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

Categories: blu-ray, classroom, films, foreign, ITS, LIS Staff Interest, Middlebury Community Interest, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

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: Helpdesk Alert, Helpdesk Alerts, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

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

Welcome (Back) to the Library!

Categories: Library Spotlight, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

Whether you’re new to campus or returning from summer break, we invite you to take advantage of all the library has to offer. Here are 5 things you won’t want to miss:

Many thanks to our talented Digital Media Tutors Maggie, Emily and Denisse, who created this video and others as a summer project!

More tips for the new semester:  Midd Libraries Quick Guide [go/quicklib]


Spoiler alert! The 5 quick tips include:
1. The Circulation Desk is where you’ll check out all of your library materials, including CDs, equipment and interlibrary loans.
2. Library collections include not only books but also DVDs, graphic novels in the Browsing section, dictionaries in the Reference section, manuscripts downstairs in Special Collections, and magazines in the Harman Periodicals Area.
3. Librarians can help you in person at the Research Desk and online via the library web site at  http://go.middlebury.edu/lib.
4. Technology and media assistance is available at the Tech Help Desk and the Wilson Media Lab.
5. Peer Writing Tutors are ready to meet with you at the Center for Teaching, Learning and Research (CTLR).
BONUS! The library has all kinds of study spaces, from the Wilson Cafe at the entrance of the building, to senior thesis carrels tucked away on the upper levels.

Moodle Maintenance on Friday, August 15th

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

This message is from Remote-Learner, our Moodle host:

Remote Learner will be conducting database maintenance August the 15th from 01:00 AM EST until 04:00 AM EST on the Kansas City data center. During this window we will be improving the performance and resiliency of our database system. During this time you may experience periods with loss of connectivity to your hosted site. Thank you for your patience as we continue improving our services.

Sincerely,

Remote-Learner Technical Support

Macintosh – Middfiles – Mmmmm… News You Can Use

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

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.

Trip the Rift and Leap into Motion

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

Space and Motion

We will have the Oculus Rift and the LeapMotion available for faculty, students and staff to use next week at the following times and locations:

Tuesday, May 13th
The Wilson Media Lab in the Davis Family Library
From 11am until 3pm

Wednesday, May 14th
Room 205 in McCardell Bicentennial Hall
From 11am until 3pm

No appointment is necessary, these are open demos for anyone to attend. Other gadgets for virtual space and motion may be available.

Our colleagues in Communications will be demonstrating the Quadcopter outside the Davis Family Library at 2pm on Tuesday the 13th (if we have rain on Tuesday, they will be joining us at 2pm on Wednesday at McCardell Bicentennial Hall, specific location TBD.

24/7 exam period at the Libraries

Categories: borrowing, circulation, Circulation Services, exam hours, exam period, exams, hours, hours of service, library hours, LIS Staff Interest, Middlebury Community Interest, middpoints, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

The Davis Family Library will be providing extended hours during the last week of classes and the exam period.

24/7 hours will start at 9:00 am on Sunday, 5/4 and will end at 8 pm on Tuesday, 5/20. Bring your ID – card access is required between 11 pm and 7:30 am (9 am on Saturday and Sunday). Guest passwords for computer access will not be issued between the hours of 11 pm and 8 am.

Armstrong Library will have regular hours during this period, with later closing times on Friday 5/16 and Saturday 5/17.

Check here for up to date hours at all Libraries.

Friday Links – April 18, 2014

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

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.

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.