Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Students: Internet Speed Magic

blue Ethernet cable

This is a picture of an Ethernet cable. Or, if you prefer, call it "the Netflix cable," "the Hulu cable" or "the Overwatch cable." Sound interesting?

Wireless network access may convenient, but you're sharing that signal with your roommate, other students on your floor, and possibly students on other floors. The more people are using it, the less share of the signal you get. If you want a strong, secure signal all to yourself—when gaming, watching movies or other streaming content—use an Ethernet cable. It connects the orange wall jack in your room to your computer, either directly or through an Ethernet adapter.

We'll give you an Ethernet cable at no charge. Just stop by the ITS Help Desk in Neill 314 during business hours and ask for yours.

Monday, August 29, 2016

ITS Help Desk Support in Two Locations Starting August 31, 2016

Information Technology Services and the DeWitt Wallace Library are excited to announce a collaboration for ITS Help Desk support.

Beginning on Wednesday, August 31, the ITS Help Desk will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM at its location in 314 Neill Hall. The ITS Help Desk Express at the DeWitt Wallace Library’s service desk will be available during all the Library’s open hours.

Contact the ITS Help Desk by stopping by at either location, calling 651-696-6525, emailing helpdesk@macalester.edu, or chatting at macalester.edu/its.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Students: Get Connected! 8/25/16

The Information Technology Services (ITS) Help Desk is here to assist you - email helpdesk@macalester.edu 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 from on campus, launch any Web browser and go to: http://registration.macalester.edu

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 2016-2017 student wireless key remains the same as it was last year, so if you are returning, you should be good.) The student key was sent out via the ITS-Alerts-Student list this morning.

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 problems with your computer, stop by the ITS Help Desk in Neill 314.  We're open Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, also 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday. 

New students, check out the First Year "Techlist" for more information on campus computing:  http://www.macalester.edu/its/accounts-services/firstyeartechlist/

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Communications from 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 ITS 'Notices and Alerts' blog, at http://its-notices-alerts.blogspot.com/ (also linked from the ITS Web pages, http://www.macalester.edu/its/), 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.  Check out our ITS Alerts footer text, at the end of this note.

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

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Publishing, Sharing & Reading EPUB Publications with Google Docs

EPUB is the most widely supported file format for publishing accessible documents and digital books, allowing people to consume long-form content in their preferred apps on a diverse range of screen sizes and devices, including smartphones, tablets, and eReaders.

Publish EPUB

Step 1: Format Google Doc


Use Heading Styles

Write your document. When you use headings to divide your document into sections, your document is easier for people to navigate, particularly if they rely on keyboard shortcuts. You can use the default heading styles or create your own.

Google Docs is designed to work well with screen readers and other assistive technologies. The built-in features can make your document easier to read.

How to format a paragraph with a heading style

You can use headings to designate sections of your document. Along with titles and text, you can customize Headings 1 - 6 in the styles toolbar menu.
  1. Highlight the paragraph you want to change into a heading.
  2. Go to Format > Paragraph styles > select style. Alternately, expand the styles drop-down menu from the toolbar.

Insert a table of contents

A table of content lists all of your document’s headings in order at the top of your document. When you click a heading name in the table of contents, you’ll jump to that section of the document.

  1. Create headings in your document, following the steps listed above.
  2. Go to the Insert menu.
  3. Select Table of contents. A table of contents will be inserted at the top of your document.

Step 2: Export Google Doc as EPUB

Simply go to the File menu > Download as > EPUB Publication (.epub).


Step 3: Convert EPUB to MOBI for Kindle-supported devices (optional)

Feel free to give any of the free converter options available on the web. We tested calibre and it seems to work just fine. EPUB (.epub) files can be converted to MOBI (.mobi) by using the free software calibre by following these steps:
  1. Download the installer for calibre.
  2. Follow the prompts to Install calibre.
  3. Choose your prefered language.
  4. When prompted to choose your e-book device, select Generic.
  5. Click Add books and navigate to an .epub file.
  6. Select an entry from the Calibre library and click Convert books. Convert Publishing and sharing EPUB Publications window appears.
  7. From the top right, locate the Output format: menu and select MOBI.
  8. Edit Authors, Publisher fields, if necessary.
  9. Click OK.
  10. Select the converted file.
  11. Click Save to disk menu.
  12. Both EPUB and MOBI version of the publication are downloaded.

Share the EPUB file

Decide the best share your EPUB and/or MOBI publication.
  • Publish on the web
  • Send via email
  • Upload to Google Drive and share with specific people

Read the EPUB file

Use a EPUB-native app to read the file stored on your device or in the cloud.
Apple iOS use iBooks

Android use Google Play Books

Read the MOBI for kindle-supported devices

Use a kindle-supported app to read the file stored on your device or in the cloud.
kindle reader

Give it a try!

Download and read this document read it with your favorite eReader.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Faculty/Staff Wireless Key Changing Monday 8/15/16

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 academic year.

The current key will be replaced with a new key at 7:45 AM on Monday, August 15 2016. Faculty and staff will receive the new wireless key via ITS-Alerts email on Friday, August 12, 2016.

If you need assistance changing your device’s wireless key, please contact the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@macalester.edu or 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.