Malone Xpress “Certificate is Expired” warning on 2 June 2014

Hello Students, Faculty, and Staff:

 

There is a known issue with Malone Xpress. When you access the service, you will be warned that the security certificate has expired. We are working on the problem and expect to have it resolved today.

 

In the meantime, you can click the “proceed” or “add exception” button to access Xpress. Your data and files are safe in this case. If you are ever unsure about the validity or security of a web site, you can call and ask us. In this instance, you will be safe to proceed and utilize Malone Xpress as you would normally.

 

Please contact the IT Help Desk if you have any questions or issues. We can be reached via email at helpdesk@malone.edu , via the web at http://www.malone.edu/helpdesk or by phone at 330.471.8428.

Stop using Internet Explorer [and other InfoTech updates]

Hello Faculty and Staff:

There are several things we wanted to share from the Info Tech office. Just to warn you that this email (and blog post) will likely be even longer than my normally long messages! To that end, here are some things this message will cover:

  • Don’t use Internet Explorer, your passwords, credit cards, and identity are not safe
  • May training (the next three weeks!)
  • Leadercast (May 9)
  • IT Summer Projects between now and June 30

Do NOT use Internet Explorer

This is EXTREMELY important if you are using the Internet for your own personal data or Malone student data. Please stop using ALL versions of Internet Explorer until we let you know otherwise; we await a software patch from Microsoft.

There is a widely publicized bug that allows attackers to steal your usernames, passwords, and other non-public personal information (bank accounts, etc.). You should use an alternative web browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Contact the Help Desk if you need either of these browsers installed or updated. The latest version of Firefox is 29.x and the latest version of Chrome is 34.x

If your computer is still running Windows XP, Microsoft will no longer be patching it. More on that below.

May Training

May training sign ups began earlier this week. Be sure to review the sessions and sign up for those sessions that will benefit you. The sign up form is here. Please note that while some workshops are designated for Faculty or Staff, each session is open to all clients. Weeks one and two are our traditional staff and faculty driven courses. Week 3 (May 19-23) will have training for budget officers, GL lookup users, and Event Schedulers on campus.

Leadercast

Not necessarily an IT thing, but I attended last year’s Leadercast and found it to be well worth my time. I encourage you to participate in this extremely useful professional development opportunity. Leadercast is next Friday, May 9. You can sign up using this link.

IT Summer Projects between now and June 30

I joke that summer is when we tear everything apart and change it so that when students and others return in the fall they have to relearn everything. I suppose I only half joke because sometimes that is not too far from the truth! The following projects are slated for start and in most cases completion prior to the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1. While this is not nearly a complete list, these are the major projects that will have significant impact to the Malone learning community.

Windows XP Elimination Project

Our Technical Support Specialists, Michael and Kenny, have been working extremely hard to eliminate the Windows XP Operating System from campus. Of the over 600 workstations on campus, we have just under 200 remaining. We will be replacing 100 machines (after July 1) with new computers, the other 100 or so will be augmented (many between now and June 30) with additional memory and then have their Operating Systems upgraded to Windows 7. All this summer. This is a huge project so thank you for your cooperation as we work with you to keep our students’ data safe and your computers in good working order. The best way to help is to respond to questions and calls that we place to you and your offices promptly.

Network Switching Upgrades in Founders Hall North and Randall Campus Center (aka the Barn)

Next week, Wednesday, May 7, we will be replacing the network switches that provide wired and wireless Internet and network connectivity. This is replacing equipment that is about eight years old. We will begin the switchout after 5pm. Be sure to say hi if you see Jim Shaffer or Shawn Campbell in the hall next week, this is what they are working on.

At the end of May or in the first few weeks in June, we will be doing the same project in the barn. We will be in contact with departments in that building with a better schedule and information closer to the change.

Computer Labs for Fall

We are preparing to upgrade the hardware for both Apple computer labs, JC218 and CL46, for fall. Technical Support Specialists, Michael and Kenny, will work with faculty who do a lot in these spaces to make sure that we have a good hardware and software set ready to go!

Windows labs will also be reviewed and updated though no new hardware will be installed. Let us know if you plan to use any special software this fall so that we can test and load it prior to fall semester’s beginning. Ideally we would want to have this information now so that we can take the summer to plan and vet each package.

Classroom and Residence Hall Checks

Each summer in May and June we thoroughly check all residence hall rooms and classrooms to make sure they are in good working order technologically. Be sure to email helpdesk@malone.edu if you are aware of an issue in any classroom, venue, or room on campus so we can give that space especial attention. Michael Garwood, our Instructional Technology Specialist and his student staff will be completing classroom checks. Ryan Laux and his staff will be checking meeting and performance venues on campus. Jim Shaffer and Michael Felcyn and student staff will be checking residence hall rooms.

