Archive for October 2012

Trial BYOD service for postgrad mobile device Wi-Fi connectivity continued

IS Services are continuing an invite-only trial service for selected postgraduates already using TCDconnect to connect their mobile devices and smartphones to the College Wi-Fi network. Postgraduates who qualify for this trial were emailed during the summer period to sign-up, and have just recently been notified that Android OS is now supported during the trial as well.

There is a larger project underway to provide a permanent service which allows the connection of a range of mobile devices and smartphones to the College Wi-Fi network, and this is planned to come on stream during the academic year of 2012-2013.

IS Services

MyZone & Internet Explorer support from Google

MyZone Students should be aware that Google, providers of the student MyZone email service, will only provide support for the two latest versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer.

IE 10 launches on Friday, 26th October 2012, and as a result Google will discontinue support for IE 8 shortly afterwards.

If students encounter any difficulty using MyZone on IE 8, we advise that they use the lastest version of Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

IS Services

Connecting mobile devices to the College network

IS Services recognises the transformative nature of mobile technology as an enabler in teaching and learning, research and innovation, and administration and support. As a technology, mobility can play a role in enhancing the student experience on campus and in residences, and meet guests’ and visitors expectations for a Wi-Fi service.

In the last year over 10,000 College staff and students and 5,000 guests accessed and used TCD Wi-Fi services. Plans are now underway to provide for the connectivity of a broad range of mobile and handheld devices and to enhance wireless network coverage for both staff and students. A number of pilot services are underway to assess the impact of these devices on existing infrastructure and support services:

  • Almost 350 iOS devices are currently connected to the Wi- Fi network using our staff pilot service with connectivity for Android devices being rolled out later this month;
  • Over 1,400 students have been invited to participate in a student trial service providing connectivity for iOS devices. Connectivity for Android devices will be provided later this month.

The shift towards mobility and the tens of thousands of mobile and handheld devices in College necessitates a significant strategic investment in the Wi-Fi network to cater for these devices and in associated infrastructure to provide reliable, safe and seamless connectivity. The output of our pilot projects will guide Colleges decisions as regards technical infrastructure and funding of this enhanced service.

Further developments on this will be posted to the IS Services website, blog, and Twitter.

IS Services

IT Security & Phishing – how to spot it, and how to respond

Over the past few months, there have been several phishing attempts via email.  We wish to make staff and students aware of these recent phishing attempts, advise you to exercise caution in these instances, and help you protect yourself.

Phishing is a form of online fraud. A phishing message will normally appear as an important notice or an urgent alert which might ask you to ‘update’ or ‘confirm’ account details such as username and password, bank details, and the sort.

Any message that asks you for your username and password details should be approached with caution. The consequences of falling victim to a phishing attempt are not limited to your own account, but could affect the College community as a whole. One compromised account could potentially endanger vast amounts of sensitive data. Or, one compromised account distributing large amounts of spam could cause Microsoft to black-list College email, which would result in losing email as a service entirely.

The College has published an IT Security Policy which all users are obliged to adhere to. This document and its supporting material outlines College Policy as well as advises on the  practical ways that all members of College can help to protect the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of College information technology resources.

Additionally, IS Services has extensive information available on our webpages regarding anti-virus software and asks users to keep their software up to date as a means for further protection.

Anyone who receives an email which could be regarded as a phishing attempt is asked to delete the message immediately. If you have replied to the message or clicked on any links within the email body, please report the message to our Helpdesk (+353 01 896 2000).

Alternatively, if you suspect you have received a phishing email, and have not clicked on any links in it or acted on any advice therein, then please report it by forwarding it to abuse@frontbridge.com. Emails sent to this address will be considered for addition to the list of known sources of SPAM, and so will no longer arrive into College. When forwarding an email to this address please ensure you include the email headers.

Just as a reminder, IS Services will never ask you for your username and password via email and you can confirm any communications from us with our website or the Helpdesk.

IS Services

IS Services and GeneSIS

The GeneSIS project is a College-wide project which has delivered the new student information system (SITS) accessed via the my.tcd.ie portal. This new system is aimed at improving the student experience, improving academic administration and will bring many benefits to students and staff.

In support of the GeneSIS project, IS Services has contributed greatly to its development and maintenance. This support includes providing the infrastructure components on which the new student information system runs, as well as contributing to the migration of data from the legacy student system. Additionally, much work has been carried out to integrate the new student system with existing College systems, and at the time of writing, this interfacing work is almost complete.

Furthermore, procedures are being put in place to support the components of the student information system that will remain the responsibility of IS Services – such support will be coordinated by a team within Management Information Systems (MIS) and will involve all divisions of IS Services and support provided by the vendor.

IS Services

Mac OS 10.8 now supported by IS Services

Mac OS 10.8 is now supported on the College network in College offices and labs for a broad range of applications.

Please note that Cisco VPN solution and Check Point disc encryption are currently unavailabe on the Mac OS 10.8 platform.  IS Services are in the process of investigatingn and testing possible solutions for these two services.  Check our webpages for updates.

IS Services

Lecture theatre AV equipment improvements

This summer the AVMS group in IS Services carried out a wide range of improvements to the audio-visual and media equipment in College lecture theatres.  In brief, older projectors were replaced and moved to widescreen format; AV switching equipment was upgraded; and wireless microphones replaced.  Provided below is a location-based list of the improvements.

IS Services

  • All theatres – Wireless microphones will be replaced to fulfil the requirements of the analogue switch off
  • Burke and MacNeil – New presenter’s PC, Mac and projectors
  • Museum M4,20,21 – New presenter’s PC and projectors
  • JM Synge, Davis and Emmet – New presenter’s PC and Mac and the addition of HDMI inputs
  • Arts 2026 – New presenter’s PC and projector
  • Arts 3074 – New lectern, presenter’s PC, projector and switching equipment
  • Arts 4050a and B 5039, 5025 – New presenter’s PC and projectors
  • Arts 3071,3051,3126,3106 – New projector
  • Goldsmith Hall – New lectern and general tidy up of AV
  • SON D’Olier St., 0.30,0.54,0.55 and 1.10 – New projectors

September Helpdesk statistics and top-ten issues

In September the IS Services Helpdesk received over 6300 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 September can be seen via the link below: http://isservices.tcd.ie/help/helpdesk-top-ten.php

IS Services

Windows 8 and the College network

Windows 8 is being released to the marketplace on October 26th 2012 and IS Services are preparing to test this operating system in regard to its compatibility with the College data network and IT systems.  For this reason Windows 8 is not currently supported by IS Services for use on the College data network, either in College offices and labs or on the TCDconnect service.

We have already ascertained that a number of IT infrastructure changes will be required in order to connect Windows 8 PCs onto the College network.  Some issues have also been reported to us by our suppliers and affect their entire customer base.

Given the nature of the infrastructural changes required, IS Services will be targeting support of this operating system in the first half of 2013.  IS Services will provide updates here regarding testing and any reconfiguring of our IT systems required to facilitate this new operating system.  Further information will also be available on our Windows support statement web page.

IS Services