December 11, 2008

Lost Internet Connections & Saving Files (Macs)

Hello everyone,

As you may or may not already know, we've been experiencing connection problems with the Macs recently. One of our Circulation students (Amy) wrote a post for our Circ blog about it, and I thought I'd pass it along:

"So as most of us know, the Mac computers will sometimes lose internet connection and have to be restarted to get it back. However, when the Mac computers are restarted, all information saved on the desktop will be lost. To get around this, patrons can save their work to the "macuser" folder on the desktop.

So when patrons ask how to get internet back, it would be a good idea to ask patrons if they have anything saved on the computer before we tell them to restart it, as they will lose their work.

[Update] Another possible solution is to turn on the AirPort on the Mac Unit in the upper right hand corner. The icon resembles an empty quarter circle. It may take a few minutes for the internet to be available again, but this avoids restarting the unit."


Posted by biomedref at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2008

Ref-B is now "off-campus"

Peter has just informed me that due to some proxy wizardry, the Ref-B computer should now be mimicking off-campus access. Please let him know if you discover any reason to believe this is not the case.


Posted by biomedref at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2008

Mac's and Web Browsers

I have noticed that neither Ovid Medline nor RefWorks works very well if you use Firefox as your web browser on the new Macs that have been recently installed on the second floor. I recommend that you use Safari as your web browser instead. I found that I did not encounter the kinds of problems in Safari that I did in Firefox. I have talked to Peter Weinhold and Steve Irons about this problem and Steve is planning on changing the default browser on the Macs to Safari.

Del Reed

Posted by biomedref at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2007

Help Desk Coverage, 11/2


IT staff is a bit short today, so there will be a period for time, from 9:00-10:30 where we won't have the benefit their expertise in-house.


Posted by biomedref at 08:23 AM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2007

SciFinder Scholar and Leopard

A repost from the Science Librarians list, in case you're not on it.........

As a result of a question from a user in Medicinal Chemistry, I recently found out that SciFinder Scholar 2007 will not work with Leopard (Mac OS 10.5). Their software support people say that the only current solution is to run SciFinder 2007 or SciFinder Scholar 2007 using OS X 10.4 or 10.3.

Please share this with your SciFinder Scholar users. I will be putting a note up on the download page. Let me know if you have questions.


Meghan Lafferty
Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Librarian
Science & Engineering Library
University of Minnesota
108 Walter Library
Minneapolis MN 55455
Tel.: 612-624-9399
FAX: 612-625-5583
IM (AIM, GTalk, MSN, Y!): umchemlib

Posted by biomedref at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2007

Ovid Problems

In addition to the Ovid problem reported earlier yesterday with recovering the previous search, there may also be a problem with running saved searches. An off-campus patron called the reference desk late yesterday afternoon to report that when she ran a saved search, she got wonky results (some search terms retrieved zero results that previously retrieved lots). It was a multi-file search, so I don't know if that had anything to do with it.
I suggested that she wait until this morning, try it again and let us know if she encounters further problems. It was a multi-file search, so I don't know if that had anything to do with it. I also requested that she send us screen shots to further clarify the problem.

I also talked to Katherine about this, who suggested that it might be useful for patrons to report such problems directly to Ovid in addition to reporting them to us. That way, Ovid will be be made directly aware of the issues. Their email address is


Posted by biomedref at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2007

Public Computer Desk Info


As the demise of the 2nd floor computer help desk was official as of last week, here's an overview of what to expect as the semester starts up in a couple of weeks:


We will have students available for the majority of the day. They will be housed in 203A, and can be reached at 4-5989. Others who will be available will be Chacko 4-9921 (Room 281), Peter (6-4185), and sometimes Steve
(4-9921). We will put out a schedule of who to contact first, but generally the student/server room number will be the initial contact point. Pagers may be an option in the future, but because of poor signal availability at times
we're going a more direct contact method and measure the results. I'm sure you'll let us know if we're not responding quickly enough, but we'd like to get to you in five minutes or less, unless otherwise occupied. We expect to have two students as part of the IT support staff, in addition to the usual FTE suspects. They will also be helping with staff IT support, so we'll juggle priorities and communicate accordingly.

If not an urgent support issue, you can always use the help desk ticketing system, or please leave a voice-mail and we will get back to you soon.

Class/Patron Support:
There are no real changes. When classes are scheduled in the pit, we will still do the prep and clear out the patrons 15-30 minutes before the scheduled start. We will also make sure the Ovid training mode will be turned on as well when necessary. Also as before, if patrons need assistance, we'll be there.

Public computing requests/management:
Hopefully very soon, we will be rolling out a more automated way of imaging/updating our computers. This potentially means having the ability to add individual programs as well as entire computer images via the network. We have been considering restarting some sort of version of the PAC to stimulate input and ideas, but we'll leave that discussion for a later time.

