Tag Archives: upgrades

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 http://it.mtu.edu/ilc.

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 it-help@mtu.edu.

Huskymail Upgrade Postponed

The Huskymail upgrade scheduled for Thanksgiving break has been postponed.

During this semester, several Huskymail infrastructure pieces have been restructured in order to improve performance.  As such, we have continued to work with several vendors on longer term solutions to these issues.  These processes have taken priority over the upcoming scheduled upgrade and thus will need to be rescheduled.  Our Huskymail Team is presently working on this timeline and we should be able to schedule this upgrade in the near future.  We thank you for your time and patience.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Huskymail upgrade postponed

The Huskymail upgrade scheduled to happen on Aug. 27th has been postponed until Thanksgiving break.

Multiple parties have provided feedback that an email downtime right before classes began would inconvenience faculty, staff and students as they prepare for the beginning of the term. IT has decided to reschedule the upgrade until Thanksgiving break, which is the next window of opportunity for this upgrade. We will send further information in November about the timing of this upgrade.

Huskymail to be upgraded to version 6

UPDATE: Upgrade postponed till Thanksgiving break; please read this notice

On Saturday, August 27, 2011, Information Technology will be upgrading the major software components of our campus email system, Huskymail. We are performing this upgrade to provide additional and updated email and calendaring features, and to fix several long-standing bugs.

This upgrade requires an outage which will begin at 8:00 PM on Saturday, August 27 and is expected to last for 8 hours, until 4:00 AM on August 28th. During this time, the Huskymail web client (http://huskymail.mtu.edu) and all ActiveSync, IMAP, POP, and Outlook clients will be unable to connect. Incoming messages will be queued on our servers and delivered at the end of the outage: no incoming messages will be lost.

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Home Directory Move for Physics, Math and Computer Science

Home directories for Physics, Math and Computer Science users are being integrated into central storage starting this Saturday, August 13th, at 10:00pm. The integration involves an 8 hour-long file synchronization between storage shares, and a subsequent reconfiguration of servers and services to point to the new storage paths.

The integration will bring these home directories in alignment to the rest of the home directories on campus;  after the move is done, users in the three departments involved will have the same user experience on any computer they log in on campus, with the same set of home directories, networked drives, etc. available to them no matter what campus resource they log into.

The move will also integrate the accounts in these departments into the campus-wide Identity Management System.

The maintenance period is scheduled to be completed by 4:00pm on Sunday, August 14th. During this window, users are asked to terminate any background process that may be writing to their home directories, and log off any systems they may be logged into. After the maintenance window, User Services staff will be monitoring our issue management system in order to respond to any (however unlikely) problems caused by this integration. Please contact it-help@mtu.edu if any home directory-related problems arise.

Windows software image lab beta testing

The beta image of our windows software is ready to be tested by the Michigan Tech community. The test lab, located in EERC 134, contains the lab image to be spread throughout all the general computing windows labs. We highly encourage faculty and staff to test software pertinent to instruction and research, in order to make sure that this Fall goes smoothly for our students. Staff will be on location at EERC 134, for the rest of the week,  to assist testers and receive feedback. The testing form we use to keep track of defects with the image can be found here: ITSS Fall 2011 Lab Image Test Sheet

Computer labs to be upgraded to Windows 7

As part of the usual summer upgrades in the computer labs, this year we are upgrading the operating system (O.S.) installed in our labs to Windows 7, Service Pack 1. The new O.S. replaces the installations  of Windows XP, Service Pack 3 that could be found in most labs on campus.

The direct benefit to our students is that they will be able to use the same user interface that is already available in all new PC’s equipped with a Windows O.S. Additonally, the new O.S. can take advantage of computers that are 64-bit capable to performs certain kinds of processing faster; it can also handle memory sizes above the 3Gb limit existing in Windows XP. Continue reading