Friday, August 28, 2015

Sporadic Slowdowns With Internet Service

We are experiencing intermittent slowdowns in our Internet service. This is an "upstream" problem originating between Macalester's campus and our Internet Service Provider (ISP).  Other businesses and institutions are likewise affected.  Our staff is aware of the slowdowns, and we are working with our ISP to fix the problem. 

Wasteful Printing Wipeout! Mythbuster Edition!

Printing Impact words with tree and squirrel saying thanks!

New Program Balances Wasteful Printing Reduction and the Need to Print

Students report every year that they wish they could cut down on the amount they print. It is also true that students must print what is required for their courses. This year the Sustainability Office, in collaboration with MCSG, the library, Student Affairs, and ITS, is implementing a program to help balance those two realities.

Printing Fewer than 500 Sheets is Target

The average Macalester student prints about 500 sheets per semester. This fall, our goal is for each student to print less than that. You'll know when you've printed more than the target 500 sheets when a negative balance appears on the PaperCut pop-up. Just log into any lab computer and the pop-up appears.

On September 24, 2015, ITS updated PaperCut's settings to correct a page counting issue. Prior to this update, double-sided print jobs were incorrectly reducing print balances by two pages per sheet of paper used. Now, one sheet of paper printed will reduce your balance by one sheet whether the print job is single or double-sided.

This counting error resulted in an average balance loss of 70 extra pages per student. To offset this loss, all users' print balances have been credited an additional 100 pages.

Zero Balance Still Allows Students to Print

Once your 500 sheets balance is used,  the PaperCut pop-up a negative balance will appear. Macalester has no plans to charge students to print.

Environmental Impact Info Graphic

Want to see your individual print summary and environmental impact info graphic? Go to and log in.

More info


Sustainability Office

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Students: Get Connected!


Register your device

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 any web browser and go to:

Student Wi-Fi - Macalester student

Want to get on wireless?  The 'Macalester-Student' wireless network segment is set aside solely for your use. To get on it, you must enter a wireless 'key' one time. The 2015-2016 student wireless key remains the same as it was last year, so if you are returning, you should be good. The student key can be obtained from the ITS Help Desk, from any ITS staff member and from returning students. Please do not share the key - if you do, you may compromise the security and confidentiality of your data.

Guest Wi-Fi - Macalester-Guest

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.

Get Connected Drop-In Sessions!

Friday, August 28, 2015
Neill Hall 302 & 304
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Saturday, August 29, 2015
Neill Hall 302 & 304
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Extended ITS Help Desk Hours

Sunday, August 30, 2015
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Need assistance?

ITS Help Desk


First-Year Technology Checklist

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Faculty/Staff Wireless Key Changing Tuesday 8/25/15

Faculty and staff members: the 'Macalester' segment of our wireless network is set aside for your use. Students and guests have their own segments.  To access your wireless network, you need to enter a wireless 'key' one time for the entire year.  The current key will be replaced with a new key at 7:45 AM on Tuesday August 25. Faculty and staff were sent the new wireless key via ITS-Alerts email on Friday August 21.  If you need assistance changing your wireless key, please call the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525.

Please do not share the faculty/staff key with others. Doing so may compromise the security of your data. As noted, both students and guests have their own network segments. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Communications from Macalester's 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 blog, the one you're reading now (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 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 know 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 commit 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.

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 official 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.

If you are suspicious of any email you receive, please call our Help Desk at 651-696-6525.

Remember, ITS staff will NEVER ask for your password via email!

Login to any Google email account at

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Google Updates Biweekly Post

Publication Date: August 12, 2015

Google Apps

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

When files are transferred to new owners, the new document, spreadsheet, and presentation owners will receive all notifications for any comments added to their files, and previous owners, like any other collaborators, will only receive notifications if their names are explicitly added to a comment.

Easily increase or decrease the relative font size of text in Google Docs and Slides.

Not only will this give you greater control over the spreadsheets you create within Google Sheets, it will prevent Microsoft Excel spreadsheets that contain hidden data and that are imported into Sheets from being inaccurately displayed.

YouTube comments will now appear only on YouTube and not shared on Google+; Google Apps domain will no longer have the ability to restrict comments made on YouTube to be viewable only in their domain.

Google Mobile

News about other Google products and technology.
The latest version of the Slides app for Android allows you to share your work even more widely, by presenting to Google Hangouts.

A new version of the Hangouts Android app is coming to Google Play this week with new features.

A consistent experience across the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides viewers on the web on mobile, created with a simpler, more uniform interface for each.

People using Office for Windows can now open their Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents stored in Drive and then save any changes back to Drive once they’re done.

This launch will provide employees with more information on how their files are being shared.

Google Business

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

Clearly separating Google from other ventures could give the CEO of each company the ability to focus on their unique areas of expertise.

The choice of as the web domain for Alphabet may seem like a clever one, but it could have been chosen out of necessity.

Find out how Google Apps and Office 365 affect workplace productivity and collaboration

Google Extra

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

Google Doodle: Aug 5, 2015