In this Issue
New Facilities and Services

 

  Intranet Technology Impleamented on CWIS

 

  Central Unix Statistical Reports Available on the PolyU Intranet

 

  Now You Can Submit Your Application on the Web

 

  New Administrative Systems in Service

User Support and Education

 

  Updates on the Year 2000 Problem

 

  Towards Electronic communication and a Paperless Office

 

  Campus-wide Staff PC Upgrade Program

 

  Revised Rules for Student Computing Centre Users

 

  Special Opening Hours in the CF Wing Student Computing Centres (SCC)

 

  New Training Courses on Windows 95 Platform for staff

Network Updates

 

  Web Access Only Via the PolyU Proxy Server

 

  PolyU Internet Firewall

 

  Dial-In Modem Pool Now Upgraded to V.90 Standard

 

  Network Enhancement and Networked Classrooms

Hardware and Software Updates

 

  New Site Licence Arrangements for Richwin

 

  Workstation Laboratory Upgrade

 

  Reminder-Phasing Out of VAX/VMS and Open VMS

Coming onto The Campus

 

  PolyU Electronic Form Library Soon to be in Service under the CWIS

 

  PolyU Smart Card

 

  Video Conferencing


 

INTRANET TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTED ON CWIS

To provide different types of users with the PolyU information and facilities suited to their needs and activities, Intranet technology has been implemented on the PolyU Campus-wide Information System (CWIS) for more secured and effective information delivery. With the establishment of the PolyU Intranet, an authentication process is required for entering CWIS to exercise access control. For the three identified groups of users, Staff / Student, New Staff and Guest, different levels of access control are maintained and some information and / or facilities are only available to particular groups.

The screen below will appear after a user clicks on the "CWIS" option in the PolyU Homeage. If you are a staff member or student of the University, please choose the "Login" button and type in your Intranet account username and password pair to authenticate your identity. Your Intranet account username and password are the same as that of your Campus E-mail system account or PolyU Modem Bank Dial-up access account. For colleagues who have just joint the University and have not yet applied for an account, simply click the "New Staff" button. Authentication is not required for guest users.

 

 

CENTRAL UNIX STATISTICAL REPORTS AVAILABLE ON THE POLYU INTRANET

By browsing the ITS Intranet service page via the PolyU Home Page or the ITS Home Page, users can now access our on-line Unix system performance statistical reports which are updated every 10 minutes. Detailed steps are as follows:

Snapshots of browser screens:

 

 

NOW YOU CAN SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION ON THE WEB

To provide a user-friendly environment for staff and students to handle computer account- related matters around the clock, two new web-based applications have recently been developed and implemented under the CWIS.

 

Application of Computer Account by Full-time Staff

Launched in March 1998, the new application enables all full-time staff to apply for central computer accounts conveniently over the web and gain access to a wide range of computing facilities and services by following the simple procedure below:

 

Change of Computer Account Password on the Web

All staff and students can also change their central computer accounts password through the web using the "Change Computer Account Password" application. The procedure is as follows:

 

 

NEW ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEMS IN SERVICE

A number of new administrative systems, many of which being web-based, have been developed and implemented to facilitate efficient and cost-effective administrative procedures.

 

Web-based Admission Form

The Web-based Admission Form for Post-Graduate Programs is the first web-based application facility developed for AS. Launched in mid March, it serves as a pilot for facilitating the Post-Graduate Programs applicants to submit their applications via the Internet. Web-based application forms both from local and ovreseas applicants were received during the 4 weeks' application period.Further extension of the system to include other programs is under planning.

 

Web-based Admission Result Announcement

This new system aims at facilitating all program applicants to access their admission results over the Internet. It outlines the latest application status of applicants to programs offered by PolyU. Additional information including date/time/place for interview/test, whether the applicant is on the waiting list, is conditionally offered, or is offered a place programs offered by PolyU are also available.

 

Web-based Examination Result Announcement

This system will provide the subject grades and the overall result of a student for the current semester via the Internet.

