Category Archives: Staff Computing

Disaster Recovery Testing on December 27 and 30, 2010

UPDATE: Date postponed until Tuesday, 12/28/2010 at 5:00PM due to weather.

Over the holiday break, the Department of Information Technology will have two service interruptions which are required for our disaster recovery testing. The first is on Monday, December 27, 2010 and the second is on Thursday, December 30, 2010.  Work will begin at 5 pm on both days.

During this time, we will be performing a full test of our disaster recovery implementation simulating an emergency situation. We expect to have all services back up and running by midnight.

All HSPH mission critical servers and data are replicated at a remote site.  In case of an emergency at HSPH that affects our server rooms (i.e., flood), we are able to switch to the remote location restoring core services to the community as quickly as possible.  Examples of core services include email, file sharing, and web services. The following services will be unavailable for the duration of the switch-over on December 27th beginning at 5 pm:

On Thursday, December 30th from 5PM to 12AM, we will have the final service interruption in order to return to normal operations back at HSPH.  We expect to have all services up and running by midnight.  The following services will be unavailable for the duration of the switch-back on December 30th:

The Forum at HSPH: Friday, November 5 at 1:30 pm

The first Forum at HSPH event, The Impact of the 2010 Elections on US Health Reform, will be held on Friday, November 5, 2010 at 1:30 pm.

Tune in at http://www.forumhsph.org and watch the event live on your PC or MAC.

Using a mobile device?

View video optimized for

The new 10th floor Forum room features seating for 40 people as well as state-of-the-art audio and video, production lighting and sound, video conferencing, and web streaming.

Sarah Bearse, HSPH’s audio-visual engineer, played a key role in designing the audio-visual room system with Ian Tosh from Rule Engineering and Jon Barkan from Communications for Learning. 

Many other IT staff members participated throughout this project making important contributions including

  • Christopher Ternan (graphic design and web development), Blain Smith (web development and streaming), 
  • Kevin Wnek (web development and streaming),
  • Nate Varney (audio-visual engineering),
  • Chris Riley (video) and Steve Riccardi (network and telepresence).

Finally, thank you to Larry Bouthillier, Eric Parker, and others on the Icommons staff for their assistance and support with mobile streaming.
We look forward to many great events in the room!

A second iPad brownbag luncheon scheduled for November 17, 2010

On October 26, 2010, User Services’ Patrick Creedon hosted a brown bag luncheon on the iPad at HSPH.  The event filled up quickly and was well received.  Thank you to all that attended!

We have arranged for a second session on Wednesday, November 17th in Kresge room 110 at 12:00pm.

Space is limited so please RSVP to the Helpdesk by email at helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu. Look for announcements on future brown bag discussions:

  • December: Communication options (Skype, Webex/web conferencing, video conferencing and telepresence)
  • January: Mac support at HSPH

Ipad Event Information:
You may have noticed that User Services’ staff members have been accessing Helpdesk tickets and completing other field work on iPads.  Over the past three months, we have been piloting iPads to assist us in our day-to-day activities.  We would now like to share with you what we have learned about their usefulness at HSPH.

Please join us on Tuesday, November 26th in Kresge room 110 at 12:00pm for an informal session on this emerging techology.  This session will be hosted by User Services’ Patrick Creedon.  Patrick previously worked part-time at the Apple Store and is our local Mac expert.  We will have iPads on hand for you to test.

Some topics Patrick will cover:

  • Learn about purchasing and basic information
  • Learn about popular Ipad applications
  • Learn about email, calendaring, viewing meeting materials, and more
  • Bring your questions!

New Help Desk at Landmark Center

The Department of Information Technology is pleased to open a new Help Desk at Landmark Center on Tuesday, November 2, 2010.

The new Help Desk may be found at Landmark East, 3rdFloor, Section 22, workstation 3 and is conveniently located next to the LM 3 Lobby and near the two 3rd floor conference rooms. 

Hours are as follows:
Mondays: as emergencies/tickets arise
Tuesdays:  10 am to 1 pm
Wednesdays:  1 pm to 4 pm
Thursdays: 10 am to 1 pm
Fridays: as emergencies/tickets arise

The new location will allow User Services staff to do more work at Landmark (i.e., laptop repairs, PC setups, software installs) and will improve response time for issues and general computing questions. 

The Landmark community should continue to call the main Help Desk line at 432-HELP.  All phone calls and emails will continue to be routed through the main desk. 

The Helpdesk is located behind Louise Bishop’s cubicle which is to the left of the LM 3 Lobby and behind the orange curved wall. Please look for the Helpdesk signs.

We would like to thank the Department of Nutrition for generously providing the work space.
If you have any questions on this new offering, please contact Christopher Cahill, User Services, 432-6272.

iPad at HSPH: Brownbag luncheon to be held on Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You may have noticed that User Services’ staff members have been accessing Helpdesk tickets and completing other field work on iPads.  Over the past three months, we have been piloting iPads to assist us in our day-to-day activities.  We would now like to share with you what we have learned about their usefulness at HSPH.

Please join us on Tuesday, October 26th in Kresge room 110 at 12:00pm for an informal session on this emerging techology.  This session will be hosted by User Services’ Patrick Creedon.  Patrick previously worked part-time at the Apple Store and is our local Mac expert.  We will have iPads on hand for you to test.

apple-ipad.jpg

Some topics Patrick will cover:

  • Learn about purchasing and basic information
  • Learn about popular Ipad applications
  • Learn about email, calendaring, viewing meeting materials, and more
  • Bring your questions!

Space is limited so please RSVP to the Helpdesk by email. 

