Service Disruption – NPC Internet and Email Service 3/19/2014

UPDATE: Service has been restored and confirmed to be stable as of 3:00 PM on 3/19/2014.

NPC is currently experiencing a partial internet outage this morning. This is affecting the ability for NPC employees to send and receive email from outside of the college. This will also affect the ability for students to send/receive email to/from NPC employees.
You can reach NPC employees by contacting them by telephone.
We are working with our internet service provider and encouraging them to restore service as soon as possible.

 

Thank you for your patience while we work to resolve this issue. We will provide updates when we have more information to share.

Eric Bishop

Director of Information Services

Microsoft Office Discount for Full-Time Staff!!

As a full-time NPC employee, you are eligible to receive Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 for PC or Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac for only $9.95 each. You will also be given the option of purchasing a back-up disk for an additional cost.  If you are not already aware, the retail price for Office Professional 2010 is $499.99 and Office 2011 for Mac retails for $199.99. Unfortunately, this offer is only available to full-time NPC employees; it is not available to students or part-time employees. Students will soon see software benefits through our VDI project provided through our Title III grant.

Office Professional Plus 2010 contains the following applications:

  • Word 2010
  • Excel 2010
  • PowerPoint 2010
  • Outlook with Business Contact Manager 2010
  • OneNote 2010
  • Publisher 2010
  • Access 2010
  • InfoPath 2010
  • SharePoint Workspace
  • Lync 2010

Office for Mac 2011 contains the following applications:

  • Word for Mac 2011
  • Excel for Mac 2011
  • PowerPoint for Mac 2011
  • Outlook for Mac 2011
  • Messenger for Mac 8
  • Remote Desktop Connection for Mac 2
  • Support for Windows SkyDrive
  • Support for Office Web Apps

So how do you take advantage of this offer? Please read on below:

You are now eligible to participate in Microsoft’s Software Assurance Home Use Program (HUP). This program enables you to get a licensed copy of most Microsoft® Office desktop PC applications to install and use on your home computer.

Under the Home Use Program, you and our other employees who are users of qualifying applications at work (e.g. Office Enterprise) may acquire a licensed copy of the corresponding Home Use Program software (e.g. Office Enterprise) to install and use on a home computer. You may continue using HUP software while you are under our employment and as long as the corresponding software you use at work has active Software Assurance coverage.

Please note that some product and language versions may not be available at the time you place an order. For up-to-date information on the availability of Home Use Program software, please visit http://microsoft.com/licensing.

To access the Microsoft Home Use Program Web site:

1. Go to http://hup.microsoft.com/

2. Select the country to which you want your order to be shipped to and choose the language for viewing the order Web site.

3. Enter your corporate e-mail address and insert the following program code:

*** Please email me at linda.humes@npc.edu for program code. ***

Note: This program code is assigned to our organization for our sole use in accessing this site. You may not share this number with anyone outside our organization.

4. Place your order online, and it will be shipped to the location you have chosen. Please note that a fulfillment fee will be charged to cover packaging, shipping, and handling costs.

We trust you will enjoy this benefit and look forward to your participation.

** NOTE:  You can only download this version of the program one time.  Additional purchases can be made as new versions of the program are available.

So, do I need a HEAT ticket for that??

Do I Need a HEAT Ticket?

This really is a very common question.  The short answer is actually quite simple.  If you need assistance from Information Services, then you need a HEAT ticket!  This would include not only reports of problems with technology items, but also other things such as requesting software or printer toners, scheduling a meeting in a technology enabled classroom, assistance in obtaining a quote, you name it;  You should always contact the Support Center (x7447).

What is a HEAT ticket and why are they important?

I.S. uses a software product called HEAT to document user requests.  The software allows us to collect information about the user and the request, to assign a technician and a priority to the request, as well as providing a place for notes and status to be annotated.  The HEAT system allows us to prioritize and manage all current requests and track historical data as well.  That is why it is important that you contact the Support Center to report issues and request services.  In the past, there has been a tendency for users to contact a technician directly for assistance.  This really does short circuit the purpose of our HEAT system, and creates the opportunity for requests to fall into oblivion or be forgotten.  If you have a HEAT ticket number, you can be sure that your request will be addressed.  So, always get a HEAT ticket!