 

Web-based Class Time Table Enquiry & Exam Time Table Enquiry

The facility has been developed and will be launched in mid June for facilitating credit-based students to make enquiry of their class time table and/or examination time table over the Internet.

 

Web-based Research Information System

The research information system now being used by RPSO will be extended to be available to other departments by June 1998. With this roll out, Faculty Deans, Department Heads and all project leaders can directly enquire information relating to their projects through the web and thus speeding up the sharing of information.

 

Oracle Financial System

The Oracle Financial package has been successfully implemented in March 1998 in the Finance Office and the general ledger, account payable and purchasing modules are now being used. By making use of this modern financial package, improvement on both productivity and effectiveness are expected. The package is planned for roll out to departments in May/June 1998 to allow departments to make on-line enquiry of their accounts balance, print financial statement and raise purchase requisitions. A series of training are being conducted to introduce the multiple functionalities of the system to departmental users.

 

One Line Budget System

The One Line Budget System is now being redeveloped with great enhancements on both functionality and user-friendliness. Planned to be implemented by end May 1998, the system aims at assisting departments to prepare and revise their spending plans for the coming triennium. The proposed spending plan could also be approved electronically via the system.

 

Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS)

Phase I of the IVRS has been successfully implemented for PO, SAO and PACE in the 1st quarter of 1998. Through this system, students, staff as well as the public can make enquiry and obtain information on the services offered by the 3 offices in an efficient and effective manner. Phase II of the system is now under planning to provide information of the forthcoming PolyU Smart Card and services of other offices.

 

 

UPDATES ON THE YEAR 2000 PROBLEM

 

PolyU Year 2000 Compliance Programme

After consolidating departments’ returns on the Y2K questionnaire distributed and following further study by ITS, a proposal for a PolyU Year 2000 Compliance Programme has been formulated, outlining the concrete strategy and an action plan to tackle the Y2K problem. A centrally co-ordinated approach is recommended to tackle Y2K in the University.

The proposal was supported by the Senior Management and ITS has been tasked to coordinate all matters relating to the Y2K issue, to enforce Y2K compliance in PolyU.

With the allocation of a small initial budget, the Y2K compliance programme for the University's central computer systems is now in full swing. Departments and end-users will also be given advice and guidance to help them identify and rectify Y2K problems in their own systems. Updated information resources on Y2K compliance are available from the PolyU Y2K webpage. A set of guidelines for Y2K compliance in departments are being prepared for distribution to the departmental Y2K representatives. Briefing sessions, seminars and demonstrations to test Y2K compliance etc. will be arranged. The PolyU Y2K Programme for departments will be launched full scale as soon as additional budget will be available. In the mean time, the "Year 2000 Tips" below regarding Y2K compliance for Microsoft products and the updated features in our Y2K webpage will be helpful:

 

Talk to Millie, the first Artificial Intelligence compiled Y2K resource knowledge base

 

Try asking Millie onY2K-related questions, have fun…

Try theY2K Information Store where you can find valuable information and solutions on…

 

  • Y2K Compliance Definition adopted by PolyU

 

 

The definition has been incorporated into all Purchase Orders, Requisition Orders and tender specifications to protect future purchases.

 

  • PC BIOS Problem

 

 

Please look at the recommended readings and download the testing software to test your PCs (hotline support and workshop will be arranged later)

More will be coming up!

 

Year 2000 Tips

As Microsoft products, both operating systems and application software are widely adopted by the PolyU community, extracts of the article below may offer you handy tips on how to ensure Y2K compliance of Microsoft products. The full article is at http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/Tip/Lord/lord9817.htm.

Extracts from

Microsoft's Year 2000 Problem and What You Should Do About it

-Jim Lord, "Westergaard Year 2000"-

 

So, what should you do? (Other than sitting at the curb waiting for the litigation wagon to come by so you can jump on board?).

First, upgrade, upgrade, and upgrade. Everything in sight. As soon as possible and as often as the new stuff becomes available.

