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    Monday, August 31, 2009

    Re: Antivirus on systems connected to the WVLS WAN

    Computer Antivirus usage and policies can be a touchy issue. For perspective I look to its counterpart in the realm of human health and physiology: vaccination.

    Many of you may be aware of the ongoing debate over pros and cons of infant and child vaccination. Some people say "Vaccination is good because of this or that", some people say "Vaccination is bad because of that or this", and in the background is one or more levels of government, mandating vaccinations for various reasons based on some mystical (probably not but I like that word) collection of information and statistics and history. The government agencies are looking at the communities, regions, states, countries that they are responsible for and doing their best to answer the question, "what is the best comprehensive solution that we can implement and enforce, to protect as many people as possible?" I won't turn this into a debate forum on that subject but the correlation is referred to provide a basis for understanding my perspective on antivirus. I'm kind of like that [insert level here] government agency.

    Almost every debate has at least two sides ... think about that ... chuckle ... OK I'll continue. And almost every side of a really timeless debate has solid examples of why that side is "right". I've heard almost every concern there is about antivirus from both sides over the past 12 years, I've advocated on both sides of the debate depending on my role at the time, and I still don't know what's "right". There is an important aspect of my new role at WVLS which I will continually be trying to direct attention to, and that is protecting our "community" as a whole; a community of WAN members who all share access to a common resource and likewise, all share a common susceptibility to PC and network traversing threats. I will be keeping that perspective in mind as long as I sit in the "hot" seat of Network Admin.

    That said, a community is made up of individuals, and each individual experiences the benefits and drawbacks of membership in different ways. I am always hoping to learn about the impacts of any "community" level project that are perceived by even a single individual as negative. We're brought up to believe that one can't please everyone. That may be true, but I refuse to let it be simply for lack of effort. I will do my best to help mitigate the negative experiences in every project, starting with the ARRoW - Antivirus Really Required on WAN (No one said I had to be good at naming things) - initiative I will be proposing soon. I've gotten some good feedback and am working on understanding the causes of the reported speed issues along with some potential solutions.

    Bottom line: Antivirus and Antimalware in general are important tools on today's connected networks. The reasons they exist, people who create viruses for fun or profit, are only getting more prolific and more clever (word wants me to use ‘cleverer’ but I refuse). A requirement for antivirus to be active on all computers exposed to the WVLS WAN will be coming down the pipes, and I'd like to hear your ideas on the matter.

    PLA "Turning the Page" Workshop Registration

    Reminder: Registration for the Oct. 6-7 "Turning the Page" PLA workshop is due by Sept. 16. Registering ASAP will help Bob determine the need for reserving a bus or two.

    That said, I actually went to the registration website and right off the bat was slightly confused. After declogging the Monday Morning from my brain I attacked it head on. The following is a step by step for completing the registration online.

    1. Go to the website:

    2. The orange bar across the top is a menu. Click on [Symposium Registration] to move to the next page.

    3. Enter the code { 34561 } in the available text box then click the unmarked "Proceed to Register \ Re-Enter" link button.

    4. Once again the bar across the top is a menu. Click on either [Registration] or click the "For First Time Visitors, Register First!" link.

    5. You will find yourself on a registration page with a rather lengthy form to complete. It's fairly straightforward but just remember that on this site the term "library system" refers to indivual libraries.

    6. I'm not sure how much of the form is required as there are no indications of required fields (possibly all fields are). However, make sure to check this box before you click the submit button. It might be worth reading the note too? =)

    7. Please read the "Please Read!" notes. There is probably some important info in there.

    So, I copied the important parts of the "Please Read" section in case someone forgets what it says, or forgets to read it ...

    ~ Please print this email (that you received after registration) and bring it with you to the Turning the Page conference. Finally, a hotel reservation will be made in your name at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis for up to 2 nights. Check in is on Monday, October 5th, 2009. Check out is on Wednesday, October 7th, 2009. You do not need to make a hotel reservation. Please contact PLA if you have a special need regarding your hotel room.

    If you have questions or difficulty submitting the registration form, please call 800.545.2433, extension 5039 ~

    Friday, August 28, 2009

    Hello and Welcome!

    Greetings and salutations,

    Some people call me The Good Doctor, yeah, some call me the gangster of love ...

    Hello! I am the network administrator for Wisconsin Valley Library Service, or simply WVLS. I'm starting this Blog as part of my personal goal to maintain a high level of acccessability to those whom I and WVLS provide services.

    In just 4.5 short days I've already come to love the light and jovial nature that seems to pervade the libraries and systems throughout Wisconsin. I hope to incorporate a bit of my own laid back and happy-go-lucky personality into the overall experience my new collegues will receive from me.

    One of the hardest choices I've had to make this week was a real doozie (spelling?). For those of you who Blog you'll probably understand this. What do I name my Blog? How do I sign my posts? Where do I sign up? What if no one likes me? Should I Tweet instead? Should I Tweet as well? Should I Facebook? What did I get myself into? Is there life on other planets? If Max Plank was run over by a carriage as a young boy would Einstein have revolutionized Physics with his Theories on Relativity?

    My mind is a weaving and wandering tangle of tangents and digressions.

    I chose Adventures in Underland, an obvious play on the title of one of my favorite books. I thought it appropriately reflected the nature of our WVLS offices down in the "basement" of the Marathon County Public Library in Wausau. As to my identity, who did I want to be? For this I went back to an old nick name that was given to me back in the fifth grade. To this day I'm not sure if the name was originally intended to be degrading or endearing (as it was assigned by one of my cousins), but over the years I never let it have any negative power over me. I took it and made it my own identy for use on the web. The name I chose "The Good Doctor" is only a vague reference to the original nick name, but it is a reminder to me that I should continue to search for the positive aspects and opportunities presented in any situation.

    I look forward to serving and sincerely hope that my sense of humor is not too dry.

    P.S. - I am NOT a doctor.