A Big Update is Coming to Windows 10

We were greeted this morning by a Windows 10 computer that cheerfully1 reported an update ready to install: Windows 10 v1709.2

On a computer with a solid state drive (or SSD, the snappier, non-mechanical successor to the slower, spinning-platter hard disk drive), this update takes at least 30 minutes to download and install; on a computer with a traditional hard drive it takes much longer–hours.

One of the frustrations of Windows 10 is that it doesn’t let you decline updates, even huge updates like this one. It does, however, let you schedule when to install it. We suggest that if you have a computer running Windows 10 and it tells you about the update ready to install, that you schedule it to install overnight, or during some other lengthy time period when you won’t be needing it. Then just make sure that you keep the computer turned on, and hopefully it will all be completed by the time you return to use it.

We haven’t had much of a chance to test out this new version, but we did notice that on some computers it turns off the ESET antivirus protection each time the computer restarts. If this happens to you, choose it from the tray at the bottom right of the screen and choose to enable full protection. We are investigating solutions to this issue.

If you’re having problems with your computer after the update, please contact the IT Help Desk at helpdesk@hampshire.edu or 413.559.5418, or put in an IT Ticket on TheHub.


1Windows 10 is always so very cheerful. Even on our best days, we are never quite as cheerful as those Windows 10 messages are—frankly, they make us downright cranky, especially in a pre-caffeinated state of mind.

2For those of you who care, that number is derived from the year and month of the version release.

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Mac Users, Please do not Install High Sierra Yet

Apple is about to release macOS 10.13, known as “High Sierra.” This is a relatively minor feature upgrade from 10.12 (“Sierra”), but has major under-the-hood upgrades. Here’s what you need to know.

The Bottom Line

(Well, yes, actually this is almost-the-top-line, but I want to catch you before you nod off mid-Tech Tip. And anyway, don’t you like to read the last page of a book first?)

Don’t upgrade to High Sierra right away.

We will sound the all-clear in a few months (well, hopefully), but if somehow you miss it, you can always check in with the IT Help Desk at helpdesk@hampshire.edu for our current recommendation.

Hampshire Computers

If you have a Hampshire-owned computer, we are not prepared at this time to support High Sierra for several reasons:

  • High Sierra requires updates to the tools we use to recover files and re-install software on your computer and we do not have these in place—they are not even available yet.
  • We are concerned about stability of the system. There are often bugs in new software, and we have seen some crashes in prerelease versions of the system.
  • Some applications that are in use on campus reportedly no longer work in High Sierra:
    • Final Cut Studio 7 components DVD Studio Pro, Soundtrack Pro, Color, and Cinema Tools.
    • Microsoft Office 2011 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
    • Adobe CS5 products

    This is not a complete or final list.

Personal Computers

If you have a personally owned computer and decide to ignore this recommendation, please, please, please, make a complete backup of your computer before you do! This version of macOS makes significant changes to the way that files are stored, which increases the risk of file corruption during install.

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New to Hampshire? IT Tips

If you’re new to the Hampshire campus there are a few things we know might trip you up. Here are some of the issues that we typically see problems with at this time of year.

Having Trouble Printing?

As you may have noticed, Hampshire has several wireless networks ; knowing which is appropriate to connect to can help avoid problems accessing services. In order to print or access file servers you must be using either Wallace or Eduroam, or be plugged into the Ethernet. For details on the Eduroam network see https://www.hampshire.edu/it/connecting-to-eduroam-at-hampshire .

Smart Phone Not Accessing the Internet on Campus?

If your smart phone seems to lose internet access as soon as you set foot on campus, it may be that it is trying to connect to the Wallace network but hasn’t yet registered with it. You have a choice: choose the Hampguest network instead, or register your phone with Wallace by using its browser to go to https://netreg.hampshire.edu . Note that if you choose Hampguest instead of netreg’ing, you may find that it switches back to Wallace on occasion all on its own.

Can’t Log into TheHub?

If you are having trouble logging into TheHub and you’re new to Hampshire, it might be because you haven’t completed the short FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) training video and quiz. To take the quiz go to https://hamp.it/FERPA . If you’re not new to Hampshire we encourage you to take it anyway–and we promise it is quick and painless.

New Email Account not Working?

If you have a new email account but you can’t seem to get your email, did you accept the AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) at https://password.hampshire.edu? While you’re there, change your password to something you will remember, and then set up your security questions.

Want to Forward your Hampshire Email to Another Email Account?

Faculty and students sometimes prefer to receive personal and Hampshire email in one place. If that sounds like you, you can set up forwarding by going to https://password.hampshire.edu and selecting “Email Settings.” Just make sure that you pay attention to messages telling you that it’s time to change your password–you have to do that once a year–and at that time go back to https://password.hampshire.edu.

Not Sure if an Email Message is a Scam?

When critical announcements are made to the entire campus, they are both posted on the Intranet and emailed to faculty, staff, and/or students directly from the announcement system. You can verify authenticity of these messages by checking https://intranet.hampshire.edu. You should also know that to change your password or check your email quota we would only ever send you to https://password.hampshire.edu. Just remember that web address and type it into your browser if you ever want to check the status of your account–anywhere else is a scam.