How do I get a HEAT ticket?

Call the Support Center (x7447) if you need assistance.  You may be asked to provide specific details relating to the issue.  The details needed to complete a HEAT ticket can vary depending on the type of issue you are reporting.  For instance, if you are reporting a problem with your desktop computer, you may be asked to provide the building and room number, the make and model of the computer, the computer’s name, a description of the difficulties you are having and so on.

What happens after a HEAT ticket is issued?

Once all the pertinent information needed is received and documented in a HEAT ticket, the ticket is assigned to a technician.  An email is then sent to provide the HEAT ticket number to the requestor as well as the assigned tech.  This email with the HEAT ticket number is your “receipt” for the requested service.  Depending on the priority of the request, the assigned technician should contact the requestor within a day or two to schedule a time for the technician to be onsite to address the issue.  The exception to this would be if the request is deemed by I.S. to be a project.  Projects by their nature typically require more time for review and decision, and so may take longer to actually get started.

How do I find out the most current status of my HEAT request?

If you would like to find the most current status of your request, please contact the Support Center.  They will contact the technician and advise you of the status.  If you do not receive a response within 5 working days, please contact the Lead Technician.  If, after 5 working days later, you still do not receive an update, please contact the Director of Information Services.

 

A Huge Upgrade for Whiteriver Point!

Season’s Greetings to all.

It’s always nice to be in a position to give some good news. It’s even better when I can give an update regarding what is hopefully a resolution to a very significant problem that has been plaguing staff and students for a long time.

As many of you know, we’ve struggled with keeping the network up at the Whiteriver Center due to power issues at Whiteriver Point. Whiteriver Point is located along the western ridge of the Whiteriver community and it is the home to one of our microwave network facilities. Ask anyone who has made the trek, this facility is very difficult to get to, both in good weather and bad. Additionally, this location has historically only had power that was provided by solar panels and a 48-volt battery bank. As you might guess, or have experienced the hard way, this type of alternative power does not work well when skies are overcast due to inclement weather in the area. We’ve lost power many times at this location and it has resulted in disconnecting the Whiteriver Center from the rest of the College and outside world.

Today I am very happy to announce that we now have an advantage in the fight to keep the Whiteriver Center connected. Six members of our NPC Team have installed a wind generator to supplement the solar power at WhiteRiver Point. David Huish with a crew that consisted of Ricky, Leonard, and Marc from Facilities/Maintenance along with Steve and myself from Information Services finished the project yesterday (12/19).

The solar panels and wind generator will work together to keep our batteries charged so that we can keep the data flowing. Wind is a plentiful commodity on the ridge, even when the panels are not getting enough sun exposure due to nightfall or weather conditions.

A big thanks to David, his crew, and Steve Peck! They did an absolutely fantastic job in getting this installed and running. I am optimistic that this project will result in a much greater availability of network and phone services to the Whiteriver Center.

Our goal is to support an improved experience for students and staff of the Whiteriver Center.

You can click on the image below to see our new addition to Whiteriver Point.

Best,

Eric

wind generator

Meet The Team – Mark Juzwiak

Mark Juzwiak

Mark came to NPC in Sept 2013 to fill the position of the Network and Systems Administrator (he takes care of the servers and all of the back-scene workings of our technology system).  It’s a tremendously big job and Mark has the drive and ability to do it well.

Mark has a Master of Science Degree in Information Systems Engineering from Western International University, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology from University of Phoenix and Certification from CompTIA for A+, Network+, and Security+.  The wonderful thing about Mark is that, even with all of this knowledge and background in technology, he has the ability to talk to folks on user level and explain the workings of the system so everyone can understand.  Kudos to you Mark!!