Second, test your PC or MAC with a software tool designed for this purpose. Even if you bought the machine yesterday and even if the manufacturer is wearing out his bible swearing his machine is compliant. You can spend months with the experts on this subject and their expertise boils down to these two simple facts: You must test all desktop systems. Also, setting the clock ahead to December 31, 1999 doesn't prove a thing and could ruin your whole day along with a lot of your files.

Third, get really smart about how dates are used, especially in spreadsheets and databases. Read the small print on the Microsoft Y2K site especially for those products that are classified as COMPLIANT. You will quickly learn there that it is a monumentally simple thing to misuse these powerful products to make serious date-related errors.

Fourth, stop using two digit years.

Fifth, start converting the dates in your files to a four-digit year format. Warning! Make a copy first, then convert the dates in the copy and test it thoroughly. If the file is critical to your well being in any way, run the old and the new side by side for several months and compare the two results. If they match up for a long time then make the switch but still keep the old file just in case.

Sixth and most importantly, accept the fact that Microsoft, and all the other software vendors for that matter, are not responsible for your Year 2000 Problem. They just make tools. You are the user. It is up to you to understand those tools (even the ones with flaws) and use them in smart ways. The compliance of these products is not the important issue. Your ability to manage risk is what this crisis is all about. Understand your exposure and take the steps necessary to minimize or eliminate that risk.

 

Good Luck!

 

..and getting in the right knowledge and expertise." The manager

who thinks the problem will go away by ignoring it may find

himself up the creek sooner then expected.

 

 

 

TOWARDS ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION AND A PAPERLESS OFFICE


Campus-wide Implementation of GroupWise

As has long been expecting, the implementation of a new e-mail system - GroupWise - in PolyU is approaching completion, with the recent upgrading of staff PCs on campus. In order to fully capture the benefits of GroupWise and to move towards a paperless campus, the existing cc:Mail system which was first introduced many years' ago will be totally cut off from service effective 1 July 1998.

GroupWise is an advanced enterprise communication system with powerful and user-friendly functions. In addition to being a mail agent, this new messaging system offers calendering and workflow features including tracking message status, scheduling meetings and assigning tasks, managing documents, preparing electronic forms, creating phone books for automatic dialing, etc. GroupWise's "Web Access" feature provides an easy, convenient and window-based interface to the Internet, and enables remote Web access to the GroupWise account anywhere outside the campus, local and worldwide.

To assist staff in the change-over to the new system, regular training courses on GroupWise have been offered under ITS's monthly training schedule since January this year. The course schedules are available under the cc:Mail/GroupWise Electronic Bulletin Board and the ITS Homepage on the Web. Special arrangements on GroupWise training can also be made for individual departments. A "User Guide to GroupWise" is accessible electronically under the ITS Homepage. ITS training and support on GroupWise will continue until colleagues are fully conversant with the new system.

An electronic campus

The implementation of GroupWise will pave the way towards full scale electronic communication and a paperless, or at least a less paper office, which has been much advocated by the University and its management. A series of initiatives will be launched towards this goal. Electronic documents and 'electronic workflow' will be the major targets in a number of administrative offices, for which ITS will place top priority to support and implement. Appointments and meetings can be arranged electronically. A PolyU Electronic Form Library will soon be launched by phase under the CWIS, for users to retrieve forms on their desktops and ultimately to complete and submit them on the Web. It is expected that later this year, all central notices / administrative notes can be disseminated to colleagues and students via e-mail and webpages.

 

 

CAMPUS-WIDE STAFF PC UPGRADE PROGRAM

To provide the optimum PC configuration to enhance productivity, and to fully capture the benefits of new IT applications and functions to be adopted in the University, central funding has been made available to upgrade existing low-end staff PCs in departments to Pentium II systems. To provide more flexibility to suit varying needs, departments have also been offered the option to exchange some of Pentium II systems for P5/233 MMX notebooks, by topping up the cost difference from their departmental budgets.

This upgrade is in line with the technology trends in the industry and will enable the University and individual staff to make the best use of our campus IT infrastructure and the new technologies that are now available. Under ITS's coordination and with the support and assistance of Departmental CLOs & DLAs, the delivery and set-up of the Pentium II systems in departments are near completion. The P5 notebook PCs are also being delivered to the offices concerned.

