TCU Box Interface Changes

Archive for 2016

TCU Box Interface Changes

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Faculty/Staff, on Wednesday, December 21st at 10am we will be making some changes to the TCU Box domain.  We only expect the system to be unavailable for a short period of time so most of you will not notice a disruption.  Please, review the information below so you know what to expect the next time that you login to this service.

What will change with Box?

We are making two changes to the TCU Box domain.  We are launching the new Box interface and moving the system over to our new authentication service called Okta so the login page will look slightly different.  Here are a few notes about the new Box.com interface.

  • Find content quickly and easily: We’ve put your data in exactly the right place to help you get what you need, whenever you need it.  The simpler navigation and clearer layout lets you grab your most recently used files with one click and see right away who’s accessing and editing content.
  • View content the way you want to: We’ve made it easy to switch between views, so you can see your files in the way that works best for you. Plus, now you can watch HD and 360 videos right from Box without downloading files.
  • Work with anyone, efficiently: Soon you’ll be able to make annotations on any file in Box without opening the file or saving changes. You can quickly leave feedback for colleagues and partners by highlighting text so that your team knows exactly what you’re referring to.

If you have any questions/problems, please reach out to the IT Support HelpDesk for assistance.

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Apple Releases macOS Sierra

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Faculty/Staff, Apple recently released its newest operating system named macOS Sierra for their laptop and desktop computers. While the update to Sierra (10.12) isn’t expected to be dramatic, IT still needs to test key applications and University systems before installing it on campus machines.

While macOS Sierra is free, we have a process in place that will keep you from being able to perform the upgrade on your TCU machine until we have completed the testing phase. This is a standard process and one that applies to all releases of new operating systems (including Windows machines).

 We already have some common software applications that have reported issues with Sierra and it is customary for vendors to take 60 to 90 days to fully support the release of a new operating system.

Once the new operating system has been tested and approved by the macOS Committee, then we will send out a message about how to upgrade your machine. As long as we don’t find any problems, we expect this upgrade to be available in the spring semester.

Warning: If you decide to upgrade your personal machine at home to this new version, you could run into compatibility issues until the campus is ready to support this new operating system.

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Cell Phone Coverage Optimization

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Faculty/staff/students, Over the past year, we have installed several mobility platforms to improve cell phone service in University facilities that have less than adequate coverage. We are continuing to push forward with this project and will be doing work on the system the week of August 22nd.

What does this mean for you? 

These modifications will require the carriers and our signal vendor to perform needed optimization and adjustments to the cellular network to maximize the performance of the system.

Unfortunately, this needs to occur immediately and we have planned to begin work on the week of August 22nd and expect to be done with this work by the end of the month.  During this period, cell phone reception may be limited and spotty in certain areas until the optimization is completed so prepare accordingly.  We have listed the buildings that will experience service interruptions as we work to complete this process.

Residence Halls Planned for Optimization

  • Clark
  • Marion
  • Hays
  • Colby

Other Locations Planned for Optimization

  • Multi-Purpose Dinning Hall
  • Lupton Baseball Offices
  • Library East Wing
  • Rees-Jones
  • Bass Hall
  • Schollmaier Medical & Locker Rooms

We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause and if you have any major concerns about this modification, please contact Steve Ambrose at x4050 or s.ambrose@tcu.edu.

cellphone coverage

Cable TV Service Outage

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Faculty/Staff/Students, in order to prepare for some changes warranted by our Cable TV provider, we are going to have the system down over the course of the next two days.  This means that all Cable TV channels will be unavailable as of this morning and service will be restored by Thursday, June 30th.  If the work goes as planned, we hope to see this system back online faster than expected but please prepare for the timeline listed above.

What do I need to do?

Once we complete the work and the system is back online, you will need to have your TV auto scan the channels to pick up any changes to the new line-up.  This can generally be done from your TV settings menu using your remote.  The channel line-up is largely unchanged and you can review the new list using the following website.

https://www.tcutechnicalservices.com/tvchannellineup.php

(copy and paste this link into your browser)

Note:  HBO is moving to a new location so check the list above for more information about what channel to use.

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IT Disaster Recovery Testing

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Faculty/Staff/Students,

Over the course of the past year we have done extensive work to prepare the campus for a true technology disaster.  We have worked hard to put a new secondary data center in place along with modifications to our network and server infrastructure.  We are now ready to start testing these systems and plan to do a full-scale disaster recovery test starting on Sunday, June 12th.

What does this mean for me?

With all of the recent changes we don’t expect this test to impact the campus greatly.  All of TCU’s primary systems have backup servers running in our secondary data center which will take over when we do this test.  Our goal is to ensure that our redundant systems do their job in the case that TCU is faced with a true emergency.

