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The ABC of Blu-ray: Foreign Region Blu-ray in classrooms

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Our classrooms support the playback of DVDs from any region of the world. However, this is not the case with Blu-ray discs. Blu-ray discs come in four “flavors” based on their region: Region Free, Region A, Region B, Region. C Currently, our classrooms support the playback of Region Free and Region A Blu-ray discs. (See the Regions section of this page for more info on Blu-ray regions: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/info.php).

At this time Media Services does not support the playback of Blu-rays from regions B and C in classrooms.

The Library does not order titles on Blu-ray from regions B and C and it does not maintain a library of titles of them.

If you have purchased a Region B or C Blu-ray disc that you need to use in class, please check the existing collection to see if we have the title in Region A. If not, the Library can attempt to purchase the (A) American region. Please use this form to request the purchase.

Even though equipment to play Blu-ray discs from any regions exists, it is not easy to use and it is unreliable. The procedure to project a blu ray of another region (B or C) is a complex procedure and will effect the ability for another person to play Blu-ray discs. In addition, the need for a remote control also adds a layer of complexity. Power outages also adversely effect the players settings and may make playback impossible.

For the reasons outlined above media services does not, at this time, support Blu-ray discs from region B or C.

We hope this will change in the future, and we will announce an update on this blog when that happens.

Sincerely,
Stewart Lane and Petar Mitrevski
Media Services

Moodle Update on Friday, August 19th

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

From Remote-Learner:

Dear Valued Client,

In order to increase the resilience and reliability of our cloud platform we will be conducting database maintenance on September, 19th between 12:01 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. EST. During most of this period your site will be operational, but there may be short periods of connection loss to the internet.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to improve your experience.

Sincerely,

Remote-Learner Technical Support

ITS student printing updates

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Information Technology Services updated some printing services over the summer:

Visit go/howtoprint to view our updated instructions on how to print to a public printer

  • Cash Cards replace credit cards.

In the event you need to increase your print page quota, PaperCut cash cards have replaced the online credit card system.  Purchase cards at Wilson Café in Davis Family Library, MiddXpress in McCullough, or the College Store in Proctor Hall.

Printing to Public Printers — Minding P’s & Queues Just Got Easier

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Blue PrinterDo you print at the College libraries?  At any of our public computing labs?  If so, on your next visit, expect a streamlined list of printer choices offering expanded locations where you can go to release your print job(s).  It’s easier and more flexible!

Look for two new print queues — Library_Printers and Non_Library_Printers — that are now available for use.    (FollowMeBW will be retired.)

Remember…  For fastest results, print directly from a lab computer.  Visit go/howtoprint to view our updated instructions on how to print to a public printer.

Macintosh – Middfiles – Mmmmm… News You Can Use

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Mac users…  Are you having the best possible experience with Middfiles?  It may be time to update how you connect to Middfiles, as well as create some useful shortcuts!

First, check your connection.  In the Finder, click on the Go menu, then click Connect to Server.  You should use cifs://middcloud.middlebury.edu/middfiles and remove any “smb” middfiles favorites you may have stored, as shown.

Go>Connect to Server

Removing outdated SMB favorite

Now it’s time to create some powerful Sidebar favorites for easy access to your frequently-used folders (see sample below).  Sidebar favorite locations are visible in all your programs!  Refer to our wiki article for complete details on how to create these favorites & get rid of outdated ones.

Sidebar Favorite Sample

Sidebar Favorite Sample

Technical stuff:  We use the SMB protocol to connect to Middfiles almost exclusively on campus and the latest revision is CIFS.  To use the most current version of SMB you must specify CIFS in your connection.  Outdated connections may results in errors when saving to Middfiles or be slower.

Henry David Thoreau died today, May 6 (1862)

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

How will you observe the life and death of Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862), the American writer and naturalist?

Henry_David_Thoreau_-_Dunshee_ambrotpe_1861

Thoreau, August 1861 © Wikimedia Common

By taking a quiet walk?