 

 

REVISED RULES FOR STUDENT COMPUTING CENTRE USERS

In response to complaints from students and in view of increasing seriousness of "seat reservation" activities inside the Student Computing Centres (SCCs), especially during examination season, an additional regulation has been enforced under the "Rules for Student Computing Centre Users" as follows:

"Personal property should not be left unattended anywhere in the SCCs. Items left unattended on SCC desks are considered as a "reservation" of a computing place. Any such computing places may be taken up by other users. In case of dispute, the Director of ITS or his designated representative has absolute discretion in allocating seats to users concerned Unattended belongings may be removed by SCC staff. ITS will not be responsible for any loss or damage of personal property."

The new measure has the support of the Students' Union, and will help to prevent the abuse of computing resources by inconsiderate users.

 

 

 

SPECIAL OPENING HOURS IN THE CF WING STUDENT COMPUTING CENTRES (SCC)

To accommodate the high usage demand during the examination period, the CF Wing SCC has started to provide 24-hours service since 11 May till 19 June 1998 (11:30p.m.). The other 2 SCCs at ST Wing and P Core will continue to operate under the normal opening hours.

NEW TRAINING COURSES ON WINDOWS 95 PLATFORM FOR STAFF

In line with the campus-wide staff PC upgrade program which will replace all 386/486 PCs in departments with Pentium II systems with Windows 95 and Microsoft Office 97, a series of new training courses on Window 95 platform have been launched starting January 1998. The new courses include

  • Introduction to GroupWise
  • Excel 97 Bridging Course
  • Introduction to Excel 97
  • Introduction to Word 97
  • Introduction to Access 97

"Introduction to Powerpoint 97", "Excel 97 for Simple Analysis", "Home Page Production Using Frontpage 98" and more courses are under planning and would be introduced by phase after the hardware upgrade of our User Training Room scheduled in end of June.

 

Electronic copy of the "GroupWise User Guide" and the "RichWin User Guide" are available under the "User Services Section" of the ITS Homepage.

 

 

WEB ACCESS ONLY VIA THE POLYU PROXY SERVER

In line with the implementation of a Firewall on PolyU's Internet access in November last year, it was announced that Web access on Port 80 would be disabled and users were requested to enable the proxy service in Netscape for Web access. With the end of the grace period, Web access to the Internet via the PolyU dial-in modem pool would only be possible through the PolyU Proxy Servers starting from 16 March 1998. The two Netscape Proxy Servers under the administration of ITS are adequately configured for enhanced scalability and reliability to serve all the PolyU WWW users. They cache contents of Web sites under different Internet DNS domains.

How a Proxy Server Works

Proxy Server is a software package that provides high-performance caching for WWW browsers. It handles requests by the WWW browser (e.g. Netscape Navigator) for Web pages on the Internet. When a new page is requested, the data is downloaded through the Proxy Server and stored in the cache, i.e. the server's hard disk. This data is then updated when certain criteria (e.g. expiry of a timer) as determined by the administrator are met, or when a browser explicitly requests the Proxy Server to do so. Thus, the cache files are continuously kept up to date.

The updated data is then sent directly from the local server to the requesting computer. If the data is not available on the local server's cache or is outdated, it will be downloaded to both the requesting computer and the server, where it will be stored in the server's cache. The way a proxy server uses its cached data is as follows:

The benefits of Using Proxy Server

The major benefit of using Proxy Server software is the enhanced speed in browsing Web sites that have previously been accessed by users of a specific proxy server. This is especially true in educational environment, where people are either accessing certain Web sites repeatedly, or when a whole class of students is accessing the same Web site on separate computers at the same time. Access time for large files is significantly improved since server-to-server data transfer on the Internet is more efficient than server-to-PC data transfer. Even if a Web page is not cached, the access time will be virtually the same as normal.

Another benefit of using Proxy Server is that, since the Proxy Server caches frequently accessed data automatically and loads data from its source only when that source has been updated or has expired, it reduces network traffic and helps relieving bandwidth congestion at network bottlenecks.

