Street Team: Initial Feedback on iOS7

iPhone Home Screen (iOS 6 v iOS7)

After hearing many passionate reviews on the new iOS7 on blogs and twitter, the TSC decided to find out how our SJU students feel about the new upgrade.  Katie went on a mission to get reviews around campus.

 

Here’s what SJU students had to say:

“I like that it’s new and refreshing. The new notification center is very informative and convenient and the new ringtones and sounds are more fun. The new camera is more high tech and the upgraded navigation system is better for walking. I think certain people don’t like the extreme change of colors and style.”

Jess Russo, Food Marketing ‘15

 

“I don’t like the new text messages. I think the iOS7 looks ‘juvenile.’ I feel like the software makes the phone look older and not as cutting edge as the software before.”

Kylie Smeraglio, Education ‘14

 

“I think it’s weird, it’s trying to copy the Samsung Galaxy and doesn’t feel very ‘Apple’ and all around not very manly.”

Ryan Masserano, Sports Marketing ‘15

 

“I’m iffy about it. I don’t like setup but I do like the navigation system. It also seems to make my phone slower.”

Lauren Brands, Political Science ‘15

 

“I like it. The design is fresh and new. I love the colors and the new background but it’s slow and takes up more battery.”

Hannah Tomkovicz, Food Marketing ‘16

 

“The update is way more efficient but it was weird at first. I think people are afraid cause it’s new.”

Andrew Kolpack, Finance-Management double major ‘15

 

“It’s ok… I’m just used to the other one. It’s very bright and I don’t like chat bubbles in the new iMessage.”

Tori Evans, Early Childhood Development and Special Ed ‘16

 

Many students with the update were not as passionate as what has been circulating the internet, but the consensus was that it was definitely a change they would have to get used to but seemed to be alright so far.

As of those who did update their phones, some cited they were told by websites to wait about two months, other didn’t have enough room on their phone or just hadn’t gotten around to it yet; however not many were refusing to eventually upgrade like some tweeters are.

 

What are your initial thoughts?

We Are Award Winners!

Have you seen the TSC’s video? If not, you should. It just won an award from SIGUCCS (Special Interest Group on University and College Computing Services)!

A few months ago, User Services’ Director, Lauren Adams, submitted the TSC’s video in a competition.  The competition recognizes excellence in developing useful and attractive publications in a variety of media categories.  The main requirement was that the submission must be created by staff members at SJU.  Once submitted, all entries were judged by members of peer universities.  The winning entries are presented at the annual SIGUCCS conference where all participants can see our work.

Well, we are proud to say that our staff produced video won the Communications Award of Excellence in the category of Short Promotional Video/Audio. Here’s what the judges had to say:

The video is simply beautiful. It’s very well crafted, natural, and really puts a face to the TSC. That’s not an easy mission and by the end of the video we felt like we knew the staff. We also liked the end of the video that provided helpful links to find more information.”

Members of the Office of Information Technology’s Media Services department, Mike Gallagher and Dan Moretz, produced this awesome video.  Olivia Ward wrote the script and Claire Ryan lent her voice.

Aside from being a beautiful video, it also explains all of the services offered by the TSC as well as any contact information you would need.  You can view the TSC’s video on our Facebook page by going to this link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=418946071474076&set=vb.100194320122344&type=3&theater

This is a fantastic testament to the superb work and creativity of the members of SJU’s Office of Information Technology.  Great work by all members of the team and congratulations!

 

Street Team: Backing Up Your Schoolwork

If you’ve ever had your computer crash with one page left to go of a 3,000 word paper, then this article is for you. A lot of students who come into the Technology Service Center simply don’t backup their data. Even if you’re saving your work every 5 minutes, backing up your files is essential. You can save all you want, but if a file becomes corrupted or if your hard drive mysteriously catches on fire, you’ll be completely out of luck. There are a few different companies that offer solutions to this problem, but Dropbox is arguably the most popular.

Dropbox is a service that allows you to backup and share files via the internet, quickly and easily. You can save all of your schoolwork in a single folder and, without you doing a thing, Dropbox will copy all of your schoolwork to its servers for safekeeping (or sharing, if you’re into that sort of thing). Setting up Dropbox is straightforward and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes of your time.

Setting up a Dropbox account:

 

1. Navigate to http://www.dropbox.com (or just click the link) in your web browsers

2. In the top right corner, click the “Download” link. A new page should open, and a download link should appear.

3. Once the file finishes downloading, double click it and the installer should begin running. Click “install” and Dropbox should begin installing.

4. Eventually, the installation dialog should display a screen asking if you either a. don’t have a dropbox account or b. already have a dropbox account. If you haven’t already registered an account at dropbox.com, select the first option.

