Pre-holiday Checklist

Here’s a quick run-down of our recommended steps before heading off on your well-deserved winter break.

  • Turn on an automated email response. Go to , select “Email Settings,” turn on your Vacation Message, and enter the details. If you use the “Vacation after” and “Vacation until” settings you can do this in advance and don’t have to remember to turn it off after break. Remember to include your standard signature in the message body–it won’t automatically be entered.
  • If you’re close to your email quota, make some room in your inbox. While you’re at the password page look at the quota usage on the first page. If you’re 90% or higher, take a few minutes to get it lower.
  • The password page also shows you how long you have until your password expires. If it’s going to expire over break, my condolences. There’s really no easy answer in that case, you should change it before it expires and you’ll just have to hope that you can remember it when you return. If by chance you forget it you can use the forgotten password link on the password login page.
  • If you receive phone calls from off campus or are taking extra time off, put an extended absence greeting on your phone. Dial into voicemail, use “8” to “change user options,” then follow the prompts. One thing to be aware of is that when you have an extended absence greeting your callers are unable to leave messages; if that’s critical, the other option is to change your primary greeting. Either way, put a sticky note on your phone to remind yourself to switch it back when you return from break.
  • Shut down your computer. To save power, do a complete shutdown of your computer before leaving campus.
  • Consider unplugging your computer. If there is a power outage during break, your computer is at risk of being damaged by a power surge when power returns. We recommend unplugging your computer to avoid this.

Have a wonderful break!

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18. December 2014 by Kate, School Support Specialist
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Expired Password? Do not Worry

If you’re like me, you like to wait until the last possible moment to change your HampNet password. I always dread the week or two when my fingers don’t just fly automatically over the keys as I log into Hampshire services.

If you’ve procrastinated a little too long and your password expired, don’t worry, you can still change it on your own: just go to and use your expired password to log in. This is the only place an expired HampNet password will still work.

If you still have trouble changing your password you can contact the Help Desk at or 413.559.5418

12. December 2014 by Kate, School Support Specialist
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Customizing your Directory Listing

The Hampshire Directory lets you customize information that’s displayed about you. Check it out!

To change your Preferred Name, Personal Pronoun, or Display Name:

  1. From your browser go to
  2. Use the button on the top right to log in.
  3. Click on the “Preferences” tab.
  4. From the panel on the left, click on “Name/Pronoun Preference.”
  5. Acknowledge the policy by clicking on “Proceed to enter Preferences.”
  6. Enter any changes you’d like to your preferred name, your displayed name, and your personal pronoun.
  7. To save changes you’ve made, click on the “Save Form” button. Changes may require approval before they are implemented.

To change Directory Preferences, which include whether your photo is shown in the Directory, your office address, phone number or personal website:

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above to log into the Directory and go to the Preferences tab.
  2. On the panel to the left, select “Directory Preferences.”
  3. Enter any changes you’d like for displaying your photo, fax number, office location, phone extension or personal website.
  4. Click “Save Form” to submit the changes.
  5. Click on “Logout” when you’re done.

04. December 2014 by Kate, School Support Specialist
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Eduroam Now Available at Hampshire

Eduroam is a network used at many educational institutions, including each of the Five Colleges, and is now available at Hampshire. If you set up your computer to use it here, you will be automatically joined to it when you visit a participating campus.

Setting up Eduroam on supported platforms is easy, but you have to set it up at your home institution before you can use it at another campus. Set it up now and the next time you’re at a participating campus you’ll be able to use their network with no hassle.

More information and instructions »

02. December 2014 by Kate, School Support Specialist
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Recognizing Laptop Battery Problems

Laptop batteries can be dangerous if they start to expand. There’s one symptom that indicates battery expansion in Mac laptops that is often ignored. Do you know what it is?

What Causes a Battery to Expand?
There are several reasons that a battery might expand. The most common are a battery defect, exposure to extreme heat, and overcharging. Battery manufacturers try to safeguard against these conditions, but there are occasionally problems nonetheless.

Signs to Watch For
The MacBook battery is right under the trackpad, and the first sign of an expanding battery can be that the trackpad clicker stops working. We have seen this mostly in older white MacBooks, but it could also happen with a MacBook Pro.

