Author Archives: Deane Eastwood - IT

New Dell Models Available: More Computer at the Same Price!

dell-jpg.jpgThe current Dell Latitude desktop models E6400 (14” model) and the E6500 (15” model) have reached their end-of-life and have recently sold out.

Dell has replaced them with 2 upgraded models with the new Intel i5 Processors.  The new models include not only upgraded processing speed, but also have enhanced video and wireless cards.  Best of all, there will be no increase in pricing.  They are at the same price point as the E6400 and E6500.

These new models are the:

  • Latitude E6410 14” Screen, Intel Core i5-520m/2.4Ghz Processor
  • Latitude E5410 15” Screen, Intel Core i5-520m/2.4Ghz Processor

These models are available now on the Harvard/Dell website.

The systems will still ship with Windows XP.  We are testing Windows 7 and are not supporting it at this time. To view the current models, please go to www.computers.harvard.edu and click on the Dell Department login.

Creating a Dell Premier Account:

  1. Visit computers.harvard.edu site to establish a Dell Premier Account
  2. Click onI have not yet established my Harvard Premier Page account with Dell” if you do not already have a Dell Premier Account.
  3. Click on the HSPH link “Harvard School of Public Health (SPH) – SHOPPER STATUS
  4. Fill out the form to establish an account
  5. Success!
  6. Visit http://premier.dell.com to view available models, create e-quotes and start shopping!If you need “purchaser privileges,” please contact your department administrator.  A purchaser is a departmental representative who can approve equotes.

Please contact the Helpdesk at 617-432-4357 if you need more information or assistance.

Related resources:

HSPH Commencement to be Broadcast in HD

The Department of Information Technology has provided a live commencement stream to friends and family for the past 5 years.  In 2010, we are pleased to announce that we will be broadcasting for the first time in high definition

For those interested in the technology, the HD cameras under the tent will send audio and video to a Digital Rapids encoder.  The encoder will then send the stream to Limelight Networks over the HSPH network.  Limelight Networks is a video host that the University uses for a number of initiatives.  Friends and family will be able to access the stream from the HSPH website at Commencement 2010 video

On commencement day, we will begin the stream at approximately 1:30 pm. 

A lower bandwidth stream will also be available for those with slower internet connections.

Related resources:

New IT Staff Member: Tom Gatton

The HSPH Department of Information Technology welcomes new hire, Tom Gatton.  Tom will work on our server team as an administrator filling the vacancy left by Andy Ross.  Andy is now the school’s security manager.

Tom is a graduate of Bentley College where he earned a bachelors of science in computer information systems. He is currently pursuing an ALM in information technology from Harvard University Extension School.

Tom is transferring from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences where he has worked since 2006.  His work included maintaining a number of web, application and database servers.  Tom worked with GSAS leadership and consultants on launching the new GSAS website.  He has considerable experience with server security and resource planning.  Prior to his work at GSAS, Tom spent 5 years at Harvard’s University Information Systems where he was a desktop and network support technician.

tom_gatton.jpg

Photo by David Shelton

We are excited by Tom’s mix of desktop, web, and server skills. He is a A+ certified desktop technician and currently seeking Microsoft server certification.
Please join us in welcoming Tom to our technical staff and to the HSPH community!

Interesting fact:  In his time away from work, Tom is an avid photographer as well as a musician. 

Custom Training Courses

New HorizonsThe HSPH Information Technology Department has received a number of requests from the community for custom training courses for their office or group. We are pleased to be able to assist in coordinating these training sessions with our training partner, New Horizons of Boston.

Classes will be held onsite in one of our computer classrooms (Kresge LL10, Kresge 209).  All classes are taught by professional trainers and incude course materials.

For pricing information on custom courses, please visit our internal site at:

Examples of course that have been arranged include:

  • Training a group 10 people from a research project on MS Project 2007
  • Training an entire office on New Features of MS Office 2007

Some groups have found that having their entire office learning new software in one sitting has led to better adoption of the new technology.

Microsoft products available for home use at discount

The HSPH Department of Information Technology is pleased to announce HSPH’s participation in the Microsoft Home Use Program (HUP).
Microsoft OfficeThis provision in the University’s Microsoft enterprise license, allows HSPH faculty and staff to purchase:

  • Microsoft Office 2007 for PC
  • Microsoft Offce 2008 for Mac
  • Microsoft Project 2007
  • Microsoft Visio 2007

for personal home use on non-Harvard owned machines at deep discounts

For costs and purchasing information please visit:
Harvard/Microsoft at Home (HSPH only, Pin-protected)

Take the Stairs Campaign!