The bottom line is other than location, not THAT much has changed. IT staff will generally be available throughout the day. However this IS a pilot, so feel free to grace my doorway and tell me what you like and don't like...about the pilot, I mean. My quirks are off-limits, I'm afraid.

Schedule up until Labor Day:
Chacko 4-9921 (Room 281 - 8:15 - 4:30 pm)
Matt 4-5989 (Server Room - 10 am to 4:30 pm)
Peter 6-4185

We'll come out with a schedule for the semester soon.


Posted by biomedref at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2007

Pidgin/Gaim settings on ref-b

Hi all,

When Pidgin/Gaim (our IM client) is up and running on ref-b, it seems that changing the login from ref-b to your personal login settings tends to wipe out the Pidgin account information.

So, while the IM pilot is running, please do not logout as ref-b and login with your personal setting. At least until we figure out why this would happen.

Sorry for the inconvenience...any questions...ask Lisa or Martha

Posted by biomedref at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2007

Installing Beilstein on Macs

For those who may not have gotten this email from Meghan Lafferty, and for those who did and think it might someday come in handy but want to delete the email, here is a message about issues with Beilstein on Intel Macs (with special reference to the AHC):

Hello science librarians,

I know that if you get any questions about Beilstein, you'll probably send them to me as fast as you can. However, I wanted to let you know about a Beilstein problem that has come up recently.

I have recently been in contact with an IT person from the Academic Health Center (AHC) who was trying to help some users in Pharmacy. They have recently gotten Intel Macs. The only Mac version available for the Beilstein client, CrossFire Commander, requires the computers to operate in Classic mode which is not possible with the Intel Macs. Some people at other institutions have found work-arounds by installing Windows on their Macs and installing the PC version. The AHC does not allow anyone to install Windows on Intel Macs. If they find it, they will reformat the computers.

There is a web-based interface called DiscoveryGate that allows access to Beilstein and Gmelin (and a host of other databases, many pharma-related). It seems that moving to that is our best option right now. Many other schools are being pushed in the same direction (contact me directly if you really want details about why so many have been slow to move to the web client).

If AHC users with Intel Macs contact you about trouble installing CrossFire Commander (the Beilstein client), let them know that it is not an option on those machines currently. I am investigating what we need to do to make that switch so that everyone who needs Beilstein or Gmelin has access. I don't know how long it might take to migrate to DiscoveryGate.


Meghan Lafferty
Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Librarian
Science & Engineering Library
University of Minnesota
108 Walter Library
Minneapolis MN 55455
Tel.: 612-624-9399

Posted by biomedref at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2005

Ref-B Power Supply

Looks like the powersupply for Ref-B and Blue3 is interfering with network
connectivity. When you boot up the machine each morning please restart (not
shutdown and start)the machine to restore network connectivity; rebooting
the machine this way always fixes the problem and so should suffice till we
have Martin here to swap the PS. Questions on this please let us know.

Please inform others about this problem as well.



Posted by biomedref at 10:37 AM | Comments (6)

November 09, 2004

ILLiad ordering

ILLiad has gone live for ILL borrowing! You may get questions from patrons about this. They can submit requests directly from our Web pages. If they use Find It, they can use the option that is listed for health sciences patrons (Shane added this yesterday to avoid problems with people registering with Wilson when they are actually our patrons). So, if anyone asks and they are in the health sciences, please ask them to use the correct link so the requests will come to Bio-Med.

Thanks! Any questions, ask Randy or Karla.

Posted by biomedref at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2004

Bio-Med mail web server

Below is a note from Dan regarding a problem with the Library's mail web server due to an over-grown log file. This has had an impact on users logging into Ovid for the first time - they would see an error message saying "Out of IDs for TC x500. This log file may also have affected sent e-mail and our web forms from Sunday, 7/18 to earlier today. Please note that lost e-mail cannot be recovered.



It appears, from external phenomena that only came to light today,
that biomed10 (our main webserver) started having disk space issues on
its /var partition at approximately 1:00pm Sunday. This caused the
following problems:

1. Updates to Ovid's ID databases stopped. This caused 'out of IDs'
errors for first-time Ovid users (not a common commodity during the
summer). I am pursuing this problem with Ovid and expect to have it
fixed by EOD.
2. Outgoing mail loss. Any application that sends mail (such as
webmail forms, including document delivery and BIS research
requests) experienced mail loss during this period. Mails sent
during this period cannot be recovered.

The exact cause was a runaway log file, the 'ssl_engine_log', which
had grown to 1.3GB before it was caught. This log is unnecessary and
shouldn't have been enabled in the first place. I will turn off
writing to this file tonight.

I apologize for the interruption in service on these two fronts. I
have launched a short-term project to audit our webserver
configurations to make sure there aren't any other accidents waiting
to happen.



Posted by biomedref at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)