Tag Archives: Microsoft

Cloud Backups: Why they really are a good idea

backup

You can never be too careful with your files these days. Har drives fail, things get spilled, and we drop things. It’s always good to have multiple backups. As someone who does wedding videography and photography, I can’t afford to rely on the original file. Hence the reason why I usually backup my work to three places.  An external hard drive, my second hard drive on my PC and finally, my Google Drive account. I can’t tell you how many times I have sorted my files and began editing and suddenly a file becomes corrupted. So I simply pull from one of my backups and were good. Now I may just be a little over the top with my backups, but you can never be too careful.

I know that some of you might already be thinking that cloud-based storage costs a lot. It can depend on what you want or need. But typically you can get anywhere from 15-20 Gigs for free and if you want more, each service has their own breakdown and pricing which you will need to decide for yourself and what you want. So whether you’re a student, professor, researcher or an editor, it never hurts to keep backups and organize them. You’ll always thank yourself later.

What Are We Up To?

As 2013 is now in full swing, we thought we would give our thoughts on some things we have been dealing with in IT and its relationship to the University of Wyoming.  Like all technology, it moves pretty fast and sometimes even passes some of us by!  That said, let’s take a look at what is happening.

ITsocialmedia_icon

First off, during winter break, we migrated 10,000 student and employee non-benefitted accounts to cloud email storage through Microsoft, known as Office 365.  Before the move, all the mail was stored on servers here in the IT building, now the mail is stored at a Microsoft location somewhere in the US, but not here in Laramie.  This allows UWIT to not have as much overhead with keeping the mail system functional.  The migration went very well and we were able to move the accounts pretty quickly with a lot less problems than even we expected.  Students now have 25GB of storage, which when you compare to the 500MB they used to have, seems absolutely endless!  A lot of us here at the Help Desk are pretty jealous of all that space, but I will keep using my personal folders to store my mail to stay under my 500MB quota.  If anyone else needs help staying under, check our How To, here…  http://www.uwyo.edu/askit/displaydoc.asp?id=226

Zach Morris rocking a 2G Cell Phone at Bay Side High

Zach Morris rocking a 2G Cell Phone at Bay Side High

Along the same lines, if you are having problems getting your UW email on your mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc) please check here http://www.uwyo.edu/infotech/services/email/365.asp.  If you still have problems after looking at the site, call the Help Desk or stop by the UWIT Service Center in the Information Technology Center.  http://www.facebook.com/pages/UW-Information-Technology-Center/202723316418686?fref=ts

At the help desk, our Dispatch service is off to a great start.  If we feel we can resolve your issue by coming right to your office, we will!  When you call the help desk, we will try our hardest to resolve your issue over the phone, but if we can come out to resolve it we will, right away!  This helps us and the customer save some time, as we get your problem resolved as quickly as possible!  Since we started dispatching our help desk staff onsite, we have been able to resolve the issue 95% of the time.  If we cannot resolve it, we have detailed information to pass along to our Desktop Support Unit when they come take a look at your system.  So far the service has been very well received!

news flash

SPOILER ALERT!  Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP!  As sad as this is for everyone ( what a great OS, right?), it is time.  Because Microsoft will no longer be updating the OS, those machines will need to be removed from the University network for security reasons.  That said, if you are still using XP, please call the Help Desk and we can start working on a plan to get you up to date!

If you have watched TV in the last few months you have probably seen a commercial for Windows 8.  Microsoft is really pushing their new operating system and we have been testing it out quite a bit here in IT.  We do not officially support the product yet, but as students you can get it through our WyoWare site(http://www.uwyo.edu/askit/displaydoc.asp?id=941  ), and faculty/staff can purchase it at a discounted rate through our work at home program(http://www.uwyo.edu/askit/displaydoc.asp?id=558 ).  I am not sure I would tell you to make the jump, just yet, but if you are on Windows XP, go ahead!  We can always take you back to Windows 7 if you don’t like it.

As always our support staff is here to help, if you have any problems or questions, do not hesitate to contact the UWIT Help Desk or stop by the ITC and work with the great staff at the Service Center.  Here’s hoping that 2013 is another banner year for UW and for Technology in our world!

Brett Williams, Help Desk Manager From Laramie, WY

Brett Williams, Help Desk Manager From Laramie, WY

CSI: UW Quick Tips

Its our last installment of CSI:UW we’re covering that ever present complaint. “BUT I HAVE ANTI-VIRUS PROTECTION” ..hmm probably not.

But I HAVE antivirus software!
(so he thought)

The Scenario

Joe got a laptop several months ago. It came with a preinstalled trial version of antivirus software. Over the past few weeks, Joe has noticed that he can’t connect to the Internet consistently any more, and his machine is running incredibly slow. When he takes his laptop in for a checkup, he is shocked to learn that his machine has no current virus protection and is infested with viruses, worms, and spyware. What happened?

The Symptoms

  • You have poor or no connection to the Internet
  • Your computer is running very slowly
  • Your homepage in your browser is set to something else
  • Your files are corrupt

The Knowledge

Antivirus software expires! Even though antivirus software may come with your computer, it is usually a trial version. It may work and be updated for a time (usually 60 days), but at the end of the trial period it expires. If you do not sign up and pay for a subscription, you will not receive updates. This leaves your computer vulnerable to attack.

Viruses, worms, and spyware constantly change. These malware are constantly being created and changed to bypass antivirus software. If your antivirus software is not up to date with the latest virus definitions, there is a good chance you will be infected.

Free Software For Students Through – Microsoft Dreamspark Program

While we’ve talked about the free and discounted software you can get from the University of Wyoming through WyoWare, there are also a few additional places you can get free software. Today, we here at the UW IT Help Desk are here to tell you all about one of them!