Light refreshments will be served.  People should feel free to bring their lunches.

Dell Update for HSPH Computer Purchasers

There are two important updates to the Dell Computer Program that all HSPH Dell Buyers should be aware of.  They are as follows:

Windows XP
Dell is no longer able to sell their computers or laptops with Windows XP pre-installed. All computers and laptops will come with Windows 7.  Because HSPH IT Department is not supporting Windows 7 at this time, we will downgrade all computers and laptops to Windows XP.

We are moving towards Windows 7 support and will be able to upgrade, at no cost, any computer or laptop at that time. Our target date is early to mid-2011 for Windows 7 support.

We will continue to support all Windows XP computers and laptops until Microsoft ends support for it (currently through 2014).

Monitor Adapters
Dell is no longer including a needed cable adapter to use the new Dell Optiplex 980 computers with older monitors. This adapter is called a Dual DVI-to-VGA/Dual VGA-to-DVI Y Cable Kit. This adapter needs to be added to any Dell computer order if you are not replacing your monitor and intend to use your existing monitor. 

To add the adapter:

  • click on the Customize button for either the Optiplex 980 SFF or 980 MT and
  • look under Other Options, the adapter is the last item in the Options category under Additional Non-System Options.

You can also order it separately by typing in the Dell Part #: 310-4469 in the HSPH Premier Page Keyword Search box.
Again, this is only if you have an old monitor and are planning on using it with a new Optiplex 980 SFF or MT. This is not needed for laptop purchases. 

Please contact me at 617-432-HELP if you need any further information on either item.

Thank You!
Christopher Cahill

Fall Computer Training Dates

We are pleased to offer a fall series of computer training courses from October through December for HSPH faculty and staff.  The courses are offered free of charge and are conveniently located in Kresge Building computer laboratories.

Sign up early! 
The spring’s training courses sold out quickly. After receiving multiple requests from the community, we have added a special 2-day MS Access 2007 training course.

Courses include:

  • New Features of Microsoft Office 2007 (multiple sessions)
  • Introductory and Intermediate MS Excel 2007
  • Intermediate MS Powperpoint 2007
  • Introductory MS Project 2007
  • Introduction MS Access 2007

To sign up for courses and to view course descriptions, please visit:

https://webapps.sph.harvard.edu/internal/computer-training

Kresge LL10 training classroom
These courses are sponsored by the Information Technology Department and the Office of Human Resources.

If you have further questions, please contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP.

New Staff Member: Paul Katz

The HSPH Department of Information Technology welcomes new hire, Paul Katz.  Paul will work as a user support specialist in our User Services Group and will provide helpdesk, desktop, classroom, and media services support to the community. He replaces Nate Varney who has been promoted to senior user support specialist.

Paul joins us from CRICO/RMF where he worked closely with the Harvard physician community as an IT support technician in a support environment that is similar to HSPH.

paulkatz.jpg

Photo by David Shelton

Paul is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University where he earned a bachelor of science in networking technology.  While a student, Paul spent 2 years at Central Connecticut State’s IT Office, working as a support technician at their Help Desk.  Central Connecticut State’s IT Office is a busy hub providing support to a population of more than 1,000 faculty and staff and over 12,000 students.  Paul received hundreds of calls weekly during peek time periods. Paul has experience working in student computing laboratories as well as in the field resolving issues for faculty and staff.

We are excited about Paul’s technical and customer service skills.  He’s Dell-certified and also brings considerable windows and PC-hardware and software experience to HSPH.

Please join us in welcoming Paul to our technical staff and to the HSPH community!

Interesting fact: Away from work, Paul greatly enjoys going to the gym and kickboxing.

Data Loss Protection Software Implemented at HSPH

The fourth item in Harvard University’s Information Security Mandate “Finding High Risk Confidential Information (HRCI),” requires that each School must ensure that all University-owned computers and servers are annually scanned to locate High Risk Confidential Information (HRCI).

In response to this University mandate and over the next few weeks, the HSPH Department of Information Technology will begin deploying a new security product called Data Loss Prevention (DLP), from McAfee.  This product will be used to scan all HSPH-owned PC’s and servers for HRCI annually. Once the automated scan of your computer is completed, each user will receive an email from the DLP system, listing any files which meet the preset patterns for HRCI, such as social security numbers. The user is then responsible for investigating and remediating the information as necessary.

As a reminder to everyone, the Harvard Enterprise Information Security Policy states that no High Risk Confidential Information may be stored on any PC, laptop or other portable media, and approval must be obtained from the University and school Security officers  prior to storing any HRCI data on a secure server.

The University’s complete Information Security policy can be found at: http://www.security.harvard.edu/
Note: this offering is for PCs only, Macs are not targeted at this time.

For questions or assistance with this policy, please contact Andy Ross, HSPH Security Manager at 617-432-1279 or aross@hsph.harvard.edu.

Email Quarantine Upgrade

On September 16, 2010, the Department of Information Technology upgraded its spam and virus filtering applications to the latest version of Barracuda Network’s product.

All users should be aware of one key change.  You will be required to enter your entire email address (e.g., jdoe@hsph.harvard.edu) as your username instead of your HSPH Edirectory username (e.g., jdoe).  The new version continues to send you a daily email and has all the same features as the former version.

Visit your email quarantine: https://quarantine.sph.harvard.edu
Username: your hsph email address (jsmith@hsph.harvard.edu)
Password: your local HSPH Edirectory password (same as email, Novell login, etc.)

Please do not hesitate to contact us at helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu if you have any questions or problems.