On Earth Day, the web team launched a website for the EcoOpportunity Team’s “Take the Stairs” campaign.  Teams will attempt to climb an equivalent amount of feet in stairs to get them to the top of Mount McKinley (20,320 feet) by May 28, 2010.

The web application allowed teams of five to enter the contest during the registration period.  Thirty-two teams entered the contest.  Team members now log into the application daily and note the number of stairs that they have climbed for that day.  Stairs are converted to feet by the application, and team results appear dynamically on the bar chart on the contest home page.  Individual and team totals are also displayed dynamically in a frame on the right side of the screen.

David Hasting’s team GCD StairMasters took the early lead climbing 1575 feet in week 1 of the contest.  Captain Hastings led the way with 450 feet climbed.

Watch the race to the top ofMount McKinley over the next few weeks at:
https://webapps.sph.harvard.edu/internal/take-the-stairs/

stairs.jpg

Technology:

  • Harvard University PIN
  • Adobe Coldfusion Enterprise 8
  • MS SQL Server 2008
  • Google Charts API
  • HSPH CSS style sheet

Encore Presentation of Security Briefing to be held April 23, 2010 for Landmark Building

In an effort to educate the community on responsibilities, policies, procedures and technology in place at HSPH, the Information Technology department will host a security briefing for the community on April 23, 2010 from 12-1 pm in Conference Room 2, Landmark 3rd Floor.  This is an encore of the March 16, 2010 session that was held in Kresge G1.

An on-demand video is available is also available from the March 16, 2010 event.

View On Demand Video:
View: HSPH Information Security Update

TIP: to fastforward and/or enlarge the video, right click on the presentation and select “Play in Real Player.”

Update on McAfee Issue

Technicians are in the field this morning to address any remaining issues with the McAfee issue from yesterday.  Our push of the updated data file for Novell users was successful for most users. 
If your computer remains in a reboot loop, please contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP or helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu and we will schedule a technician for an office visit as soon as possible.
Thank you for your continued patience.

Computer Reboot Loop Issue

At approximately 10 am, an error message popped up on hundreds of HSPH computers warning users that they had a virus and their computer would shut down in 1 minute. Their computer was then stuck in a reboot cycle.

This was not actually a computer virus outbreak, but rather a faulty data update from our security vendor McAfee.  This issue was global and not isolated to HSPH.  There are reports of other universities, government agencies, and businesses experiencing similar issues (see below for news articles).

Timeline:

  • Issues surfaced at approximately 10 am after computers at HSPH started to receive the automatic update from McAfee (DAT 5958).
  • HSPH IT staff worked closely with McAfee for several hours including hosting a Webex session from McAfee to an “infected” machine at HSPH. 
  • McAfee released an updated data file at approximately 1 pm.
  • HSPH IT staff tested both a pushed deployment fix using Novell and a manual fix for other users.
  • At 2 pm, HSPH Helpdesk sent email to community with instructions for Novell users to update the data file.
  • At 2:30 pm, HSPH Helpdesk staff started going floor to floor to update computers in need of manual updates.

Other Notes:

  • Computer laboratory machines and classroom machines were not impacted.  Neither students working in computer laboratories nor courses were affected.
  • Mac computers were not impacted.
  • Not all users at HSPH were impacted.

Update procedure if on Novell network:

  1. REBOOT your computer
  2. LOGIN to Novell
  3. Wait for the computer to RESTART itself (approximately 1-2 minutes)
  4. Your computer should then be updated with the new data file and you can login.

Update procedure if you do not login into Novell:

  • Contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP, helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu.  It will most likely require a technician visit to manually install the new datafiles.

Related articles:

Computer Downtime on April 15, 2010

On Thursday Night, April 15th, we will be performing our normal system maintenance to all servers and network equipment.

The downtime window will last from 7:00PM – 1:00AM.

The following services will have one or two small outages:
(You can continue to work, but may have brief pauses while services restart)

  • GroupWise Full Client and IMAP Clients
  • Novell File and Print services
  • NetStorage
  • ICF File and Print services
  • OASIS
  • ALICE
  • Powerfaids and NetPartner
  • Web Server (main www.hsph.harvard.edu site)
  • GroupWise WebAccess 
  • Accellion
  • HPCC system
  • HSPH Unix server

All Future Planned Down times are Thursday nights from 7PM to 1AM on the following dates:

  • 5/16/2010  (NOTE – Downtime moved to Sunday night due to academic calendar)
  • 6/10/2010
  • 7/15/2010
  • 8/12/2010
  • 9/16/2010
  • 10/14/2010
  • 11/11/2010
  • 12/16/2010

If you have any questions about the downtime, please contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP or helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu.