Category Archives: Staff Computing

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:

Microsoft Product Upgrades

MicrosoftHSPH faculty and staff are reminded that HSPH participates in the University Microsoft Enterprise site licensing program.  The following products are available from the HSPH Helpdesk free of charge:

  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • Microsoft Project 2007
  • Microsoft Visio 2007
  • Microsoft operating system upgrades

Other Microsoft products are available.   Please contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP for further information or to schedule an installation/upgrade of a Microsoft product. We can only install MS Products on HSPH owned computers and laptops and IT staff members must do the install.

If you are interested in training in MS Office 2007 or MS Project 2007, there are several upcoming on-site classes also offered free of charge.  Registration for training opportunities may be found at: https://webapps.sph.harvard.edu/internal/computer-training/.

We currently include MS Office 2003 as part of the software image we provide on new, Harvard-owned computer purchases. We will upgrade to Office 2007 upon request.

Software distribution and llicensing for home use and student use is currently being finalized.  Look for an announcement shortly!

Thank you for Attending Tech Day!

On March 17, 2010, the HSPH Information Technology Department hosted our first technology day in the Kresge Cafeteria Atrium.  Thank you for stopping by and visting with Dell, Polycom, and our staff. 

TechDay2.JPG
User Services Mike Demarco (lower left) and Dell’s Peter Ton (upper left) show the new Dell laptop and desktop models available to the community through the University’s Dell contract.

Fred Sheahan of HSPH’s Instructional Computing Facility led a demonstration on the use of TurningPoint audience response systems.

Related resources:

Video from SPH Security Briefing on March 16, 2010

A recent Boston Globe article reported “One million Massachusetts residents–or 1 in 6 people–have had their credit card numbers, medical records, or other personal information leaked or stolen over the past two years.”

In an effort to educate the community on responsibilities, policies, procedures and technology in place at HSPH, the Information Technology department hosted a security briefing for the community on March 16, 2010.

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.”

security-presentation.gif

Presenters:

  • Taso Markatos, Chief for Information Technology and
  • Andrew Ross, HSPH Security Manager.

Agenda:

  • Discussion of Security Case Studies
  • Types of Confidential Information
  • High Risk Confidential Information (HRCI)
  • Why We Are Focusing on This Issue
  • Obtaining and Storing HRCI
  • Exchanging Confidential Files
  • Encrypting Laptops
  • Recent Security Developments
  • What We Are Asking of You

Additional Excel and Powerpoint 2007 Courses Added

We are pleased to add two additional computer training courses in June to the spring training schedule.  The first offerings of MS Excel 2007 and Powerpoint 2007 in March and April filled quickly.  We had a number of requests for additional courses from the community.

Intermediate MS Excel 2007 will be taught on:

  • Part I: Wednesday, June 16, 1 pm to 4 pm, Kresge 209
  • Part II: Wednesday, June 23, 1 pm to 4 pm, Kresge 209

Intermediate MS Powerpoint 2007 will be taught on:

  • Part I: Wednesday, June 16, 9 am to noon, Kresge 209
  • Part II: Wednesday, June 23, 9 am to noon, Kresge 209

The courses are offered free of charge and are conveniently located in Kresge Building
computer laboratories.

There are also still spaces remaining in New Features of MS Office 2007, Adobe Captivate, Groupwise 8 and MS Project classes offered this spring.

Register today at: https://webapps.sph.harvard.edu/internal/computer-training/index.cfm

Upgrade to Internet Explorer 7

It is time to retire Internet Explorer 6 (IE6).

Many people in the community are still using IE6.  Due to compatibility requirements of new MyHSPH portal software that the school will be launching later this spring, we recommend that all users upgrade to Internet Explorer 7.0 (IE7) as soon as possible. Other popular websites such as Google and Youtube are also phasing out IE6 support this month. 

Upgrading is easy and only takes 10-15 minutes.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP and we can walk you through it.

We are working on a means to efficiently push out an upgrade to the community.  However, due to the time required to do the install, we are currently recommending manual upgrades at your leisure.

NOTE: Although Internet Explorer 8  (IE8) is also available, IE7 is currently still the supported web browser for Central Administrative Systems
(Oracle Financial, HUBS, CREW, PeopleSoft, CAADS, GMAS, etc.).

Related reading:

Spring Computer Training Courses

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

Courses include:

  • New Features of Microsoft Office 2007 (multiple sessions)
  • Intermediate MS Excel 2007
  • Intermediate MS Powperpoint 2007
  • Beginner and Intermediate MS Project 2007
  • Adobe Captivate
  • Groupwise 8

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

https://webapps.sph.harvard.edu/internal/computer-training/
MS Office 2007 upgrades are available to the community free of charge as part of the University’s Enterprise Microsoft agreement.  Because the Office 2007 user interface is different from previous versions of MS Office, we have set up training sessions
monthly from March through June to assist with the transition.

Kresge 209 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.

IT Ticket Satisfation Survey

The Information Technology department values your input on our performance.  We aim to provide the best service possible to our users and, in order to do so, we need to know how our service rates to your standards.

We have launched the Ticket Satisfaction Survey to collect feedback from you and the rest of the community on every task that we help you with.

When you receive your email confirmation that your issues have been closed, there will be a link to login to our ticketing system. On this page, you will see all of your open and closed tickets. If you click on a closed ticket, you will be able to fill out the Ticket Satisfaction Survey to give us feedback on that particular ticket.

complete-survey.jpg

Once you have clicked TICKET SATISFACTION SURVEY you will be able to fill out the survey.

us-survey.jpg

Give us a star rating for each of the areas and leave an option comment. It is that simple!

Dell Premier Website for HSPH Community

The HSPH Dell Premier site is now open!  

To view computer options and computer pricing, faculty and staff are invited to create a Dell Premier Account.

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.

dell-jpg.jpg

Important buying notes:

  • HSPH has selected 5 models as recommended machines based on community purchasing preferences over the past year. These include:
    • Latitude E6400 14.1″ inch laptop
    • Latitude E4200 12″ inch “ultralight” laptop
    • Latitude E4300 13″ inch “lightweight” laptop
    • Optiplex 960 small form factor “workhorse” desktop machine
    • Optiplex 960 minitower “workhorse” desktop machine
  • There are an additional 7 model models recommended by the University including a 15″ laptop, a tablet PC, netbook, two high-end workstations, and an entry-level desktop model. If you have questions about these models or would like to order these models, please contact Chris Cahill, 432-HELP for further assistance.
  • All models may be customized for additional charges using the Dell Premier site. 
  • Desktop models do not include a monitor; however, do include a standard keyboard and mouse.  Please be sure to select a monitor with your desktop purchase.
  • Dell personal and student purchases are offered at a separate Dell site.

Related Resources:

Keep your SMART phone, Blackberry, or iPhone Safe!

SMARTphones, iPhones, and Blackberrys are in use everywhere on the HSPH campus.  As the functionality of these devices increases, it is important to be aware of potential security concerns with these devices. These security issues can have an impact on your computing at HSPH.

cnet.jpgCNET wrote an excellent article last week highlighting the areas of concern with recommendations. 

It may be found at: Using your smartphone safely (FAQ)

To help keep your phones safe, we recommend:

  • Resist the temptation to store any sensitive data on your phone for convenience sake (i.e., username/password combinations, account numbers)
  • Set a phone password.  Nearly all phones have method that requires entering a PIN after a period of inactivity
  • Keep your phone’s software up-to-date.  (i.e., iPhone and Blackberry have regular software updates that include important security patches.)