Wireless Internet Checks and Prep for upgrades

Networking staff, Jim Shaffer and Shawn Campbell and student assistants, will be evaluating, preparing, and planning for wireless Internet upgrades in several buildings. Look for random student workers with a laptop and a funny looking antenna roaming hallways. Our learning community is growing more and more dependent upon ultra-reliable wireless connectivity. Thank you for you help as we continue to meet the increasing demand for wireless connectivity. You can help by letting us know where there are ‘dead’ spots in wireless connectivity. Email helpdesk@malone.edu to report where you have had trouble connecting to the ‘Malone’ wireless network.

eCompanion and eCollege Login issues

Some users have reported having problems logging into eCompanion and eCollege (malone.edu/online). When some users attempt to log in the page will reload rather than allowing them to log in. If you observe this behavior there are a couple things you can do in an effort to gain access to your courses:

 

  • To confirm that the problem is not with your Malone credentials please attempt a logging into your student email or Malone Express via userid.malone.edu . If you are successfully able to log into those services then you have determined the problem is not with your credentials but with the Online Learning login.
  • If the above works, then clear your internet browser’s cookies and cache (per FAQ 249) or attempt a log in using a different internet web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Google Chrome).

Additional Assistance

 

If you are still unable to get into eCompanion and eCollege and you can sign into Malone Express or your Malone Student email, then you will need to contact the Pearson 24/7 Online Learning Technical Help Desk (phone 866.221.8245 or email: helpdesk@malone-online.org).

If you are unable to get into eCompanion and eCollege and you cannot sign into Malone Express or Malone Student email, then you will need to contact the Malone University Information Technologies Help Desk (phone 330.471.8428 or email: helpdesk@malone.edu).

Opening PDF’s on Malone University Computers

Have you ever attempted to open a PDF on one of the computers here at Malone? Many users need to access PDF’s for many reasons some users need to access PDF’s to complete a homework assignment. Others may need to open a PDF to complete a vital job task. As more and more of you use the computers here at Malone to view PDF’s you may be encountering an error that may look similar to this:

This is something that has been occurring more and more while using Adobe X and Windows 7 on public machines. Adobe has changed the way their program behaves and how it interacts with users in an environment such as ours. Adobe has made the action of initially opening the program equivalent to ‘accepting’ the End User Agreement. They require every user to do this action before using their program to view PDFs. Users that have not done this will either receive the above error, or the PDF simply will not open. After opening the program for the first time, users will not be prompted with that error, because they have essentially ‘agreed’ to Adobe’s terms. PDF’s will then open as they are supposed to by simply clicking on them. This ‘accept’ of the terms is tied only to the computer you are using at that moment in time. If you have to use a different computer you will need to ‘Agree’ to the terms again by opening the Adobe Acrobat X program.

This is a problem on the public machines because they are constantly used by many different users. In order to keep the computers functioning at a reasonable speed it is necessary to delete profiles that may have been on a computer but not used for a while. When the profiles are deleted, the next time a user signs in Adobe will not remember they ‘accepted’ their terms and yield the error again. So when you attempt to use a public machine it is a best practice to open Adobe Acrobat X before attempting to open any PDF’s. Users that have a Malone issued machine should not have to worry about this problem because that machine is being used on a daily basis, and does not run the risk of having any profiles deleted.

Unfortunately this problem is currently out of our hands, it is not a bug we need to wait for a fix to be created.  Adobe has designed their program to function this way, this is their desired result. Adobe has indicated this is how they would like to handle their programs moving forward, and they do not appear to be fixing this anytime soon. They do not view this as a problem and want to keep Adobe Acrobat X the way it is.

What Malone IT is doing to fix this problem

The good news is Malone Information Technologies Technical Support Specialists are currently testing an alternate PDF program to replace Adobe Acrobat. The new program that replaces Adobe should have much of the same functionality Adobe offers, but without the negatives Adobe is currently bringing to the table. The new program (Foxit PDF Editor) will start appearing on select computers across campus. Any feedback will be important to the decision process, so any problems or praises you have should be brought to the attention of the Help Desk.

Please direct any questions, comments, or concerns to Malone Information Technologies Help Desk. We can be reached via the phone (330.471.8428) or email (helpdesk@malone.edu) 8 am – 6pm Monday through Thursday and 8 am – 5 pm on Fridays. The Help Desk’s walk-in office hours are 8 am- 5 pm Monday through Friday.

Update Friday

To provide a seamless user experience we have begun to push out updates in the background to make sure your Malone-owned computer stays up to date. This is typically done the second Friday of every month after Patch Tuesday. For those of you who don’t know Patch Tuesday is the second Tuesday of the month where Microsoft releases any updates to the Window’s Operating System (OS). These updates range from new language packs to vital changes on how the OS functions.  On Friday’s following Patch Tuesday we release the updates for all the computers on campus, along with other vital updates that effect day to day work for users. Common updates that are pushed out on Update Friday will be Adobe Flash, Java, Shockwave, VLC video player, and many more! Updates are pushed out late on Friday evening so they are not visible to the user until the following Monday.

