Wireless Network Access and Computer Updates

In total, wireless network access is now available in all of the following locations on campus:

• All Residence Centers, Campus Houses, and University Apartments & Townhouses (including Lancaster Court)
• Main Campus: Barbelin/Lonergan, Barry, Bellarmine, Campion, Drexel Library, Mandeville, Post, Science Center, Ramsay Basketball Center, Wolfington, Boland, St Thomas, Claver, Bronstein
• Maguire Campus: Cynwyd Hall, Latches Hall, Music Studio
• Cosi (located in the Hawks’ Landing), Starbucks

In order to use our wireless network, please follow the instructions located in our IT Support Portal at http://www.sju.edu/resources/it/. Login to the IT Support Portal with your MySJU username and password and click on Wireless in the left hand side menu.

In accordance with the STC Policies, personal wireless routers are NOT to be used in the dorms! For further information regarding all STC policies: http://www.sju.edu/resources/it/policies/stc.html

There are a number of things you can do to help ease your transition back to campus, at least as far as your computer is concerned. Before coming back to campus, you can:

• Make sure have the latest Windows Updates (PC only) – To make sure your computer is up to date, please visit: http://www.update.microsoft.com/. If you are using a Mac, there are software updates available as well. Click on the Apple, then click software update.

• Make sure you have an Active, up-to-date Virus Protection application (PC and Mac). If your computer is in need of virus protection software, please download it from the IT website at http://www.sju.edu/it. Login to the IT Support Portal with your MySJU username and password and click Downloads.

FREE Microsoft Applications Workshops Available to Students

nullThe Office of Information Technology is offering free day and evening Microsoft Office (for Windows) workshops beginning in the Spring 2010 semester.
Topics include:

• Understanding the Basics of Microsoft Word
• Creating Spreadsheets with Microsoft Excel
• Creating Presentations with Microsoft PowerPoint

To register for a course or information regarding a specific course, please contact Ben Jezierski, IT Training Coordinator, at bjeziers@sju.edu or by phone at (610) 660-3386. Check out the current IT Training schedule for a complete list of workshops and course descriptions on our website at http://it.sju.edu/training.

Banner Overnight Hours

As a reminder, Banner PROD is down for backup every morning between 2am and 2:45am. During this time, all Administrative Services in MySJU will be unavailable.

Winter Session Schedule

The Student Technology Center will close on Saturday, December 19 at 4pm.
We will reopen and operate under the following Winter Session schedule (1/4/ 2010-1/15 2010):
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Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

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Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Avoiding Spyware and Viruses

Spyware and viruses are constantly changing and becoming harder to identify. Here are some simple tips for preventing spyware and viruses:
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(1) Install your computer updates regularly
– When your computer alerts you that you have updates ready to be installed, make sure to install them right away. Many updates are crucial to your computer’s security.
(2) Do not ever open attachments or click any links from senders that you do not know – Spammers are always trying to get your personal information through emails, but viruses and spyware can spread this way also. It is important to never open messages from someone you do not know.
(3) Do not click on pop-up adds – Pop-up windows are often a product of spyware. If you are seeing pop-ups it may be a good time to run a full scan of your computer with the University installed Symantec Endpoint software. To do this, double click the gold shield in the bottom right corner of your computer. When the Symantec window opens, choose full scan.
(4) Avoid using file-sharing programs – Anyone can upload any type of file to a peer-to-peer program such as Limewire. What you think is an MP3 can often be some sort of harmful program that will cause damage to your computer.
(5) Only download software from trusted sources – Always read a website’s privacy policy before downloading anything, especially free software. By installing this software you may be opening your computer up to various threats.
(6) Do not visit illicit sites – Illicit sites are havens for security threats.
(7) Do not follow email links claiming to offer anti-spyware software – We have installed and monitor anti-virus software on all University machines. Following these links may actually install spyware on your computer.
(8) Choose “no” when asked unexpected questions – If you are ever unsure of a pop-up or dialog box opening on your computer, please contact the Help Desk at x2920.

Computer Equipment over Holiday Breaks

As a note, we would like to express the importance of turning off your computer equipment during holiday breaks. We are asking all faculty, staff and students to maximize energy savings by shutting off computers, monitors, copiers, and printers before leaving for the break. This also prevents unnecessary strain on the equipment and the possibility of overheating. Leaving your computer on when you do not need it is not a good idea. It is always a best bet to turn off your computer and all peripherals when you are not using them. Thank you and have a wonderful holiday break!

H1N1 Prevention

The Information Technology Helpdesk Support staff in BL 30 and staff at the Student Technology Center in SC 129 are taking precautionary measures to maintain a sterile work environment in an effort to keep the university community healthy. Listed below are just few examples of what we are doing to keep you healthy in regards to computing in the SC 129 lab, and computer support and maintenance as well.

* Washing hands frequently with soap and water.
* Using an alcohol-based hand cleaner before accepting computers at the Faculty Helpdesk in BL 30 and at the STC in SC 129.
* Using antimicrobial alcohol wipes to wipe down the keyboards of computers dropped off before being worked on.
* Using antimicrobial alcohol wipes to wipe down the keyboards of computers in the SC 129 lab and 129 classroom nightly.
* Using antimicrobial alcohol wipes to wipe down the keyboards of the training laptops used during IT Training.
* Using antimicrobial alcohol-based wipes to wipe down frequently touched common surfaces in the office area, such as telephones, computer keyboards, doorknobs, etc.
* Using an alcohol-based hand cleaner before using a co-workers’ phone, work area, computer mouse and keyboard, or other work tools and equipment.
* Gloves are also available to staff working on computers dropped off to the STC and Information Technology Helpdesk.