Mark’s favorite hobby is Mountain or Road Bicycling.  He has biked all over the White Mountain area – and I have it on good authority that he does not bounce well when being unexpectedly ejected from his bike (ouch!!).  His pic above may have been taken right after one of those moments!

Outside of work Mark’s interests included volunteering with the local fire department in EMS services where he lived previously.  Mark is nationally and state certified as an EMT. Mark is looking forward to continuing to volunteer in the White Mountains once he and his family is a little more set up in the community.

Mark’s Favorite quote:  “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!’”  – Hunter S. Thompson

Mark is still pretty buried in his office, learning the ins and outs of the NPC Networking System.  If he does pop out of the PDC IS hallway he can be recognized by the colorful Hawaiian shirts that he wears every day, and the delightful smile that he shares with everyone.  Be sure to share a smile back and welcome him.  Mark, we are so glad you are here!!

What Happens When I Download A Virus Onto The College Network Computer?

Computer Virus

By Gerald Wiltbank – Information Services Technician

Viruses downloaded onto a college computer can cause a variety of damage.  It can destroy or change data files and it can spread very quickly to other computers especially through email attachments. There are other ways to get viruses such as downloading an infected file from the Internet or using an infected USB drive. Computer behavior that is not normal can also indicate that a virus or malware is present on the computer.

Strange behaviors to look for on your computer include:

  • Loss of mapped drives.
  • The cursor may move around the screen on its own.
  • Applications may open on their own or fail to open at all.
  • Windows may start up or close down on its own.
  • The Internet browser may go to sites other than where you intended.
  • You can also get different system warnings such as low disk space, etc.
  • Outlook will not open.
  • The computer operation is very slow.

Contact the Support Center as soon as possible if you notice any of these behaviors on your computer and a HEAT ticket will be generated for a technician to come out and clean your computer.  If you have administrator rights, open McAfee and run a scan to locate the virus and remove it.  If you cannot remove the virus, please contact the Support Center and a technician will be sent to your location.

Most malwares are targeted to injure systems using Windows but Macintosh computers can still be susceptible.  Infected email attachments sent to friends and coworkers when opened may cause problems.

It is highly recommended to back up your data using USB devices, external hard drives, etc. As technicians we have had to remove sleeper bots from computers that hide themselves in different file folder locations such as startup folders, public folders, and Microsoft folders.  An example of this is the Pink Slip Bot virus that we just recently experienced.  Once infected, it can take weeks and sometimes months to remove all traces from our college computers. If all remnants of these viruses are not removed, they will return and sometimes the computer will have to wiped and reimaged.  If you have backed up your data, then it can be easily reinstalled on your freshly imaged or new system.

If you believe your computer has been infected or hacked:

  • Disconnect your computer from the network and contact the Support Center.
  • One of the worst actions you can take is to ignore the problem. This will help the virus spread to other computers on the network.

This is a short article written to help you be aware of what to look for and what to do if you suspect that a virus has been installed on your computer.  Remember, if in doubt, call the Support Center for assistance at x7447.

Why Should I Have A Screen Saver With A Password?

So, you’re working away and the phone rings.  You answer the phone but can’t answer the caller’s question without speaking to your supervisor.  You put the phone on hold and walk away from your desk to get the needed answer, look back and see someone walking into your office or work area that doesn’t have the same confidentiality credentials that you do – and there’s sensitive information showing on your computer screen.

Or . . . .

You’re working away when someone stops by to discuss an issue and when the conversation is complete you head off to the “facilities” and return to find someone else waiting for you in your work area – then you notice that your computer screen is displaying sensitive information.

Or . . . . well, you get the point.

In this particular industry, almost every one of us works with some type of sensitive information.  With FERPA laws and HIPPA laws, we are mandated to be exceptionally careful with the information that we have access to.  The wrong person viewing sensitive information can have extreme ramifications for our students, staff or public.  Identity theft is at an all-time high and sensitive information shared on a social media page could prove devastating.

