to make everyone aware of some security considerations related to Windows XP computers. By default, all faculty and staff have "administrator" privileges when logging into a Windows XP computer. These privileges allow a faculty or staff member to log into any Windows XP computer and gain access to any files that are stored on the local hard drive. (This condition also exists for Windows 98 and prior systems, as well as all Mac computers on our campus). It is important to note that some students may also have administrator rights if their campus employer has requested a higher level of computer access for them.

While ITS encourages everyone to store their important and sensitive files on the college file servers because of the inherent security of these servers, there are options for password protecting your computer system in order to safeguard any files that you choose to store on the local hard drive.

Please visit Windows XP Changes & Security Information for more information about these changes, including the option to have your computer password protected.

ITS Helpdesk, 4-3282

Contributed by Wendy Pearle

Windows XP Desktop and Security Changes | 0 Comments |
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