Tag Archives: LIS Staff Interest

Telephone System Replacement at Middlebury and Monterey campuses and Washington, D.C. office

Why:

  • Middlebury campus PBX is 20 years old, past end-of-life, operating with elevated risk
  • Realize modern unified communication features to enhance user-friendliness, efficiency
  • Integrate calling between Middlebury, Monterey Washington, D.C. office

What:

  Cisco Systems Unified Communications
  • Provides voice, video, conferencing, desktop collaboration, instant messaging, presence indication including Jabber softphone and mobile client.
  • New voice mail system with email integration for all.
  • New telephones, or headsets for those who choose to use soft-phone application.
  Training
  • Customized online user training for Cisco phones and Jabber softphone client.
  • Professional trainer to conduct end-user training for Middlebury campus department liaisons.

When:

  • Middlebury campus – October, November, December 2017
  • Monterey campus – January 2018
  • Washington, D.C. office – January 2018

ITS will keep all informed through MiddPoints updates and in our Unified Communications Project web page.

Weekly Web Updates – August 7th

Updates

  • WordPress core (4.8.1).
  • WordPress Redirection plugin.
  • WordPress JetPack plugin.
  • WordPress NextGen Gallary plugin.
  • WordPress Akismet plugin

Fixes and Tweaks

  • GO redirects to BannerWeb now won’t include GoogleAnalytics tracking codes that might cause errors in BannerWeb.
  • Assisted in deploying the new Middlebury Magazine site to its new URL.
  • Improved image caching for the Drupal sites.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • Creating a new automatically generated course catalog.
  • Building out the configuration of our CAS servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, GO, Omeka, and the Course Catalog services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.

Gad Kibet Comments on the School of the Environment

Name: Gad Kibet

Hometown: Kapenguria, Kenya

Major: Computer Science

Year at Middlebury: Junior

How did you decide to enroll in the School of the Environment and what are you hoping to gain?

I decided to enroll in the School Environment because I wanted to gain a better understanding of the environmental issues we face today. It goes without saying that climate change is one of the most debated issues today yet many have a limited understanding on the topic. Through the program, I hope to learn more about these issues so that I can play a role in shaping the future of our shared environment.

How is your day structured?

I would say that each day in the program is intense and demanding given that we have to fulfill an equivalent of three college courses in six weeks. Classes usually begin at nine and end between three and  five with a break in between the morning and afternoon sessions. There is also a host of extracurricular activities and leadership workshops students are required to attend. Despite its rather taxing and busy schedule, I would argue that the program offers a wide array of fun and engaging activities. The schedule ranges from busy in-class sessions to field trips which provide an opportunity to experience the delightful Vermont summer while learning about the environment.

What have you learned so far?

Unlike in normal classroom settings, I have been able to learn more by interacting with peers and professionals. Through the course of the program, I have come to learn more about my weaknesses and strengths and how I can flex my personality to better myself. Working in groups, in particular, has helped me realize the importance of listening to others and acknowledging  their perspectives.

To whom would you recommend the School of the Environment?

I would recommend this program to anyone who wishes to expand their thinking horizons and learn how they can effectively bring change in their societies.

How do the libraries help you achieve your goals?

The library has been resourceful in providing a peaceful and quiet space to facilitate group discussions and personal studies. Resources such as the [Wilson Media Lab] and Help Desk have also been instrumental in facilitating learning and in providing technical assistance whenever needed.

Librarian’s Note: To schedule use of the group study spaces in the Davis Family Library, visit go.middlebury.edu/groupstudy. For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.

Armstrong Treasure Hunt: Wimshurst Machine

Written by Mike Lally ‘18

If one were to walk around Bicentennial Hall, one could see strange contraptions, ranging from one foot high to three feet all, behind glass that appear to be large discs with mallets attached.

Wimshurst Machine

Could these bizarre items be unusual clocks? Perhaps they were used in auditory demonstrations. After all, couldn’t the mallets bang on the disc as a musical instrument? No, the purpose of these machines was not to create sound, but electrical charge.

A device such as this is known as a Wimshurst machine. Invented in the 1880s by James Wimshurst, they belong to class of machines called electrostatic generators. Unlike other apparatus that create an electrostatic spark, a Wimshurst machine does so using induction rather than friction.

The two insulated discs rotate around, often by a mechanical crank, passing by neutralizer bars and brushes. Charges are induced onto the discs and collected onto the combs near the surface of the discs. The charges increase exponentially until the dielectric breakdown voltage of air is reached. When this occurs, a spark is created. The jars are Leyden jars, an early type of capacitor, and act to increase the accumulated charge.

This machine, although able to show the effects of electrostatic charges, can be put to other uses.

https://archive.org/details/mnb_03-16-1934-01np

Professor Ernest C. Bryrant demonstrating how to operate this Wimshurst machine to students in a physics lab (c.1934).

By connecting it with a chain to an electrostatic orrery, such as that in the 5th floor display of BiHall, one can observe the charges actually turning the orrery. Indeed, there are quite a few electrostatic machines that are within the Middlebury Antique Science Collections that could be connected to a Wimshurst machine for amusing and educational demonstrations.
Wimshurst machines at Middlebury College can be found on the 5th floor of BiHall and in Armstrong Library.

Weekly Web Updates – July 31

We’ve added the Mathematica Toolbox plugin to WordPress, which allows you to embed animations and graphics from that application. We have also added the Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin, which lets you create podcast feeds that will work in iTunes and embed playlists of your podcast in your posts. This replaces the TSG Podcasting plugin, which can no longer be enabled.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • If you are using the FlatOn theme in WordPress and set your homepage to be a single page, rather than a list of posts, the theme will now display that page without all the boilerplate content that the theme used to add.
  • Users of the L&ITS Wiki are now able to delete pages.
  • When viewing a single event in the Arts section of the Middlebury Drupal site, the featured image no longer wraps below the sidebar. Additional fixes made to the ArtsMail newsletter, removing the Google Tag Manager code and moving body content back into the short description.
  • Annual update to the Language Schools interest form to enable an additional graduation year.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • Building out the configuration of our CAS servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, GO, Omeka, and the Course Catalog services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.