April 2, 2008
Lately, there have been several phishing emails sent out to the community requesting information on behalf of the University's IT department or Webmail administrators. These emails are fake and designed for you to provide information that should not be divulged. Please, never provide your username and password information to anyone. If you have provided the information to anyone, please change your passwords as soon as you can. If you need assistance, please contact the UTAC. I will enclose a copy of the latest email version that we have seen. All the different variants I have seen thus far have the same flavor as what I am enclosing below, but do look different. Official emails from IT will usually have the a Tech Alert or FDU-FYI header. This is no guarantee the email is legitimate, but the reasonableness of the request plus the header should be evaluated before a response is sent. If you are in doubt, contact the UTAC and they will get you an official answer as to the whether the email is legitimate or not. I am sorry to bother you with yet another email but this phishing email looked real, so an official statement was necessary.
Lenovo T61 Startup Problem
January 9, 2008
Members of the FDU community with a university issued Lenovo ThinkPad T61
laptop should not press either the F11 or the blue ThinkVantage button while the
laptop is booting up/starting up. Doing so may cause the laptop to become
inoperable. Pressing either the F11 or blue ThinkVantage buttons after Windows
has loaded will not cause the problem.
While no information will be lost, getting the laptop to work again will require it to be
serviced by a member of the Computing Services staff. The remedy takes several
minutes to perform but getting it done has the potential of being inconvenient for you.
A permanent fix requires the reimaging of your laptop. If you would like your laptop
re-imaged and you have a current data backup, you can contact the UTAC at extension
8822 to schedule an appointment with Computing Services. Plan for at least 1 hour to
to have your laptop reimaged.
It must be restated that the problem only manifests itself if either the F11 or blue
ThinkVantage buttons is pressed during system start. Servicing or reimaging will not
be necessary if you refrain from pressing either the F11 or blue ThinkVantage buttons
during system start.
November 20, 2007
On Thursday, November 29th, Fairleigh Dickinson University's network provider will be
conducting a software upgrade. This maintenance, which will occur between 1AM and 6AM,
will last for approximately 10 minutes. During this upgrade, both of FDU's New Jersey
campuses will experience a loss of Internet and Internet 2 connectivity.
Also, please note that an additional maintenance period will occur during the morning of
November 29th. During this maintenance, which will also occur between the hours of 1AM
and 6AM, the inter-campus link between FDU and Fort Monmouth will be unavailable. Our
expectation is that this maintenance will also last for approximately 10 minutes.
Please be aware that this work has been mandated by our network provider and is not caused
by Fairleigh Dickinson University. We understand the inconvenience that Internet downtime
can cause and we always strive to minimize downtime to the best of our ability.
Nov 13, 2007
Over the next few weeks, University Systems and Security will
be upgrading network switches in many FDU residence halls and in the Student Union Building on the
Metropolitan campus. The first upgrades are scheduled for Wednesday, November 14th. On this
date, Linden 1 and Linden 2 will be upgraded between 11 AM and 2 PM. On Friday November 16th,
Linden 3 and Linden 4 will be upgraded between 11 AM and 2PM.
It is our expectation that this maintenance will occur during daytime hours
and should not last for longer than two hours per building. During this network maintenance, all
network connectivity will be unavailable throughout the building being upgraded.
Verizon Notification Service
July 20, 2007
Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) now has the ability to quickly send email, SMS (cell phone) text messages and voice messages
to its students, faculty and staff using the Verizon Notification Service (VNS). VNS provides the technology to rapidly mass broadcast
health, safety and informational messages to keep the FDU community informed and safe in times of emergency and other urgent situations.
Examples of unforeseen events and disruptions include snow days, floods, power outages, campus incidents and major schedule changes.
The effectiveness of any alert system depends upon the accuracy of the contact information in its database. As such, we ask all students,
faculty, and staff to update their contact information. At the same time, you will have the option to add a parent or significant other
to the list so they too will receive the alerts. You will also have the ability to “opt-out” of non-emergency but urgent notices. In order
to review and maintain your contact information, you must first logon to WebAdvisor (http://webadvisor.fdu.edu/), select the Faculty, Employee,
Advisor or Student menu, and then click on the FDU Notification System link. A subsequent screen will allow you to enter personal contact
information including work phone, cell phone, SMS (cell phone text) address and non-FDU e-mail.
