Technology news for UMD faculty, staff and students
From January 1 through June 30, 2009, the ITSS Management Team:
- consisted of four managers and a director
- supports the work of 36 Civil Service and AFSCME staff and 72 student employees
- managed a total annual budget of $5,974,416
- recorded 32 compliments and 15 complaints from customers
- recorded 5 service outages, down from 25 in spring 2004
Ten Years Ago in ITSS - November 1999
Lab hardware upgraded
New hardware was added in the H 470, and SBE 45 teaching labs. The PCs in H 470 and SBE 45 have been replaced with 500 MHZ Pentium III machines with 17 inch monitors. Since Engr 204 was upgraded over the summer, we now have Pentium IIIs available in all of the teaching labs.
Are you looking for information about Mulberry reaching retirement? How about learning opportunities, support options and assistance for changing to another email program? If so, this page is for you! http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/email/mulberry.html
Tip: Check out some of the new support options on the right side of web page above.
November 3: Data Warehouse
If you're interested in learning how to use the Data Warehouse Tables or finding a report already created in UMReports, this brief overview will help.
November 10: PDF's Tricks, Tips, Traps
Learn how to create simple PDFs. Find out when they're appropriate to use, and when they're not. Get your basic PDF questions answered!
November 11 : Mulberry to Thunderbird: Tips, Tricks and Features
Now that I have downloaded and installed Thunderbird http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/email/secure/thunderbird2x_win.html where are all the settings and how do I get Thunderbird to work best for my needs? http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/support/Training/ttt/
*note: the Mulberry to Thunderbird topic above falls on a Wednesday
November 17: Windows 7 at the University of Minnesota
Find out about features of Windows 7; upgrade options; and compatibility with university services (Novell, EFS, FAMIS etc.)
UMSurvey became the University system-wide survey tool at the beginning of this Fall semester. If you have taken any of the University surveys since the beginning of this past summer you have likely seen UMSurvey.
You may easily create your account online, and no charges are involved for an account. Anyone with a valid X.500 account at the University may create and give surveys. This excludes Guest X.500 accounts.
Anyone in the world may take a UMSurvey unless you restrict access.
As a result of the introduction of UMSurvey, ITSS will be shutting down Test Pilot. The earliest Test Pilot will be shut down is at the end of Spring semester, 2010. Notices will go out to Test Pilot account holders with specific information.
For more information about UMSurvey and to start your account, please use the url below.
All faculty, staff, and student employees are required to guard the privacy of any private data the University of Minnesota stores and maintains electronically. This includes disposing of any storage devices securely. The University of Minnesota Standard on Secure Data Deletion http://www1.umn.edu/oit/security/datadeletion.html is an official policy.
ITSS provides secure data deletion services. Deleting data stored on computers
is described here:
/http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/security/filedelete/ All computers that store any private data http://www.ahc.umn.edu/privacy/what.html must be sent in for this service before being disposed of, resold, or transferred to a different user.
This will be done through our Tech Center in Kirby Plaza 165.
ITSS will also provide secure destruction and disposal of removable media, such as CDs, as well as audio and video tapes. This service is for items that have been used to store private data.
In disposing of electronic equipment, there are two important issues: data deletion and disposal of electronic waste. Electronic equipment, including removable media, must be reviewed with attention to its environmental impact before disposal. See the Office of Environmental Health And Safety web site on Special Waste http://www.d.umn.edu/ehso/waste_management/special.html for information about appropriate disposal. Note that this information can change over time. For example, at the present time, we can dispose of CDs by placing them in the trash. It is possible that in the future, this may change. Computers and other electronic equipment must be sent to a recycler after collection by Facilities Management.
ITSS anticipated a technology shift to data centers that have dense,
multi-core, virtual-machine-intensive servers. To address this need,
ITSS implemented an innovative network architecture which simplifies
data center deployments using a standards-based, high-performance
unified fabric. This change provides ITSS infrastructure capacity to
accommodate explosive growth in student and research data.
The following list of benefits are now available to the UMD campus
- Network Engineering performed in house using UMD ITSS staff thereby
reducing initial deployment costs and reducing ongoing support costs.
- 10X speed increase for server connectivity (10 gigabit offering).
- 5X network backbone speed increase (currently 20 gigabits).
- Decrease the total cost of ownership by simplifying the data center infrastructure.
- Enhance business resilience with greater operational continuity.
If you have used classroom lecture capture hardware or software in the past, and decided it had too many moving parts, it may be time to take another look. In beta early this semester and just recently in full production, the new Class Capture system is very easy to use, both for faculty and their students. The system combines Camtasia Relay (this is not the same as the Camtasia of the past) and a server called "MediaMagnet," that was developed by CLA IT at the University of Minnesota.
