Archives—August 2013

Information and Learning Commons Development

The Michigan Tech Library is undergoing a major renovation this fall to create a more technologically advanced learning environment to meet the evolving needs of students.

The Information and Learning Commons Development is a cooperative effort of the Michigan Tech Library and Information Technology Initiative to enhance computing and Information Access Support for Michigan Tech Students.

This includes:

  • New, faster computing equipment – Dell Optiplex 9020 All-in-One desktops will be installed throughout the library.
  • A more open and collaboration-friendly environment – To better meet the evolving learning and computing needs of students, changes such as clusters optimized for collaboration and teamwork, more tools including whiteboards throughout, ergonomic computing desks and chairs (with AC/USB power points), shared collaboration screens, and digital signage will be installed throughout the upcoming school year.
  • Expanded Availability – Operating hours will be increased to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • The migration of open lab seats to a common location in the Library – Current “open” computer labs will be repurposed and refurnished as wireless lounges and academic spaces. A list of affected labs can be found at the computer lab listing page.

The Michigan Tech Information and Learning Commons Development is a joint project of the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library and Information Technology Services and Security. For more information, please visit

Changes to Windows Remote Desktop coming on August 30, 2013

As a part of an effort to consolidate and upgrade IT services, Information Technology is deprecating older Windows Remote Desktop servers and providing a new service, Windows Remote Desktop service will allow you to access a Windows desktop and university-licensed applications from home or while traveling.

The following servers will be shutdown on August 30, 2013 and the services and software they provided will be replaced by the new service,

Old Windows Remote Desktop Services New Windows Remote Desktop Service

Special purpose Windows Remote Desktop services not listed here will remain up and running at this time.

Changes from the old remote environment

Please note the time-out settings for this new service have changed. If your session remains idle for two hours, your session will be closed. If you disconnect your session without logging off first, your session will close after 30 minutes. Unsaved work may be lost. If you require resources for longer-running jobs, please contact User Services.

Connecting to

For on-campus usage simply change the server name in your Remote Desktop client to and log on using the same username and password you normally use. To log on from off-campus, first log on to, select “get an MTU address,” and then connect to using your Remote Desktop client. View a list of available remote software on our Campus Core Common Software page.

Something missing?

Information Technology has made a strong effort to engage those who use the Windows Remote Desktop services to determine software and resource needs. If you need access to software or resources not currently offered on, please contact User Services by emailing or calling 906-487-1111.

HuskyCard is Coming

Michigan Tech IT is upgrading the campus card system by transitioning to a contactless smart card and reader system. The new system will be compatible with all of the current card functions such as student, faculty, and staff ID card, library card and meal plans. In addition to providing identification and access, the HuskyCard may optionally be used as a prepaid debit MasterCard, providing students the ability to receive same-day refunds.

The HuskyCard will have two magnetic stripes, one yellow, and one black, as well as a contactless smart chip. Information will be stored on both the yellow stripe as well as the smart chip to allow for a transition to new technology without interrupting current service offerings. When a contactless smart chip reader is installed, card users will be able to “tap” (hold the card very close to the reader) their card against the reader to execute transactions. If you encounter a magnetic stripe reader, swipe the yellow stripe.

The goal is to replace all swipe readers with contactless smart chip readers; including parking gates and computer lab print release systems. Parts of the current system are running on antiquated technology and need to be replaced as soon as possible. Other parts have been updated over the years and will remain compatible with the new system.

All Michigan Tech students, faculty, and staff will be required to receive a new HuskyCard with the contactless smart chip technology. You can exchange your current ID in the library from Aug. 26 until Sept. 15. Save time by updating your picture and preferred name at HuskyCard Photo Upload.

Note that all HuskyCards now have a 16-digit MasterCard number on the front of the card, as well as a black magnetic stripe. The black stripe should only be used for debit MasterCard transactions. The 16-digit number is associated with an optional prepaid debit account, and is only activated if one chooses to “register” their HuskyCard. As a result, new precautions must be taken by campus departments that use the HuskyCard. For example, the temporary holding of another person’s card in all cases is no longer appropriate, and new business processes must be put in place. The HuskyCard should be treated as if it were a personal credit card.

More information about the new HuskyCard is available at HuskyCard.

For questions about the proper handling of HuskyCards, please contact

Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive Use Changes

Information Technology has been working to find ways to decrease login and logout times for our students, faculty, and staff. We have found that many cloud storage programs store data in a location that can drastically affect login/logout times.

IT will be disabling the synchronization programs for Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft SkyDrive in all campus computer labs. You will still be able to use the web-based versions of these services but will not be able to install programs that automatically download data from them.

For customers who already use these services, we will be moving the data folders to new locations.

  • H:\Dropbox Data
  • H:\Google Drive Data
  • H:\SkyDrive Data

Once these folders are moved, they will not be downloaded and uploaded as a part of the login/logout process.

Faculty and staff who need to use these programs to sync to network drives (including H: drives) should contact User Services to make sure the programs are configured correctly.

If you have any questions, please contact User Services at or 906-487-1111.