By turning off your cell phone? Your computer?

By having a deep conversation with a friend, colleague, or family member?

By getting out a sheet of paper and writing a letter? (Yes! By hand.)

By randomly squeezing a Thoreau quote into a conversation today?

Or, by visiting Special Collections in the Davis Library 101 to visit our display of Thoreau artifacts: his inkwell, bricks and timbers from his cabin at Walden Pond, books from his cabin library, and more.

 

 

March 2014 LIS Update

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

spring-flowers

We’ve posted the March 2014 Update from LIS.

As has become our custom, we write this update three times a year to provide ourselves and  rest of the community with a review of recent accomplishments, and more importantly, a roadmap for what to expect in the next three to six months. In addition, we make a nod to what we see as future issues and challenges further down the road.

Highlights since the last LIS Update include:

  • We continued to co-sponsor with CTLR the Academic Roundtable to encourage cross-campus conversation on important topics having to do with pedagogy, scholarly inquiry, and student learning.

  • We also continued our planning for the digital liberal arts initiative.

  • We continued to build out new library subject guides

  • In Special Collections, we supported students and faculty during Winter Term including A People’s History of Middlebury and Field House Museum, Adventure Writing, Space and Place in the Graphic Novel, and Matt Longman’s seminar on higher education.

  • We started to archive Ward Prize-winning student essay in our online archive

  • We made more progress in building out our new videoconferencing infrastructure and upgraded a number of classroom.

  • We continued to encourage our community to use Web Help Desk to request service from us.

  • We created a new guide to training options that include both on-line, off-site, and on campus options.

Key goals for the next three to six months include:

 

  • As part of the broader faculty governance conversations taking place on campus, we in turn are thinking about a wide range of governance questions. How do we ensure appropriate consultation with our students, faculty, and staff to ensure that our planning and prioritization is aligned with the needs of the community that we serve?

  • We are hiring! We are currently running searches for a director of academic technology, a senior systems administrator, a head of collections, a media services specialist, and a network security analyst.

  • We are discussing the technical and policy implications of converting our google apps from a pilot to a full-supported production system.

  • We will also be discussing the process for evaluating new options for our email/calendaring system, and updating our analysis of the privacy and security implications of moving certain services to the cloud.

  • We are busy planning for the move of the CSNS and Security work groups to Exchange Street, the move of the Enterprise Applications area to Painter House, and the re-use of space within the Davis Family Library to support the digital liberal arts initiative.

  • We are planning an upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Exchange.

  • We’ll be rolling out a Network Access Control system that will allow us to more carefully control which devices can join our network.

  • We’ll be reconfiguring the wireless network to make it simpler and more secure. As part of that, we’ll be putting in place a guest registration system to allow for those who only need to use it on a temporary basis.

  • We will be working closely with many offices across campus to develop a multi-year plan for Nolij, the document imaging system that allows for offices to automate many of their paper-based processes.

  • We’ll be upgrading Drupal, the software that powers our website to the latest version.

  • We’re also working with the Office of Communications on rolling out a new design for the homepage and some of the key pages that are linked to from the home page.

  • We will have an external security review of our systems as part of a consortial effort to improve our security stance.

  • We will continue our efforts to study trends in the ways our public computer labs are used to help us plan for the future of providing computing resources to our students.

  • We will start a pilot project where you can check out a bicycle from the circulation desk.

  • We’re writing a Request for Proposal as part of our investigation into a new campus phone system.

While we pursue all of this, we will of course keep doing all of our regular stuff: prepping for Language Schools, upgrading classroom and lab technology, adding more wireless access points, updating various systems, teaching information literacy courses, buying and cataloging library materials, and distributing new computers.

One goal that we are very keen to pursue is to invent a fool-proof, indestructible stapler that no one can steal.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions on any of this, please feel free to contact me (Mike Roy, mdroy@middlebury.edu) or do so on-line at http://sites.middlebury.edu/lis/2014/03/27/march-lis-update/  .

– mike