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IT News & Updates 2-5-2020

It’s been a while since I’ve sent out a general update on TFREC IT. The good news is that there haven’t been any major issues. But there are a few things to mention.

TFREC public website – If you haven’t visited our Center’s website recently, you should check it out. I have started posting special events on our calendar. These events are ones that are open to the public and are of interest to people here at the Center. If you have events you would like posted, let me know. Here’s the link: http://tfrec.cahnrs.wsu.edu

TFREC admin website updates – Do to all the confusion with Okta, MFA, and account setup in general, I’ve added a new page on the admin site which should help. You can check it out here: http://tfrec.cahnrs.wsu.edu/admin/okta/. I’ve also added information about getting set up in Office 365 and installing the software on the IT & Phone Resources page: http://tfrec.cahnrs.wsu.edu/admin/computer-resources/#office365.

Windows login banner – Those of you who have WSU network-integrated Windows computers should now be seeing the new Windows security banner whenever you log into your computers. The banner requires you to accept the WSU computer user agreement before logging in. If you don’t see this banner, then your computer has not been integrated (migrated) into the WSU network. The obvious “con” to being integrated is having to deal with the user agreement each time you log in. But the “pro” is supposed to be an enhanced and smoother user experience.

Ricoh printer – The printer has been experiencing connectivity issues again. Sometimes when you try to print you will get the message that it is offline or unavailable. Because this is a transitory condition, it has been very difficult to diagnose. I will keep working with CIT to try to make things work.

CAHNRS IT (CIT) site visit – They have not given us a firm date for their return to Wenatchee, but have indicated that it should be the end of this month. At that time, they hope to migrate Windows computers that they didn’t get to during their last visit. If you have any computers to be migrated or other problems you would like addressed during their visit, let me know so I can make sure it’s on their worklist.

Lobby Slideshow – If you haven’t watched it recently (since the last faculty meeting) check it out. Nearly all of the Center’s programs are up. If there is anything you would like to see on the slideshow or catch any errors, let me know. Slideshow PDF (Link also on Admin home page under quick links.)

That’s it from IT!

Browser tips

Many of the problems people run into browsing the internet can be solved by clearing your cache (browser history) frequently. Here are tips from the Crimson Service Desk regarding browser use.

“WSU only recommends using Chrome or FireFox. They also recommend clearing your cache once a week. It is not uncommon for browsers to be the source of logon issues, and need to be completely reset, due to a corrupt webpage getting stuck in the browser.”

Here are instructions for clearing the cache for most browsers.

Chrome
  1. Ctrl+H will pull up the History information
  2. Push the “Clear browsing data” button
  3. Select the time frame “All time”
  4. Push “CLEAR DATA” and wait for it to complete
  5. Restart Chrome
FireFox-FF (Mozilla)
  1. Click on the three horizontal lines in the upper right hand corner of the browser window
  2. Click on Options
  3. Select Privacy and Security
  4. Under the History section click on “Clear History” or “clear your recent history”
  5. Time range to clear: Everything
  6. Tip down the “Details” drop down menu and make sure that the following options are checked:
    – Browsing and Download History
    – Form and Search History
    – Cookies
    – Cache
    – Active Logins
  7. Clear Now
  8. Close all browser windows, then re-start the browser
Internet Explorer-IE (Microsoft)
  1. Select “Tools” (gear icon), then select “safety”, followed by “delete browsing history”
  2. Check Boxes -> Cookies, Temporary Internet Files, History
  3. UnCheck -> (“Preserve Favorites”)
  4. Delete
  5. Close all browser windows, then re-start the browser
Safari
  1. Launch Safari.
  2. Click the History tab, in the top menu.
  3. Select “Clear History…”
  4. Choose the time range “all history”.
  5. Click “Clear History.” Done.
Microsoft Edge
  1. Ctrl+Shift+Del
  2. Check the boxes for:
    -Browsing history
    -Cookies and saved website data
    -Cached data and files
    -The remaining options do not need to be checked
  3. Select the “Clear” button

Optional: By turning “Always clear this when I close the browser” it will not be necessary to manually clear the browser cache.

