Update on Meltdown and Spectre

You may have seen news articles about two significant flaws recently found in hardware used in computers, smartphones, tablets and other devices, called Spectre and Meltdown. Security researchers discovered these flaws, which impact the computer processors (CPUs) that are at the heart of all the computerized equipment.

The bugs affect computer hardware dating to the mid-1990s, so updates to operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS are required to protect devices from these flaws.  These bugs could allow hackers to steal data from your devices through malicious software or a hacked web site.

Technology vendors have invested significant resources in securing their cloud services and providing updates and patches for operating systems to address the vulnerabilities of Spectre and Meltdown.    Information Technology Services (ITS) will apply those patches to College-managed technology resources (including College-owned Windows and Mac computers) through the regular patching process.   

As the exploit can be triggered by a hacked website or malicious software and is not limited to College owned technology, it is a good reminder that individuals should do the following on their personal devices.

  1. be sure to install security patches distributed by the manufacturer on personal devices and computers
  2. only download software from trusted sources
  3. be alert for phishing attempts that could be used to install malware

Should the situation with this issue change, we will provide updates as appropriate.  

(Second) First Fun Friday

The holiday hangover got the best of ITS and we have chosen to delay our regularly scheduled “First Fun Friday” tomorrow 1/5/2018 until next week.

However, consider this an early announcement that on the Second Fun Friday in January, we will be going over the changes to Google file sync (Google File Stream) as well as changes to Google Calendar (time permitting).

Google Calendar UI upgrade 1/8

Starting January 8th, Google will begin auto-upgrading users to the new Google Calendar user interface. No changes for those who have already opted-in.

Learn more about the new Google Calendar.

Scheduled Work for Internet Connection

On January 4, 2018, work is scheduled on the College’s internet connection.

The work is scheduled during the early morning maintenance window so it can be completed prior to the start of business.  A short disruption is anticipated while the work is being performed.

Preparations have been made to minimize the disruption, but should something unforeseen occur extending the disruption, the community will be updated with details of what to expect at that time.

Colleague UI 5.4 Update

Hi folks,

The newest version of Colleague UI (5.4) is now installed in our Production environment. It can still be accessed on campus at ui.allegheny.edu.

Please clear your cached images and files before accessing the new UI, or things will look weird. You can follow the instructions below for Chrome, but you only need to clear cached images and files. If you are having trouble clearing your cache, please contact the InfoDesk at x3768, or enter a WebHelp ticket.

This update resolves 127 change requests and we believe it to have resolved all outstanding bug reports internally. Performance has also improved as well as some enhanced navigation (most notably the row forward/reverse bar has been moved out of the way to the top of the screen.)

UI 4 is still available for individuals who find issues running the new UI, but it is not supported by the upcoming Windows 10 and will be retired in 2018.

Current and new testers should report issues to Enterprise Services via a WebHelp ticket. Thank you for your diligent testing!

Chrome Cache Clearing: https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/32050?hl=en-GB

Services Restored

ITS has become aware of a short service disruption that was an unexpected side effect of some planned network maintenance. All services have been restored and those still experiencing issues should contact the InfoDesk.

Sakai Update January 3rd

Sakai will be unavailable the morning of January 3rd.

On Wednesday, January 3, 2018 Allegheny Sakai will be updated. Please note: all Sakai services will be unavailable from 5 am to noon on January 3.

Retirement Notice: Gator FTP

Gator FTP Server will be retired on January 1, 2018.  

Individuals still using Gator FTP to back-up files should stop and begin to store files in Google Drive. Google Drive provides you secure storage for your files and is accessible from any internet connected device via browser or mobile app.  

The G Suite Learning Pages for Google Drive are a great place to learn how to use Google Drive to store files safely and securely. Should you have questions about how to effectively use Google Drive to store your College related files please contact the InfoDesk in Pelletier or create a ticket using WebHelpDesk.  

It is also important for Individuals to move files only stored on Gator FTP to move those files to Google Drive before following January 1, 2018.  

Google Drive sync app to be retired

ITS is beginning the transition from the Google Drive App to Drive File Stream, a new application for your Mac or PC. Drive File Stream will allow access to all of your files stored in Google Drive from your desktop computer while using less disk space and decreasing sync time when compared to the old Google Drive sync app, which will be retired by Google in March 2018.

To learn more about File Stream, check out our dedicated page here.

Library Interface Update

Over the Winter Break, the Pelletier staff will retire Allecat and transition to a new library management system which uses an enhanced version of AggreGator as its interface for all services. All the services you use in Allecat will still be available to you on the new system, although there may be some disruption during the transition because of the complexity of the move. In particular, from January 2nd to the 14th, renewals and booking requests will be handled manually by the staff at the InfoDesk, while the online services to handle these tasks are being set up.

What does this mean for you on January 15th?

  • All of your current loans will still be checked out to you on the new system
  • You can still renew library materials online
  • To make your experience better, many loan rules have been simplified, and course reserve rules have been streamlined
  • Items you search for in AggreGator will look different than they did in Allecat, but they are all still there and more information is available about most resources than was available in Allecat
  • As with other online tools, you will use your Allegheny username and password to login to the AggreGator interface
  • Easy and clear linking to Interlibrary Loan for items we do not own

If you have any questions, please contact Aimee Reash.