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New Course Hub / Middfiles integration

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

New for the Fall 2012 semester is integration between the “Classes Folders” on Middfiles and the Course Hub.

When you put files in the HANDOUTS/ or SHARE/ folders of your class folder, a “Middfiles Class Folder” resource will automatically be added to your Course Hub site. This resource provides a link that allows students to easily browse the files without having to mount a network drive. There is nothing extra you need to do. Read on for more details.

Middfiles is now securely accessible via the web

This summer LIS added WebDAV support to Middfiles, a new feature that allows any Middfiles file or folder to be shared securely via a web-addressable URL. What this means is that you can now put links to files and folders into email, blogs, and websites. When a user clicks on the link they will be prompted to log in before their browser downloads the file. To try it out, go to https://middfiles.middlebury.edu/ and copy-paste a link to a file.

The other benefit of this new feature is that Middfiles can now be easily used as file repository by classes primarily using a blog or Moodle site. If you have large files to share that are too big for the blog or Moodle, just put them in Middfiles and copy-paste the https://middfiles.middlebury.edu/Classes/Fall12/…/… link to the file into the blog or Moodle site.

Course Hub / Middfiles integration

As mentioned above, the Course Hub now automatically creates a “Middfiles Class Folder” resource when you put files in the HANDOUTS/ or SHARE/ sub-folders. This scan happens every few hours, so if you need the resource to appear more quickly, you can add it manually to the Course Hub.

In addition to providing the resource-link in the Course Hub sidebar, the Middfiles Resource provides a detail-view with the class-folder paths needed to map a drive to the class folder on either Windows or OS X. Class Folder PUBLIC_HTML/ sites

While LIS does not actively provide support for building static HTML websites, some instructors choose to build their own HTML websites and serve them out of the PUBLIC_HTML/ sub-folder of the class-folder on Middfiles. If any files are placed in the PUBLIC_HTML/ sub-folder a “Middfiles Public Website” resource will be automatically added to the Course Hub. If files are moved or removed from the PUBLIC_HTML/ sub-folder the resource will automatically be removed.

Use Dropbox? Consider middfiles instead

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We advise our community to use Middfiles for all file storage needs. In fact, sensitive information should always be stored on Middfiles.

Dropbox, one of the most popular cloud storage providers, has had several security flaws and breaches over the past year:
- In June, for four hours, anyone could access anyone else’s Dropbox files.
- Three other separate security flaws (or holes) were found this summer.
- Furthermore, FTC found that Dropbox was misrepresenting their security measures and protocols.
- In addition, Dropbox had changed then clarified its Terms of Service within a matter of days.

That’s why we promote Middfiles for “cloud” storage needs. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions around Dropbox, cloud storage or security. If you have questions specific to Middfiles, please visit our documentation page.

New Access to Software

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Over the next few weeks I will be working on consolidating all of the software installers that are currently on the college servers into a new server folder structure.  All software installers that we have in electronic version will be on middfiles\Software2 and then once the permissions are in place will rename the folder to middfiles\Software.   Duplicating all software in the Software2 folder allows us to keep the current structure in place until the new one is complete.

This new structure will allow granting of access to installers to those who need them, reducing the need for LIS staff to perform installations for our entire community.  It will also give us a central storage location for the college software.  Remember that we will have both folders (Software2 & Software) for a short time to make sure everyone has what they need.   I hope to have this in place by Sept 17th.  Please let me know if you have any questions on this process.

Lisa Terrier
Senior Technology Specialist

Saving your data to MIDDFILES

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

The Technology Support Helpdesk would like to take this opportunity to again remind the campus user community to please save all personal and work related files to their MIDDFILES personal space (on a Windows computer this would be your U drive in File Explorer).  We have had a rush of computers recently come into the Helpdesk with failed hard drives.  In some cases we were unable to retrieve any information from those failed drives, leaving the user with no means of data recovery.  The risks you assume by not using MIDDFILES are significant when a hardware failure occurs on your computer.

To protect yourself and your data it is highly recommend you immediately start relocating your data to your MIDDFILES personal account.  You may visit the Technology Help and Support website (shortcut: go.middlebury.edu/helpdesk) for more information on how to use MIDDFILES.  You may also want to visit our Wiki resource link for proper MIDDFILES and DFS usage:  Backing Up My Files.

If you have any questions please call the Technology Help and Support Desk at x2200.

James Beauchemin
Technology Support Helpdesk