News and Announcements

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.

New Student Funding Finder Launches

Photo by
The Office of Student Financial Services (SFS) is please to announce the launch of the Student Financial Services Funding Finder.  SFS, in a joint effort with the HSPH Department of Information Technology, created a scholarship database and search engine to assist students in finding sources of outside scholarships and other funding.

“A long-term goal of SFS, the creation of the Funding Finder tool became a priority, in response to student surveys conducted in 2009-10 and as a result of a recommendation made by the Dean’s Task Force on Financial Aid to develop a scholarship database.  We are delighted to make this resource available to our students and welcome any feedback as we continue to develop this exciting new external aid database.”

Continue on to the Student Financial Services Funding Finder.

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.


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.

Weekend updates of Student Information System

Due to a system upgrade, the ALICE student information system will NOT be available from 8:00 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, October 16th, and Sunday, October 17th, 2010.

During this time, MyHSPH will be unaffected except for links to Banner Self-Service sites, which are connected to the ALICE system. You will still be able to access iSites and Groupwise via MyHSPH.

If you have any questions, please contact IT Help Desk at or

Monthly Computer Maintenance on Thursday, October 14, 2010

On Thursday night, October 14th, we will be performing our normal system maintenance to all servers and network equipment.

The maintenance window will last from 7:00 PM til 1:00 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 for the duration of the maintenance window

The IT Department recommends that you reboot your PC after any system maintenance. This will ensure that the proper software updates are applied to your computer.

Be Green!  We also request that you shutdown your PC before you leave everyday.

All future planned maintenance windows are Thursday nights from 7PM to 1AM and on the following dates:

  • 11/11/2010
  • 12/16/2010

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

Congratulations to Blain Smith and Kevin Wnek

The Department of Information Technology is pleased to announce the promotion of Blain Smith and Kevin Wnek, both to Senior Web and Application Programmer.

Blain and Kevin have jointly developed a number of key HSPH applications including the HSPH Publisher, our website content management system that has ably and cost-effectively powered the HSPH website for more than 4 years.

Blain has worked at HSPH for 5 years and has provided outstanding and consistent programming work since his arrival at HSPH.  He is the lead developer of a number of key academic and administrative programs including the HSPH course evaluations, degree planner, and HSPH directory.


Blain works closely with server administrators and Andy Ross, our security manager, on infrastructure and security planning for all web and application servers.

Kevin Wnekhas also worked at HSPH for 5 years providing support and development for a number of projects. Kevin has an outstanding mix of programming, database, and user interface design skills.

Kevin is the lead developer of Labpoint, a laboratory management software produced for the Longwood Medical Area’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety.  The application is currently used by HSPH, Harvard Medical School, Harvard Dental School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Labpoint has received rave reviews for quality of data and presentation by the Boston Fire Department.  Data from the system has been used for Department of Homeland Security reporting.  The application dynamically generates safety placards for all labs and inventories are fully searchable.  A major upgrade is set for October 2010.


We look forward to Blain and Kevin’s continued contribution to web and application development at HSPH. A collaborative project with HSPH, HMS and HDS, the Harvard Longwood Campus Research Administration portal, is set to launch in October as is a new site for the Forum at HSPH.

Please join us in congratulating them.

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:

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.


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:
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