March 21, 2012
Human Resources to Release New UMBC Holidays Calendar
In 2011, the campus transitioned to Google Calendar as the campus-wide calendaring solution. Incorporated in the use of Google Calendar is the need identify when the campus observes holidays within each year. As a result, you will now see a new calendar named UMBC Holidays which represents the official University holiday observances. The new calendar will appear in the "Other calendars" section of your calendar. Official holidays will appear at the top of your calendar as a note. Beginning March 30, 2012 the new UMBC Holidays calendar will be added to your UMBC Google calendar.
HR will continue to post the hard copy schedule as we have in previous years. The holiday calendar within Google is an additional feature for your convenience. Each year, the calendar will be updated with the University's observance dates for your convenience. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sherrell McNamara at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 5-3646.
March 19, 2012
Known Issue: Intermittent Login Failure, Workaround is Using VPN
Over the weekend, DoIT has received several reports of intermittent login failures using myUMBC, Blackboard and even the RT (Request Tracker) ticketing system The problem is actually not with these systems, but appears to be one of the campus authentication servers, which DoIT is addressing.
In the meantime, if you encounter this error (depicted by the images below), a possible work around is to access these campus systems AFTER first logging in through UMBC's Virtual Private Network (or VPN) at http://vpn.umbc.edu. For help in using the VPN, visit the following FAQ entry:
How Do I Connect via VPN?
These are images you might see after failing to login to myUMBC, Blackboard or RT (Request Tracker):
March 14, 2012
Blackboard Down for Maintenance from 7-9 am Wed., 3/21
The UMBC Blackboard server will be down for two hours of maintenance from 7 - 9 am Wednesday, March 21. DoIT staff will be installing necessary patches and updates during this time.
We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconveniences that this down time may cause.
March 9, 2012
Known Issue: Non-Standard Characters in Course Title Causes Error When Sending Announcement as Email
DoIT has had several reports from faculty who have been unable to simultaneously post a Blackboard announcement and send it out as E-mail to students. This action generates an error message indicating that the announcement was created but that the E-mail was not sent.
This is a known issue with Blackboard, and is due to a non-standard character in the Blackboard course title. Testing has revealed that the parentheses ( ) and forward slash / characters are not problematic, but the inclusion of a colon : in the course title will cause this error to occur. DoIT is working with Blackboard to obtain a patch to fix this issue. In the meantime, if faculty experience this issue, the workaround is to edit the course title to remove the non-standard characters.
March 7, 2012
McAfee to be Replaced by Microsoft's Forefront Anti Virus
Starting the week of March 26th the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) will begin phasing out McAfee as our antivirus (AV) software and moving to Microsoft’s AV software named Forefront.
This is being done to provide the campus with better virus and malware protection. DoIT has been testing Microsoft’s Forefront software for eight (8) months and it has consistently exceeded McAfee detection and removal capabilities. You do not need to do anything to get this software if your machine is in Active Directory as it will be installed automatically. If you have any questions please contact the technology support center at x53838.
Why is this being done?
Microsoft antivirus/antimalware software (name Forefront) offers superior protection over McAfee. There is also the added benefit of Forefront being less expensive than McAfee
What about my home computer?
For our customers using McAfee at home we recommend installing Microsoft Security Essentials which is the home version of the client we will be using on campus. It is a free download and will remove McAfee cleanly upon installation. Security Essentials will automatically be updated every day as well as when you install your monthly system updates from Microsoft.
I’m a Mac user, what does this mean for me?
For our Mac users we recommend using one of the free antivirus software packages listed below.
Do I need to install anything on my work computer?
No, if your computer is part of UMBC’s Active Directory this software will be automatically installed for you and McAfee will be automatically removed. If you have a PC and are not joined to Active Directory please see our software downloads page for the Forefront installer http://www.umbc.edu/downloads/mcafee/
When is this happening?
DoIT will begin installing Forefront the week of March 26th. Several departments will get the software each day with a completion date of April 27th for the entire campus to be moved over.
Will I notice anything?
Yes, during the installation you will see the McAfee v-shield icon disappear and be replaced by a shield enclosed in a green box. You can continue to use your computer while DoIT installs the software as we have not seen any noticeable performance impact on the desktop PC.
I’m not comfortable updating my computer, can I get help?
Yes, please contact our technology support center and one of our staff would be happy to walk you through the installation process
I don’t want to switch right now, can I keep using McAfee?
Yes, your current version will continue to receive updates from McAfee but DoIT strongly recommends you change your antivirus software as soon as time permits.