Major systems like email, printing, file shares, Internet access, myTCU/Peoplesoft, ID card access, and TCU websites are expected to make a seamless transition or have minimal downtime.

We DO expect the following systems to be unavailable from Sunday, June 12th until noon on Monday, June 13th so please plan your use of these systems accordingly.

  • Phone System:
    • Non IP Office Phones – East of University Dr.
    • Emergency Phones – East of University Dr.
    • TCU Voicemail – All of Campus
  • Other Systems:
    • CableTV System – All TV Channels
    • High Performance Computing Cluster
    • Several select Academic and Administrative systems that DO NOT have redundancy in both data centers.
    • AT&T Guest Wifi in the Stadium
    • Onboarding of New Devices on the Student Wireless Network

If you have any questions or problems, please reach out to the IT Support HelpDesk for assistance.

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Technology Purchasing Cut-Off Deadline

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Faculty/Staff,

The end of the Spring semester is fast approaching and is bringing us closer to the end of fiscal year 2016. To make certain that all technology purchase requests utilizing current fiscal year funds are fulfilled before the end of the budget year, Information Technology will stop processing technology orders for fiscal year 2016 on Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

***Please, email computerpurchasing@tcu.edu for all technology purchasing questions or requests.***

The ordering cut-off is necessary so that any technology orders placed using current fiscal year funds are received in the current fiscal year and not billed to fiscal year 2017.  We will do our best to make sure equipment is received before the end of May, but cannot guarantee delivery due to variable lead times.  Please, order sooner than later to avoid any billing issues.

Be aware that orders received for technology related equipment after 5:00 p.m. on May 4, 2016 will be processed in fiscal year 2017.

Technology Acquisition Policy

Keep in mind that all computers, software, and other computer related technology purchases must be placed through the Information Technology purchasing department.  Technology purchases made outside of Information Technology will not be added to the TCU network and can create support limitations for you and the product. The policy for Computer Technology Acquisitions can be found by visiting the following site:

https://it.tcu.edu/policies/acquisition-policy/

IT Purchasing

Information Technology Maintenance Window

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Faculty/Staff and Students,

As many of you know, the Information Technology division has always reserved Sunday mornings from midnight until noon to perform routine maintenance and upgrades on enterprise technology at the university.  During these maintenance windows, you may experience intermittent service interruptions with various systems like the network, email, or even myTCU.

Future Maintenance
We have a major firewall upgrade planned for the next maintenance window on Sunday morning.  This change will affect access to the wireless network, the ability to login into computers, and other major services like websites, network printers, and file shares.  You will most likely see intermittent access to these systems between 6:00am and 9:00am on Sunday, February 28th.

What does this mean for me?
Since the maintenance window occurs each week, we want everyone to be aware that they could be impacted by this work and should plan their activities accordingly.  In most cases, you will never know that we are doing this work in the background but we want you to be prepared in case there are unforeseen issues that aren’t communicated to the campus at large.

Note:  You can always stay informed about future outages by following our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

IT Maintenance

Announcing a New Online File Storage Solution

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Faculty/Staff,

For the past several months we have been working hard to implement and test a new system that will allow you to collaborate and store files in the Cloud. We are excited to announce the launch of Box.com for current faculty, staff, and students.

There are hundreds of early adopters already using this new functionality and we want to make sure that you are taking advantage of this amazing service. Check out the details below and learn more about what this means for you.

What is Box and how can I use it?

Box is a Cloud based file storage and collaboration tool that is similar to Dropbox and Google Drive. Here are some of the features that come with this new service:

  • Massive Storage Space – With Box you have access to 100GB of storage space by default and can always ask for an increase! Feel free to upload as many files as you want; just be aware the maximum single file size is 15GB.
  • Online Sharing and Collaboration – Share documents with members of your team, or with external users and colleagues at other institutions.
  • Mobile App – Connect to your files from your smart phone or tablet using their mobile app.
  • Box Sync – Store select files locally and edit them offline and then let the tool sync them up to the Cloud when you reconnect to the Internet. This is a great feature for those of you that travel!
  • Single Sign On (SSO) – We have integrated Box with our SSO system meaning that you can use your TCU username and password to log into the system.

Learn more at it.tcu.edu/box

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Employees Get Microsoft Office for their Personal Devices

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Faculty/Staff,

As part of the project to move our students to the Microsoft O365 cloud based email system, we have been provided with the opportunity to give our current faculty/staff an amazing new benefit. We are excited to announce that you can now download Microsoft Office to your personal computer and mobile devices for FREE.

Note: Keep in mind that support for personal devices is limited since the University does not own or manage that equipment.

How do I download Microsoft Office for free?

Current faculty/staff can access the software by following the steps listed below.

Note: This download site will ask you to login with your @tcu.edu email address as the username. We have a secure integration setup with Microsoft so it is safe to enter your TCU credentials on these pages.

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