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IT Trends for Thursday, March 4, 2004

Thursday, March 04, 2004

In This Issue


Terry Calhoun, IT Trends Commentator
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
University of Michigan

HTML or PDF? Why Are We Asking This Question?

Speaking of his desire to publish more documents on his university’ s Web site in HTML instead of PDF, a university Webmaster who shall remain anonymous recently posted this on the UWEBD discussion list recently: “There are a lot of things I’d love to do with the school’s Web site if it weren’t for my job getting in the way.” There is a lot of wisdom on that sarcastic statement.

Whether to publish documents online in PDF or in HTML is a great conversation starter at parties with lots of geeks present. Passion fills the air, and tempers flare. But I think it’s only a temporary issue, dependent on the particular stage of Web evolution we are currently at, and that it is a question that will be going away in the next decade. Formerly an HTML fanatic, at the moment, I am a big fan of publishing in PDF. I guess if I were running for president, the current administration would be able to accuse me of waffling.
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SunGard Picks Up Collegis in Acquisition Drive

SunGard Data Systems announced it is acquiring higher-ed software firm Collegis. The sale follows SunGard's acquisition in December of SCT Corp., a major vendor of administrative software and services to colleges. Combined with the purchases of Bi-Tech Software in 1995 and BSR in 1999, analysts say SunGard will have a significant portion of its revenue come from colleges and universities.

SunGard is a conglomerate based in Pennsylvania that sells primarily financial software and technology services for different industries. SunGard's Higher Education and Public Sector Systems will oversee Collegis, which is based in Florida. Collegis has more than 100 university clients, and provides services to more than 500 campuses.

They're now becoming a major player in higher education," said Michael Zastrocky, vice president for academic strategies at Gartner Inc., a technology-consulting firm. "We wouldn't be surprised to see them acquire more higher education ventures."

Ten Universities to Study e-Procurement Benchmarks

Ten leading higher education institutions launched Innovator’s Circle, a project to aggregate and report on trends in their e-procurement implementations. SciQuest will work with The Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies (CAPS Research) to validate these procurement studies. This announcement was made at Next Level, SciQuest’s forum for the higher education purchasing community.

Participating institutions include University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, University of New Mexico, University of Nevada, Reno, Arizona State University, University of Michigan, McGill University, Indiana University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Arizona. Future findings will be presented in a series of outcome reports and case studies that will be distributed throughout 2004 and 2005. These reports will be available at and

Monash U. Invests $2M to Track and Bill Internet Usage

As convergent technologies demand more bandwidth, Monash wants the ability to track it in detail and to bill for it as needed.
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Today's PCs Only "Rough Drafts,” says Gates

Speaking before MIT undergrads, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said recently that what we use now is primitive stuff and the next ten years will see improvements in portability, screen resolution, nifty software applications, and that reading will move onto the screen . . . for real!
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This CAVE is Technology-High, Not Deep Underground

High-tech CAVEs are entering the art world on many campuses, as automated virtual environments become practical for use by studio arts majors, and others.
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U. Virginia Profs Using More Info Tech in Teaching

It's hard, now, for students at Virginia to imagine a time before hyperlinks to additional information, Flash presentations, and posted slide shows and syllabi.
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What D'es Being Fully Connected Feel Like at University in India?

In this article, the reader is transported from the days of long distance trunk calls to modern times, a journey that seems to have covered a little more ground in India than in the United States.
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Horror Stories From the Library Equipment Checkout Desk

AT the University of Alaska, Fairbanks - due to bad experiences -students who return equipment that is damaged are now billed for replacement cost, not for repair.
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Glitch Constellation Releases Student ID Numbers at Indiana

Less than 100 student IDs, similar to social security numbers, were released, but the problem convinces administrators that their ongoing move to use a different identity system is a wise one.
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High Tech Causing Security Envy Among Art Students

Music students not only have new, high tech classrooms with features like the ability to digitally alter room settings and acoustics, but room-specific access via smart cards. Art students, who can only use their facilities when human security is present, are not pleased.
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At Delaware Virus Protection is Simple as Rebooting

"[E]very time an on-campus computer is rebooted and every time an off-campus computer senses an Internet connection" the University of Delaware's McAfee anti-virus software steps in.
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Ambiance at University of Hawaii Diminished by Noisy IMers

There is in fact some dissonance between the sounds of online chat and the content of what may be going on. Some find it as annoying as the little car horn beeps that reassure timid people their car is really remotely locked.
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Technology Solutions to Plagiarism Abound

From individual professors using Google searches to implementation of high-end plagiarism-fighting tools like Turniton, constant vigilance seems to be a new responsibility for faculty.
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Journey to Manage Software Agreements For Universities

Education Marketing (, which markets of academic software, was picked by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) to manage its major software agreements with Adobe, Macromedia, and Microsoft for the organization's 82 member schools.

Stanford Business School Using Verity Ultraseek

Stanford’s Graduate School of Business is using Verity Ultraseek, a downloadable enterprise search engine for use on its external and internal Web sites. The decision to use Verity was made after an extensive evaluation process, said Verity. Key factors in the decision process included ease of implementation and deployment, as well as out-of-the-box performance. "At the initial stage of the selection process, we wanted to see how the various products measured up,” said Lisa Chan, metadata services manager for the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “Verity offered a trial version of its Ultraseek search engine via a download. We found it could be used out-of-the-box immediately and performed very well."

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Tut Intros LAN Extension for Connecting Campus Networks

Tut Systems introduced two local area network (LAN) extension products for connecting networks across corporate and educational campuses. The company said its XL5050 and XL1010 demonstrate significant improvements in speed and distance connecting networks over existing copper telephone lines when compared to existing products. Both products operate as a transparent bridge, making either ideal for extending campus and enterprise applications including video streaming; video conferencing; and transmission of large data files.

TargetX Updates College E-Mail Broadcasting Tool

E-mail recruiting specialist TargetX unveiled eXpress 7.0, the latest version of its Web-based broadcasting system. eXpress is an e-mail technology for colleges and universities using large-scale e-mail to attract and recruit students. Enhancements provide greater campaign intelligence, detailed activity reports on individual recipients, an improved viral marketing capability, greater control over test and seed groups, customized confirmations of opt-in and opt-out requests, and greater flexibility to save and retrieve messages and graphics.

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