Using Proxy Server is not a Hassle for End Users

The Netscape Navigator component of Netscape Communicator supports an Automatic Proxy Configuration (APC) feature, which makes the using of proxy network seamless and transparent to end users. Using APC, the ITS Proxy Server system administrator will write a single JavaScript telling each browser on the network how and when to use the available Proxy Servers, and can publish the script to a specified URL. Changing proxy configuration requires the administrator to edit this script only once and the Navigator will check the specified URL every time it is initialized.

Users only have to select Automatic Proxy Configuration and set the Configuration Location (URL) to "proxy.polyu.edu.hk:8181" in their Netscape Navigators to use the APC feature. Please refer to URL http://www.polyu.edu.hk/~tss/proxy.htm for detailed instruction. Any enquiries may also be directed to the ITS Helpdesk at extn. 5900.

 

POLYU INTERNET FIREWALL

The PolyU Internet Firewall system has been in service for several months. It protects the PolyU computer and network resources from being attacked or hacked by external untrusted hosts on the Internet, so as to enhance service availability and reliability. It has, in a recent case, deterred an attempt to attack the PolyU Campus Network, which may have otherwise caused serious disturbance or even damage to the computer and network services. The Internet Firewall system also helps to optimize resource utilization.

Different rules have been devised and implemented in the PolyU Internet Firewall system to provide the desired protection and control. The following tables lists the restrictions to the access of standard PolyU network services from the Internet and PolyU modem banks, and the restrictions to the access of standard Internet services from the PolyU.

Access to PolyU Network Services

 

From

PolyU Network Services

Restriction

1/

PolyU Internet modem bank

(29315600 & 27665901)

All Services

No restriction

2/

PolyU Campus-only modem bank

(29315700 & 29315800)

All Services

No restriction

3/

Asia Online modem bank

- exclusive for PolyU students /staff /alumni

World Wide Web (WWW)

No restriction

NEWSnet News (NEWS)

To registered PolyU hosts only

Telnet

No restriction

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

* From registered hosts to registered PolyU hosts only

Post Office Protocol (POP3)

No restriction

Gopher

No restriction

X Windows

No restriction

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

No restriction

Domain Name System (DNS)

No restriction

PolyU WWW Proxy

Not allowed

4/

All other service providers and external organizations

World Wide Web (WWW)

No restriction

NEWSnet News (NEWS)

To registered PolyU hosts only

Telnet

* From registered hosts to registered PolyU hosts only

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

* From registered hosts to registered PolyU hosts only

Post Office Protocol (POP3)

No restriction

Gopher

No restriction

X Windows

No restriction

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

No restriction

Domain Name System (DNS)

No restriction

PolyU WWW Proxy

Not allowed

* Users have to obtain endorsement from the Departmental Computer Liaison Officer (CLO), who will then inform ITS to relax the restriction. Online request form is available in the ITS Web site under ‘ITS Services’ (http://www.polyu.edu.hk/its/service.htm).

Access to Services on the Internet

 

From

Services on the Internet

Restriction

1/

Within the PolyU Campus Network & the PolyU Internet modem bank (29315600 & 27665901)

World Wide Web (WWW)

Through PolyU Proxy Servers only

Telnet

No restriction

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

No restriction

Post Office Protocol (POP3)

No restriction

Gopher

No restriction

X Windows

No restriction

IRC

No restriction

Real Audio

No restriction

ASIANUPDATE of HKStar

No restriction

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

No restriction

Domain Name System (DNS)

No restriction

News (NNTP)

No restriction

 

 

Network Time Protocol (NTP)

No restriction

White Page of HK Telecom

No restriction

2/

PolyU Campus-only modem bank (29315700 & 29315800)

All Services

Not allowed

 

 

DIAL-IN MODEM POOL NOW UPGRADED TO V.90 STANDARD

The PolyU dial-up lines with prime numbers 2931 5600, 2931 5700 and 2391 5800 have now been upgraded to ITU V.90 standard which is an universal compatible solution for 56K technology.