Have a Scam Email You Think You’d Better Share with IT?

Scam emails can be sent to phishbowl@hampshire.edu , which will bring them to the attention of the system administrators.

Need IT Help?

The IT Help Desk is staffed M-F from 8:30 a.m.-noon, and 1-4 p.m. If you need immediate assistance give a call to 413.559.5418. For non-emergencies you can email helpdesk@hampshire.edu or enter an IT ticket by going to TheHub.

Looking for Amazing Tech Tips on a Weekly Basis?

Or just need some help falling asleep at night? Watch this space.

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Greetings and a Moodle Update from Instructional Tech!

Who am I?

Hi, Hampshire College, I’m your Instructional Technologist! I’m here to support the use of technology for teaching and learning. That can mean anything from answering your questions about Moodle, giving trainings on programs like WordPress or Photoshop, or helping you find the right tech solution to support your individual course.

I’m here because I’m invested in solving problems of all sorts, and also because I’m excited and inspired by the process of learning new technology. If you’re already thinking of questions and ideas, great! I’m happy to hear from you.

What is this column?

I’m going to be coming to you with a twice-monthly post about useful and interesting technology. The posts will be split between Hampshire-specific topics (like the updates on Moodle you’ll find below) and a sampling of the other tools that may be helpful and inspiring as you go about your academic and personal lives. Posts will be nontechnical and fairly short, and I hope they’ll be something that you’ll be interested in following along with.

And without further ado, we will now move on to this week’s topic:

What’s New in Moodle for Fall 2017

As of mid-July, we upgraded our Moodle system to version 3.2. This means instructors will see a handful of minor improvements, though the look and feel of the site are remaining much the same. For those who maintain Moodle courses, read below about useful new features, improvements to the assignment grading interface, and some minor adjustments to menus and links. Even for those who do not create in Moodle, future posts geared toward your interests are on their way, so stay tuned in two weeks!

As always, if you have Moodle questions, get in touch with us!

New Features

  • Recycle Bin: If you’ve deleted an element on your course page that you really want to keep, try refreshing the page and looking at the bottom of your Administration block. You should see a new link to your Recycle Bin. Items will hang around in your Recycle Bin for two weeks after their initial deletion, so you have enough time to grab anything that has been accidentally axed and return it to your course.
  • Download Instructor Files: In just one step, you can download all the files you’ve added to your Moodle course and save them in a folder, either to your computer or to Google Drive. This a great way to preserve the components of your Moodle course for reference or later use.  Want to know more?  Here are our instructions on Downloading Instructor Files.
  • Pin Forum Discussions: Ever have a really critical forum post that you want students to be reminded of whenever they go to participate in the discussion?  You can now “pin” it to the top of the forum page.  Look for the “Pinned” checkbox when you are adding a new discussion topic.

Improvements: Assignment Grading

If you use the Assignment grading feature, you will see that the grading interface has gotten an overhaul in this version of Moodle. The options available to you are the same as they were in the old interface, but if you need a tour of the new look, see our updated assignment grading instructions.

Different titles, different locations

A last few minor changes:

  • Each course used to come with a News Forum by default.  This forum is now called Announcements.
  • The link to Grades can be now be found in your Navigation block. (This link used to be under Administration).
  • If you want to view your page as a student does, the option to “Change Role To…” is now part of the User Menu, under your name and profile picture at the top right of the page.  (This link used to be under Administration).
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Welcome to the New Intranet, Campus Calendar, and Daily Digest

Last week on June 1 we launched the new Intranet. The Intranet is a portal-like website that contains information meant for the Hampshire community, which is why it requires a Hampshire username and password to access most Intranet content. The homepage contains a collection of links relevant to the person logged in, and it’s the place to post announcements and events that appear in the Daily Digest and on the campus calendar. If you’re a Hampshire student, faculty or staff member, hopefully you have at least noticed the redesigned version of the Daily Digest in your email inbox this week.

Our main goal with the new Intranet was to provide similar, but better, communication tools in a user-friendly way. We did a lot of user testing and interviews with students, faculty, and staff, which made the direction of our work very clear. Hopefully the new Intranet addresses most of the downfalls of the old Intranet. If you feel like it doesn’t or you have suggestions, we would appreciate it if you would send us your feedback.

New Features and Changes

Redesigned Intranet Homepage

  • The links you see on the Intranet homepage are relevant to your affiliation with the College. If you’re a student you’re going to see slightly different links than faculty or staff because certain items are more relevant to you, such as student employment, for example.
  • A lot of the links on the homepage point to pages on the external Hampshire website. We cross-linked a lot of items with the hope that it makes it easier to find what you’re looking for as a Hampshire community member, no matter which website it lives on.