In order to receive these vital updates users will need to keep their computers turned on when they leave the office on Friday. Laptop users will need to leave their computers on campus hardwired to the Malone network with the Wi-Fi off if they want to receive updates. In addition to leaving the computer turned on, laptop users will need to leave their computers turned on and the clam shell left in the open position. Users with questions on how to make sure their computer is properly connected, or left in the correct state may contact the Help Desk (330.471.8428 or helpdesk@malone.edu) and we can go over the process with you.

Along with doing your part to make sure that your computers get updated, we ask that you leave any public computers (Library stations, Labs, and Classrooms) turned on in observance of Update Friday. Leaving the classrooms turned on will help make sure the computers Faculty use to instruct are kept in working order, and provide for a better teaching experience reducing plug-in related problems in the classroom.

To allow everyone time to accommodate to our request we have pushed Update Friday back by one week this month. This means for the month of March we will not be releasing the updates until 3/21. Please see below for the update schedule for the next four months.

Update weekends for the next four months are scheduled for:

  • March 21
  • April 18
  • May 16
  • June 13

These dates are posted to the “IT outage calendar” in the “Information Technologies” tab of Malone Xpress.

Please direct any questions, comments, or concerns to Malone Information Technologies Help Desk. We can be reached via the phone (330.471.8428) or email (helpdesk@malone.edu)  8 am – 6pm Monday through Thursday and 8 am – 5 pm on Fridays. The Help Desk’s walk-in office hours are 8 am- 5 pm Monday through Friday.

-Malone University IT

Office 365 for Malone Students

Early in the month of February Malone IT sent out an email to students with details on how to download Office 365. Students please see below for links to several FAQ’s containing the procedure for downloading Microsoft Office to your machine. You will be able to install Office 365 on up to five personal machines. You will have access to Office 365 as long as you are a student at Malone.

If you encounter any problems, or are unable to complete the installation, please contact the Help Desk. We can be reached via phone (330.471.8428) or email (helpdesk@malone.edu). We will do our best to assist you with any problems that may surface.

FAQ 312 Office 365 for Windows 7

FAQ 313 Office 365 for Windows 8

FAQ 314 Office 365 for Mac

 

SnapChat and Malone’s network

We saw a little chatter yesterday on twitter about Malone blocking SnapChat through our wifi. Please know that we did not! We received calls at the Help Desk yesterday around 10am and the issue was immediately reported to our Network personnel. Initial indications were that it was a problem with our web filter (we do filter the web, see FAQ112 for more information on what we do filter and why). Our senior network administrator had been on the phone with our filter vendor for several hours when, at around 4pm, snapchat began working again. No changes had been made to our filter before, during, or after the outage.

A quick Google search on “snapchat outage” brought us to this page:

http://downdetector.com/status/snapchat/news/7503-problems-at-snapchat-5

that indicates a number of snapchat users were having trouble connecting to the service yesterday.

If you experience any trouble using our network, please contact us so that we can help you! We work to make sure that you have a highly available wired and wireless network. SO… #pleasecontactusbeforeyoubreakoutthetorches ! We can be reached via email at helpdesk@malone.edu , via the web at http://www.malone.edu/helpdesk or by phone at 330.471.8428. We are here to serve you, our customers!

Friday Tech Tip ‘Scheduling Assistant’ and ‘Available Meeting Times’

Hello Malone Faculty/Staff,

 

The tech tip this week has to do with using the ‘Scheduling Assistant’ feature when making a meeting in Outlook; as well as, using the ‘Available Meeting Times’ function in the Calendar application on a Mac. This is a great feature that allows you to see when any of your peers may already be in a meeting when trying to schedule a group event. This feature works best when the invitees are using Outlook/Exchange to manage their schedule.

 

FAQ 310 Scheduling Assistant for Microsoft Outlook

 

FAQ 311 Available Meeting Times in Mac Calendar application

 

Free Office 365 for Students, Faculty, and Staff coming soon!

Hello Students, Faculty, and Staff of Malone University:

We are pleased to announce that starting sometime in January, all current students and employees of Malone University will be able to download and install Microsoft Office 365 for free! This suite of applications will include:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • and more!

You will continue to be able to utilize the suite of applications as long as you are enrolled at or employed by Malone.

Note to Christmas Computer shoppers!: Make sure that you do NOT purchase Office when you buy the hardware!

Expect to hear more details about how to download and install in January.

A follow up to today’s Community Worship

Hello Folks:

I hope you were as inspired as I was at today’s, Wednesday 30 October 2013, community worship where Derek Melleby talked about integrating Christ into our ‘academic disciplines.’ If you missed it, you can view a recording of the gathering online below. Derek begins his part of the program around minute 14:

Derek mentioned quite a few Christians who are notably allowing their faith to shine, not in front of but through their professions. Here are a couple TED talks of those Christians that Derek Mentioned.

Enjoy.

-Adam

 

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