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March 8, 2012

It's been two weeks since we began the new Release to Print pilot project in the Academic Commons and we wanted to update you on our progress. While we have encountered some challenges, overall the pilot program has been a success, and is helping to reduce the amount of unwanted printing. We have decided to move forward with the next phase of the pilot project. We will implement the Release to Print system in the Residence Halls on Wednesday, March 21st. Our biggest complaint has been that the process is slower. This is true; adding the release step does add time to the process, and we do not take this lightly. However, the release feature also reduces waste, and therefore the overall cost of printing. How much paper has Release to Print saved? We've posted a webpage that shows the... Read More

February 22, 2012

ITS has launched a pilot project in the Academic Commons that changes the way printing & copying are done on the public multifunction devices in this building.  Our new print management system, Pharos Uniprint, utilizes “release to print” functionality.  In order to print or copy, all members of the community must swipe their ID card or enter Oxynet credentials at the printer.

How it works:

- Send a print job to a printer in the Academic Commons from a lab, office, or personal computer.
- Walk up to the printer, swipe your ID card or enter your Oxynet credentials.
- A list of your pending print jobs is displayed, you select the print job to be printed and then the document prints.
- This process also applies to copying. You must swipe your card or enter credentials in order to copy.

Here is what you need to do:

Install the appropriate print...

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November 21, 2011

On Sunday, November 20th, Oxy experienced an Internet Outage lasting about 2 hours, first reported to ITS at around 10:30am by Campus Safety, who was relaying a message from the Library staff. So, what happened?
Internet Outage 2011-11-20

And down goes the Internet

Short answer: there was a problem with some parts of the Internet in Southern California and Oxy happened to be among the institutions that were affected. The longer answer is available after the break.

Where was the problem?

The problem occurred with the Southern California segment of the... Read More

November 15, 2011

One of my esteemed colleagues and a member of the Oxy Web Team, wrote a post about how to get rid of a particularly annoying pop-up alert present in Internet Explorer 8 (and older versions). But what she neglected to do was spin an incredibly boring and technical tale about what that error message is all about.

The same error as it appears in Internet Explorer 9

Surely, you're dying to hear more.In the beginning, there was the web. Later on, some folks decided the web...

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October 19, 2011

Some of you may have been aware that you could access files on Oxy's campus file servers using FTP and connecting to a server called mydrives.oxy.edu for staff, administrators and faculty and studentfiles.oxy.edu for students. During the recent maintenance, we upgraded our file server and as a result, the old sites no longer function. We do, however, have a new set of servers that can be accessed using FTPS, a slightly updated version of FTP that chiefly focuses on increasing the security of the connections by using SSL, the same technology that websites use to protect your passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information.
...
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October 14, 2011

One again, it is time for more scheduled maintenance. You might be wondering how we go about picking the dates for these things.
February 1712 from Swedish Almanac
This is what the Swedes used to schedule maintenance in early modern Europe.
The enlightening - albeit short and boring - answer after the break. Generally speaking, ITS performs maintenance on the Saturday that follows the second... Read More

October 10, 2011

ITS will once again be performing scheduled maintenance this Saturday, October 15th, 2011, from 8:30am to 5:30pm. During this maintenance period, you may be unable to access ITS services. If you encounter any problems, please wait until the maintenance period has elapsed and check if you still run into problems before reporting them to the Technology Helpdesk via email at helpdesk@oxy.edu or by voicemail at (323) 259-2880 (x2880 from on campus). We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this maintenance may cause.

Have questions about why we do the things we do or when we do them?

Please feel free to send me an email or leave a comment and keep an eye on our blog. Boring technical details about what we'll be doing this Saturday below the break. Here's the breakdown of how we'll be spending our time this Saturday. Note that all time are approximate - they... Read More

October 6, 2011

When Gmail debuted on April 1st, 2004, one of its most controversial features was conversation view. Depending on who you talked to, people either hated it or... well, supposedly there were some folks who loved it but not enough to publish their thoughts about it. For the haters, Google finally relented last September and provided an option to turn it off. Read More

September 30, 2011

Facebook recently rolled out an updated version of their interface and while much of the focus has been on how useful or pointless the new interface is and how it may or may not have been influenced by one of their competitors, what ended up getting buried was yet another Facebook feature that can potentially violate your privacy.

Freaky. Image by Wikimedia Commons user Maxo.

More exposition after the break. "Enumerating badness" is a term borrowed from the information security world used to describe an approach to security that ended up not working. The most well-known example of this is anti-virus software, which used a static list of...

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September 27, 2011

As we've previously discussed, we've been here a while. Some longer than others. In January of 1978, Paul Hubbard, a freshman at the time, took a job with the Data Processing department and worked with punch cards for our IBM System/370 Model 125.

IBM System/370 Console

Photo courtesey of Martin Wichary

The System/370 had four hard drives that stored a whopping 70MBs each. For those of you too young to know what a megabyte is, a gigabyte is...

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