IT News & Updates 9/9/19

Today’s IT news blast covers a lot of stuff:

 

  • Ricoh printer: The most obvious thing going on with TFREC IT is the new Ricoh printer and getting connected. I hope all of you who want to use that printer are now connected. If you are still having issues, please review this page for instructions: http://tfrec.cahnrs.wsu.edu/admin/computer-resources/#printers. If that doesn’t help, please contact me or send a ticket to cit.support@wsu.edu. The biggest issue people are having is when it asks for you to enter your WSU credentials. You will need to sign in using ad\YourNetID. If you leave off “ad\” it will fail to connect.
  • CAHNRS IT visit: Another item of note is that Michael Gibson from CAHNRS IT will be here on Sep 25-26. Although he will be with a group touring our physical plant infrastructure, he will have some time afterward to help with any computer issues you may have. To get on his list, please submit a ticket to cit.support@wsu.edu or online at https://support.it.cahnrs.wsu.edu. He already has plenty to do while here, so if you don’t submit a ticket in advance he may not be able to help in person.
  • Lobby slideshow: I’m in the process of updating the lobby “Kiosk” slideshow. Soon Li has volunteered to help with redesigning some of the content. Anyone else interested in helping out, contact me, Soon Li, or Kate. Right now we are soliciting contributions from program leaders. What we’re aiming for is based on the elevator talk concept. But instead of having the time it takes to get from one floor to the next to get your point across, you’ll have a single slide to represent what your program is about. If you don’t have time or don’t have an idea of how you want the slide to look, don’t worry. We can develop a slide for you based on a summary or bullet points from you that highlight what your program does along with one or more images.
    In addition to these new program slides, we would like to have a section of the slideshow that highlights current research/extension activities that are relevant for the season they are being viewed. For example, showing harvest-related activities during harvest season. Right now, we have a couple of slides titled “Current activities” that are way out of date and not happening this time of year. We need images submitted by programs that showcase current activities that will be updated frequently to stay current.
    We can also add a section for special events such as field days, awards, celebrations, etc.
  • TFREC public website: I’m looking for people that would like to be on a committee to help with developing our center’s public website. We need help with developing ideas for how it will look and what content it should have. If you would like to help with the hands-on site-building (making pages/posts/etc.), that would also be welcomed. If you would like to be on the development committee, please let me or Kate know. Here’s our website: http://tfrec.cahnrs.wsu.edu
  • TFREC public calendar: Although our public website is “under construction”, we do have an active events calendar found here: http://tfrec.cahnrs.wsu.edu/events/. I’ve posted all of the Science in Our Valley Seminars (SVSS), as well as any upcoming event that I’m aware of – many with few details. Feel free to send me notices and I will post them. Even though an event may not be “open” to everyone, it is still nice to know when tours or groups will be visiting or other events/activities are taking place here.
  • TFREC Admin website: We have added a page for Implicit Bias Awareness Training found here: http://tfrec.cahnrs.wsu.edu/admin/implicit-bias-awareness-training/.
  • Campus IT announcement regarding Microsoft Office 2013 support: “Office 2013 client connections to commercial Office 365 services will not be supported after October 13, 2020. Microsoft recommends that customers upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus. Support for Office 2016 and Office 2019 connections to Office 365 cloud services will continue until October 2023.
    “Microsoft is not planning to block older Office clients, such as Office 2013, from connecting to Office 365 services. However, legacy clients attempting to connect to a modern, always up-to-date cloud service may experience performance, reliability issues, or connectivity failure.
    “While we realize this change will not take place until next fall, we want to provide you the opportunity to address it early in light of the modernization changes next summer.”

IT News & Updates 7-3-19

Upon returning from vacation, I found that lots happened in the world of IT. here’s what I’m covering in this installment of the IT News & Updates: First, there’s news on Zoom training and replacement of the old Polycom software. Next, is a solution to the international visitor internet connectivity problem. I end this with reminders about our web presence.

