Technology news for UMD faculty, staff and students
From July through December 2006, the Enterprise SystemsTeam provides support for:
- responded to 163 customer requests for service
- provided support for 62 different enterprise applications
- responded to the upgrade of PeopleSoft to version 8.9 and ImageNow to version 5.42
- provided special development services to Career Services, Alumni, Housing, Rec Sports and Outdoor Programs, Facilities Management, and Education
- worked with VDIL staff to produce the kiosk in Solon Campus Center
- developed expertise with new enterprise systems Lyris (for mass email) and Audience View (for ticket management)
Ten Years Ago in ITSS - April 1997
Numerous classroom technology upgrades in progress
Exciting things are happening in classroom technology around UMD this year.
We think these campus technology upgrades are very exciting and hope to have many of the following changes in place by fall quarter. We will keep the campus informed of our progress through-out the spring and summer. We also keep Room Scheduling informed of classroom technology upgrades, so help is available to you in selecting rooms which have the equipment you need for your classroom presentations.
During fall quarter, we permanently placed an overhead projector in each general purpose classroom. That's not high tech, of course, but for faculty who would check out a projector from our AV Checkout Desk each time they needed one, it is a big time saver.
Classroom network connections
We are also continuing a project started last year to install a network connection in each general purpose classroom. As of now, there are 29 networked classrooms with 26 more in the works.
To allow faculty to take advantage of the network connections for class presentations, we have upgraded our computer/projector checkout carts with high performance computers (both Macintosh and PCs), current versions of popular software applications, and new computer projectors. We have also added two projectors on carts without computers attached which are useful to those who prefer to use their own computers for presentations.
Partnering with the Office of Information Technology, the University Privacy & Security Office produced the Public Jobs: Private Data Security Training. The program covers security measures required for handling private data protected under federal and state laws as well as University policies. Employees learn to identify security issues, how to protect data and hardware, and the protocol for responding to a security problem.
All University faculty, staff, student workers, and health science students and volunteers will be required to take the training. At this time, a number of UMD personnel have started the training, and ITSS has received questions on two points that were made in the sessions that we'd like to address.
- Remember that email is not secure. Do not send private information (e.g. a student's grade) in the body of an email.
- If you share many documents among faculty or staff, one alternative is to request a secured "shared space" on the Novell Office Server. We can set this up for any UMD faculty or staff person. In this shared space, those on the access list can read, add, or update files as needed.
- If you have data that one person updates, but multiple people need to view, an option may be to set up a secure, access-restricted web space.
- Conversely, if you have many people who need to provide private data to one person, a secure web form or web-drop folder may be the solution.
- When transmitting private data outside of the University's network, by email or other means, use encryption.
- The University has put together a list of data encryption software options, each of which suits a different purpose. When using encryption, it's important to remember that some products do NOT encrypt the files when they are emailed or saved to external media. For the list of software and more information, see: Encrypting Stored Data.
- One other item to note: sending email to a University email address does not guarantee that the email stays within the University's network. The recipient may have forwarded his or her email to another account, or may choose to read and/or reply to the email from a home or other computer not on the University network. The boundaries between the University network and the Internet are not always clearly defined.
If you have questions about any of these topics, or would like assistance, please contact the ITSS Help Desk (x8847) and they will forward your request to the appropriate person.
Several of the the newer HP printers now available are not compatible with our network printing services (including Novell, Samba, and Unix printing). In particular, the two we've seen are HP Color LaserJet 2600n and HP Color LaserJet 3600nt.
These printers have minimal network functionality, and work using a host based driver which is expects to talk directly to a printer, not a print server. Because of the limited network functionality, these printers are less expensive than the standard JetDirect network printers that are normally purchased, which is probably the main reason for their rise in popularity.
We have also found that other printers that work on with our printing systems but lack security features, which allow anyone on the internet to print to them.
ITSS is working with the UMD Computer Corner to let them know which printers may not work well on the UMD network. We recommend checking with the Computer Corner before buying a new printer, or check with ITSS if you're buying a printer from another vendor.
