Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Network Maintenance Day, Saturday October 28

ITS staff will conduct a scheduled system maintenance period on Saturday October 28 from 6:00 AM until 12:00 noon.  We will perform upgrades, test connections, apply patches and do other tasks to keep our critical campus information systems running efficiently.

Services affected: Internet access will be intermittent.  For this reason, all services accessed across the Internet may be inaccessible at times.  If you get into a service, you may lose access during one of the outage periods.

Services NOT affected: Any software installed directly on your computer should not be affected by the intermittent Internet outages.

What is being done: The routers for our campus Internet connection are being replaced.  Many other systems are being patched and upgraded.

When is this taking place: Saturday October 28, during Fall Break, between 6:00 AM and 12:00 noon.

What you need to do: If you must access Internet-enabled services during the maintenance, expect to lose connectivity, perhaps more than once.  

Further communications: No further communications are planned.  

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Ramón Rentas at 651-696-6633 or rentas@macalester.edu.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Upgrading to macOS High Sierra Checklist

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ITS has been testing macOS High Sierra since its release on September 25, 2017. We recommend that you only upgrade if your computer has at least 35GB of available storage space and a minimum of 8GB RAM. Before upgrading, make sure you have a backup plan and set aside plenty of time for the installation to complete.


If your Mac is currently running macOS Sierra, it most likely meets all of these requirements.

✓ Have a back up

Backing up your data is strongly recommended. Once the update is complete, there's no going back. Back up your data to your H Drive, Time Machine, or CrashPlan.

✓ Delete any previously downloaded High Sierra installers

During our testing phase, ITS blocked the installation of macOS High Sierra. If you attempted to install the software before Friday, October 6, you will need to delete and redownload the installer. Failure to do so may leave your computer vulnerable to a serious security flaw. Click Finder, choose Applications, drag Install macOS High Sierra to the Trash.

✓ Check software compatibility.

What are the most important software programs you use every day? Many programs such as Microsoft Office and Google File Stream (formerly Google Drive) are known to work great with macOS High Sierra, but some specialized software may need patches or paid upgrades before they work. If you aren’t sure, contact the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@macalester.edu. Faculty members may contact their Academic Information Associate. RoaringApps compatibility checker may have more information.


The following applications have been tested and launch successfully. ITS cannot test every function in these programs: ATLAS.ti, Citrix, Google Drive File Stream, Mathematica, MATLAB, ChemDraw, TeX, CrashPlan, Banner INB, VPN.

✓ Make sure I have enough storage space.

You need 35GB of available storage capacity. To find the available storage go to the Apple menu and choose About This Mac then Storage.

✓ Make sure I have enough memory (RAM).

ITS recommends at least 8GB of RAM, otherwise your computer may run very slowly. To find the memory (RAM) go to the Apple menu and choose About This Mac then Overview, look for Memory.

✓ Make sure my hardware is compatible if I want to use High Sierra’s new features.

We only recommend the update for the following computer models. To find your model, go to the Apple menu and choose About This Mac.


Mac Pro (late 2012 or newer)
iMac (late 2012 or newer)
Mac mini (late 2012 or newer)
MacBook Pro (mid-2012 or newer)
MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
MacBook Air (mid-2012 or newer)

✓ Make sure my operating system (OS) is compatible.

Your Mac must be running OS X 10.8 or later to receive the update. To find the version of OS X, go to the Apple menu and choose About This Mac, look for Version.
OS X El Capitan v10.11
OS X Yosemite v10.10
OS X Mavericks v10.9
OS X Mountain Lion v10.8

✓ Clear my schedule.

Upgrading your device to macOS High Sierra may take hours.

✓ Install macOS High Sierra

Go to  Apple menu > App Store… > Featured > macOS High Sierra > Download > Install


Additional Resources


Apple Support page: Upgrade to macOS High Sierra

Apple Support page: Can your Mac use High Sierra?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

MacOS High Sierra upgrade delayed

Apple is scheduled to release macOS High Sierra on Monday, September 25, 2017. ITS will delay the release for College-owned computers until we evaluate and test it for compatibility with existing hardware and software.

Services affected: College-owned Apple computers.

Services NOT affected: Personally-owned Apple computers and Windows computers.

What is being done: ITS has blocked the macOS High Sierra upgrade pending evaluation and testing.

When is this taking place: Monday, September 25, 2017–October 9, 2017.

Further communications: On October 9, 2017 we’ll send an email indicating whether the upgrade will be made available or delayed further.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact your Academic Information Associate or the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525 or helpdesk@macalester.edu.