Power Down Over Break

The IT Department would like to remind you that we live in New England where winter storms can cause power outages. These outages can sometime create problems in electronic equipment. Please take steps to minimize any problems, and as an added bonus they will help us conserve energy!

Please remember to do the following before you leave for break. Need help to remember? Put a sticky note on your door, coat, bag or another place you will see it as you go to leave.

We would like you to turn OFF and UNPLUG power on all computers, monitors, printers, copiers, external drives and other large electronic equipment prior to leaving. This is to protect them from electrical damage during any outages, power surges, or when power is restored. To simplify the process, if several devices (e.g. monitor, computer, printer) are connected to a power strip, just unplug the power strip, not each device.

We would like you to do this even if you have power strips on all of your major equipment. The reasoning is because not all power strips are surge protectors, or they may not offer enough protection for all the equipment plugged into them. We understand that not everyone will be able to physically unplug all of the equipment for one reason or another. In those cases, devices should be powered off completely and not left in a sleep or low power mode.

A special note about refrigerators. Do not unplug them, but remember that if you have ice built up in the freezer portion, it may melt and leak out on the floor during an extended outage. Please make sure there are no electronics or other items nearby that may get damaged. You may want to consider placing a towel or something under the door to absorb any leaking.

We have generators and back up power to keep the servers and some network equipment running so off campus access to most systems are not effected by outages unless the outage is significant or extensive.

Thank you for your assistance. If you have questions concerning the protection of your computers and other equipment, please contact the IT helpdesk at helpdesk@hampshire.edu.

hamp.it URL Shortener

hamp.it is a Hampshire-branded URL shortener. This offers anyone (students, faculty or staff) the means to post a short URL to a Hampshire webpage without having to use a commercial service like tinyurl.com or bit.ly. There are a few policies in place to use it appropriately, but if you see a news item or announcement with hamp.it in the URL, you should know that this is a legitimate Hampshire domain.

Read the full policy »

Important Security Update to Some Apple Devices

Apple has discovered a major security issue and has released a fix. Not all Apple devices will be affected, but if you have an iPhone, an iPad, or an Apple computer running the very latest Mac OS 10.9 (Mavericks), you should install any pending system updates as soon as possible.

For iPhones and iPads: From the home screen, go into “Settings” and then “General.” Select “Software Update,” and if there is an update, download and install it.

For Apple computers: First check your OS under the Apple menu, then “About This Mac.”

For OS 10.9.0 and up: The update has not yet been released, but is expected in the near future. Click on “Software Update…” under the OS X Version and if there are any updates, download and install them. If you are not seeing an update, please be sure to try again another day.

For OS 10.8.x and lower, you are not affected by this security issue, but should still keep up with updates: Click on “Software Update…” under the OS X Version. Do NOT click on the OS X Mavericks Free Upgrade. If you see any UPDATES, click on and install them.

Remember, it is important to keep up with minor updates on all your devices, especially ones that are security related. With major upgrades like Mac OS 10.8 to Mac OS 10.9 or Windows 7 to Windows 8, it is better to wait a while for stability and compatibility reasons. For these reasons, we do not recommend upgrading to 10.9 (Mavericks) at this time.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact the IT help desk, helpdesk@hampshire.edu or your school support specialist.

Excel Workshop Series Starting Next Week

ExcelEssential Excel Refresher
Mac – December 4, 2013 – 11 a.m.
Windows – December 6, 2013 – 10 a.m.

These workshops cover the basic concepts of using an Excel workbook for organizing data and doing simple calculations. Great for an introduction or refresher, and especially good if you want to get on sure footing for the more advanced workshops in January.

Excel Formulas and Functions 
Mac – January 8, 2014 – 10 a.m.
Windows – January 10, 2014 – 10 a.m.

Get a good handle on some of Excel’s more useful features. We guarantee that at least one thing in this class will prove a time-saver for you.

Learn how to:

  • Import data from a text file
  • Use Filters to sort and limit your view of your data
  • Have Excel add automatic subtotals
  • Copy or re-use a formula
  • Have that copied formula do what you actually want it to: learn about absolute vs relative cell references.
  • Use conditional formatting to have cells with certain values automatically look the same.
  • Use Functions to quickly answer complicated questions like “How many students do we have from Connecticut, and how many of them live in Dakin?” or “How many orders did I place that were over $500 between July and October of last year?”
  • Split text in one cell into two cells (for example, separate out first & last names), and combine text in two cells into one cell.

Excel Pivot Tables 
Mac – January 16, 2014 – 10 a.m.
Windows – January 17, 2014 – 10 a.m.

Q: What are pivot tables?
A: Tools in Excel that automatically summarize your data. They let you see the “big picture” and are easily adjustable to provide different ways of looking at your data.

Q: Why would I care about them?
A: Because they allow you to answer complicated questions in a snap. Quick: How many orders did you place with Staples last year? And what was the total of those orders? And how many orders per month did you place? And what was the average per month of those orders?

If you have information you want your data to provide, pivot tables will give it to you quickly and easily. They will save you time, and they just might change your life!

RSVP to asaklad@hampshire.edu

A Series of Workshops for Staff and Supervisors

Information Technology, Human Resources, and the Creativity Center are working collaboratively to identify training opportunities and other sessions that can help all of us at the College deal with the challenges of having more work than time.

