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Thursday, June 10, 2004

IT4BC summarized.

Ross Chevalier, Novell (Keynote 1):

-Executives understand three things: reduced cost, mitigated risk, increased profit

-Cost control drives IT [but what about the Barry Leinbach idea of turning IT into a profit centre? -ed]

[notes on his PowerPoint presentation: Ross primarily uses graphs, not bullet points. The information density of the graphs is so-so at best, and at one point I think I caught him using a graph to support a point rather dubiously, but this seems like a good user of PPT over the usual bullet-point insanity]

[random thought on servers: low-end enterprises are storage constricted. High-end enterprises are more likely CPU-speed-constricted. Google is memory-size constricted.]

-The major reason browser-based services are successful and popular: users already understand the web browser (Ross' aging mother "gets" the web browser even though she doesn't own a computer).

Thus endeth the keynote notes

UCFV Spam Filtering and Blocking

-their e-mail is 90% spam, total volume ~500000/day

-went to gateway-based e-mail tagging (just like Douglas)

-Went Open Source due to cost; besides, the commercial products were all SpamAssassin-based.

-Used a Linux server, SpamAssassin, Postfix e-mail server (faster than sendmail), ClamAV anti-virus software

-Postfix acts as a mail "firewall" to various e-mail servers on campus (GroupWise, Exchange, etc.) Postfix is fast and modular.

-They use Amavisd-new as a gateway between Postfix and their spam and av filtering software.

-future plan: a web page for submitting e-mails for reclassification ("whitelisting" he said, but I don't think he meant it quite that way).

-RBLs do most of their e-mail blocking.

Thus endeth the moderately interesting SPAM session

I skipped the next session and harassed the vendors instead.

Steve Forrest, VCC, on "Futuregazing" five years into the future:

Colleges will be education aggregators (I made that phrase up) in the future, matching eager students anywhere to accredited, useful (get-you-hired) courses and instructors who might also be anywhere. Maybe even in another language? Hmm....

Campuses can't go away for various reasons (hard to sell, hard to let go, they act as stabilizing influences in the neighborhood, especially if you're VCC downtown and the neighborhood is the Downtown Eastside (or Douglas College and downtown New West...). What do we use them for now? Well, we can rent the labs. But that means fast provision of very short-term IDs and applications. Better change our technology to let us do that.

Oh yeah, and wireless everywhere, but you already knew that.

ITIL Frameworks:

I fell asleep during this presentation, but mused that road bicycle frame designers have a terrible problem: the design is already so optimized and constrained that there's precious little for a designer to to. Consider that the Specialized Tarmac Seems like a pretty big deal to most road bike riders; that's about as radical as bike frames get.

Dr. Nancy McKay of SFU, Keynote II: Get Jazzed Up!

-Accentuate the positive (5:1 vs. negative)

-Appreciative Inquiry again!

"Those who believe they can and those who believe they can't are right" -Henry Ford.

Okay, that's it for now. More sessions to attend.

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