Announcements

OIT Recommends Updating Devices/Operating Systems to Latest Patch Releases

Because of increased security threats, and corresponding security patch updates, the Office of Information Technology recommends all University IT Support Teams update devices and operating systems to their most current patch levels to ensure all security measures are in place and all patches are applied.

Individual users are encouraged to conduct the same patches and updates on personal and mobile devices including OS X, iOS and Windows.

The Office of Information Technology supports OS X levels 10.10 and higher, iOS versions 9 and higher, as well as Windows 7 and higher.

If you experience any issue with the newest Mac security update, please pursue the following steps:

If you can boot into the Mac
Click Go > Go to Folder
Type in /private/var/folders
Delete all files in that folder
Empty the trash and reboot to MacOS

If you cannot boot into the Mac
Target the boot affected Mac to a working Mac
Click Go > Go to Folder
Type in /Volumes/<target boot Mac’s HD name>/private/var/folders
Delete all files in that folder
Empty the trash and reboot to main MacOS

If you have any questions, please contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

Changes to IT Maintenance Window

Beginning March 1st, OIT will be changing the standard maintenance window in order to better accommodate campus users. After analyzing network and application utilization, two outage windows were chosen in order to create the smallest impact:

  • Saturday, 6:00 a.m. – noon
  • Sunday, 4:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Some work that is currently taking place on Sunday will be moved to Saturday where customer utilization is lower. Outages and work will be scheduled after reviewing the campus calendar, avoiding busy days with events like graduation or football games. Please note that these are only maintenance windows, and not every window will be used. In addition, work that requires less time will be scheduled appropriately.

These changes are being made in order to better accommodate faculty, staff, and students byaffecting the smallest number of users during scheduled outages and work that has the potential to cause disruptions.

Printer “Spam” and Printer Logic

Over the last several weeks, there have been numerous instances of printers around campus that are getting “spam” – printing out garbage and using up all of the printer’s paper and a significant amount of toner. The spam has been increasing recently, and new reports continue to come in.

This problem is eliminated by using Printer Logic and moving printers off of the Legacy network and on to the 10.x.x.x IP range where they are protected by the network firewalls.

To begin this process, individual users will need to have Printer Logic installed on their machines. After users of a given printer have had the software installed, the printer itself will need to be moved off of the legacy network. To do this, submit a ticket to the IT Service Desk with a request to move the printer to the 10.x.x.x network along with the following information:

  • Printer name
  • Current IP address
  • MAC address
  • Location (building and room)
  • Printer make and model (i.e., HP LaserJet 4200)

Please note that Printer Logic is only intended for shared printers of 2 or more users. Personal printers should be connected manually or via USB.

If you have any questions about how to get started, please let the IT Service Desk know at 348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

Windows 10 (update)

While OIT still recommends Windows 7 for most users to ensure the most stable work environment, if you are considering installing/upgrading to Windows 10 on your workstation, there are a few items to consider:

  1. We are currently experiencing connectivity issues with the NAC and some installs of Windows 10. We suspect it may be linked to in-place upgrades specifically. If you upgrade a workstation to Windows 10 and experience connectivity issues, please contact OIT to let us know. We do have a workaround, but it must be done on a case-by-case basis. We are working with the vendor for a more permanent solution.
  2. In-place upgrades to Windows 10 will corrupt installed McAfee products. They may appear to be working on the local machine, but much of the functionality will be lost. OIT recommends uninstalling ALL McAfee products before upgrading, and then reinstalling after upgrading Windows with the up-to-date version that is compatible with Windows 10 (currently, patch 6).
  3. Encrypted systems (usually laptops) should be unencrypted and then have McAfee products uninstalled before upgrading to Windows 10. After the upgrade, McAfee may be reinstalled with the up-to-date version and the machine re-encrypted.
  4. We’ve noticed some intermittent issues with network shares on Windows 10 and are working on a fix.

If you’re having specific issues, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Internet Explorer 11 to Replace Earlier Versions

Beginning in February, Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates for Internet Explorer 10 and below. In early February, OIT will begin pushing Internet Explorer 11 to OIT-supported PCs that do not already have it installed.

Users of Firefox, Chrome, or Safari do not need to take any action. Users of older versions of Internet Explorer may wait for OIT or may manually update IE themselves. At this time, there are no longer any compatibility issues with Internet Explorer 11 and UA services and applications that we are aware of.

VPN Client Issue

OIT has been notified of a couple of cases of difficulty connecting to the VPN. The cause appears to be a corrupted client, and the issue can be resolved by uninstalling and reinstalling the Cisco AnyConnect software. You can find the download of this client by looking on the Tech tab of myBama.

You can find a copy of the of the error below which reads “The VPN connection failed due to unsuccessful domain name resolution.” If this issue persists after reinstalling AnyConnect, please contact the IT Service Desk at (205) 348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

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New Version of PrintLogic

OIT will be updating the PrinterLogic server to the newest version which will resolve a number of issues and add some functionality. End users will need to re-allow the plugin to run in their browser if they see a box asking them to login and refresh the page the next time that they access PrinterLogic to add a new printer. There should be no other changes or input required from the user.

If your users have any issues with PrinterLogic, please contact the IT Service Desk at (205) 348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

OIT Recommends Delaying OS X Update to El Capitan

El Capitan, the newest version of OSX, has been released by Apple. The Office of Information Technology recommends that users wait a few months before initiating this update. As with any operating system upgrade, it is possible that many applications will not immediately work. Technical issues that arise on OIT-supported workstations will be given low priority as there is not likely a prompt solution to many problems.

EndNote, NVivo, Boot Runner, and Winclone now available

Over the summer, there were a handful of new software licenses made available in addition to some specific upgrades. Please share this information in your area however you think is appropriate.

New Software

EndNote – citation managementsoftware (some similarity to RefWorks). Available on Windows and Mac. All students, faculty, staff, and retirees are eligible. Funded by University Libraries, College of Arts & Sciences, College of Engineering, Capstone College of Nursing, and Culverhouse College of Commerce & Business Administration. More information: https://oit.ua.edu/software/endnote/

NVivo – A tool designed for analyzing unstructured data using search, query and visualization tools. Available on Windows and Mac. All students, faculty, and staff are eligible. Funding provided by the School of Social Work, College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, and University Libraries. More information: https://oit.ua.edu/software/nvivo/

Updates

ChemBioDraw Ultra – upgraded to version 15. More information: https://oit.ua.edu/software/chembiodraw-ultra-15/

JMP – upgraded to version 12. More information: https://oit.ua.edu/software/jmp-12/

For Labs

Boot Runner – manages startup control for labs, enterprises and classrooms, providing a seamless experience for users and easy management of hosts on Macs. Unlimited use on University-owned machines. Funded by the College of Arts and Sciences, University Libraries, and the Office of Disability Services. More information: https://oit.ua.edu/software/boot-runner-2/

Winclone – Winclone 5 is a complete solution for protecting your Boot Camp Windows system against data loss and a cloning solution when migrating Boot Camp to a new Mac. Unlimited use on University-owned machines. The license was funded by the College of Arts and Sciences, University Libraries, the Office of Disability Services, and AV Solutions. More information:https://oit.ua.edu/software/winclone//