New way of logging into the databases
But anyway, the real reason for this post is that we just discovered a new way of logging into our databases from off campus. Very quietly implemented and improved over the last year or so are Remote services (VPN) from IT. When you log into the Remote server, it acts as if you are logged into a campus computer, no matter were in the world you are. You can view your network files (including web pages), use some campus resources, and browse the campus website. (From on campus you see different options.)
You log in using your username (as with MySCSU & Vista) and your Windows/network password. The network password is only used on campus, so most distance students will not have one. If you don't have one, or haven't logged into a campus computer (including Remote) for over 3 months, go to the Helpdesk website (http://helpdesk.southernct.edu/) and choose Accounts and Email. Then choose Windows, and then Password Reset. Complete the form, then got to the Remote site, https://remote.southernct.edu/ (watch the 's' in https -- this is a secure site). Log in using your username and the password you just set. Once logged in, you can change your password to match your MySCSU/Vista password. (IT tells me they are working on a single signon, so this multiple password thing will shortly get better.)
Once you are logged in all the way, you should see a list of services and sites, and, up in the upper right, a box labeled Browse. In this box, enter the library's web address, library.southernct.edu and enter. You should see the library web site underneath a banner with Southern, a URL address bar, and a small toolbar. At this point, you can use the databases as if you were on campus, without having to use your ID and Library PIN. The one catch is that you can't leave the databases or the campus website. Any outside web links within the databases will be blocked. (You can, of course, copy them and open another browser window to use them.)
This is brand new to us, and we aren't quite sure of the full limits of the service. Please let me know if you have trouble. I tested this last night on a Mac with Firefox, and didn't have any trouble. This won't completely replace the Library PIN, which will still be needed for e-reserves, and if you are using a database with lots of outgoing links, logging in the PIN way will be much easier. But at least you now have an alternative.
Have fun, and I promise to try and post more often!