Microsoft provides software to students via the Dreamspark program.  The software available isn’t going to be Microsoft Office or Windows 7; rather it is for those wanting to dive deeper into Microsoft’s development programs using professional grade tools. Microsoft provides the software for free as long as you can verify you are a student which is easily done using your uwyo.edu email account.

Some of the software available includes:

§  Visual Studio 2008, and 2010 Professional Editions

§  Expression Studio 4 Ultimate
§  Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition 32-bit
§  Windows Embedded Standard 7
§  Visual Studio Express 2010 and 2008 and SQL Server Express
§  Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008
§  XNA Game Studio 4.0
§  Virtual PC 2007
§  Windows Phone Developer Tools

Additionally Microsoft also provides access to membership in some of the developer publishing groups, access which usually has a cost attached. They even provide education materials to use with the software you might’ve downloaded.

§  12-Month Academic Trial Membership to XNA Creators Club
§  One free Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist exam voucher
§  $99 waiver on Windows Marketplace for Mobile and first 5 submissions free
§  Microsoft IT Academy Student Pass (free e-learning courses to verified students)

Whether you are a Computer Science major looking for additional tools or a Political Science major looking to dabble in programming, Microsoft has tools that you can use to help further your knowledge and it’s all for free!

By-

Pedro Rampolla Freshman at UW - Political Science from Cheyenne, WY

Google Chrome – You’re Not Using it? WHY?!

Elements of Chrome - Great Elements - Great Product

In September 2008 Google, Inc released the beta version of Chrome, a fast, reliable and secure web browser. Google’s hope was that this new browser would compete with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox. As of December, 2010 it has taken over as the third most widely used web browser at just over 15% of worldwide share. Chrome is a C++, Assembly and JavaScript browser that is powered by Java’s V8 engine which allows the browser to be faster and more stable than other browser. Think of it in terms of car engines, V8’s bigger and better. Plus, with the open source code, meaning it’s more diverse, Chrome is always expanding with browsers being supported by Windows, Apple and Linux. Since the official release of Chrome 1.0 in December of 2008 Google has released 9 versions of the browser with 5.0 being the start of the Google Chrome browser take over. But why is this browser so good? And what makes it the browser of the future?

Chrome is not just your typical browser; yes it can take you to the web and browse websites, it can also do all of that in an extremely safe way. Chrome has a built in security feature called “Google Safe Browsing API” which automatically retrieves data from blacklists including phishing and malware. This built in security allows for an extremely secure web browsing experience. Now another great feature of this browser is how fast it is. Like we said Chrome is powered by the V8 JavaScript engine allows Chrome to be the fastest browser, testing at speeds of 2-3 times faster than Firefox and IE and to make the browser even quicker Chrome has built in “speed up” that shortens the look up time of websites.

All of these features make Chrome one heck of a browser; fast and secure what more can you ask for? How about customization and Apps? Since the introduction of the app for smartphones apps have been all the rage and Chrome has introduced hundreds of them for the browser. Everything from built in Gmail (Google’s email service) and Google Chat (Google’s instant messaging service) to a quick and easy built in Facebook Photo Uploadr and even a Madden NFL game. Google Chrome apps have about anything you could want built in to it. And if there is an app you want but cannot find you can create your own with open source code, it is easy with some basic computer code skills.

So now you are asking yourself, why would I get this browser? Yes it may be fast, stable, secure, customizable and all that fun stuff but what makes it better then IE or Firefox? Well the answer is the in the question. Chrome is a great browser that is from one of the largest and fastest growing technology companies out there: Google (Currently one of the leaders in the NASDAQ.) Also, in just over two years Chrome has taken over as the third most used internet browser and is ever expanding with a beta release and developer release all ready in the works.

Many of the Help Desk staff have Chrome on many different operating systems such as; Windows 7  and XP, Linux 10.10, Windows XP , and Apple iMac OS X. Chrome has everything you need and more. Now that the University of Wyoming web pages are supported by Chrome there is no need for IE or Firefox. You’ll be happy to know that WyoWeb and eCompanion have no issues in Chrome, now there is a big selling point for all of us Pokes.

By –

Branden Hayes Senior at UW - Energy Resource Science. From Pueblo, CO

The Fast and the Furious of Anti-virus Software

Be careful when choosing anit-virus software there are a lot of fakes out there.

In a standard weeks’ time the Help Desk gets asked many questions. One of the most popular is probably questions about anti-virus software; where to get it, how to download it and how to use it effectively. Given that a good anti-virus software is key to protecting your computer, these are really good questions.

In the vast sea of computer Anti-virus software, it can be hard to choose the right one. Like many software’s, they all have pros and cons. UWIT currently recommends using Microsoft Security Essentials for your anti-virus and malware bytes anti-malware software.

Of course you always have the option of using other anti-virus software. The best recommendation we can make is to research for yourself. Every computer serves different needs that are personal to the user, and personalizing anti-virus to suit your needs and your computers depends on its end use. Users beware, there are Ferrari’s and Ford Pinto’s of the anti-virus world.  Verify any software before you download as many websites do offer “anti-virus” software that is actually a virus that can do irreversible damage to your system.

A safe system is a very happy system, and a very happy user. Once downloaded, set your system up to scan, and scan often. The best prevention is protection. Many anti-virus systems are automated and once active, will protect your system against the latest threats trolling the dungeons of the internet. Of course we’re always here if you’ve narrowed it down to two or three options, we’d be more than happy to lend an ear and help you make the decision.

By –

David Little, Senior at UW - Architectural Engineering From Omaha, NE