University of West Florida

Information Technology Services

 

Volume 5, Issue 1


Help Desk News

Google Apps Update

On August 13, Google Apps, a suite of software services that include email and calendar, was successfully deployed for UWF students as the students.uwf.edu domain was moved to Google. The number of calls to the Information Technology Services (ITS) Help Desk was moderate as expected with any new service, and students experienced only a few problems that were quickly resolved. This smooth transition sets the stage for an expanded Google Apps environment at UWF.

In many ways, the student conversion served as a trial run for the planned Google Apps deployment to faculty and staff. Although the student population is much larger, faculty and staff use of email and calendar is more complex, largely due to intensive calendar use. Because of this, universities that deploy Google Apps typically use a phased approach that starts with students. Lessons learned in the student transition can then be applied to the faculty and staff transition. UWF Information Technology Services is on track to deploy Google Apps to faculty and staff sometime in the 2009-2010 academic year. More information will follow as plans are finalized. For more information on Google Apps, see http://uwf.edu/helpdesk/google.


Accessing UWF Systems During an Emergency

In the event that an emergency or network outage makes uwf.edu or Argus inaccessible, UWF’s externally hosted services -UWF Student Gmail, eLearning, and Elluminate - will remain available. Outage information and links to services will be posted at the uwfemergency.org website. Get prepared: bookmark uwfemergency.org.


Sharing Large Files

Most email services, including UWF Gmail, set limits on the size of attachments that can be sent and received. Both the sending and receiving email systems have their own limits, and so it is the smaller of the two that ultimately determines the size of a file that can be shared via email.

There are a number of Internet companies that specialize in transferring large files. Information Technology Services has tested and recommends youSENDit.com. With a free account, you can send files up to 100 MB. With a paid subscription or a pay-per-use plan, you can send files up to 2 GB.

Under special circumstances, you can also share files through your UWF-provided H: and I: drives. If you are transferring or collaborating on a file with others who are internal to UWF, you can save the file to your H: drive and then set permissions on the file to allow access for selected individuals. Here's how:

  1. Save the file to your H: drive, then right-click on the file and select Properties.
  2. Under the Security tab, add the individual, click OK, and then set their permission level.
  3. The individual(s) you specified can then access the file at
    \\argofiler.argo.uwf.edu\facstaff\Home\YourArgoNetUserName\SubFolderName\FileName
    for example, \\argofiler.argo.uwf.edu\facstaff\Home\bpascal\geometry101\exam.docx

Assuming your document is not confidential and does not have copyright concerns, you can save it to your I: drive, which is the same as posting it to the Internet. You can then provide anyone with the web address for your document. They can access the file at http://uwf.edu/YourArgoNetUserName/SubFolderName/FileNameWithExtension - for example, http://uwf.edu/gwashington/history101/pretest.docx


Spyware Protection for your Home Computer

This information is offered as a courtesy. The ITS Help Desk does not provide support for personally-owned computers infected with spyware.

Spyware is a general term for software that displays advertisements, collects personal information, or changes the configuration of your computer without properly obtaining your consent. You may have spyware or other unwanted software on your computer if:

  • You see pop-up advertisements even when you're not on the Internet
  • Your homepage changes without your knowledge
  • You notice a new toolbar in your browser that you didn't want
  • Your computer takes longer than usual to complete certain tasks
  • You experience a sudden rise in computer crashes
  • Your anti-spyware software stops working correctly

Anti-spyware software detects and removes spyware from your computer. The anti-spyware sites listed below are well-known and recommended by the ITS Help Desk. Never use anti-spyware software that has not been recommended by a legitimate source - sometimes spyware developers will disguise spyware as anti-spyware software.

Free Anti-Spyware Software Downloads for Your Home Computer
UWF is not responsible for the quality, performance, or reliability of third party tools.


Phishing Scams

Fraudulent emails have unfortunately become a routine problem for email users. Every day, UWF employees and students are “phished” for passwords and other confidential information. Due to the volume of these phishing scams, it is impractical for the ITS Help Desk to alert the university of every incident. It is therefore up to you to be vigilant.

At the beginning of the semester, the ITS Help Desk sent an email to all faculty and staff with tips for identifying phishing emails (see the email). You are urged to learn this information and protect the university and its systems. At present, there is little ITS can do to prevent these attacks – it is simply part of being an email user. We are hopeful that Google Apps’ superior spam filtering will help us combat the problem when Google Apps is deployed to faculty and staff.


Other Technology News

Student Response Systems
The Center for University Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (CUTLA) and Information Technology Services (ITS) have collaborated to establish an environment to support the use of student response systems. A student response system allows an instructor to engage students by “polling” the class and summarizing responses. Polls can be anonymous, encouraging student participation on sensitive issues, or responses can be associated with student names. Student response systems can be used for a variety of purposes, including classroom management (such as taking attendance), to facilitate discussion, and to assess learning. Thus far, UWF has focused on student response systems from the academic perspective; however, they also have non-academic uses. For more information, see http://uwf.edu/its/instructionandresearch/classroomresponse.cfm.

Scopia Desktop
Scopia Desktop allows individuals at their personal computers to interact with video conferencing sessions hosted at UWF’s instructional video conferencing classrooms and video conferencing-equipped conference rooms. With this flexibility, individuals at remote locations can participate in a live session virtually via the Internet. For more information, see http://uwf.edu/its/instructionandresearch/conferencing/scopia.cfm.

ITS Help Desk | Bldg. 79 | 11000 University Pkwy. | Pensacola, FL 32514 | (850) 474-2075 | Campus Map | Text Only