Monday, June 7, 2010

Consolidate All Your Webservers with Cyberduck

Disclaimer:  Mac Geeks Only!

I work with several remote servers during the semester.  These include tigger and iccarus accounts (UIC) that host my websites, a Blackboard webdisk, two servers for NMR data at UIC, my MobileMe iDisk and even a server for my copier scans in the Chemistry Department.  Managing each separately is an annoying and time consuming task.  Not only do I have to remember the addresses and login information for each, but until today I used different access methods (e.g., Fetch, MacFusion and the Mac Finder).  Enter Cyberduck.  With this open source freeware app, I have been able to consolidate all of my server connections in one place.  It's main advantage over Fetch (a common FTP client) is that it supports all of the protocols I require, including: FTP, SFTP, WebDav and MobileMe.  If you work with several servers utilizing more than one file transfer protocol, I highly recommend this app.  It's intuitive, has a clean GI and works as advertised.  If you're looking for an app that will allow you to mount those servers as disk images on your desktop, checkout MacFusion which is built on Google's MacFUSE code.  This app, however, does not currently support OS 10.6 (Leopard).

Sunday, June 6, 2010

CHEM 233 Summer 2010 To-Do List

Welcome to CHEM 233
As we approach the start of the Summer 2010 semester, I want to welcome you to the course and also to give you a list of tasks that should be completed in the coming weeks.  Most of these should be completed before the first lab session so that you are adequately prepared and do not fall behind.  One of the most important skills required for success in a large university laboratory course, is your ability to seek out and follow directions carefully.  I encourage you to read all of the resources here on the course website as well as on Blackboard that are discussed in the to-do list below.  If you have any questions, my door--and e-mail inbox--are already open and waiting to assist you.  I'm looking forward to sharing my passion for the exciting world of organic chemistry with you.  This semester I aim not only to teach you the chemistry content and laboratory techniques that you require for your academic endeavors, but also to train you in the type of analytical thinking that is required for solving problems in a laboratory setting as well as the professional field to which you aspire.  While you may not want to be an organic chemist, the practical application of technical knowledge in a laboratory setting involves many general skills that  you will undoubtedly employ in your future careers.  

Dr. Chad Landrie

To Do List:

1.  Become acquainted with the resources available on Blackboard and on the course website (

2.  Purchase the required texts and materials for the course including the lab notebook, textbook and goggles.  All of these items are available at the UIC bookstore.  The lab manual will be distributed during the first laboratory sesssion.

3.  Carefully read the course syllabus.  The syllabus can be found in the lab manual, downloaded from the course website (

4.  Review the principles of infrared spectroscopy as well as the common functional groups in organic chemistry.  During your first laboratory session, you will participate in an infrared spectroscopy primer (also in the lab manual) designed to review the principles of infrared spectroscopy and to demonstrate how this technique is used to identify functional groups in organic molecules.  If you are currently enrolled in CHEM 232, and have not encountered this analytical technique yet, you may want to begin working on the IR Primer as well as the pertinent sections in your lecture textbook before your lab.  You may also want to look over lecture slides from my CHEM 232 course on infrared spectroscopy here.  The IR Primer activity will not be collected or graded (a pre-lab notebook entry is not required); it's sole function is to provide you with the information you need for the first laboratory experiment the following session.  Be sure to ask your TA plenty of questions so that you get the information you need.  During the following lab session, you will learn how to collect IR spectra on one of our two spectrometers.  You will then use this technique on that day to identify unknown organic compounds.