Zoom training and replacement of the old Polycom software

On June 25 the video conferencing team held a training session introducing the WSU Zoom Pro meeting software (here’s the link to the recorded session). As of July 9, all meetings and class that previously utilized Polycom will now be conducted via Zoom. If you didn’t sign up for Zoom a few months ago when they first started the switchover, don’t panic. As of next week, everyone will have access to Zoom (as long as you have a WSU NID). All you would need to do to access Zoom is click on a Zoom meeting link (if one was given to you), or go directly to https:/wsu.zoom.us. It will ask you to sign in with your WSU credentials (NID and password). If using our conferencing equipment, you would just enter the Zoom meeting number the same as you did before.
Why is this happening? The underlying Polycom software is out of date and its license expired. To update to Polycom’s newest release would be prohibitively expensive as the licensing would need to cover every unit throughout the WSU system. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the newer software does not support older Polycom units, such as those in our smaller conference rooms. So, all the older units throughout WSU would need to be replaced. Given the state of WSU’s finances, this is not an option. Since the decision was made to switch, the team has been busy preparing things. This has included installing the Zoom Pro Enterprise software and integrating with the WSU authentication system and configuring to support the Outlook plugin (not a small task!) and setting up a new room scheduling interface to handle classes and meetings. If you have questions about the Zoom Project visit: https://its.wsu.edu/zoom-video-conferencing/. I’ll revisit this next week with more information and links.

International Guest WiFi Access

What do you do when you have a busload of Italians (or other international guests) that visit the Center and want internet access? Well, up until now, they were usually out of luck. Our WSU Guest WiFi requires you to enter a mobile number that allows texting so the system can send an access code to enter into their device. The problem is that WSU WiFi was not designed to handle the country code prefixes. It is set for “1” (the US code). (This is system-wide, not just here.) There were only two ways around this. 1) If the person was affiliated with a foreign institution that was setup with the eduroam authentication, they can log directly into the eduroam network via our WSU AP and not need the WSU Guest AP; 2) If the host is willing to have them use their cell number to receive the access code, then they can use the Guest portal. But this isn’t practical when you have more than a single visitor.
Solution I worked with Nick at CAHNRS IT to set up a temporary event WiFi that can be turned on/off whenever we have a large group of international people needing internet access but can’t access either WSU Guest or eduroam. It works similarly to the “Cherry” wireless that we once had in the large conference room. The guest would look for “Event name” as the network portal and get automatic access. The caveat though, is that we would need some warning (at least five working days) so it can be turned on for the duration of the event. Note: Like the WSU Guest connection, they will not be able see/use anything on our WSU network, such as printers, because they are operating outside the network.
Requesting an event AP To get this set up for an event, send a request to cit.support@wsu.edu. In the subject line type “TFREC temporary event WiFi” so they know right off what you want. Then in the email body state what the event is, start and ending date, and a name for the event. Example names: “Italy group”, “Apple tour”, “IFTA tour”, etc. As mentioned above, they need a 5-day lead time to get this set up.
Why not have it turned on all the time? As with any remote network access point, there is a certain amount of risk of malicious tampering even though there is a firewall in place to prevent unauthorized access. Our Guest WiFi utilizes an added level of security by creating an access code on-the-fly and sending to a mobile number via a text. But the Events WiFi allow automatic access to guests. Anyone can utilize that network connection whenever it is live. Although the likelihood of someone using this connection maliciously is small, it is still a risk. So, to limit that possibility, it will only be live when we know we will need it. It can be “turned on” remotely by CAHNRS IT, but they do need to know in advance to ensure that it is on when needed.
What if I only have a single international visitor that needs access? Depending on how long that person will be here, you have a couple of options assuming that they can’t use eduroam. First, if they are only there for the day, as their host you could have them to connect to WSU Guest by allowing them to enter your cell number in to receive the access code. However, if they are going to be there for several days or longer (eg. visiting scientist) we can have their device “whitelisted”. This would involve getting the MAC ID number off their device and giving it to cit.support along with the person’s name and reason for their needing access (a short sentence like, “he’s here to learn X in Dr. Y’s lab”). They will try to get this request set up as quickly as they are able.

