Erice Crystallography 2005 IT Support

37th Course: Evolving Methods in Macromolecular Crystallography

May 12 - 22, 2005 in Erice, Sicily

This is the information technology (IT) web page for Erice Crystallography 2005. Please email John Irwin if you have any questions not answered here. More information about Erice and the Erice crystallography meetings may be found at the Erice Crystallography web site

Contents:  Computers  Email/Access  Software  Workshops  Powerpoint  Laptops  Virtual Courses  Wireless  Security  


What computers will be available and where are they?

We have 18 linux (FC3) and 4 windows (XP). 6 Linux in the Tower Room, 6 Linux in the Feynman Room and 6 linux in the Paramarsala room. The Madonna room contains 4 of our windows boxes (LHS) and 6 belonging to the Centre (RHS). The LHS and RHS are on two different networks - the computers do not see each other and do not share printers.

Participants are invited to bring their own laptops to supplement the desktops we will supply. All computers are on the Internet via a 2 Mbit/s line to the Italian backbone. Local connections are generally 100 Mbit/s switched or better.

You are encouraged to bring your laptop, which you may connect to the Internet.

How do I log in to computers?

The computers will be permanently logged in as a communal user "ccsem". Workshop instructors get their own accounts. If you require a personal login, please contact me.

Can I log in after I leave / before I arrive in Erice?

No, sorry. For security reasons, there is a firewall that prevents access from outside Erice, but you may ssh, imap, pop3, etc OUT to your home computer when you are in Erice. Many companies and universities have recently made their networks more secure. Be sure to find out what you need to know to get into your home computers before you travel.

How do I print?

On Windows, select "Print". On Linux, lpr or lp. If you have a laptop, use \\madonna2 to see the printer. The output should emerge from a nearby printer or, if none is nearby, in the Madonna Room.

When may the computers be used?

All the time, except as required by workshops, from the first full day of the meeting (12 May) until the last day (May 22).

May I connect my laptop to the network?

Yes. There are numerous plug in points for laptops, and there is also an extensive wirless network (b/g). Please see the section Wireless. We use DHCP, so you should just be able to plug in and go (possibly following a reboot).


Do I have an email account in Erice?

We can provide a local email account on request.

Help, I can't log in

Normally, computers will be permanently "logged in" as a communal user. If you are having trouble, try asking the person sitting next to you, or a member of IT staff (orange scarves, bedraggled look). We recommend the use of web-based e-mail clients for reading email on the road, but you may also ssh out from any computer, or use various web-based email clients. You may also use the various POP3 or IMAP clients available (e.g. Thunderbird, Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Mozilla). If you need help, please see us. You are also welcome to install your own favourite email client. Please remember that most computers will be used by more than one person.

Be sure to find out about any firewalls at your home site before leaving, as many security systems have been tightened in recent years. Be aware that many sites now only accept encrypted (ssh) outside connections. In fact, if your site does accept unencrypted outside connections, you might want to ask your system administrators: Why?


What software will be available on the Windows PCs?

WinXP, with MS Office, pymol, thunderbird, firefox, ssh/sftp clients, and software for the workshops. Please write if you require special software. You may install your own provided you have a license.


What Workshops will be offered?

When you arrive, sign up for one or more of the 13 workshops offered this year. You will hear more about then when you arrive.

Electronic Posters

You may have a laptop next to your poster to demonstrate. The poster area will have wireless Internet, so you may also demonstrate web pages. If you intend to do this, please contact me so we can plan.


What do I need to know or do if I am a speaker requiring data projection or other IT services during my talk?

There is a desktop PC with a CD/DVD drive and an Internet connection running Windows XP and Office on the podium. It is connected to a data projector. Many people bring talks on USB finger drives.

You may also plug your laptop in on the podium. It is a good idea to test-drive your presentation 24 hours in advance, which gives us time to help if there are any problems. Speakers must have their presentation loaded and ready to go at the start of the session to avoid delays.


Should I bring my laptop?

You are encouraged to bring your laptop. This will give you privacy for reading your mail, and flexibility about when and where you work. If you have a WiFi (802.11b/g) card, you are encouraged to bring it as that gives you even more options.

How do I configure my laptop

Set up your laptop to use DHCP. If you don't get on the network right away and there is no one around who can help you, please try rebooting before asking IT support staff. Please use the printer on \\madonna2

Virtual Course

This meeting will be run as virtual course. Powerpoints will be put on the web before the meeting, and streaming video of each lecture will be broadcast on the Internet. Remote participants may put questions to the speaker via a chat room or email. Please see the virtual course page. Speakers should deposit their ppt on arrival on \\podium\<day>\<time>-<name>\.

Where is the wireless network available?

We are going to try to offer a WiFi network as widely as possible: If you find a location where the wireless signal is weak, please contact us as we may be able to make adjustments.


We will install various security software on the various computers. In general, outbound services will work, but inbound services will not. We would appreciate your help: if you find any weakness in our security systems, please bring this to our attention.

Concluding Remarks

Your IT Support manager is John Irwin. Vito Calderone is looking after linux. Orazio Mistretta sourced the PCS and helped with the infrastructure. Please address email questions before the meeting to me.
Disclaimer: We are on track to provide all the services described here, and more! But we reserve the right to vary these services at short notice.
Last updated: May 10, 2004 by John Irwin