I.T. Times
Volume 3. No 1 Information Technology News of the University of California, Davis Fall 1994

Computer Chat

by Karen M. Munoz, Information Resources

Computer Chat answers some of the most frequently asked computing questions. Any question you would like to have addressed in this column can be directed to 754-8302 or sent by e-mail to ietpubs@ucdavis.edu.

Those of you who walked through Shields Library at the beginning of Fall Quarter and saw the line at the I.T.-Campus Access Point (I.T.-CAP) Walk-in Facility, won't be surprised when I tell you this has been the busiest Fall Quarter on record for those of us in Information Technology. Between Sept. 26 and Nov. 11, the I.T.-CAP Walk-in Facility helped more than 8,670 people.

Half of the traffic resulted from password related issues such as password expirations and clients forgetting either their passwords or computer accounts. Hopefully, the new password checking program, which does not require clients to change their passwords as frequently, will decrease the percentage of password expiration problems. If you have ever had a campus computer account, I.T.-CAP can look up your record and issue a new password. The password will be activated the following day. Your old password cannot be recovered unless you remember it because the information is electronically encrypted. I.T.-CAP hours are Monday -Thursday 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. The better times to come to the CAP are before 10 a.m. or between 5 and 7 p.m.

Today's question looks at another password issue.

If I have a campus computer account, do I need a separate password to use MELVYL?

We turned to Beverlee French of the General Library for an answer. For the most part, no. The purpose behind MELVYL® passwords is to ensure that the use of MELVYL databases is reserved for the exclusive use of UC students, faculty, and staff for university instruction, research, and patient care. (Use of the MELVYL catalog, on the other hand, is available to any member of the public and never requires a password.) Since your campus computer account certifies you as an authorized university affiliate, you do not need a separate password to use the MELVYL databases.

From any of the campus computer labs, for example, where you have entered your EZ, SZ, or FZ account and password, you can access all of the MELVYL databases without a separate password, but you will need a MELVYL password if you want to use the UPDATE command to repeat a search and have the results sent to you. If you are working from your home or office or a lab and you use your campus computer account to log onto MELVYL through one of the campus SUN servers (e.g., Rocky, Bullwinkle, Chip and Dale), or VMS machines ( by typing telnet melvyl.ucop.edu at the prompt), you do not need a separate password to get into the MELVYL databases, and you can also use the UPDATE command without a MELVYL password. You will need a MELVYL password, however, if you want to connect directly to MELVYL from your home or office without logging on through one of the SUN servers or VMS machines. You can obtain a MELVYL password from any library reference desk by presenting a student registration card or faculty/staff identification. Passwords are good for one year.