Other stuff

TFREC public website Yes, we do have a TFREC website visible to the public. You can find it here: http://tfrec.cahnrs.wsu.edu (there’s a link to it from the Admin site, too). New content is slowly being added. I’d like to add an events calendar and possibly a News blog page of things going on here. But for either of these to happen, I need help from all of you. I would need stuff to post (preferably on a regular basis) to make it useful. I’m also looking for suggestions (and content) to make the site better. I would be awesome if you could add this link to your program websites to help generate traffic. Any links to the old TFREC site will likely redirect to the new one. But having the correct link is always better.

Pesticide hazard/re-entry site With the field season in full swing, I just want to remind people to take the time to check the webpage before heading out to CV or Sunrise (or even wondering around our Center grounds). The page is located here: http://tfrec.cahnrs.wsu.edu/admin/pesticide-application-re-entry/ (also a link on the Admin home page under Quick Links). If you or someone in your program will be applying treatments, it needs to be entered into the database (link for entering application is on the page listed above). If you or your employee has not been added to the database yet, please contact me so I can add the person. They need a WSU NID to be added. Also, if you need to apply a material that is not already in the database (look carefully), please enter both the trade name and the common name (chemical name). Since this is intended as our hazard communication, having the chemical name handy is helpful. Although the programmer did not build the table to show both names, that change is in the works.

Lobby slideshow Jim updated our lobby slideshow (kiosk) prior to the last Deans & Directors meeting. But a lot of content still needs updating. I’m sure there are new activities going on both in the field and in labs that could be added; we could use a group shot of staff (only facilities/farm people are currently up); a new grad student group shot would be nice. Anything else you can think of that could be added or needs replacing, let me know. Since most of you don’t have time to stand in front of the lobby monitor, I have posted a pdf of the slide show here on our Admin site (home page; last link under Quick links) – Thanks Chris Sater for the suggestion!

IT News & Updates 5/3/19

Not a lot of news but a few updates this week:

  • Okta project: (copied from the campus e-newsletter) Information Technology Services continues to encourage the WSU community to activate their Okta accounts before the final shift to the new cloud authentication solution on May 13. From that date, applications such as myWSU, Blackboard, Notices, and more will reside behind the security Okta provides.
    The May 13 migration affects several major systems within WSU, however, it also leaves many business applications untouched. Users will experience no change to their computer log in procedure, and access to email and many other processes remains unchanged at this time.
    Reminders are going out twice weekly at this point, however, the website is accessible for account set up anytime; no email invitation is required. Approximately 12,000 students, faculty, staff, and parents who utilize third-party access, have completed the easy account activation process. ITS hopes to migrate thousands more in the coming weeks.
    The process to create an Okta account takes less than two minutes. Users log into activate.wsu.edu, enter a new password and confirm password recovery information including security questions and contact phone and email. One additional benefit of Okta managing WSU’s authentication process, password recovery will be a convenient, self‑service process.
    Visit the ITS website to learn more about the Okta project, including an updated listing of all applications currently scheduled to use Okta security.
    For assistance with any Okta account set up questions, please email crimsonservicedesk@wsu.edu.
  • TFREC Center website (public view): In the coming weeks, we will be adding more content to the Center’s website. One thing we hope to add is a People page that is more than a phone directory. If you or the people you supervise have a webpage (or site) that you would like linked to their name, please let us know. We could also link to the basic staff directory page offered by CAHNRS/Extension (http://cahnrsdirectory.cahnrs.wsu.edu/default.aspx). If you haven’t checked your listing lately (or ever) you might want to check an see if the information is up to date. Although most information is supplied by HR, you can customize a few items, such as a link to your personal home page. We could also just link to your email. Let us know what you prefer.
  • Phones: Now that the bulk of the phone transition-related issues have been dealt with we will be moving to a more self-service approach to making changes to phone needs and troubleshooting. This includes partial and complete phone reprogramming as well as purchases of new phones. Instead of me submitting requests to campus, you will be submitting the requests yourself. This will make tracking requests more transparent to you. But don’t panic. I will be here to help you through the process. Next week I will send out instructions on how to submit the change requests.

IT News & Updates 4/26/19

Just a couple of items this week. First, With the field season upon us, don’t forget to enter your field sprays into the online Re-entry App. If you haven’t asked to be added as an applicator to the add, please contact me. The App isn’t very mobile friendly. So, if you may want to enter your sprays into the system from your office prior to spraying. You can enter the information days before the treatment. If you end up changing the spray date or treatments, you can go in an edit your information. Also, if you are having problems entering in sprays, let me know and I’ll work with you to get the problem solved.