Before the standardization by the International Telecommunications Union (a committee of the United Nations) in February 1998, x2 and K56flex were two major standards employed by Internet Service Provider (ISP) worldwide for 56K access. This created compatibility problems as modems based on the different standards could not exchange data with each other. In the past, the PolyU dial-in modem pool adopted x2 technology and users would only be able to achieve the maximum connection speed should they be using US Robotics x2 compatible modems. As for users with K56flex modems, they would automatically be connected to run in V.34 operating mode which was limited to a maximum speed of 33.4K.

With the implementation of the new V.90 standard, the PolyU dial-up lines now supports both ITU V.90 and x2 technologies and users with modems complying to either standard would be able to enjoy the 56K connection speed. As for the existing clients of K56flex modem, they may approach their equipment vendors for information of any V.90 upgrade path, e.g. free firmware download, that might be available.

In addition, as the remote dial-up lines are always fully engaged during peak hours, ITS is going to install 46 additional lines in June for the prime numbers 2931 5700 and 2931 5800 for accessing the PolyU Web facilities. Another 46 lines would also be added before the start of the 1998/99 academic year for full Internet browsing via 2931 5600. ITS will keep monitoring the usage of the dial-up service to see if further enhancements are required.

 

 

NETWORK ENHANCEMENT AND NETWORKED CLASSROOMS

With the rapidly growing demand for Internet and network services, the old thin-wire Ethernet networks were unable to maintain the required performance and reliability. To enhance the network reliability and bandwidth, ITS has been upgrading the departmental network cables as well as the associated network gears since 1996, and extending the network coverage to lecture theatres and general teaching rooms. It is targeted that the replacement of all old thin-wire Ethernet networks with Ethernet and Fast Ethernet using structured UTP wiring will be completed by the beginning of the 98/99 academic year. So far, all the lecture theatres and more than 90 classrooms have been provided with network outlets that allow lecturers to connect their laptops/PCs to retrieve teaching materials from the Internet or file servers for class teaching.

 

 

NEW SITE LICENCE ARRANGEMENTS FOR RICHWIN

With a view to catering for colleague’s Chinese computing needs while at the same time minimizing the necessity for PC reconfiguration, campus site license arrangement for the RichWin software has been arranged by ITS to enable user departments to purchase the software at a low price.

RichWin is a Chinese Enabler software which allows the reading, writing and editing of Chinese characters in an English environment. With the installation of RichWin, current users of the English version of Win 3.1 or Win 95 will be able to create Chinese characters on the English platform without the need to install an additional Chinese operating system (OS). In other words, only a single OS and a single set of software are required for users who have to work constantly in both English and Chinese environments. This will greatly facilitate the sharing of documents whereby users of any platform can read or edit files of both languages.

Other powerful features of RichWin include:

To familiarize users with the features and unique functionalities of the software, a number of on-site training seminars have already been organized and more training sessions would be arranged upon users’ requests. A simple user guide has also been compiled and distributed to users for reference.

Any purchase of the RichWin licence can be made through the departmental CLOs by completing the "RichWin Site Licence Acquisition Form". The Forms are obtainable from the ITS General Office at Rm. PQ402 and the PolyU Electronic Form Library under the CWIS soon to be released.

Should further details of the licence arrangement be required, please contact our General Office at Extn. 5934. For enquiries on the application of the software, all staff are welcome to contact ITS hotline at Extn. 5900.

 

 

WORKSTATION LABORATORY UPGRADE

In the coming summer, 25 new Sun Ultra 5 workstations will be installed to replace the existing 20 Sun workstations in the Workstation Laboratory in Room P507 of the Student Computing Centre. In addition, 2 postscript support HP 5M laser printers will also be available to provide high quality laser printing services. These workstations and printers are networked together to offer services for Unix computing, and to support the running of an electronic circuit design package called Mentor Graphics.

