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Computing & Information Services Newsletter
News From METU-CC

Software Application and Seminar
Meeting with Departmental Computer Coordinators
Changing of Weak Passwords in the University
TT-Net Internet Connection Capacity

Marc-Patran Software Application and Seminar that are given between May 17th-18th, 2001

Within the scope of its Licensed Software Service, Middle East Technical University Computer Center invites companies throughout the year to give seminars and perform applications about the software offered for use in the university and therefore aims

  • to enhance the recognition of the licensed software which are offered for use in the university and extend the use of these software,
  • to bring together the software companies and the user community of METU for the purpose of introducing the latest developments about licensed software that are offered for use in the university,
  • to provide an environment for users where they can directly get answers from the companies about the features of the software,
  • to get feedback from our users.

The introduction seminars for licensed software that are offered for use in the university on different days are announced in;

These announcements should be checked frequently in order to be able to participate in the seminars given throughout the year.

BIAS company is invited between May 17th-18th, 2001 and seminars/applications are carried out about MSC. Marc and MSC. Patran software, which are included in the licensed software of the university. On the first day of the seminars (May 17th , 2001), MSC. Marc and MSC. Patran software are introduced by the company and the questions of our users are answered. On the second day of the seminars (May 18th , 2001), the company has given a seminar including applications about MSC. Marc and MSC. Patran software. Moreover, the company helped users about the models they have created and tried to find answers to their problems. The software administrator of Computer Center has made a presentation giving information about METU CC Licensed Software Service before each seminar/application on both days.

At the end of the seminars, a questionnaire is distributed to the participators to receive their opinions about the seminars/applications. These questionnaires are evaluated for the purpose of making the software service better in the future.

The result of the evaluation showed that 15 of 19 participators have answered the questionnaire. It is found out that most of the participators who answered the questionnaire are Research Assistants and Graduate students of,

  • Mechanical Engineering Dept.,
  • Metallurgical and Metarials Engineering Dept.,
  • Civil Engineering Dept.,


It is also found out that the software, about which seminars are given, are mostly used for academic studies and University/departmental projects.

The participators have indicated in the questionnaire that they are informed about the software that are among the software service of METU Computer Center through

  • CC web pages about Software
  • Peer talk
  • List announcements

When asked about which point from 1 to 5 they would use to rate the organization of seminars/applications, the participators generally rated the organization as "good(4)".

Meeting with Departmental Computer Coordinators

Within the scope of tasks carried out by Computer Center, the campus network is checked and scanned with the purpose of detecting possible insecurities and vulnerablities on campus computers.

The official document dated as May 17th, 2001 announces to the departments/units the following web address, which gives information about the insecure areas they may have on the system.


This address can be viewed only by the Computer Coordinators of the departments/units. The Coordinators are reminded via e-mail as well to take necessary precautions against these insecurities.

It is also decided that Departmental Computer Coordinators should meet on May 24th, 2001 at Cultural Convention Center Meeting Room D.

83 people from 52 departments/units have participated in the meeting that is held on May 24th, 2001. Ayla Altun, the head of Computer Center, made the opening speech and the number of people attending the meeting showed that the departments/units of the University are sensitive to the security issue of information resources. The following topics were discussed as agenda items of the meeting:

  • University Information Infrastructure
  • Security
    • Significance of Security
    • Results of the Security Check
    • Measures
  • Questions/Comments/Suggestions

CC Network Group (NG) Administrator Emre Sezginer, Technical Support Group (TSG) Administrator Çağrı Çöltekin and TSG System Administrator Çağlar Bilir have spoken in the meeting.

After some informative speeches are delivered, the meeting continued with questions and answers of departmental coordinators. At the end of the meeting, it is decided that a more extensive communication between CC and Coordinators should be established not only about the issue of security but also about the issues discussed in the meeting such as information resources.

Changing of Weak Passwords in the University

As it is indicated in the article about the meeting of Departmental Computer Coordinators, the efforts of Computer Center about the security of information services comprise the security of "User Codes". A similar scanning operation next to that of Campus Backbone network is carried out on the Central Servers that are maintained by CC. As a result of this operation, "weak" passswords (passwords that can easily be guessed) of our university members (academic/administrative personnel and students) are detected. Two different methods have been carried out for the weak password problems of our members:

For our personnel, an official document dated as May 11th, 2001 is sent to the departments and units of the university with a list of the "insecure" passwords of the personnel. This document requests the personnel to change their passwords with more secure ones until May 17th, 2001. For this purpose, a document about "suggestions on how to choose user code passwords" is made available on the following address,


The passwords of the personnel that have not been changed until the deadline are automatically changed on May 22nd, 2001 and sent to the department/unit secretaries. Approximately 760 inescure passwords of our personnel have been changed as a result of this password operation.

For our students, an automatic password change have been carried out on May 22nd, 2001. Approximately 3,200 passwords have been changed. This operation on passwords have been announced to our users via;

an official document that is sent to departments on May 22nd, 2001 including posters about the operation,
messages inserted on the fields available at the start of sessions on cenrtal servers like orca, rorqual, beluga,
informative pages on WWW


on the following page, our students and personnel, whose passwords are automatically changed, can search the information about where they will obtain their password envelopes,


The password envelopes of our students are classified with regard to the departments. These envelopes are delivered in the following PC Rooms to the students who give evidence of their student IDs,

CC Physics,
CC Industrial Eng.,
CC Civil Eng.,
CC Mechanical Eng.,

A total of 1975 password envelopes have been delivered up until now. A total of remaining 1243 passwords should be obtained by the students as soon as possible.

It is a must for our students to obtain their password envelopes, for they will have to use it for 2001-2002 Fall Semester Registrations.

TT-Net Internet Connection Capacity

To meet the increasing off-campus network access demands, the capacity of the Wide Area Network connection between TTNET and our University has been increased from 8Mbps to 16Mbps on April 16th, 2001. You can view the status and statistics of this connection and other off campus network accesses from the following web address;


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