Camtasia captures any video that comes across your laptop screen and sound fed in through a boundary microphone. With a few minutes of configuration on the server at the beginning of the semester, you can record and submit lectures from your laptop without any post-production work and without visiting the server again. The files can be streamed directly from the MediaMagnet server or shipped over to iTunesU where students who are enrolled in your class can pick them up and use them on their desktop, laptop, or portable video device.
What is new about this system is the streamlining of file compression, uploading, indexing, and other post-production work that might have added complexity to similar efforts in the past. The software and account are free for UMD faculty and staff. A number of UMD faculty have helped test this new system during Beta and they were generally pleased with how the new system works.
Jason Davis, ITSS Manager of Customer Service and Classroom Technology presented at EDUCAUSE 2009 with John G. Henderson, Director of Instructional Technology Services at Eastern Illinois University and Beth Schaefer, Assistant Director, Client Services at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. This presentation will follow the same path of inquiry previously presented by Rick Brill, ITSS Computer Lab coordinator, at EDUCAUSE Midwest 2009
Over 80 percent of respondents to the annual ECAR study of undergraduate students reported owning laptops; nevertheless, usage of expensive public computer labs remains high. Panelists from three institutions will lead a provocative discussion on updating existing computer labs.
More information, including the powerpoint files will be available here: http://www.educause.edu/node/176090
What is the Data Warehouse?
The Data Warehouse is a collection of data which can be used to support the University's operational and decision making processes. These data are organized by subject area, (e.g. Financial, Payroll), and updated periodically from the U's operational information systems. The Data Warehouse allows users to extract data for their own specific needs.
What data are contained in this site?
The Data Warehouse is broken down into specific subjects areas. Some of the areas covered include financial, payroll, HR, space, equipment inventory and student information for the entire University. Student data is sub-divided further into Admissions, Enrollment, Graduate School and Course data. The following site, https://dw.umn.edu/index.asp, provides more information and access to the data warehouse tables and query tools.
PeopleSoft delivers equivalent financial reporting and information provided by the Data Warehouse, UM Reports, and Financial Reports on the Web. Historical data will continue to be accessible via the Data Warehouse, but post-July 2008 financial data will be available only through the new financial system. Human resources and student system data will continue to be stored in the Data Warehouse.
Please visit the following web sites for more information regarding Enterprise Financial Reporting capabilities.
UM Reports contains pre-built reports to serve the common needs of the University community. It includes online analytical processing (OLAP) cubes that allow further analysis of the standard data. More information may be obtained through http://www.umreports.umn.edu/about.htm
Financial Reports on the web is another choice for generating management and planning information from University data. Access to this site is through http://financial.reports.umn.edu/.
Where can you obtain assistance at UMD for Data Warehouse support?
UMD ITSS provides the following campus support for the data warehouse tables:
- Programming and consulting for ad-hoc reporting and reports tailored to individual or departmental preferences.
- One-on-one training for individuals who would like to extract information from the data tables.
- Group or departmental training for faculty and staff who wish to learn how to extract data.
Requests for service or support may be submitted to ITSS on-line by using the following service request page: http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/requests/esteam/data_ent_prog.html
Finally, each year ITSS facilitates a campus data warehouse users' meeting in order to provide updates on data table changes, and to provide helpful hints on creating and writing successful queries. Please watch for the scheduled meeting times which are announced through the ITSS Newsletter http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/support/Training/. The dates and times are also emailed to subscribers of umd.business.announce.
IBM has recently announced the acquisition of SPSS Inc. and it will become part of IBM’s Business Analytics and Process Optimization organization. SPSS software provides a comprehensive predictive analytics portfolio that includes data collection, text and data mining, and advanced statistical analysis and predictive solutions, helping customers predict future events and proactively act upon insight to drive better business outcomes. IBM has renamed the SPSS software product line and it is now referred to as PASW (predictive analytics software).
All UMD faculty and staff are eligible to obtain PASW (previously SPSS) software through a University-wide site license found at http://www.oit.umn.edu/utools/all-software/spss-125201.html. The site license and software distribution is administered through the Office of Information Technology (OIT) on the Twin Cities campus.
The annual cost per individual license for UMD faculty and staff is $125 and the software can be purchased through the Twin Cities web site listed above. You will need to provide an EFS number for the purchase transaction of the software. Please be sure to contact your own campus department financial staff for an EFS number to make this purchase.
The current site license includes SPSS 17 for Windows or Mac OSX. Mac users should be aware that version 17 is NOT compatible with Snow Leopard (Mac OX 10.6). PASW version 18, which is Snow Leopard compatible, is expected to be released very soon.
The UMD Student PASW (previously SPSS) Site License program will continue for another year. Undergraduate and graduate students in CEHSP, CLA, and LSBE will be able to download the software at no cost, as those collegiate units have paid the license fee for their students. Students in other programs will be able to purchase PASW (previously SPSS) through the ITSS TechCenter for a modest fee.
For details on the UMD Student PASW (previously SPSS) site license, please see http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/software/spss/.