The first initiative in this continuing series is a “Brainswarming: Looking at Workload” workshop on Thursday, December 5, 2013, in FPH Lounge from 10-11 am. At this innovative workshop, supervisors and staff can look at the issues around having more work than time to do it. Professor Tony McCaffrey will lead the session using a technique called “Brainswarming.” The Brainswarming process in this workshop will allow us to identify the broad spectrum of factors that come to play with workload issues, from organizational skills to supervisor prioritization of work to the College budget.

We encourage both supervisors and non-exempt and exempt staff to attend, whether you are struggling with your workload, see someone in your department or school who is, think you have some perspectives or ideas to share, or all of the above. Supervisors, please provide time for your staff to attend this valuable workshop.

If you would like to try Brainswarming and work to solve the question of how to get work done within the limits of a 35-hour work week, please plan to attend the workshop led by Tony McCaffrey on Thursday, December 5, 2013, in the FPH Lounge from 10-11 am. Please rsvp to hr@hampshire.edu by Monday, December 2 to let us know you will be attending.

Brainswarming borrows insights from how swarms of insects successfully solve problems together. Participants in this exercise learn how to generate ideas together without initially talking. Participants silently add Post-It notes to a special problem-solving graph that organically grows as contributions are added and finally becomes connected as solutions (or possible solutions) are matched to problems. Discussion then follows with the group of participants.

The great part about not talking during the initial part of Brainswarming is that it levels the playing field of all the participants as all ideas are generated and presented without one person or the loudest person dominating the direction of the ideas put forth.

More workshops:

An Intro to “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” 

“Getting Things Done” is a methodology for staying organized while lowering stress at the same time. A little strategy goes a long way when there are not enough hours in the day!

IT invites exempt and non-exempt staff and their supervisors to an overview session of “Getting Things Done”- a system for keeping up with your tasks and lowering stress at the same time. We’ll go over the basic concepts and look at some tech tools to help you put them into place.

Presented by Bob Crowley, Ben Fellows, and Asha Kinney of IT
Thursday, December 12th, 10-11:30 a.m.
RSVP to asaklad@hampshire.edu

Agile Project Management: An Introduction to Scrum

You may be familiar with the concepts of traditional project management, and you may even be a very strong project manager. “Scrum” represents another very effective tool in your toolbox of project management techniques. For projects in which the requirements are continuously changing, you may need a more proactive project management approach.

The definition of “project” has a wide range – anything from making a sandwich to building a house constitutes a project. If you work on projects of any size and want to get tips on managing projects in a way that allows for moving targets and good “customer” relations, “Scrum” is for you.

We will use our time in class to work through the stages of a sample project.

Presented by Bob Crowley and Ben Fellows of IT.
Wednesday, January 15th, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
RSVP to asaklad@hampshire.edu

Tech Tip of the Week: Problems Getting Mail or Calendar on Wireless? Try NetReg

We’ve reset the network registration information for the wireless “wallace” network, so you have to “netreg” every device that connects to Wallace–including iPads and smart phones.

If you use the wireless network “wallace” while you’re on campus, we require that you register with us at the start of every school year. If you attempt to use a web browser without having net reg’d since the reset, you’ll be automatically sent to the netreg.hampshire.edu page, and you won’t be able to access any web content until you complete the process (it only takes a few minutes).

These days, though, a lot of us use devices like a tablet or smartphone to access our email or Zimbra calendar information. If we’re on campus, chances are that we’re using the Wallace network to access these services, but that isn’t possible unless our device has been netreg’d since the reset. Unfortunately, the error message from email or calendar won’t tell you this, it will just fail, perhaps complaining about your username or password.

The solution is easy, once you’ve figured out that this is the problem:

  1. While you’re on campus, open up the web browser on your device (Firefox, Safari, or whatever you use to access the web).
  2. If you’re using Wallace and aren’t registered, you’ll be automatically sent to the netreg page. If for some reason you’re not automatically sent there, just enter “netreg.hampshire.edu” into the browser address bar.
  3. Enter your HampNet user name and password. You will be told to wait 3-5 minutes for network access, and you’ll be good to go.

Tech Tip Summer Extra: Coming Back from Vacation Just Got Easier…

…well, at least as far as out-of-office messages go. If you use an auto-reply message for your email when you go away for a few days, you’ll be happy to learn that you can now set a start and end time in advance.

Most of us have had the experience of forgetting to turn off our out-of-office email message when we return from vacation. Check out the new interface that will automatically turn it on and off at a specified time.

  1. In your web browser go to https://password.hampshire.edu.
  2. After logging in, select “Email Settings.”
  3. Down at the bottom of the page, turn “Vacation Message” on.
  4. To start the message up at a specified time, check the “Vacation after” box, and dial in the date and time when you want to start the vacation auto-response.
  5. To end the message at a specific time, check the “Vacation until” box, and set the date and time to turn the message off.
  6. Edit the subject and content of the out-of-office message, remembering to add a signature to the bottom if you regularly use one.
  7. Click the “Save” button at the bottom right to save the changes.
  8. Click “Logout” at the top right when you’re done.