Wednesday, January 02, 2013




Wireless Changes and Reminders

CIT has rolled out a new guest wireless network on campus. The new network is called Guest. This network is for Calvin guests, parents, visiting scholars and presenters (not staff, faculty, or students). Guests using this network will need to register their device(s) once every 24 hours. There are three methods of registration: e-mail, text message, or sponsored access.

All staff and faculty should use the CalvinWireless network for computers and mobile devices. To setup CalvinWireless on your computer, connect to the CalvinWireless network, load an Internet browser, and follow the instructions on the screen. Please refer to these instructions for connecting a mobile device. If you need assistance, please bring your laptop or device to the HelpDesk during business hours.

For more information about wireless and a complete list of available locations, please visit the CIT web page.






Thursday, October 04, 2012

CIT's Maintenance Window

What is the maintenance window?

The "maintenance window" refers to a recurring block of time during which CIT performs networking updates to Calvin's servers and networking infrastructure. All non-emergency updates are completed during the scheduled maintenance window. Currently, the maintenance window is Thursday morning from 5am-7am. As you can see, we have chosen a window of time that is least likely to be disruptive for faculty and staff.

If there is an emergency update or unplanned outage to be performed immediately, you will be notified via e-mail through the CIT-Alert listserv (all faculty and staff are automatically subscribed).


What does this mean for me?

CIT's scheduled networking maintenance has little to no impact on faculty and staff. The early morning time frame offers the least amount of work disruption and also accounts for enough time to roll back and update if it fails or causes other problems.

The only thing to note is that often servers are shut down and rebooted during the network maintenance window. If your computer is logged in and connected to these servers during the maintenance window, you may return to find various symptoms such as an error on your computer, your network folders appearing blank/empty, or errors when trying to open files that are saved on the network. It is important to always shut down or log off of your workstation each evening in order to maintain the security of Calvin's network and data, but it is especially important to do so on Wednesday evening. When you return to work on Thursday and restart or log back in, your computer will automatically reconnect to each server and you will avoid these disruptions. If you did not shut down or log off on Wednesday evening and notice any of these symptoms on a Thursday morning, they can be corrected by rebooting the computer and logging back in as normal.


How do I know what is being changed?

CIT publishes a maintenance blog which lists any significant networking updates as well as desktop updates (desktop updates are delivered to you through ZENworks on a PC or Absolute Manage on a Mac). To view networking updates, look for the most recent date under the Planned Network/Server Updates heading on the right. To view desktop updates, scroll down to the "Desktop Software Changes" heading on the right.

CIT Maintenance Blog

 




Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Calvin Portal is Getting a Facelift!

The Calvin Portal (http://portal.calvin.edu) is getting a facelift! This minor update, based on feedback and questions from the Calvin community, will happen in the next week. The primary focus of this change is cosmetic - making better use of space, making the system easier to navigate, and preparing for future growth. If you're interested in a preview of the change, see below for comparison screenshots.

Things may look a little out of place now and then while we're setting up this change on the Portal. Thanks in advance for your patience during this transition. If you have any questions about the Portal please contact the CIT HelpDesk.


Old Portal

oldportal

New Portal

newportal




Monday, July 30, 2012

Update on 2012 Computer Replacements

CIT is in the midst of our summer computer refreshes, and as we anticipated, there have been delays in receiving computers from Dell. I would like to give you an update so you are aware of the current status and know what to expect in the coming weeks and months. Please communicate this information with your respective staff members at your discretion.

The delays from our desktop computer vendor, Dell, have been longer than expected in getting this year’s new desktop model released to the public. We usually start receiving the new computers in June. This year we expected them the first half of July and now that has slipped until approximately August 1. Needless to say, this has put us behind schedule which will impact many faculty and staff planning for new computers this year.

Following is our strategy to meet the needs of the campus:

  1. Teaching Spaces: Our first priority is to complete all teaching spaces before the fall semester begins. To date, we have put a new software image on about 70 out of 130 smart classrooms/spaces. We have also made significant progress on updating lab software images for academic departments, and several labs have already been completed. With the shipment of desktop computers arriving shortly, we are confident we can complete all teaching spaces in time for the fall semester.

  2. New faculty: Our second priority is to provide computers for incoming faculty. If you have new faculty starting this Fall, please be sure you have completed their New Account Requests so that there is enough time to create their accounts in CIT. Our normal time of a 5 day turn-around for new accounts can take longer during the latter half of August. The form for New Account Requests is found here: http://www.calvin.edu/it/core/accounts/requests.html

  3. Academic Areas: Our next priority is to make as much progress as possible on refreshing desktop computers in academic departments. Most Mac desktops and laptops and Windows laptops have been deployed or are scheduled over the next month. We will be sending appointment requests to many (if not all) faculty and academic staff that are due for 2012 replacements throughout August. Some faculty desktops will be replaced throughout the fall semester due to our delayed schedule—and also due to some faculty arriving back on campus late summer. Please encourage faculty members to respond to our appointment requests in August so that we can replace their computers with as little disruption as possible to their semester commitments.

  4. Administrative Areas: New desktop replacements for administrative staff will happen throughout the fall semester. If any staff in your department has an urgent need to have their 2012 replacement completed sooner, please contact the HelpDesk with that request. We will try to accommodate that request as long as it does not impact the teaching spaces replacement schedule.

As always, please feel free to contact the HelpDesk if you have specific concerns or questions.


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

GroupWise 2012 is here!