It is our responsibility to be sure that the information we view and/or possess is completely protected.  Having a screen saver that covers over information on a screen is a good start – but even a good jostle to a desk can pull the information back into view.  A simple tap of a key removes the screen saver and a person looking for information has it right there at their fingertips.  Putting a password on a screen saver not only blocks the sensitive material, but takes the user to a login page for the computer, eliminating accidental sharing of information.

Below are the steps to setting up a screen saver with a password:

  • On your Background Screen (the first screen you see when you log into your computer each morning) – Right Click your mouse.
  • Click on the bottom line of the pop-up window – “Personalize”.

Change Desktop Screen

  • At the bottom right-hand side of the screen you should see “Screen Saver” – under it you will probably see the word “none.”  Click on the words “Screen Saver.”

Create Screensaver

  • Click on the drop-down box and choose a Screen Saver from the list.  I use the “Photos” line as it displays all of the photos on my computer in a slide show fashion.

Setting Password

  •  Below the drop-down box it says “Wait ____ minutes, ___  On Resume, display logon screen.”  Enter a number in the box after “Wait” (example: “5” – this activates the screen saver when the computer is idle for 5 minutes).  Be sure to put a check mark in the box, that’s where you tell the system that the screen saver should not be opened without entering a password (sorry my program won’t allow me to put a box in for you to see – see the picture above).
  • Test it to be sure that you have completed all the steps correctly.
  • Here’s another “Smart Tip” – if someone walks in and you have sensitive information up that you don’t want the person to see, immediately push down the Windows Button (looks like an old window with 4 panes of glass) and the “L” key at the same time.  Your screen will immediately go to screen saver.

Windows Button

  • If these steps aren’t working for you, call the Support Center at extension 7447 and they will either walk you through the steps over the phone or send someone out to help you.

Have an awesome day!

 

 

How Do I Dispose Of Aging or Broken Equipment?

This is a pretty common question.  Let’s say, for instance, that you have an old copier in your area that either doesn’t work or works poorly – what do you do?  Below are the steps to taking care of aging or broken equipment.

Procedure for Equipment Dispositions

When a piece of equipment no longer proves to be useful it should be returned to the Information Services Division.  Below is the step-by-step process to accomplish this.

  1. When the equipment is failing or showing signs of wear a HEAT ticket should be called into the Support Center (ext 7447).
  2. The HEAT ticket will be forwarded to the Lead Technician for assignment of a technician to review the equipment and evaluate it for future usefulness.
  3. The technician will make a recommendation to the Lead Technician as to the most productive disposition of the equipment (repair, auction, scrap).
  4. Once a decision is made, the original caller will be contacted by the evaluating technician and the suggestion will be made for the disposition of the equipment.
  5. Once the equipment is designated for auction or scrap the original caller needs to complete the Equipment Disposition Form, marking the form as suggested by the evaluating technician.
  6. The completed Equipment Disposition Form must be signed by the original caller’s supervisor and then the form needs to be forwarded to the NPC Vice President of Administrative Services for review and signature.
  7. Once the original caller received the fully executed form back they should tape the form to the equipment and contact the support center, requesting that the equipment be picked up.  The HEAT ticket number should be placed on the Equipment Disposition Form and used in all communications to the Support Center and any technicians involved.
  8. The technician assigned to pick up the equipment will bring it to the Information Services bay/docking area and drop it off.  The IS Division Manager must be notified of the equipment and the paperwork attached to the piece of equipment.
  9. The equipment will be listed in the Retired Equipment Spreadsheet and the paperwork attached to the equipment will be placed in the Retired Equipment folder.
  10. The equipment will then be taken to the old District Learning Center where it is packaged in crates to go to auction.
  11. When several crates have been filled and bound, the Facilities Superintendent will be notified.
  12. A copy of the Retired Equipment Spreadsheet will be given to the Facilities Superintendent to attach to the crate when delivering it to auction.
  13. The Facilities crew will pick up the crates and deliver them to the most productive auction for sale.

The procedure may sound complicated, but actually takes very little time and effort to complete.  If you need help in the steps, contact the Support Center for assistance.