Friday, August 30, 2013

Protect your laptop and tablet!

Losing a laptop or tablet at any time is always a painful experience.  Here’s how you can protect yours:

  1. Never leave yours visible and unattended even for just a minute unless you have it secured with cable lock (available at the Library and Campus Center).
  2. Backup everything important (to an external hard drive, CD/DVD, Google Drive).
  3. Register your device the Google Doc My Inventory at Macalester ( Your chances of recovery are much better if you can readily provide law enforcement identifying information (e.g., make, model, serial number). 
  4. Consider installing laptop tracking software such as Prey, available FREE at

For more information go to: 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Students: Get Connected!

The Information Technology Services (ITS) Help Desk is here to assist you - email or call 651-696-6525.  If you bring a computer, smartphone, tablet or gaming device to campus, it must be registered before connecting to the College network. Registration simply associates your name with your device(s), so that we can contact you quickly if there are problems.  To register, launch a Web browser and go to

Want to get on wireless?  The 'Macalester-Student' wireless network segment is set aside for your use. To get on it, you must enter a wireless 'key' one time. (The 2013-2014 student wireless key remains the same as it was last year, so if you are returning, you should be good.) The key was emailed to you via the ITS-Alerts-Student distribution list on Wednesday August 28. Please do not share this key - if you do, you may compromise the security and confidentiality of your data.  Be assured that guests have their own dedicated network segment ('Macalester-Guest,' which does not require a key.  Have Mom and Dad use this one.)

If you have any difficulty with your computer, stop by the drop-in sessions in the Library on Thursday, August 29th and Friday, August 30th between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. If you are unable to attend a drop-in session, the ITS Help Desk will also be available for extended hours over the Orientation and Move-In weekend. Check out the First Year "Techlist" for more information on campus computing:

Need To Update Your Voice Mail Greeting?

If you changed your greeting to reflect your summer hours or just want to update your voice mail greeting, please refer to our Call Pilot Voice Mail Flowchart for directions. This flowchart also gives you the steps to set an expiration date for a temporary greeting. Please contact Kelly Borke at 651-696-6566 or with questions. 

Google Updates Biweekly Post

Google Apps

Updates to core Google Apps and the major services like Google+. Also major updates that may affect the Macalester community.

Did you know that you can save a lot of time by creating a default form version that is customizable with each new use?

Using the =IMAGE Spreadsheet function allows us to insert an image inside a cell, using the image’s URL.

Distinguish between profiles inside your domain from profiles outside your domain.

Make your Google Hangout sessions more effective and inclusive with StreamText.Net.

Enjoy a larger composition mode that displays all of the formatting options by default.

Google Technology

News about other Google products and technology.

With Aug 22, 2013’s Beta release of Chrome you can quickly discover all sorts of content related to an image by right-clicking on it.

Google is reportedly developing its own autonomous vehicles, which could become part of a fleet of 'robo-taxis' that pick up passengers on-demand.

Company changes its tune after sources leaked plans for a 2013 Glass ship date during Google I/O in May.

If you yearn for a vanilla Android experience on a capable slab of smartphone hardware, you can’t go far wrong with the Google Nexus 4.

Google Business

Google Business news, including policies, user privacy, politics and legal issues.

Women are also pushing another boundary, as senior women in tech, where men still outnumber women three to one.

NYT review of Google Now

Google Extra

Other Google side projects, including art, science and fun stuff.

August 22, 2013 Doodle

Follow on Google+

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Communications from Macalester ITS

Welcome - or welcome back - to Macalester College, from all of us in Information Technology Services! Whenever there's something important happening with information technologies at Macalester, we will tell you. We send advance notice of scheduled system downtimes, planned maintenance, new developments and other issues that affect you. Our primary communication venues are this 'Notices and Alerts' blog (also linked from the ITS Web pages,, and the Daily Piper, published by the Communications & Public Relations office.  Check
these sources first. 

When unplanned system events or immediate problems arise, we also use 'ITS-Alerts' e-mail lists for faculty, staff and students.  We try to notify you of significant technical events. We realize you prefer messages that are brief, clear, relevant and infrequent. ITS staff will always communicate with you using our own Macalester accounts or with Macalester distribution lists, such as ITS-Alerts.  All ITS staff are listed in the online Directory, and all of us include accurate contact information in messages we send.

Don't be fooled by "phishing" scam emails. These fake messages look like official communications from banks, government offices or Macalester ITS. They try to trick you into revealing confidential information, such as passwords or credit card numbers, supposedly "to verify your account" or "confirm your email." If you reply, your information can be used to perpetrate fraud in your name, or even get access to your bank accounts, medical records, etc. You should never reply to a phishing scam or click links in it! If you are suspicious of any email you receive, please call or email our Help Desk, or 651-696-6525.

How can you recognize a phishing scam?  Here are some common clues.

*No legitimate institution will ask you to divulge personal or account information via e-mail.  ITS staff will never do so.  This clue alone is a dead giveaway.

*Phishing scams often ask for information that a legitimate sender should already have.  (Why would your bank ask you for your account number? Why would ITS staff ask for your e-mail username?)

*The message uses generic phrases like "Dear Account Holder" or "Dear Property Owner" rather than your name.  (If you have an account with a firm, wouldn't they use your name in correspondence?)

*The message originates from someone you do not know, with a 'From:' address that seems odd. The signature will be vague, probably not the same as the 'From:' address, possibly a meaningless phrase like "Account Team" or "Financial Services."

*Bad grammar, misspellings, clumsy punctuation, odd capitalization, and broken or badly-written English are nearly ubiquitous in phishing scams.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Faculty/Staff Wireless Key Changing August 21, 2013

The Macalester segment of our wireless network is dedicated for faculty and staff use. Students and guests each have their own segments.

To access the Macalester segment of the wireless network, you need to enter a wireless 'key'—just once as it is usually saved in your device's settings for future connections.

The current wireless key will be changed by 8:00 AM on Wednesday, August 21, 2013.

You will receive the wireless key via email, through the "ITS-Alerts-Faculty" and "ITS-Alerts-Staff" lists, on Monday August 19, 2013.

If you need assistance updating your device with the new wireless key, please contact the ITS Help Desk at or 651-696-6525. Additionally, faculty and academic staff may also consult their AIAs for assistance.

How to reset the Wi-Fi password for your iOS device.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Google Updates Biweekly Post

Google Apps

Updates to core Google Apps and the major services like Google+. Also major updates that may affect the Macalester community.

Let the new Android Device Manager help you out! It's one of a few simple features you can use to keep your device—and the data you store inside—safe and secure.

Watch this YouTube video to learn how to get smarter recommendations with the new Google Maps.

Google has made a number of changes to the service since then, including the introduction of a new inbox that began rolling out to users at the end of May.

Switching back to the classic Gmail composition interface will no longer be an option very soon.

Today Google is releasing three features to make it even easier to get things done with Google+

Part 1 of our three-part how-to series on Google+ covers everything you need to know to get started.

Google Technology

News about other Google products and technology.

Google grants awards of $15,000 - $50,000 USD to non-for-profit organizations around the world working to expand access to these fields for K-12/Pre-University students, specifically girls and underrepresented groups.

Google Business

Google Business news, including policies, user privacy, politics and legal issues.

Google Wednesday rolled out load balancing features to its public cloud service, allowing customers to automatically scale up and down virtual machines to accommodate unexpected spikes in demand.

In March, we announced an Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge—committing not to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless first attacked.

Google Extra

Other Google side projects, including art, science and fun stuff.

August 12, 2013  Doodle

August 11, which is, excluding Christmastime, the happiest day of the year in this country.

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August 28, 2013