CIT has begun the upgrade from Groupwise 8 (8.0.2) to Groupwise 2012 (12.0.0)

On March 22, 2012, CIT upgraded the GroupWise WebAccess client and other Groupwise servers to 2012.  If you use WebAcess, you’ve already experienced the new look and feel as well as the increased functionality outlined below. 

CIT has now made the Groupwise 2012 client available for Calvin PC/Windows computers.  The Groupwise “client” is the software installed on your desktop or laptop computer that communicates with the Groupwise servers where your e-mail, calendar, etc are stored.  The Groupwise 2012 client will be automatically “pushed” to Calvin computers after the completion of the spring semester, but if you would like to upgrade now, you may “pull” the new Groupwise client using Delivered Applications > Installers > Groupwise 12.0.0 (click here for more information on using Delivered Applications to install software).  We recommend reading through the list of new features and known bugs below before upgrading.

The Groupwise client for Apple/Mac computers remains the same.


CIT is also excited to announce two other Groupwise related upgrades:

  • The default Groupwise quota has been increased from 300MB to 500MB.  This increase was implemented in December 2011 (no need to make a request) and is now being reflected in the Mailbox Size tool.

  • CIT is now offering GWSync as an option for faculty and staff who wish to connect to Groupwise via a mobile device.  Unlike other third party e-mail clients, GWSync allows you to use your GroupWise calendar. Please click here for more information on GWSync.

The following excerpts from Novell’s Groupwise 2012 Readme file outlines some of the new features and enhancements for Groupwise 2012:

Groupwise PC Client Enhancements

  • When you modify existing appointments by changing the subject, body text, attachments, and so on, changes display automatically in recipients’ Calendars. However, when you modify the date, time, or place, recipients have the opportunity to re-accept the appointment. Appointment modifications also carry through to delegated appointments.
  • The Multi-User Calendar now includes week, month, and year views, with adjustable columns. Scheduling recurring appointments is much easier, as is editing attached documents.
  • Those who share folders can enjoy sharing an entire folder tree in a single operation.
  • Name completion remembers who you selected last time and displays the most relevant users first.
  • Speller technology has been upgraded to provide higher quality for all supported languages.

WebAccess Enhancements

  • The Messages list can be sorted by any column, in ascending or descending order.
  • Addressing messages is easier with the new Address Selector, rather than going into the Address Book.
  • Photos can be added to contacts in your personal address books.
  • You can schedule recurring appointments.
  • You can create HTML and plain text signatures, and the same signatures are available in WebAccess and in the Windows client.
  • The Busy Search interface has been substantially improved.

WebAccess Mobile (New)

  • GroupWise 2012 includes a new WebAccess interface designed for use on the Apple iPad. It enables you to access your GroupWise mailbox from your iPad with the standard iPad look and feel.
  • You can compose, retract, read, reply to, and forward email messages, as well as check the status of sent items. You can schedule appointments for yourself and others, as well as accept, decline, and delegate appointments.
  • You can create tasks for yourself and others, and view the Tasklist folder.
  • Robust search capabilities are available.


Bugs and other things to note

  • The calendar scrolling issue is still present.  Sometimes when scrolling vertically within the calendar, the blocks of time get jumbled and repeated.  To correct this, click somewhere out of your calendar and then go back into the calendar.

  • When proxying into another account and viewing a multi-user calendar it does not display events on your own calendar but duplicates the account you’ve proxied into.  For example, when Jane Doe is in her own Jane Doe account viewing the multi-user calendar, she sees her appointments in her Jane Doe column of the multi-user calendar as well as John Doe’s appointments in his column and Department’s appointments in the Department column.  If Jane Doe proxies into the Department account and view the calendar, she now sees Department’s appointments in Department’s column and duplicated in her Jane Doe column.

  • When using WebAccess, the web browser must be capable of TLS 1.0 encryption protocol.  If this is disabled or unavailable, the WebAccess login will return a security error.  To enable TLS, in FireFox 10.x go to Options > Advanced > Encryption tab > check the “Use SLL 3.0” and “Use TLS 1.0” boxes > click OK; in Internet Explorer 9.x go to Internet Options > Advanced tab > scroll down to the Security options (very bottom) > check the “Use SSL 3.0” and “Use TLS 1.0” boxes > click OK.

 

Other important links:




Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dropbox, Google Drive and other clouds - are they secure?

You may have been hearing a lot lately about this thing called "the cloud" and how it will magically solve all of your problems, but what is it? Once you get past all of the marketing being thrown at you the concept is very simple: the cloud is another term for the internet and all of it's global network connections. There are many companies that offer services, software, and tools via the cloud to businesses and individuals. Some of these services and products are beneficial and fairly safe, while others are not. It can be difficult to navigate this cloud landscape and all it has to offer, so CIT is here to help you make good decisions. Keep reading for some guidance on cloud file storage products such as Dropbox.

This week Google announced Google Drive, their cloud for storing, syncing and sharing files. While this new product is getting media attention, it is another entry into an already crowded market of free or low cost consumer-grade online storage. Dropbox, iCloud, SugarSync, and SkyDrive are just a few other examples.

These products are simple to use and attractive for sharing files, either with other people or between computers or mobile devices. As with any pioneering technology, these services have risks - especially information security risks. A good rule to follow if you're using cloud-based storage is to post only information you're OK sharing with the world. It probably won't be shared, but it is possible.

Calvin's Acceptable Use Policy describes four categories of information: private, confidential, community, and public. Private or confidential information should never be stored on these consumer-grade services.

If you have questions about how you can get your work done and protect valuable college information, CIT is here to help. Contact the CIT HelpDesk (helpdesk@calvin.edu or x6-8555).


Matt Jeltema, CIT
Adam Vedra, Information Security Officer