Another sign of an expanding battery can be that the computer doesn’t sit flat on a surface anymore. Examination of the bottom of the computer can reveal a bulging battery. We recently saw a MacBook Pro with an expanding battery that warped the metal cover so much that it popped out, detaching from the screws that held it in place.

What to do if you Suspect your Battery is Expanding
Laptop batteries are dangerous if punctured, and if one starts to expand you should take steps to properly dispose of it. If it’s a Hampshire owned computer put in an IT ticket and we will handle diagnosis, removal, and disposal. If it’s a personally owned device we do not recommend trying to remove it yourself–bring it to an authorized repair center, where they should have safety equipment to make sure that there are safeguards in place in case of a puncture. In no instance should you dispose of the battery in your normal trash–if you have a battery that is already out of your computer, please bring it to your hazardous waste disposal site or a responsible collection center such as Best Buy.

20. November 2014 by Kate, School Support Specialist
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Getting Spam Out of Sight

While it’s annoying to be receiving so much spam, it’s a little less annoying if you don’t have to look at it. There are a couple of ways you can help to make it less visible.

How our Junk Mail Detection Works
When email comes into Hampshire it’s scanned to determine the likelihood that it is spam. If it has a high score on spam factors it will be sent to a folder called “Junk”, and the mail system will make a note that similar emails in the future should also be treated as junk mail.

Human Intervention Fine Tunes the Process
If you use Thunderbird (or another mail client) to access your email, you can train it to recognize more spam. For Thunderbird:

  1. From the Tools menu select “Account Settings.”
  2. Click on “Junk Settings” in the panel on the left.
  3. In the “Destination and Retention” section, make sure that “Move new junk messages to:” is checked, and your junk folder selected.
  4. Click OK to close Account Settings.
  5. When a message that is junk makes it into your inbox, click on the dot in the Junk column (that’s the column with a flame or recycle bin icon at the top of it). When you do this Thunderbird uses it as a sort of template for future messages that should be moved to Junk.
  6. If you accidentally mark something as junk, unmark it by clicking in that column again.

If you do this carefully for a few days, Thunderbird will get a lot better at funneling spam into your junk folder. Occasionally check your junk folder to make sure legitimate mail is not ending up there. Also be sure that you empty it out every once in a while: select all the messages and hit the delete key, and then every once in a while empty your email trash as well.

Other Options for Junk Mail Handling
There are two other ways you can adapt the way junk mail is handled:

  • You can set up the junk mail scanner to deliver junk mail to your Inbox. But why would you want to do that?
  • You can add specific email addresses (and wild card domains, if you’re savvy) to a “black list”, so that every message you receive from that email address will be marked as spam. Adding an address to the white list ensures that email from that address will never be marked as spam.

These options are found by going to and selecting “Email settings.”

Junk Handling for Forwarded Email
If you forward your Hampshire email to Gmail or another service, Hampshire will still deliver email determined to be spam to your Hampshire account’s Junk folder. These items will not be forwarded to Gmail. If you suspect that items are being mis-marked as spam you should log into your Hampshire webmail and follow the instructions above to train the junk mail handler, or use one of the other options for junk mail handling.

One Final Caveat
If you POP your email–that is, download it onto your computer instead of keeping it on the server–you won’t see the server’s Junk mail folder unless you log into Webmail.

13. November 2014 by Kate, School Support Specialist
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Student Toolkit for End of Term

It’s not too early to think about the end of the semester, it will be here sooner that you think! Get some strategies in place now and things may feel a little easier in December!

Juggling Workload

Last month Alana Kumbier (Library) and Asha Kinney (IT) ran a workshop for the First Year Students Program called “Getting It Done” which outlined a strategy for keeping your work organized and lists some good tools and techniques. Slides and notes from this workshop are here.

Tools for Staying Organized

Here is a playlist featuring some online tools that can help you keep your work, time, and research organized. Need help deciding which to use? Here’s a matrix of what we think each one is best for.


Many of you will need to do presentations for class. This video has some tips on keeping your audience awake, what software to choose, avoiding technical disasters, and calming presentation day nerves.

Create a PDF Portfolio

Some classes will have you submit an end-of-semester portfolio of your work. This video shows a few different ways to combine multiple file types into one PDF document. This one is a little long, so check out the video description on YouTube to jump to different sections for Mac or PC, etc!

12. November 2014 by Asha Kinney
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