Open-Source Textbooks Aim to Curb Education Costs

A recent article appearing in The New York Times highlights progress in the open-source textbook movement by Connexions, “a dynamic digital educational ecosystem” based at Rice University in Houston. Over the next few months, Connexions, via OpenStax College, will provide an initial offering of freely available textbooks covering physics, sociology, introductory biology, anatomy, and physiology. Connexions’ director, Richard Baraniuk, said, “if we capture just 10 percent of the market with these first five textbooks” students in the United States could save $90 million over the next five years. The content, provided using an open license, will allow faculty to freely customize … Continue reading Open-Source Textbooks Aim to Curb Education Costs

Important Backup Information for Community Members Who Have a College-Provided Macintosh as Their Primary Work Computer

To all community members who have a College-provided Macintosh as their primary work computer*: It is especially important that faculty have their computer backup software up-to-date before leaving campus for the summer. A new Macintosh client has been released for the College’s backup software (LiveBackup from Atempo).  This release has been in testing by ITS staff for several weeks and is now available to campus. Typically, software notifies you when an update is ready and all you have to do is follow the instructions on the screen. This release of LiveBackup is different and is only activated when you restart your … Continue reading Important Backup Information for Community Members Who Have a College-Provided Macintosh as Their Primary Work Computer

Getting Familiar with Social Networking Privacy Policies

One of the easiest steps to take in ensuring your privacy is maintained while using a social networking site, is to read the site’s Privacy Policy. The following is a list of useful links that can help keep you informed about what information you are sharing, and the actions you can take to limit what others can see: Facebook Privacy Center Facebook Privacy Policy Flickr Privacy FAQ Linkedin Privacy Policy Myspace Privacy Policy Twitter Privacy Poilicy Helpful Guides & Best Practices Flickr Safety Guide Best Practices with Facebook Privacy Settings US-Cert: Staying Safe on Social Networking Sites Continue reading Getting Familiar with Social Networking Privacy Policies

New Operating Systems

Although new Mac OS and Windows OS are entering the market, ITS does not recommend upgrading to the new operating systems at this time. ITS will make an announcement in the near future about upgrades, but at this time, faculty and staff should not upgrade their office computers to the newer operating systems. In addition, if faculty/staff connect to Swarthmore networked resources from home, they should also not upgrade their home computer’s operating system until further notice. Current operating systems we support are, Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5, and WinXP SP 3. Continue reading New Operating Systems

Apple Safari 4.0.3

The new version of Safari offers some compelling new features. The “Top Sites” option displays your most frequently visited websites in grid format. This version also includes earlier features, including the “Snapback” option which makes it easy to return to your original site after browsing other pages. Compatible with Max OS X 10.5 and newer. Visit for more information. Continue reading Apple Safari 4.0.3


Swarthmore ITS is pleased to announce the launch of SwatFiles, a secure web-based file storage system for faculty, staff, and students. Available at, SwatFiles allows users to access their files from any computer with an Internet connection and share files with anyone with an e-mail address. Features include: A personal folder for all faculty, staff, and students: 4GB of storage for faculty and staff, 1GB for students A public folder for sharing information with others or publishing web pages Department and committee folders can be created by contacting the Help Desk Automatic e-mail notifications when sharing files To start … Continue reading SwatFiles