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Mail server is now down

The spam filter software upgrade has begun.


Mail server downtime starting at 7am on Wednesday March 6, 2013

The departmental mail server will be unavailable starting at 7am on Wednesday (March 6, 2013) morning for an update to the spam filter software.  We expect that it will be back by 9am and will post status updates here if there are changes.


MATLAB sessions on Tuesday Feb 26, 2013

A complimentary MATLAB sessions for educators, academic researchers and students at the University of Toronto has been scheduled.

Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Location: Bissell Building, Room 250 (BL 250)
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

>>Register Now

The event features two technical sessions presented by a MathWorks engineer:

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Session 1: An Introduction to Data Analysis and Visualization with MATLAB
Learn to use MATLAB for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numerical computation.
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.: Session 2: Optimizing and Accelerating Your MATLAB Code
Learn simple ways to optimize and parallelize your MATLAB code to reduce the execution time of computationally intensive MATLAB applications.

View the complete session descriptions and register at mathworks.com/seminars/UTor2013.

Software updates at 4:15pm on Wednesday November 28, 2012

We hope that the update described below will also fix the kdm display manager problem that is causing problems with the “red coxeter login window” not properly being restarted after people logout from some graphical terminals (in offices or BA6200, for example).

The departmental servers coxeter, sphere, and the mail, web, and blog/wiki servers will have software updates applied this Wednesday afternoon, November 28, 2012 which will require rebooting (most servers will be unavailable starting at 4:15pm).  Since some updates will be applied while the servers are still up there may be some temporary issues with some software. We hope that any such issues will be minor and by doing most of the upgrading before bringing systems down the shorter downtime will be worth the potential minor problems. Please restart any programs if you observe problems during the upgrades (and please let us know at requests@math.toronto.edu, so we can investigate). We expect the systems to be back up by 5:00pm.

Problem with kdm (graphical login manager)

Currently there is a problem with kdm which means that graphical logins to coxeter from machines in offices and BA6200, for example, is not working.  We are investigating the problem and may have to reboot later today.

matlab options

Using matlab on sphere with the “-nodesktop” option allows for command line access to matlab, but plots will still display.  This avoids using the large GUI that can be very slow, especially when accessing matlab remotely.

More about Antivirus products at the University

It seems that the University’s antivirus webpage has already changed.  Now they are recommending that Windows users use Immunet from Sourcefire on machines that are owned by the University but which are not part of the Microsoft Campus agreement (there is a separate charge for that).

If you prefer not to use a cloud-based solution then the Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection 2012 mentioned in the previous blog entry is a relatively inexpensive solution.

It is possible to get a Microsoft Campus Agreement (software) license for approximately $70/year which includes an antivirus product from them if you prefer.  Please send an email to requests@math.toronto.edu for more information.

Linux users do not need to install antivirus software, since that platform is very seldom compromised that way.

UofT drops support of Symantec Antivirus product

The University of Toronto’s subscription to Symantec Endpoint Protection has expired and will not be renewed (so the software engine will stop being upgraded, eventually  leaving machines vulnerable).  Please see http://antivirus.utoronto.ca/ for more  information from the people at the Licensed Software Office (there are links for Antivirus for Students and Antivirus for Faculty & Staff).

On personally owned computers running Windows it is simplest to download Microsoft Security Essentials from Microsoft, uninstall the Symantec software, and then install the Security Essentials.

On other computers there is a some free software that they recommend, or you can  purchase Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection 2012 which can be purchased through UShop.  The cost is $3.25 per user/device per 12 month period.  It has been  placed under the following category:

Software > Microsoft > Microsoft Servers > System Center Endpoint Protection (Forefront)

It also should be installed after removing the Symantec software.

For Apple OSX computers they recommend downloading the free ClamXav anti-virus software.

coxeter updates for thunderbird and firefox at 4:15pm on Wednesday March 7, 2012

The departmental server coxeter will have software updates for firefox, thunderbird, and flash-plugin applied this afternoon (Wednesday, March 7, 2012) at 4:15pm which will require that those processes be terminated and unavailable for about 10 minutes while they are updated.

More extensive software updates (requiring reboots) on all our systems, will be applied next week.

The updated thunderbird has tabs (similar to firefox) and a somewhat different look on the toolbar at the top of the window.  If you wish to have the “original Toolbar buttons” that will be more familiar to you then you need to select the menu:

Help -> Migration Assistant


1) click on the “Next” button

2) do NOT change the settings on this page (there is not enough diskspace on coxeter to “Synchronize” your folders); simply click the “Next” button again

3) on this page select “Keep your original Toolbar buttons” (as you choose between that selection and “Message Buttons Toolbar” options your thunderbird window will change and you can choose the display you prefer); then click the “Close” button

matlab license updated

The license for matlab on sphere has been updated and is good for another year.