OIT Technology News: March 2014

Changes to Computer Installations

Due to the number of XP machines to be replaced and the large number of installations for the scheduled computer refreshment, OIT has contracted with an outside vendor to assist with the computer installations on campus.  Consultants from Premier Logitech are working closely with the OIT Installations team to begin handling many of the installations on campus.  By engaging this resource, we will be able to improve the turnaround time from order to installation as well as better manage the installation schedule.  

Several changes to the process have been implemented to help streamline the process.

  1. CrashPlan Pro is being used heavily for the data transfer.  Prior to your scheduled install, CrashPlan must be installed and a complete backup performed. Currently, this software is only available for primary computers.  We are working to make that available for secondary machines as well.
  2. If you have a machine running Windows XP, we have already worked with the local technical support reps to identify the replacement computers. You will receive a notice very soon alerting you that a computer has arrived and is ready to be installed.  One of the consultants from Premier Logitech will contact you to schedule the installation.
  3. The actual data transfer, configuration and additional software installations will take place in your office rather than at Expressway Towers.  This means that you will need to be available during the installation window to login to the new computer and initiate the data restore.  The process will take up to 2 hours unless you have a large amount of data or have a slower network connection.  The technicians will launch all of the processes before leaving your office.  You will be able to work on the machine while the rest of the applications are installing in the background.
  4. We are also pulling the reports for devices eligible to be replaced under the Technology Fund for FY15.  We are planning on placing a bulk order for most of those devices in late May and then scheduling most of the installations for the summer.  This will allow the installation team to provide a quicker resolution for the non standard or emergency installations throughout the year.

The consultants from Premier Logitech will have ID badges to identify them.  They are also working closely with the lead of the install team (Chad Madding) to arrange all of the installations. If you have any questions, please contact the Help Desk.

 


Java Updates Cause Major Frustration

Do you get tired of Java prompting you to update all the time?  Then, once you give in and apply the update, have you ever had it break one or more of your applications?   You're not alone!  The Java platform is used extensively by many applications.  The applications are then developed based on a certain functionality of the Java client.  That client, however, is changed and updated regularly.  Unfortunately, without the same update cycle for the dependent applications, this sometimes causes applications to "break". 

At the help desk, we troubleshoot many java related issues.  If you have applied a recent update and found yourself with a broken application we have a few tips to help you manage the java environment and lessen your frustration!

PC Users:

  1. From the start menu, select the Control Panel, click Java. The Control Panel will display.
  2. Modify the automatic update notification schedule: First of all, it is important to update Java whenever feasible to ensure the protection of your computer.  However, you may want to have Java check for updates on a monthly basis (rather than daily!).  Click on the Update tab. Check the box next to "check for updates automatically". Then click the Advanced button.  Set the schedule for monthly and click OK.
  3. Add important sites to the Exception Site Lists.  Sites such as locker.smu.edu, adminimages.smu.edu and others must be added to the Exception Site in order for the application to work correctly.  Click on the Security tab.  Then click Edit Site List. Click Add.  In the open field, type the URL of the application including the https prefix (https://adminimages.smu.edu).  Click OK.

MAC Users:

  1. Go to System Preferences. Launch Java. The Java Control Panel will then appear. (Next steps are identical to PC instructions steps 2 & 3.)

Remember, it is still important to update Java for security reasons.  If you have any questions or difficulty applying the changes above, please contact the help desk.

Did you know...

The help desk software is used by various groups outside of OIT?  We continue to expand the usage of this incredible tool to make it easier for you to request the support and services from multiple departments and enable those departments to track and manage those requests easily!  Simply visit help.smu.edu to open a ticket for any of the following departments/areas:

  • OIT
  • Lyle IT
  • Lyle Distance Education
  • Law IT
  • Guildhall IT
  • Guildhall Creative
  • DEA IT
  • RLSH Apartment Maintenance
  • RLSH Res Hall Maintenance
  • CUL IT

In addition, several other groups utilize the software for fulfilling specific requests. These include Payroll (TimeAccess Requests), Park N Pony (ID Card requests), Access.SMU Module Leads (Access security and training), Public Affairs (Sitecore requests), BBEC Help Desk, and Meadows Help Desk.

Now you can request and track those requests in one simple portal!