In addition to these measures being taken by our staff, we would like to ask that customers take advantage of the wipes provided at the counter to wipe down their laptops prior to handing them over.
Thank you for your consideration.

My SJU Update: 11/12/09

Yesterday, Sungard Higher Education, the vendor who develops and supports the underlying software which drives MySJU, was able to identify a specific channel within MySJU which appears to be the primary source of the performance issues with the portal.  The Personal Announcement channel on the SJU Today page was causing MySJU to completely suspend all processing activities for upwards of 60 seconds at a time.  When MySJU was in this suspended state, all user requests were backlogged and placed into a waiting queue until the software completed its self-maintenance activities.  This sequence of system stops and starts recurred every two to three minutes so very little meaningful work was being done as the system cleaned up after itself.

MySJU performance improved significantly yesterday afternoon once the Personal Announcement channel was removed.  While we are fairly confident that we have found the system bottleneck, Sungard and the IT support team will continue to monitor system performance very closely throughout the next several days and weeks.

Given the findings with the Personal Announcement channel, Sungard is creating a test environment on their servers in an attempt to re-create the processing bottleneck and develop a solution.  Until a resolution is provided by Sungard, IT has suspended the use of the Personal Announcement channel.

IT will continue to provide the direct links to Blackboard, Administrative Services and other MySJU services at least until the end of student registration.  If MySJU remains stable throughout the rest of the month, then the direct links will be removed.

As you probably have surmised, finding the source of the problem was no easy task because MySJU is a complex system with many integrated component parts.  Troubleshooting complex issues of this kind requires painstaking analysis of system log files and, over the course of the past several weeks, Sungard and IT have analyzed dozens of log files and hundreds of thousands of log entries.   Before pinpointing the problem channel yesterday, Sungard had made a number of recommendations to us, and we performed a number of system configuration changes with the hope of resolving the issue.  While each of these changes provided a measure of improvement and marginal relief to the community, none resolved what has now been identified as a software design problem..  We are reasonably hopeful that MySJU is once again stable and hope that the user community in time will return to the portal. 

Again, we sincerely regret the negative effect these problems have had on the University community and appreciate your patience and support throughout this long and painful process.

My SJU Update: 11/11/09

As you know, we continue to experience problems with MySJU.  The system has been extremely slow and at times does not respond at all.  Over the past several weeks, IT has implemented a number of patches and configuration changes as directed by Sungard Higher Education, the vendor who develops and supports the underlying software which drives MySJU.  There have been periods of time when MySJU has been slightly more stable and responsive but given the high volume of activity around student registration and advisement this week, MySJU performance has degraded once again. 

A team of IT support staff have been working on the problem around the clock and has engaged Sungard to find a permanent resolution to our problems.  This morning, a senior consultant from Sungard will arrive on campus to work with IT until the problems are resolved.  This consultant is one of Sungard’s top specialists and he has significant experience working in higher education settings with the portal software used by MySJU.  We are hopeful that, with this level of expertise on campus, we will find the cause of the problems.  We will keep you informed of our progress. 

Until the problem is resolved, you may directly access services available in MySJU via the links below.  When prompted, enter your standard SJU username and password.

BLACKBOARD

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES (such as Employee Information, Financial Information, Faculty Services, Student Services, etc.)

FACULTY AND STAFF E-MAIL (Not Zimbra)

STUDENT E-MAIL

BANNER:

CALENDAR (Not Zimbra)

 ZIMBRA

DISCOVERER:

 We, in Information Technology, sincerely regret the negative effect these problems have had on the University community.

Snow Leopard and Windows 7

What is the plan for rolling out Mac Snow Leopard or Windows 7 for SJU-owned computers?

Snow Leopard (Mac 10.6)

We are currently in the testing phase of the Snow Leopard (Mac 10.6) operating system. In order to release Snow Leopard to the community, it must meet specific requirements. This includes compatibility with all university systems, such as Banner, Blackboard, etc.  We will test Snow Leopard with the standard SJU applications and alert the campus of known conflicts, such as Symantec anti-virus for Mac computers.  The Office of Information Technology (OIT) cannot fully support Snow Leopard until these issues are addressed by the software vendors.

Windows 7

We are currently in the testing phase of the Windows 7 operating system. In order to release Windows 7 to the community, it must meet specific requirements. This includes compatibility with all university systems, such as Banner, Blackboard, etc.  We will test Windows 7 with the standard SJU applications and alert the campus of known conflicts, such as problems logging into our SJU domain.  The Office of Information Technology (OIT) cannot fully support Windows 7 until these issues are addressed by the software vendors.

What’s the plan for upgrading campus to the new OS?

This is To Be Determined – specifics will be announced at a later date. Some of our considerations include:

  • Hardware; we will not install a new OS on hardware that cannot support it;
  • Functionality: if there are job-related features in the new OS, an upgrade is more likely to be performed; (Software list to be determined)
  • Availability: upgrades will be done on an ‘as available’ basis, not an ‘as requested’ basis;

Can I buy a new operating system and upgrade my work computer myself?

Absolutely not! This is not permissible and will not be supported. Any systems which are upgraded without permission, will be automatically downgraded to a fully supported operating system, either Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) or Windows XP.