Category Archives: Staff Computing

Update Your iPhone and iPad!

IPHONE_5S_BLKDue to the recently exposed security flaw in Apple products, we recommend that users upgrade their iOS devices (iPhones, iPads) to release 7.0.6 as soon as possible.

If you are already on iOS 7.x, the process takes a couple of minutes to complete.  If you haven’t upgraded recently and are still on iOS 6.x, the process may take 10 or more minutes.

Prior to beginning the upgrade, we strongly recommend backing up your device using iTunes.

For an explanation of the security flaw, please visit recent articles from Reuters and The New York Times:

If you have any questions, please contact the HSPH Helpdesk at 617-432-HELP.

Thank you,
HSPH Department of Information Technology

Wireless Network Now Available at Landmark Center

We are pleased to announce that Landmark 3 and 4 are now on the Harvard Wireless Network.

Ariadne Labs at Landmark Center

The conference room at Ariadne Laboratories now has Harvard wireless coverage.

Please see our Wireless Network page for information on which network to join.

If you have further questions on accessing and connecting to the network, please contact the HSPH Helpdesk at 617-432-HELP.

A site survey is underway to evaluate feasibility of adding additional wireless coverage to remaining locations without wireless on the HSPH campus.


Responsive Design Now Live on HSPH Website

If you are looking at the HSPH website with your smartphone or iPad, you may have noticed that the site is a bit easier to read and navigate today than it was last week.  This is thanks to a major effort by the Department of Information Technology and the Communications Group within External Relations to make the site more “responsive” to the vast variety of devices large and small that are now used to access websites.  Depending on the size of the screen you are using, the HSPH website now will display in a way that makes the type easiest to read and the site navigation easiest to use on that particular screen.

The HSPH website now adjusts based upon screen size optimizing the mobile experience for users.

The HSPH website now adjusts based upon screen size optimizing the mobile experience for users.

With nearly 30 percent of people now accessing the HSPH website each day through smart phones and other devices other than desktop computers, it was important to make the School’s internet presence more responsive to the global internet environment.  Meetings were held over the past couple of months with individuals in HSPH departments who manage portions of the HSPH website to alert them to these changes in the site’s design so they would have time to make adaptations if necessary. We thank all who have been involved in this project for their help in making it a reality and thereby improving the quality of user experience for the millions of individuals who access our website each year.

New Design on iPhone

New Design on iPhone

While we have tested the new designs on literally dozens of devices, we would appreciate hearing from anyone who experiences a glitch on his or her particular smart phone or other device so we can address any problems quickly.  Please email with any problems you identify.

Many thanks to the Web Team and staff in the Communications Group for their hard work on this project!

Julie F. Rafferty
Associate Vice Dean for Communications

Deane Eastwood
IT Director

Maintenance Window: Thursday, February 13

UPDATE: All updates were successful and systems are fully operational.

On Thursday, February 13, 2014 we will be performing our normal system maintenance to all servers.

The maintenance window will last from 7PM to 1 AM.

The following services will have one or two small outages:

(You can continue to work, but may have brief pauses while services restart)

The following services will be unavailable from 7 pm – 10:30pm:

The following services will be unaffected during the maintenance window: 

Upcoming maintenance dates:

  • 3/16/2014 (Moved to Sunday)
  • 4/10/2014
  • 5/18/2014 (Moved to Sunday)
  • 6/12/2014

Thank You,
HSPH Department of Information Technology

New Staff Addition: Velex Desir

Velex Desir began working as a co-op in early February and will work part-time through May as part of his program at Roxbury Community College (RCC).   He received a Certified Computer Networking Associate (CCNA) in the Cisco Certification Program in January 2014.  He is a candidate for an associate of science degree in computer science with an anticipated graduation date of May 2014.

Velex is fluent in French, Spanish, Creole and Latin!  He is our sixth co-op in the HSPH-RCC partnership coordinated by the HSPH Office of Human Resources.


Velex Desir, Roxbury Community College Co-op

Velex will work Monday – Thursday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Please join us in welcoming Velex to the Harvard School of Public Health!

