News and Updates

Pelletier Library Undergraduate Research Awards

Attention Students: Announcing Pelletier Library Undergraduate Research Awards

As one of the many laboratories for student learning and exploration, Pelletier Library is offering research awards to celebrate excellence in the research process. Interested in learning more about the awards and how to apply? Get more information here.

Count Day Tuesday 1/30

Tuesday 1/30 is Count Day, the college’s census. For reporting and accounting reasons, it is important to freeze the college’s system (Colleague) to give administrative departments the opportunity to verify accuracy across student records. The group of administrators that oversees the count process (such as the Registrar, Dean of Students, and Finance) have requested that Colleague be unavailable to campus that day. WebAdvisor and Informer (self-service and reporting) will remain available for general use by students, faculty and staff.

In the past, there has been a window of time where Colleague was available for general use in the morning. However, this year, in order to improve turn around time and efficiency, we are disabling access to Colleague after the close of business on Monday 1/29, so that the count process can proceed faster. Individuals who require access to data found in Colleague should use WebAdvisor or Informer to find the information they are looking for. Please contact LITS via webhelp.allegheny.edu if you have specific needs that can not currently be met.

We anticipate Colleague will be available at the start of business Wednesday 1/31. Thank you for your attention!

Get (H)appy in the Classroom

Please join us for the first Teaching with Technology lunch of the spring semester, co-hosted by Teaching Tidbits. We will meet on Monday, January 29, in the Pelletier Collaboratory to discuss the use of smartphone apps for teaching. We will cover apps to help with grading multiple choice tests and quizzes (ZipGrade), collecting audience responses (PollEverywhere), and managing class-relevant web content for offline access (Pocket). Please feel free to share your experience with other apps you might use for teaching including, but not limited to, Kahoot, GoodNotes, Hemingway, Socrative, etc. Lunch will be served at noon and the presentation will begin at 12:20 pm in the Pelletier Collaboratory on Monday, January 29th. Register at this link.

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).

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.