As an aside, CAHNRS IT was so excited about this App that they are now in meetings with the college safety group to build something similar for all centers.

Second item: The basement has WSU Wireless! Although the APs they installed on the main floor of Overley did reach the basement, the guys came in this week and installed an AP in the basement. So, you should have full coverage and be able to roam all over the building with your laptops and phones without losing signal.

Last item: This morning I got a fake phone call from Apple claiming that my iCloud account has been hacked and that I need to stop using it and contact them using the phone number they gave me. It was a robocall. I went online and typed in Apple iCloud scam and got a ton of results reporting the same experience. If you get this, don’t fall for it.

That’s all I have to report for now.

IT News & Updates 3-15-19

This week we had a visit from the CAHNRS IT team. Their primary mission was to install wireless access points (APs) throughout Overley and couple additional locations on our campus. They also decommissioned the old file share server, helped on a couple of support ticket items, and demonstrated how to connect to a Zoom meeting on our equipment. For more details on these and much more, see the sections below.

The items below cover the details of work performed by the CAHNRS IT team, as well as IT issues, presented at the Faculty & Staff meeting (3-15-19).

WSU Wireless AP Installation

Bill Bonner and his team installed 4 more APs in the upstairs Overely Lab. You should now have full WIFI coverage throughout the upstairs. Use your WSU credentials to access the WIFI. If you roam the building with a laptop or other device that is on the WSU Wireless network it will automatically pass you to the closest AP without losing your connection.
Now that we have full coverage, we will be decommissioning the Emily, Medlar, and Molab routers. So, if you suddenly lose your WIFI connection, just go in and select WSU Wireless. I’d advise not waiting until you lose connection!
They also installed an AP in Entomology. The Plum router over there will also be decommissioned. One final AP was also installed in the Hazmat building.
The next to be installed will likely be in the east end of the Entomology Annex. We have one unit in hand but will need to purchase another for the west end to get full coverage.  We will also be purchasing one for the Overley basement. However, I tested the signal this morning and had a strong connection radiating down from the first floor.

Network Connection Speed

Our current bandwidth maxes out at 100Mbps because that’s what the K20 line can do. This isn’t a problem if there isn’t much activity on our network. But using AMS (sometimes all at once) plus everything the rest of us are doing on the internet, can cause a bottleneck, slowing things down to a crawl and manifesting as audio lag during video conferences or dropped connections during a download. However, our line is shared with LocalTel and that has the ability to run up to 1000Mbps. CAHNRS IT is working to balance the load between the two to get us running without the lags and bottlenecks. This should be completed around Mid-April. To learn more about bandwidth, its effect on connection speed, the difference between upload and download rates, and much more check out this article: http://www.plugthingsin.com/internet/speed/.

Server Decommissioning

While here, the IT guys pulled the plug on the old file share server. Anything that was on there had been moved over to individual cloud share directories. They hauled the old equipment off for surplus.

Our old TFREC web server (Jenny & Dialogue) will also disappear soon. I’ve given plenty of warning about this over the past year. I believe all of the useful content has been moved elsewhere by the content “owners”. Old content has been archived and will not be available online. The Center’s public website and the admin site are located on the CAHNRS server, http://tfrec.cahnrs.wsu.edu, and  http://tfrec.cahnrs.wsu.edu/admin/, respectively. I have requested redirects be set up for the major sites (still active sites that have new ‘homes’). A list of active program sites is on the Center’s homes page. The only thing that has not been moved over is our old Safety website. The majority of the items located there exist elsewhere, such as the EHS website and HR/Skillsoft training. I will be meeting with Jerry and Darla to finalize an alternative for new employee training that will incorporate the use of the EHS & Skillsoft training sites. The advantage of going that route is that WSU automatically tracks the training.
The Center’s public website will be undergoing a facelift with the incorporation of a new WSU template. It will look more like the website that Prosser now uses. You can view their site here. We will also be adding more content to our site.