 

5. The sign-up form should now appear. Fill-in the required situation, give your computer a name for Dropbox to recognize, and click next.

6. Dropbox’s pricing list should now show up. Unless you wish to pay a monthly fee, select the free 2GB option. Pricing options on the paid Dropbox plans are availabe on the Dropbox website.

7. On the next prompt, select typical setup. Dropbox may now prompt you for your mobile phone number, this is optional. Only enter your phone number if you wish to set up Dropbox on a mobile device as well.

8. Continue through the setup prompt and Dropbox tour.

9. Setup should now be completed.

 

Now, inside your user folder (where your find your Downloads, Music, Videos, etc. folders) will be a folder titled “Dropbox”. Any files you put inside this folder will sync to your Dropbox account.

 

If you prefer not to use Dropbox, for whatever reason, there are a few different services that offer similar free plans (and use similar setup proccesses):

http://mozy.com/home/free/

https://spideroak.com/

http://www.google.com/drive/

Good luck, and don’t forget to back up your data!

Meet the Team: Katie Baldwin

Katie Baldwin is the TSC’s first official Student Worker of the Month. Since the start of the Fall 2013 semester, Katie has been non-stop.  She works as a student technician, fixing computers, removing spyware, and replacing parts.  In the month of September, the TSC for the Street Team and Katie picked up double-duty serving as a Brand Ambassador for the Office of Information Technology (OIT).

 

afterlight

 

As a member of the Street Team, Katie writes blog articles, takes part in campus events representing OIT, and testing new technology that students may be interested in.  Outside the TSC, Katie is a Junior International Marketing major. She is pledging AOII and plays Gaelic Football.

We are very thankful to have Katie is a member of our team and couldn’t do what we do without her!

 

 

Street Team: 5 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer

This week, our featured Street Team member is Rich McIntosh.  Rich is a Junior BI major who has worked in Information Technology since he was a freshman. He is now serving in the TSC in the position of Brand Ambassador.  Keep an eye out for Rich at a campus event near you!

 

5 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer

Pretty much everyone has had the experience where, seemingly for no reason, their computer begins to run slow. Sadly, the reality is that computers start to slow down for various reasons over time. This applies to both Mac and Windows computers, and it can put a huge damper on the computing experience. Fortunately, though, there are a few steps you can take to speed things up.

 

1) Defragment your hard drive (Windows Only)

A fragmented hard drive (essentially meaning that it’s disorganized to the computer) can be a big performance killer. Almost all Windows laptops and desktops will suffer from this issue at some point in the computer’s lifespan. If you have an Apple computer, this probably won’t be an issue for you. The way that OS X writes files to the hard drive largely eliminates the need for defragmentation. However, for the vast majority of users on campus, fragmentation will become an issue over time. Windows has a built in defragmentation utility that will suffice for most situations, and you’ll want to make sure you have at least 10-15% of free space on your hard drive before you run it.

You can find step-by-step instructions on defragmenting your hard drive on Microsoft’s website. Click on the version you have to be taken to the site:

Windows XP

Windows Vista

Windows 7

Windows 8

 

2) Clean off junk files from your hard drive (Windows & Mac)

This particular tip applies equally to both Mac and Windows computers. Third party software tends to install a significant amount of “bloatware” (unneeded and unwanted programs/files) and over time this can slow a computer down significantly. A good, free utility for cleaning off these junk files is called CCleaner and it can be downloaded at http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner. Instructions on using CCleaner: http://www.piriform.com/docs/ccleaner/using-ccleaner. Make sure that you are downloading CCleaner from piriform.com, the official website, or filehippo.com, another official location for the download.

 

3) Eliminate unnecessary startup programs (Windows & Mac)

 

If your computer is taking a long time to boot up, it’s almost always going to be as a result of the number of programs attempting to run when it boots. CCleaner has a utility built in that allows you to see what programs are running on startup and delete them. Almost no software has a need to be running as soon as you turn on your computer, besides antivirus or antispyware software. Otherwise, there’s very little benefit, and quite a few drawbacks.  Also, when you install many programs (for example, Spotify) you will be asked if you want this program to run at startup. Choosing NO is the best option.

4) Run regular virus/spyware scans (Windows & sometimes Mac)

This tip applies especially to Windows machines, although arguably will apply to Macs as they are becoming more and more widely used. You should be running virus scans weekly, at the very least, on your computer. All it takes is clicking the “Scan your computer” button and letting it run in the background for 45 minutes to an hour. Viruses and spyware can bog a computer down and render it more or less unusable, and that’s one of the less severe results of malware. If you need anti-virus software installed on your computer, you can stop by the Technology Service Center (TSC), where we do any software installs and hardware troubleshooting in SC129, any time during business hours and it will be installed free-of-charge.