Kresge Lower Level Closed on Saturday, February 1st

UPDATE: The Kresge Lower Level is now open and all construction has been completed.

The entire Kresge Lower Level will be closed this Saturday, February 1, from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM for construction.

The LL19 main computer lab and LL6 computer classroom will not be accessible.

Students may use the Kresge 209, 210, and 213 computer laboratories during this period.

We apologize for the inconvenience.  This final repair will complete construction efforts.

New Staff Addition: Helton Alves

Helton Alves began working as a co-op on January 16 and will be working 10-12 hours each week through early May as part of his program at Roxbury Community College (RCC).  He is a candidate for an associate degree in network administration with an anticipated graduation date of May 2014.

At RCC, Helton is a team leader for the “Find My Fine Application” academic support group.  One of this group’s recent accomplishments was to create a helpdesk ticketing application using the .NET technologies.

Helton Alves

Helton Alves, Roxbury Community College Intern

Helton is our fifth co-op in the HSPH-RCC partnership coordinated by the HSPH Office of Human Resources.

Please join us in welcoming Helton to the Harvard School of Public Health!

Successful Disaster Recovery Testing Over Winter Recess

The Department of Information Technology is pleased to report that our disaster recovery testing was very successful over winter break.

On Thursday, December 26, we moved all key systems from on-premises server rooms in the Kresge Building to our off-site disaster recovery site. We were fully operational within 8 hours, with most servers operational within 5 hours.

Server Room in Kresge Building

One of HSPH’s Server Rooms in the Kresge Building

These key systems included:

  • Network storage (P and S drives)
  • Critical building monitoring and security systems
  • Student information system, financial aid systems, and MyHSPH portal
  • Web application servers powering dozens of administrative applications
  • Database servers
  • Accellion secure file transfer service

From December 26 to December 30, we operated all services from our disaster recovery site with very few issues and with excellent speed.

On Monday, December 30, we successfully reverted all systems back to HSPH, reducing the total time required to 5 hours.

This also represents the first DR test the Department of Information Technology has completed with no employees on site. Staff members worked to move systems remotely, either from their homes or on the road in both California and Florida!

A special thank-you to the server team, Brian Pedranti, Tom Gatton, and Nate Varney, for their hard work during break. Additionally, we thank Caryn D’Agostino of the SIS team for their work with the student systems.  Finally, we thank the HSPH community for their patience on December 26 and December 30 during the maintenance window.

The creation of a disaster recovery and business continuity plan is very important, but actually testing and improving upon that plan is the most critical step toward reducing risk in case of an emergency.

New Staff Additions: Lina Ji and Thomas (TJ) Porter

We are pleased to welcome two new additions to the Department of Information Technology, Lina Ji and Thomas (TJ) Porter.  Both Lina and TJ are Northeastern University students and will be working for 6 months full-time as co-ops at HSPH as part of their degree program.  They replace Anastasiya (Stacey) Gudoshnik and Joe Horrigan, who completed their assignments with great success.

Lina Ji is a candidate for a bachelor of science in industrial engineering and will graduate from NEU in May 2015.  Her last co-op was with Agricultural Bank of China in Shanghai, China, where she was a systems engineer responsible for building LINUX servers.

Lina is fluent in Mandarin and is a Northeastern Student Ambassador, which helps new international students become acquainted with the campus.

She will be working the 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM shift.

Lina Ji

Lina Ji, Northeastern Co-op

Thomas (TJ) Porter is candidate bachelor of science in business administration. He will graduate from NEU in May 2016.

His last co-op was with New England Baptist Hospital as a General Stores co-op, where he helped stock operating rooms.  While there, he discovered annual cost savings opportunities in the amount of $9000 in their supply ordering chain.

For you gamers, he is a published contributor to Alienware as an arena writer! He is also a referee and scorekeeper for the Hudson Youth DekHockey League.

He will work the 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM shift.


TJ Porter, Northeastern Co-op

Please join us in welcoming Lina and TJ to the Harvard School of Public Health!