The ITSS Classroom Team has been investigating ways to improve the usability and functionality of our basic technology suite (found in all general purpose classrooms with a capacity greater than 30 seats).
During the summer of 2005, ITSS implemented enhanced control system technology in:
- MonH 108 - technology-enhanced classroom http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/classroom/MONH108/
- MonH 203 - general purpose classroom with the standard technology suite http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/classroom/MONH203/
We were able to thoroughly test this technology within our support model and to see first hand how this might improve the usability of our classroom technology. The new systems have been very well received, and we have expanded to include five more classrooms during the 2006/2007 academic year. Next year we will be upgrading this technology in 15-25 general purpose classrooms, with a goal to convert all 90 general purpose classrooms within the next few years. We will also have a classroom technology professional trained to do all of the installing, maintaining, engineering and programming locally, at UMD.
The new control systems offer a much easier control interface for faculty who are teaching in these rooms as well as remote monitoring and troubleshooting by classroom support staff, and, in the case of MonH 108, mobile control of classroom devices through a wireless remote control.
If you have questions, concerns, or ideas you would like to share about classroom technology, please email Jason Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ITSS has released its proposed rates and fees for the coming fiscal year. We are pleased to announce that telephone rates and ITV (Interactive Television) room rates will not be increased for FY08. We will, however, slightly increase our personnel labor rates. We recognize that all University students, staff, faculty and departments have been and continue to be impacted by budget issues, including ITSS, and we have worked very hard to maintain most service rates at the FY07 level and to contain overall increases in other service rates.
We are also proposing to increase both our basic access and full computer lab access student computing fees approximately 3%. A proposed increase of $.15 will be added to the per-credit basic access fee, which provides students with Email accounts, access to the modem pool, file storage through Samba, web space, basic access computing stations in the Library, Solon Campus Center, Multicultural Center, and SBE Atrium, access to some electronic Library databases, computer maintenance services, and access to the ITSS STAC and Multimedia Hub. The FY08 fee proposed is $4.65 per-credit.
This fee will continue to be charged only for the first 18 credits attempted by a student each semester. There is no additional charge for attempted credits over a maximum of 18. The mandatory minimum fee will increase $.45, to a total of $13.95, and will continue to be charged to students registered for 3 or less credits.
Full computer lab access services, which include many specialized application software packages, will be available to students who pay an additional $66.15 computer lab access fee per semester. This is a proposed increase of $1.90. Page printing costs will remain the same, $.05 per page.
In setting our rates and fees for the next fiscal year we have:
- Followed the University policies and accounting principles that govern internal service organization rate development methodology
- Reviewed and complied with FY08 Phase I and II Budget Instructions.
A complete listing of our proposed rates and fees information is available on the web for your review at: ITSS Rates and Fees.
We are committed to retaining rates and fees as low as possible while continuing to provide quality support and services. Please feel free to address any questions to Linda Deneen (email@example.com) or Steve Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The final rates and fees decisions are pending Board of Regents approval.
FacultETools: Faculty Toolkit
The Faculty (Software) Toolkit is available at no cost for eligible faculty members of the University of Minnesota to use for University course development and instructional purposes. UMD staff can purchase the software for a reduced rate. Software tools include Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Authorware, Macromedia Director, Dreamweaver, and Flash.
View the eligibility requirements and application process at: http://dmc.umn.edu/toolkit/index.shtml
Request the toolkit at: http://dmc.umn.edu/toolkit/toolkit-form-duluth.pdf
Would you like to give your callers the option to reach a "live body" instead of just going to voice mail? Give the Custom Operator feature a try. You can set this up two ways. The first is to go to https://mycallpilot.d.umn.edu/mycallpilot, log into your mailbox and then click on Telephone Options. Enter the Custom Operator Number in the field provided and then click Save.
A second way to set this up using your phone is to log into your voice mail box and press 801. When prompted to enter the "operator assistance number," enter the 4-digit extension number that you want the "press 0" option to route to and then press #. If you choose to remove this feature at a later date, you can remove it via the browser interface or call Telephone Services (8573) to have the setting changed. If you choose to try this feature you'll need to change your voice mail greeting to instruct callers to press 0.