Okta Password Management Application

WSU has already started the roll-out of the new password security tool, Okta. This is the software behind the WSU uniform login. It is a multi-tiered security application that will ask for a cell phone number to validate any changes made to your account settings. I’ve talked about the roll-out in past blog posts so this shouldn’t be news to you. The first group of invitations went out on Monday, Mar 4 and will continue to be sent out to new groups each Monday until early May. Each Monday a random group of 1000 people will receive an invitation email with a live Activate link. You have seven days to use your link. If you don’t use it during that time period or you delete the email you will need to request a new invitation email from crimsonservicedesk@wsu.edu. If you have questions about Okta you can visit the Okta Project page at https://its.wsu.edu/okta/#changes or you can contact the Crimson Service Desk for help. CAHNRS IT is also available to help at cit.supoort@wsu.edu.

Zoom Pro

I sent in a list of names of those who got back to me about wanting a WSU Zoom Pro license. Each of you should have received a Zoom invitation from Travis Williams. In that email, there was a link with instructions on downloading the Zoom plugin for Outlook. You can only have one Zoom account linked to an email address. Also, each of our meeting rooms will be assigned a location ID. While CAHNRS IT was here this week they demonstrated to Megan how to connect to a Zoom meeting using our VC equipment. She said its really easy. Here’s her step-by-step guide. Let her know if you find errors or things that need to be changed in the document.

Best Practices Recommendations for Academic Videoconferencing

WSU recently came out with a document “WSU Videoconferencing: Current State & Recommendations” that is mostly a Best Practices guide for achieving the best possible experience for instructors and students using the video conferencing system. This was a product of the WSU ITSAC Videoconferencing Subcommittee. It’s focused almost entirely on the Academic videoconferencing classroom experience. However, many of the concepts covered can also be applied to any videoconferencing situation. The document covers four major topics: Behavior, Room Design, Administrative/Operational, and Technology Infrastructure. It’s an interesting read. Here’s a link to the document: WSU_VC_Assessment_Final

New Computer Ordering Tool

WSU has a desktop computer ordering tool that can be used to configure and order a new computer (Windows OS only – sorry Mac people!). Some of you may have already taken advantage of this. One nice thing about this is that your new computer will come with pre-installed WSU software. And they have a pretty fast turn around. We ordered Kim’s computer from them and it was here in just a couple of days. Currently, their tool is only for desktop computers, but an ordering tool for laptops is almost ready.
More on this from Bill Bonner: “If you go to the CAHNRS IT website there is a link on the left-hand menu titled “Buy a Desktop PC”. This tool allows folks to select pre-configured options, and customize them as needed. The system will generate a quote that can be purchased through the normal process, or over the phone with a P-card. Additionally, the systems can be shipped directly to your site, or sent to us (CAHNRS IT) first for (software) configuration.”
Direct link to “But a Desktop PC” Tool: https://computerquotes.it.cahnrs.wsu.edu/.

IT News & Updates June 22

News

Good news: Nick Pappin and Michael Stoddard are scheduled to come out here the week of July 9th to work on various IT projects. These projects should include:

  • Getting the network reconfiguration closer to being fully integrated with the larger WSU Network (might be able to complete). Note: there will be some network disruptions. They will try to schedule disruptions after regular hours.
  • Getting everything set up for the VoIP integration and try to start moving some of the phones over.
  • Setting up the new podium in the larger conference room.
  • And, hopefully, do some work to help reposition the server equipment so we can repurpose the rest of that room.

Site Migration and Web Accessibility

As mentioned at the Admin/Faculty meetings while I was out, web pages on the old TFREC web server need to be either terminated or migrated to the CAHNRS server. I believe all of you that requested a website location got one. If you didn’t request one and still want one, let me know and I’ll help you get the ball rolling. If you have other sites/content on the old server that have not been dealt with, let me know. Once the plug is pulled, all content will be unavailable to the public.
One thing to be aware of is that they are beginning to enforce the Web Accessibility Guidelines. What does this mean for you?

