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

Categories: Helpdesk Alert, Helpdesk Alerts, LIS Staff Interest, lisblog, Middlebury Community Interest, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints, Windows XP

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

Categories: go, Helpdesk Alerts, LIS Staff Interest, middfiles, Middlebury Community Interest, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

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.

March 2014 LIS Update

Categories: LIS Staff Interest, lisblog, Post for MiddNotes, priorities

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

100th Flanders Collection Cylinder Milestone!

Categories: Library Spotlight, LIS Staff Interest, lisblog, Middlebury Community Interest, middpoints, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints, Special Collections

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

New VPN Client: Junos Pulse

Categories: junos, LIS Staff Interest, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints, pulse, vpn

We in LIS have been testing a new method of connecting to College resources from off-campus, and we are excited to announce that it is ready for prime time. The Junos Pulse client is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. Next time you’re off-campus, try it yourself – the instructions are at http://go.middlebury.edu/vpn.

Computers with existing NetConnect or Cisco VPN setups will still be able to connect that way for the foreseeable future – just open the appropriate program and connect. However, the website at https://vpn.middlebury.edu will change – instead of the current page where you login and are prompted to download NetConnect, you’ll be redirected to the new instructions for Junos Pulse.

This new method should be easier to use as well as allowing connections on a broader range of devices. As usual, we welcome your general feedback in the comments; if you’re having a specific issue or question about using it, please make a ticket to ensure a timely response. Thanks!

Friday Links – February 28, 2014

Categories: LIS Staff Interest, Middlebury Community Interest, Post for MiddNotes

Audiobooks and the Return of Storytelling – Audiobooks are growing in popularity, returning us to childhood storytelling and invoking a literary tradition as old as the Illiad. Browse audiobooks at the library.

6 Innovative Uses of Lecture Capture – Teachers are increasingly using lecture capture tools for interactive lessons, content sharing, and multimedia assignments.

Alan Alda keynotes the meeting of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) – discussing the importance of communication with the public in STEM fields. “… Some members of the U.S. Congress also struggle with jargon and therefore are faced with the ‘difficulty of giving money to something they don’t understand,’ Alda cautioned.”

Civil War Letters Come Home to Vermont - Featuring not only the letters, but also Rebekah Irwin and Special Collections!

Got my carrel! - From the Senior Admissions Fellows Blog.

Friday Links – February 21, 2014

Categories: LIS Staff Interest, Middlebury Community Interest, Post for MiddNotes

10 Common Misconceptions About The Flipped Classroom – What have you heard about the flipped classroom? That it’s just the latest education fad? That it only works for certain academic subjects? It’s not uncommon to come across references in the web media to poorly informed and misconstrued ideas like these. Given the value and many benefits inherent in this powerful form of blended learning, it is important that these misconceptions be addressed and dispelled.

 

Sad Keanu Reeves.

One of the most popular 3D printed items on Shapeways is “Sad Keanu Reeves.” Image: neuralfirings/Shapeways

3D printing: 10 factors still holding it back – As promising as 3D printers seem, their usefulness is still questionable. High costs, safety concerns, patents, and design complexity are all contributing to legitimate skepticism.

Moodle Maintenance Notice For 2/28/14

Categories: Helpdesk Alerts, LIS Staff Interest, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

From Remote-Learner, our Moodle host:

In order to increase the resilience and reliability of our cloud platform we will be replacing our network firewalls. Upgrades on the firewalls will be conducted during the February 28th maintenance window between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., ET.

During most of this period your site will be operational, but there may be short periods of connection loss to the internet.

“We Have Sound!”

Categories: Library Spotlight, LIS Staff Interest, lisblog, Middlebury Community Interest, middpoints, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

“We Have Sound!” is the title of the IRENE/3D Seeing Sound Blog post from the Northeast Document Conservation Center when they announce that the new recording system is up and running. Middlebury College is fortunate to be part of a grant to reformat the wax cylinder recordings in the Flanders Ballad Collection. See the announcement here, along with more blog posts that follow.  You can even listen to some of the recordings!
NEDCC blog temp

Friday Links – February 7, 2014

Categories: LIS Staff Interest, Middlebury Community Interest, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

10 ways alternative energy is about to change the way tech gets powered – Solar-powered laptops, edible battery power, spray-on solar panels, mini windmills: This may be a game-changing year for clean technology.

Solar Powered LapTop

Apple was just awarded a patent for a possible solar-powered MacBook display. Image: Apple/USPTO

 

Microsoft Names Satya Nadella Its New CEO: Nadella is the third CEO of Microsoft, and is expected to continue developing its cloud services.

BuzzFeed Style Guide: If you’ve ever wondered about style guidelines for the “language of the web,” Buzzfeed specifies writing google in all lowercase when used as a verb, inserting a hyphen in live-tweet, and writing smartphone as one word.

Two perspectives on how a scholarly journal – Cultural Anthropology – goes open access: “The PR side” from the Chronicle, and a deeper exploration of the economics and philosophy from Scholarly Kitchen.