Redesigned Daily Digest Email and New Submission Features

  • Teaser text for each post was removed from digest emails and only titles are displayed, so the Daily Digest should be quicker to skim through each day.
  • “Today’s Events” were moved to the top, and upcoming events now appear mixed in with announcements in their respective categories, preceded by their start date.
  • The categories were slightly changed and reordered a bit.
  • Daily Digest emails now go out every day (as long as there are posts for that day) instead of just Monday through Friday.
  • Links to the Intranet, the calendar, and to submit your own announcement or event are now easily accessed straight from the digest emails.
  • When submitting an announcement or event you can now specify which date(s), up to three, you want your post to be included in digest emails. You can also edit old announcements and events and change the digest date(s) to have it sent out in future digest emails.
  • You also have the ability to upload a related document or image to an announcement or event, which can be viewed in the post’s details on the Intranet.
  • You can preview your posts by saving them as “Unpublished” before saving them as “Published” (or “Needs Review” for students).
  • It’s responsive! Whether you’re reading a digest email, browsing the calendar, viewing an Intranet page, or posting your own announcement, the site should look good and function properly no matter what screen size or device you’re using.

Read instructions for posting announcements and events

Announcements, Important Announcements, and Featured Announcements

  • The ten most recently posted announcements appear at the top of the Intranet homepage. More announcements can be viewed by clicking on the ellipses icon.
  • Important Announcements function pretty much the same as always. They are sent out in an email as soon as they are posted. They are also displayed at the top of the Intranet homepage.
  • If you had access to submit Important Announcements in the old system then your access should have been carried over to the new system; if for some reason it hasn’t, please let us know.
  • Featured Announcements are new and available for use by the President’s Office and the Communications Office to share highlights and community messaging. These posts contain a thumbnail image and they appear at the top of the Daily Digest and Intranet homepage.

Read instructions for posting Important Announcements

Read instructions for posting Featured Announcements

Campus Calendar

  • The Academic Calendar is now integrated with the campus calendar. Academic Calendar events display with a purple background and they can be filtered by specific categories.
  • There is now an event sponsor field where you can choose one or more offices, departments, or programs as sponsors of the event. Each event sponsor in the list can view a calendar of their own by going to their respective URL: https://intranet.hampshire.edu/calendar/sponsor-name (for example, the SAC calendar is https://intranet.hampshire.edu/calendar/sac)

Take a tour of the new calendar

Student Job Listings

  • Better organized
  • Easily filtered and searchable

Browse student jobs

Intranet Pages

  • If you had access to edit Intranet pages in the old system then your access should have been carried over to the new system. If you don’t have access, let us know by submitting a bug report.

Read instructions for editing Intranet pages

The Search Works!

  • Not only can you easily search the Intranet website from the top of any page, but there’s an advanced search that allows you to choose which types of content you want to search.

Notice a Bug or Want to Send Feedback?

There’s a cute little bug icon Bug iconat the bottom right corner of the screen when you go the Intranet and log in. Click on the bug to bring up a bug report screen. When you submit information here it goes directly to the Applications and Web Services Team in IT.

Planning for the Future

Throughout this process people have already told us about new features they’d like added to the system. We hope to have further conversations about adding features such as:

  • A planning calendar
  • Role switching (so that faculty and staff can view what students see on the homepage)
  • An option to send events to the communications office for public promotion
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Do you love to code? Hampshire is looking for a part time web developer

The Hampshire College IT department is looking for an awesome web programmer to join our fun, flexible office. You can read the job requirements (and APPLY!), but we wanted to use some of this space to share what working in IT @ Hampshire is like, and why we love our jobs.

Who Are We?

Applications and Web Services is one group within the centralized IT department at Hampshire. We have many responsibilities within our group of 8 people, which could be summarized as:

  • College websites (dozens and dozens of them)
  • Enterprise applications (for admissions, course registration, human resources, and more)
  • OneCard (access to buildings, meal plans, bookstore, etc)
  • Reporting services (both ad-hoc as well as longitudinal analytics)

We do many other things, but that highlights most of it. This position we’re seeking to fill is a web developer to help out with the many different College websites.

What Is Working at Hampshire Like?

First of all, we’re people. We have likes and dislikes. We work hard. We have fun. And we like to eat and talk about food. A lot.  Some of us love to cook, bike, hike, walk, ski, paddle, play games, watch movies, play music, read; the list goes on and on. We have varied interests and skills both in and out of the office. I suppose one way to convey some of the awesomeness of our office is “show, don’t tell”.

Join Us!

Don’t be misled by the awesomeness above; we work hard, but we play hard, and we respect the creative efforts of everyone to make our office both productive and fun.

Apply Now

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Got Backup?

Hard disks fail. If you don’t back up your data on a regular basis, we can help you get a system set up.

If you’ve experienced a data loss due to hard drive failure, chances are that you’ve got a backup system in place. If you haven’t experienced a data loss, don’t worry, you’ll be a member of the club some day–unless you’re backing up your data on a regular basis.

These days a backup system is pretty painless–you can either back up to an external drive on an automatic basis, or sign up for an online backup system such as Carbonite.

If you need to put a backup plan in place, we have backup drives available for purchase through a departmental charge. A 1 Terabyte backup drive (sufficient for the vast majority of users) is $60 and a 2 Terabyte backup drive is $100. To buy one of these drives contact the IT Helpdesk, give us a departmental charge number, and you can stop by and pick up your drive. If you’d like assistance setting up the drive and starting the backup, make an appointment with an IT technician through the IT help desk.

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