Archive for March 2012

Staff wireless network users switched to enhanced internet access service

Staff who connect to the staff wireless network in College have been successfully switched to using a new method of authenticating  to gain access to external internet resources.

The primary advantage from the end-user’s perspective is that it is no longer necessary to submit your username and password from within every application that requires internet access.  Instead your wireless network login details are automatically used to gain internet access from any application that requires it, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Skype or Dropbox.

Please note that on reconnecting to the ‘wired’ teaching and research network in College offices and laboratories you will once again, for the time being, be prompted for your username and password when accessing internet resources external to College.  The enhanced internet access service will be rolled out in phases to all areas of College over the coming weeks and updates will be posted to the IS Services blog, website and Twitter.

IS Services Helpdesk

New MyZone features enabled – News, Reader, Maps & Translate

MyZone

 

IS Services is pleased to announce that the following features have been enabled for all College students using MyZone.  Note that the introduction of these features is being carried out on a phased basis over the next 24 hours, so you may not yet see them in your MyZone account:

  • Google News – a computer-generated news site that aggregates headlines from news sources worldwide
  • Google Reader – an easy way to keep up to date with new content on your favourite news sites and blogs
  • Google Maps – a service offering powerful, user-friendly mapping technology and local business information
  • Google Translate – an online language translation service instantly translates text and web pages

For help and support for any of these features please refer to the Google Help web pages. The IS Services Helpdesk cannot provide assistance for these applications.

IS Services

Benefits of Network Access Control on TCDconnect

Why did TCD implement the Network Access Control?

Since 2006 IS Services have been using Network Access Control (NAC) on the data network in College residences and Library communal areas and on the student wireless network.  We decided to use Network Access Control both to provide significantly quicker registration and access for new student computers on the network and to provide College students with a secure and reliable data network for their personal computers in order to carry out their College work.

Faster Registration and Access to the Network
Prior to 2006 each request to connect to the College network was processed manually and meant a turnaround time of several working days following the submission of an online form. Registration using Network Access Control now allows automated access to the network that same day for those computers that meet the basic security requirements.

Providing a More Secure College Network
Viruses, spyware, bots and other malware can cause serious problems for any private network and the computers connected to it. By using Network Access Control we are ensuring that computers on the College network have the most basic security software updates to prevent infection from malware and in doing so, help to provide a much more secure network for all.  This also helps individual users when they make use of less secure networks, at home or in hotels for example, as their computers have been brought up to a higher level of security.

What if we had no Network Access Control?

On large data networks that do not have any security requirements it is often the case that the network is congested and so slow as to be unusable, due to the abundance of computers infected with viruses and malware.  On smaller prviate networks, at home or in hotels for example, this often does not become a major issue.

If using a computer on a less secure network then your data, both local and online, is at much greater risk of being compromised.  Subsequently any support clinics for such networks can become overwhelmed with the requirement to help students clean and restore their computers to working order, and if possible recover data, following infection.

In the absence of an automated connection process the only way to ensure those connecting meet certain security requirements would be to return to a manual process of dealing with connection requests.  This would be unfeasible given the large numbers connecting to the student network currently.

IS Services will be initiating the annual survey of TCDconnect users shortly.  We will be endeavouring to improve the experience of using the IT services in College based on the feedback from these surveys and will make the results available over the coming months.  Undoubtedly the Network Access Control has brought change to how students access the College network but we do believe the benefits significantly outweigh the consequences that we would face without it.

IS Services

Staff wireless connectivity issue resolved

IS Services staff recently identified an intermittent internet access problem for a small number of users on the staff wireless network in College.  This was investigated and a solution was identified and then implemented last week.  The original equipment manufacturers subsequently acknowledged the problem as a system bug.

IS Services

Postgraduate TCDconnect users switched to enhanced internet access service

Postgraduates who use the TCDconnect service have been successfully switched to using a new method of authenticating  to gain access to external internet resources.

The primary advantage from the end-user’s perspective is that it is no longer necessary to submit your username and password from within every application that requires internet access.  Instead it is simply necessary to launch a web browser and enter your username and password once, and leave the subsequent ‘keep alive’ window open, allowing internet access from any application that requires it, such as Skype or Dropbox.

Based on feedback and testing to date streaming services are operating more efficiently using this new system.

Full details, including a podcast illustrating how the new system works, are at https://isservices.tcd.ie/internet/tcdconnect-proxy.php.

Further information will be posted on the IS Services blog as this enhanced proxy service is rolled out to other areas of College over the coming weeks.

IS Services Helpdesk

IS Services satisfaction survey – thanks

IS Services and the researchers involved, Aoife O’Cuilleanain and Brian Hanratty, would like to thank all those who took the time to complete the IS Services satisfaction survey, which closed on 15th March.  In total 2748 responses were received, 2070 from students and 678 from staff.

With the amount of data that has been generated, especially the qualitative comments, it will take some time to analyse the data but we hope to make initial findings available over the next couple of months.

IS Services & Researchers: Aoife O’Cuilleanain and Brian Hanratty, Department of Statistics, Trinity College Dublin

Microsoft Study Smart Sessions

Trinity College together with Microsoft are hosting the StudySmart Sessions – two short demos which will open your eyes to an intensely smarter way of using Microsoft tools such as PowerPoint and Word. These sessions present a unique opportunity to greatly enhance the quality of your course work, and will also give you a significant head-start on a crucial skillset to bring into your professional career. The StudySmart Sessions will also showcase some of the more innovative functions available throughout the Windows family, with products like Windows Phone, Xbox, Windows Live and more.

Early registration for these free sessions is recommended as there are limited numbers, places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Full details are available at http://campus.ie/mailshot/microsoft/tcd-intro-tcdsu.html.

IS Services satisfaction survey

The IS Services Satisfaction Survey, being run in conjunction with the Department of Statistics as part of a final year student project, closes on the 15th March and so, if you have not already, please click the link below and participate in our survey. If you complete the survey you can enter yourself into the draw to win an iPad2.

There are separate surveys for staff and students in order to tailor the questions being presented so if you wish to take part in the survey please click on the relevant link below depending on your status:

Student surveyhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N2ZWJ3B

Staff surveyhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/s/X6SD2MG

Your feedback is invaluable in assisting us to improve our services.

IS Services and Researchers: Aoife O’Cuilleanain & Brian Hanratty, Department of Statistics, Trinity College Dublin

Top Ten issues reported to the Helpdesk in February

In February the IS Services Helpdesk received over 3100 queries via phone, email, walk in and web.
You can see more details at http://isservices.tcd.ie/help/helpdesk_statistics.php#month

Your Top Ten issues reported to the Helpdesk in February can be seen via the link below:
http://isservices.tcd.ie/help/helpdesk-top-ten.php

IS Services Helpdesk