Continuing our series on construction project updates, this month we'll focus on the Life Science (LSCI) building and it's technology improvements. As with all construction and remodeling projects, ITSS staff work closely with project architects and engineers to develop telecommunications specifications. These specifications are designed to meet the immediate needs of the occupants as well as "future-proof" the building to the extent that technology and budgets allow.
The LSCI remodeling project is scheduled for completion this summer. Cabling for voice, data, security cameras, and our wireless network is progressing on schedule. These pictures show the progress to date. All of the cable has been pulled for the upper two floors, and crews are now working on terminating those cables in our racks. Very shortly, our second comm room (the neater of the two pics) will look like the other one as crews continue pulling cable for the basement and 1st floor.
The new Life Science building will have infrastructure capable of supporting over 1300 network connections, 200 phones, wireless access on all floors, and camera systems for security and teaching aides. A new fiber optic cabling system will be installed to support the data network and the Pharmacy department's extensive use of distance learning and Interactive Television (ITV). Air conditioning units have already been installed in each comm room to preserve our electronics equipment. Uninterruptible power supplies will also be installed closer to completion. Once construction is complete and comm rooms have had their final cleanings, ITSS will be providing over $70,000 worth of network electronics to support wired and wireless connections.
Blocking unwanted spam and virus-laden email is a constant battle. ITSS uses a variety of filtering methods that block a high percentage of these messages. However, we don't want to block messages you do want to receive so some spam will inevitably get through.
Here are some statistics on our filtering for Feb 27 through March 29 of this year:
- Total messages = 8796750
- Total rejected before virus check = 5920757
- Min percent rejected before virus check = 57%
- Max percent rejected before virus check= 82%
- Total rejected due to viruses = 417
A new (v. 4.8.01) update of the Cisco VPN client for Windows 98, ME, 2000/NT, and XP is now available from the ITSS web site http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/security/vpn/win.html. At this time, there is no final VPN client available for Windows Vista.
ITSS is pleased to announce the addition of Gennadiy Ter-Grigoryan to our staff. Gennadiy recently moved to Duluth from Wahpeton, North Dakota, where he worked for the North Dakota State College of Science for about 10 years. His experience in the Telecommunications field at that site included many of the same projects he will work on at UMD:
- Installing communications cabling
- Doing telephone moves, adds, changes and repairs
- Working with our fiber and cable plant
- Installing switches and wireless devices
- Maintaining documentation, records, and inventory
- Underground Cable Locating
- Programming switches and our telephone system
Gennadiy is currently located in 174 MWAH and can be reached at X7682. His email address is email@example.com.
ITSS Spotlight on: Joel Ness
Each month ITSS would like to highlight a different member of the staff to let you get to know some of the great people who are working "behind the scenes" to make technology work for our campus. This month the spotlight is on Joel Ness - Technology Support Professional.
What Joel does for ITSS
Joel provides desktop support for Macintosh customers, and provides technical support for a variety of email clients on both Windows and Macintosh platforms. He provides system administrator services for the Macintosh computer labs and related servers. He is also the editor of the monthly ITSS newsletter "infotech.News." Joel is known as the "Mac guy" at UMD. He was awarded an Outstanding Service Award for continuous service in 1995 and again for his work on classroom technology in 2004.
- Born Northfield, MN. Moved to Duluth in 1964 when his father joined the UMD Communication Department
- East High '75 / BA, UMD (English Linguistics) '86 / 6 years off for rock-n-roll / MS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, (Technical Communication) '88 / ITSS '89-present
- Whitewater kayaking
info.tech.News is published monthly during the academic year by ITSS. An email digest is also sent to all users subscribed to the infotech.announce, UMD.business.announce and studenttech.announce. The goal is to distribute information useful to the daily routines of the University of Minnesota Duluth campus community in conjunction with computer and telephone technologies. Comments or suggestions may be sent to the editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org.