  1. All web developers, content publishers, editors, domain owners, or anyone who has any other role in updating WSU web content must be trained annually. (WSU Web Accessibility Training)
  2. All web content generated from June 30 on must meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA. (Executive Policy #7)
  3. All older content must be brought into compliance by Sept. 1, 2019.
  4. Any newly requested websites must undergo and pass an accessibility audit prior to going live.

What I’m currently working on

Terminating our TFREC server means that both our ‘public’ TFREC website and our ‘intranet’ (Admin) website must be migrated to CAHNRS. The new public website was created months ago but doesn’t have much content yet. Eventually, it will have information about the Center and links to each of the program websites you have set up. Any suggestions about content/features for the public site would be welcome. I have also requested a new site for our admin website. Since this is a new request it will be subject to the full accessibility standards even though it is just used by us. The site is not password protected, so it’s available to the public. There isn’t anything ‘sensitive’ there, just not interesting to anyone but us. There will be some hurdles for me to get this new site launched. First, the current site is not in compliance and will take some work to fix things. Second, CAHNRS must determine if the Room Scheduler is a security risk, then determine if it meets accessibility standards. If it doesn’t pass muster, I have some thoughts on how to work around the problem.
The other website that will need to move is our Safety website. It will need to be completely rebuilt. This will take me a while to figure out. And a component of this site, the Pesticide Application/REI table will need to be rebuilt. I have asked CAHNRS IT to look into it.

Updates

Campus IT

There only a couple of notable items of interest to us going on with Campus systems. The first involves continued ‘tweeks’ to the myWSU site and associated applications. It is working, but some bugs still pop up. The second involves Syke for Business. There were several recent problems that caused the connection to drop or prevented logins. They believe the problems have been fixed.

Video Conferencing/AMS

They upgraded the system which changed way Conference IDs work. You no longer need to enter a 7 before the class or conference ID number. The VMRs for classes were generated to include the 7. This is being fixed for the Fall semester. One of the problems that has cropped up is that the system allows for both the 7-prefix to be used and without the prefix. The result is that the system sets up separate connections on the bridge for each call-in type (example: one call using 71234 and another using 1234). this means that the VC SErvices people have to manually reconnect the meetings. The preferred method of calling is without the 7-prefix. this also applies to any non-WSU remote sites and any RP Desktop connections. They should have all this worked out before Fall and all assigned numbers will be correct.

IT News & Updates 1/25/18

The only thing of note this week was Darla getting our TFREC email lists up and running. You should have received an email from “tfrec-l” this morning with the addresses for all of our new lists. (Note the correction to the faculty-admin list in the follow-up email.) If you know someone who did not get the email, have them see Darla. She will check to see if their email is included/correct.
Otherwise, not much going on this past week to report on. So, let me take this opportunity to point out some recent updates to this website.

New items added/updated on the Admin website 

  • Software License Tracking Document link added to homepage and on “IT & Phone Resources” page
  • Information and link to OneDrive cloud storage offered to us by WSU – found under “IT & Phone Resources”
  • Link to Activity Insights is on the homepage
  • New plot map for SRO showing current PIs assignments – on “Orchards Services” page
  • Darla added CougerManager FAQ link to Time-slip employee page
  • Lots of links have been updated on the homepage and within the website (let me know if you find a broken link)

Campus IT Updates

  • myWSU – This system continues to be plagued with issues (login and/or access to linked activities). More troubleshoots was performed and fixes made. Although they reported that everything was working, I could not access it this morning. However, I tried again a short time later and it was working again. So, they may still be doing some “tweeking” to things.
  • WSU emails blocked –  There has been an issue recently where some domains have been blocking emails from WSU. This has included Chrome/Gmail, Comcast, and a few others. This was due to the rise in phishing emails coming from hacked WSU accounts. WSU IT has been working with these outside providers to take us off their quarantine/blocked list. WSU has been removed from the “bad” list for now, But as malicious emails go out to their clients, we could face future blocking. Campus IT will continue to work with the providers until the problem is resolved.
  • Security updates – Hackers don’t rest. Evidence of this lies in the fact that both operating systems and network systems developers continued to release security updates this week. So, if your computer, phone, or tablet says it has an update for you to install – please do so at your earliest convenience.
  • Skype for Business – ITS continues to perform maintenance on SfB with another round tonight.