 

REMINDER-PHASING OUT OF VAX/VMS AND OPEN VMS

Please be reminded that with the phasing out of VAX/VMS and Open VMS on Alpha machines scheduled in June 1999, SAS, SMTP mail, POP3, Finger, Ping and Talk functions under Open VMS will be removed from service with effect from June 30 1998. Users are advised to migrate to the Central E-mail Server using the same POP3 client, e.g. Eudora or Netscape Navigator.

 

 

POLYU ELECTRONIC FORM LIBRARY SOON TO BE IN SERVICE UNDER THE CWIS

To take full advantage of electronic communication and to provide convenient and economical services, a new "PolyU Electronic Form Library" will be in service soon under the CWIS to enable easy retrieval of various PolyU forms by staff and students on the Web.

From then on, users no longer have to collect from various offices different service request and application forms. Instead, they can obtain a variety of forms electronically simply by clicking the forms from the menu of the "PolyU Electronic Form Library" under CWIS. Most of the forms will be in Microsoft Word format. Users can choose to download, open or print the form. For those Web-based electronic forms, users can simply complete and submit them directly on-line using WWW browsers such as Netscape Communicator.

The whole community will benefit if the forms for requesting services from the administrative and service units can be electronically published in the CWIS in a hierarchical fashion and with proper access control. The forms can be categorized according to different criteria as needed, for example, the provider, the type of function, etc. Proper access control can also be implemented using Intranet so that specific forms can only be accessed by the groups of users as designated by the provider.

The benefits of adopting Web-based electronic forms include:

During the first phase implementation, the forms available include those of ITS, PO, FO, RPSO and HSO. The ultimate goal is that the commonly-used forms will be transformed into Web-based applications for direct submission on-line. The E-form Library is one of the initiatives towards automated administrative procedures, electronic communication and workflow and ultimately a paperless or at least a less paper PolyU campus.

Get ready for this new arena and install the latest version of Netscape Communicator on your computer. For staff with new Pentium II PCs provided under the staff PC upgrade program, their PCs will be delivered with the latest version of Netscape Communicator pre-installed.

Any enquiries relating to the use of the PolyU Electronic Form Library can be directed to the ITS Helpdesk at extn. 5900. For departments who may wish to publish their existing forms under the CWIS, please contact Ms. Teresa Chan of our office at extn. 5349 or e-mail itteresa@polyu.edu.hk.

 

 

POLYU SMART CARD

‘Smart’ PolyU Staff/Student identity cards will be launched in summer this year. The card will provide integrated administrative applications as well as electronic cash and some retail banking functions. It can be used as a library card for loan of books and as a pass to operate the automatic turnstiles at the entry/exit of the Library, Sports Centres and Student Computing Centres. The card can also be used as a stored value card for cashless payments on campus at the bookstore, canteens and various payment points in the administrative and central service departments, and at off-campus commercial outlets which accept Visa Cash. It is also a debit card that can be used at all Visa Interlink merchants around the world and as an ATM card to manage bank accounts at local JETCO machines.

More applications will be developed for the Smart Card at subsequent stages including controlled access tp the car park, second vehicular entrance, laboratories, offices and main entrances of buildings. Future development of the Smart Card will be towards integration with various administrative functions including payment of fees such as sports facility booking fee and library fines etc.

 

 

VIDEO CONFERENCING

A high quality video conferencing system operated via high speed ISDN lines will be piloted by ITS this summer. This new portable system can be used to connect with other parties at remote locations for video conferencing, presentation and distance learning purposes. The system will be available at the lecture theatres in the Mong Man Wai Building (PQ303 - PQ306) or the ITS conference room. With the system, lecturers will be able to deliver a lecture to students inside the lecture theatre as well as to students or audience overseas at the same time. The video conferencing system supports high performance full motion or 30 frame per second picture quality with FM-like sound quality.

Watch out for more updates!


Get Connected is the newsletter of the Office of Information Technology Services(ITS) published regularly for staff and students of TheHong Kong Polytechnic University. For further information, comments or suggestions, please contact:

Office of Information Technology Services
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hunghom
Kowloon
Hong Kong

Tel : 2766 5935
Fax: 2764 2647
E-mail: itsgo@polyu.edu.hk


Last Updated on 29 May 1998