Category Archives: Post for MiddPoints

Bicycle-powered charger

Friday Links – April 18, 2014

Photos: 15 gadgets to reduce your energy consumption - Earth Day is April 22, so it’s a great time to take a step back and look at your personal energy consumption.

The Truth About Google X: An Exclusive Look Behind the Secretive Lab’s Closed Doors – Space elevators, teleportation, hoverboards, and driverless cars: the top secret Google X innovation lab opens up about what it does–and how it thinks.

Benjamin Bratton on “What’s wrong with TED Talks?” A, er, TED talk …

“… This is taking something of substance and value and coring it out so it can be swallowed without chewing.  This is not how we’ll confront our most frightening problems. This is one of our most frightening problems. …” [around 2:00]

There are a lot of digital stories being told at Middlebury. Check out a few here.

13 Ways To Be A Great Public Speaker – Rehearsing your body language and getting proper rest are effective tactics for reducing public speaking anxiety and ensuring that you give a memorable presentation.

Introduction to the Junos Pulse VPN client

We’re delighted to formally announce a significant enhancement to the College’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that offers a faster and more convenient way to establish a connection from off-campus to Middlebury’s network.  The Junos Pulse client is available for a wide variety of computers and mobile devices that include: Macintosh, Windows, iOS (iphones, ipads), and Android.

For Macintosh and Windows platforms, the Junos Pulse client may be downloaded from Middfiles at:  https://middfiles.middlebury.edu/Software/Public/Junos%20Pulse – to access this download site you will be prompted to enter your Middlebury Network username and password, this site is accessible from off-campus without first establishing a VPN connection.

A special note for Windows 8 users.  Do not install the Junos Pulse client for Windows 7 on your Windows 8 computer, rather if you’re running Windows 8.0 upgrade to Windows 8.1 and the use the built-in VPN tool to configure the Junos Pulse client that is embedded within Windows 8.1.  Please follow these instructions for Windows 8.1 computers:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj613767.aspx.

For iOS (iphones, ipads) devices, please visit the Apple store and search for junos pulse.

For Android devices, please visit the Google play store and search for junos pulse.

Details on how to install and configure Junos Pulse are available here:  http://go.middlebury.edu/vpn.

While you will be able to continue to establish a VPN connection the Middlebury’s network from off-campus using the Junos “NetConnect” client or by visiting https://vpn.middlebury.edu for the next several weeks, we strongly encourage you to transition to the Junos Pulse client.  Indeed, on or about April 30th, 2014, we will redirect the current login page at https://vpn.middlebury.edu that uses the Junos “NetConnect” client to http://go.middlebury.edu/vpn that contains our instructions on how to use the Junos Pulse client instead.  We have received a number of positive comments from those who have already transitioned to using the Junos Pulse client.

As always, we welcome your feedback and are ready to assist you with this transition; if you run into trouble or have questions, please open an LIS help desk ticket, email us at helpdesk@middlebury.edu or give us a call at the helpdesk X2200.

Microsoft to end technical support for Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003

Microsoft will end support for the Windows XP operating system and Microsoft Office 2003 software on April 8.  Microsoft will no longer release security updates or provide technical support for either product after this date.

Both Windows XP and Office 2003 will continue to function, but computers running either product will become increasingly vulnerable to malware and other forms of cyber-attack.

Due to the risk these vulnerabilities create, the Information Security group considers it necessary that Middlebury College students, faculty and staff have an upgrade to better protect personal and College data.

If you are not sure whether you are using Windows XP, Microsoft has created an easy-to-use website you can use to help at http://amirunningxp.com.

If you have a College-owned device that is running Windows XP, please contact the helpdesk at helpdesk@middlebury.edu, or create a ticket at  https://webhelpdesk.middlebury.edu/ to discuss the best course of action. The Technology Helpdesk has already begun the process of migrating all College-owned computers to Windows 7.

Students, faculty, and staff with personal computers running Windows XP will need to upgrade their computer operating system to be able to connect to the Middlebury network or VPN at some point in the future, so please take action as soon as possible.