 

5) Don’t save every single file to your desktop (Windows & Mac)

 

Does your desktop look something like this (or worse)?

This one may sound a little silly but it’s one of the most common things I’ve seen working on both Faculty and Student computers. If you’re saving every single file to your desktop, your computer is going to be noticeably slower. It has to render the icon and store meta information for every single file, and it’s very taxing on the computer when you start nearing hundreds or thousands of files. Even creating a folder on the desktop and saving everything in there would be an improvement, but ideally one should utilize the Downloads, Documents, Videos, Music and Pictures folders. Both Mac and Windows use pretty much the same setup as far as those five folders are concerned, and using them instead of the desktop will both help you be a lot more organized and possibly eliminate some performance issues.

 

As always, if you have any questions on these tips or need assistance following any of the instructions, we are more than happy to help at the TSC in SC129!

IT Outage: Academic Dashboard 9/9 – 9/10

Beginning on Monday, September 9th at 4:00 pm until Tuesday, September 10th at 8:00 am, the Academic Dashboard will be unavailable in MySJU.  The dashboard will still be accessible for anyone who has bookmarked the link, but we will be removing the link in MySJU.  We will be making changes to existing reports and adding new reports in preparation for academic chair use.  Consequently, if do choose to access the dashboard during this time the data may not be accurate or available.

Please contact the TSC if you have further questions regarding this outage!

Street Team: Back to School and the Perfect Speakers

The Office of Information Technology blog will now have a special column featuring student writers, under the category “Street Team”.  Each week you can expect an article from a student geared toward students!

This week, we will be featuring an article from Katie Baldwin. Katie is a Junior International Marketing major. She has worked in IT since she was a freshman and was recently promoted to the position of Brand Ambassador for the Technology Service Center (TSC).  Katie serves as a member of our newly created TSC Street Team so be on the lookout for her around campus!

We’re excited for Katie to be serving in the new role and invite you to read below for her article:

Best Speakers for Fall 2013

While moving in and trying to create the perfect living space this year, I overheard a few people discussing the cool concepts for speakers that have recently become popular. Living in dorms means that making a space your own is a must.  Whether you do that through colorful bedding, a big gaming setup, or unique posters is up to you; however, adding an extra touch like some funky speakers can really light up a room. Some cool designs for speakers include:

  • These little headphonies are generally widely available around local stores. They are tiny and very portable, but still add an extra design factor to spice up your music.  Bonus: they are very reasonably priced!


  • Biodegradable speakers in a donut shape might not be what you think of normally, but its a way to go green while still enjoying your music. (Pulpop Mp3 Speakers)

  • Or there are also cardboard speakers you can go green and get creative with that are less expensive (Eco Nation speakers by Merkury)

 

  • Animal shaped speakers have also been a trend, such as these pig ones, or these panda one

IDEA pig speakersMYKIND panda speakers

 

  • One of the most talked about designs this summer has been these water speakers. I have several friends who own and love these cool speakers.

Check out a video of them in action at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKZahuOpdwM

USB Powered Colorful LED Fountain Dancing Water Music Speakers

I’ve heard mixed reviews on the sound quality of most of these speakers though, mostly because their focus is the design and not the sound quality.

 

If you’re looking for something with a high audio quality, Altec Lansing makes some really good speakers that won’t break the bank. They have a big selection of various designs depending on what you’re looking for.  Check out some reviews at http://www.cnet.com/topic/altec-lansing.html.

Dayton B652 speakers also provide surprisingly good sound quality for a relatively inexpensive price tag.

Personally, I would suggest investing in a really good pair of noise-cancelling headphones. You can blast music as loud as you want and not disturb your neighbors or roommate, but you can also quietly listen to music without overhearing the argument going on next door. I have a pair of Sony MDR-NC13 noise canceling headphones which I got just before freshman year and have been a lifesaver (especially for sophomores and upperclassmen living on the Overbrook campus who take the shuttle in every morning). Also, look out for noise isolating headphones, which generally don’t handle low frequency, bass tones as well, but can block voices and inconsistent sounds better.

Some current reviews suggest:

  • Klipsch Image s4A

  • Bose Quiet Comfort collection

  • Shure’s  SE215 Sound isolating earbuds

They can get to be a little pricey, but keep in mind that the less you spend the less likely they will be to block out all sound. Same for the speakers, the cheaper they are, the probability that the audio quality is bad goes up.

Welcome back to SJU!