For questions or assistance, contact the Helpdesk at X2200 or visit https://webhelpdesk.middlebury.edu/ to create an online ticket.

Go/middfiles II: Electric Boogaloo

This post was made in the fall, but technical issues delayed the implementation. We’re now ready to move forward.

Recently, we at the Helpdesk have spoken with many individuals who were disappointed with the interface and performance of NetStorage, but were unaware of other, usually superior ways to access their files.

In an effort to improve awareness, and in consultation with Central Systems and Network Services, we will be changing the go/middfiles shortcut, currently pointed directly to Netstorage, to lead to our main documentation about Middfiles. Using this documentation, users should be able to quickly connect using faster, better methods and be on their way.

We realize that this will be a significant change for some in our community, but we anticipate that over time, this will help people distinguish between Middfiles, the server system, and Netstorage, a web application that permits limited access to that system and is not intended for daily use. Netstorage will still be accessible via go/netstorage for edge cases like mobile devices that cannot use WebDAV.

The plan is to make the switch within the next few weeks. (EDIT: The changes have been made.) This post (available at go/middfileschange) will be updated with any new information.

As always, we invite your feedback via comments. For specific questions or issues, please make a ticket.

100th Flanders Collection Cylinder Milestone!

The Northeast Document Conservation Center reports  that they’ve recorded one hundred of the two hundred and fifty cylinders in the Flanders Ballad Collection.  Quite a milestone!  See the recording system at work and listen to the hundredth cylinder in the NEDCC blog post here!  Take a look at some of the previous posts to learn more about this new sound scanning technology.

Irene Blog

Library hours for Spring Break

The libraries will have reduced hours for the week of Spring Break, March 21st-30th. During the week, we will be open from 9 am – 5 pm. In addition, the libraries will be closed Thursday, March 27th, for an LIS in-service day. Full hours can be found at go/hours.

What’s New in Moodle 2.6

Please note we are currently on Moodle 2.5, this is all information about an upgrade that has just been made available to us.

Remote-Learner is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, March 25th, from 11:30am-12:30pm.

Webinar Registration

A small group from LIS will be attending the webinar together, please contact Joe Antonioli (jantonio@middlebury.edu) if you would like to join us.

Here are some of the items that will be presented:

  • New whole-course formatting options (eg. entire course design is forum-based)
  • Simplified password recovery process
  • Annotate uploaded .PDFs in-browser, with tick and cross stamps
  • Enhanced mark-up, feedback & grade-review/release options
  • Backup & restore courses larger than 4 GB
  • More responsive, flexible TinyMCE editor for multi-device design, readability
  • Better performance & functionality–faster, and uses fewer resources

This video is a quick overview of some of the usability and performance improvements:

and more on the pdf annotating:

Friday Links – March 14, 2014

9 Tips for Creating a Sense of Community for Distance Learners - The article provides is geared towards fully online courses, but it is also good advice for faculty wanting to created engagement in a hybrid course.

Memes, Genes and Evolution on Facebook - The way memes evolve on Facebook is startlingly similar to the way genes evolve on Earth, say researchers who have carried out the first large-scale study of memetic evolution.

Photos: 3D printers, a tour of the top models – The MakerBot Replicator Mini is the cheapest of the versions at $1,375. It’s designed for home use and only weighs 18 pounds. Download the designs on the tablet app, connect the Mini to a USB cable, and print. The machine is optimized for PLA filament.

Two Middlebury Grads Offer Software to Help You See in 3D – Shane Scranton and Nate Beatty are developing software for the Oculus Rift to connect architecture, design and 3D modeling into an immersive experience.

Seduction in the Poster Session – Plan, learn and whatever you do – don’t use Comic Sans! This article provides poster making tips from Kathryn Everson, a PhD Student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks & University of Alaska Museum. Adobe InDesign and Illustrator are highlighted as two of the best tools to use for poster production and (GOOD NEWS!) these are both available at Middlebury in the Wilson Media Lab!

Five tips for creating a successful presentation with an iPad - connection and swapping between applications are just two of the considerations in this short list of recommendations.