You are encouraged to update your emergency contact information immediately. You are also encouraged to review it periodically and update
it whenever there is a change. The information you enter is safe and secure, and will not be used for any other purpose. Also note that there
is no intent to use this capability for anything other than emergency purposes and very important messages. You will not be ‘spammed’ through
this system and you can modify your contact information at anytime by logging onto WebAdvisor.
This system is designed to alert, warn and inform you of what to do in case of an emergency, a disaster, a crisis or any other situation
that affects the FDU community. For example, receiving these alerts and messages could keep you from driving to campus only to find out that
a power failure has closed the campus.
If you do not already have a WebAdvisor account and would like one, you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and request one.
A WebAdvisor account is recommended as it allows you to access other information as well.
If you do not wish to obtain a WebAdvisor account but still want to update your contact information, you can send an email to email@example.com
including your full name and whichever of the following fields you would like used by VNS:
Work phone, cell phone, SMS (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), Parent/significant other SMS, Parent/significant other Phone, Parent/significant
other Cell, Parent/significant other Email, Non-FDU Email, and whether or not you want to be excluded from important non-emergency notifications.
We do not need your home phone or FDU email address. If that information has changed, please update it with Human Resources or Enrollment
Services as appropriate.
Summer Maintenance Schedule
June 8, 2007
Please be aware that our scheduled bi-weekly maintenance of the
Alpha Server has been changed due to the University's summer shutdown schedule.
On Thursday June 14th, we will be conducting the first rescheduled
summer backup. The maintenance will begin promptly at 8AM and should continue
until approximately 11AM. Subsequent maintenance occurring between June 28th and July
27th, will be performed on Thursday nights, beginning promptly at 5:00 PM and
ending at approximately 8:00 PM. Our normal schedule of conducting system
maintenance between 5:00 PM and 8:30 PM on Friday evenings will resume on August
Elimination of Dial-up Internet Access
March 6, 2007
Effective July 1, 2007, the modem pool that provides dial up internet access to students,
faculty, staff and alumni will be discontinued. This change is the result of a significant
decline in the utilization of the service, the high cost of service continuance, and the
abundance of alternative low cost Internet Service Providers.
Based on actual utilization over the last six months, only 18 people university-wide
utilize this dial-up service. FDU can no longer expend the resources required to support a
dial up infrastructure that has demonstrated infrequent, low, and declining usage.
Examples of some well known dial-up Internet Service Providers are http://www.irove.net,
http://www.netzero.net. If you need help or assistance
in exploring these, or other dial up alternatives, or have questions about high
speed/broadband internet access such as DSL, Fios or cable, please contact the University
Technical Assistance Center (UTAC) at extension 8822 and request a call back from a
representative from Computing Services to discuss possible connectivity options.
Extended daylight savings time affects computers, PDAs, …
March 5, 2007
For the first time in 20 years, Daylight Saving Time (DST) will be extended by four weeks.
Congress recently passed this energy-savings measure, which is designed to take advantage of
early evening daylight, in hopes of translating sunlight into savings. DST will now begin the
second Sunday in March (Mar. 11) and end the first Sunday in November (Nov. 7).
In addition to the standard practice of changing your clocks, it is important to recognize
that this new time frame may affect many electronic devices that process or manipulate dates
and times. These devices include your computer and some software applications (especially
calendar programs), as well as cell phones, PDAs, VCRs and fax machines.
Many computers and devices are set to automatically adjust to DST. If these settings are
based on the old DST period, you will need to make adjustments for the new extended DST. These
adjustments are particularly critical for calendars and scheduling functions or any resources
that use a time or date stamp. To get ready for the extended DST, keep in mind the following
recommendations from Computing Services:
- Apply software patches as they are released. To make things easier,
turn on automatic Windows Update so you will be notified when
new patches are ready. Most time-related problems can be fixed
simply by downloading the appropriate patch for your operating system. This is because
most applications take their time from the computer's internal clock, which
is determined by the operating system.
- Apply patches for your PDA and other devices. As examples, Blackberry and Palm have
made DST patches available through their web sites
or can be accessed from the http://www.verizonwireless.com/dst website.
Information on updating Windows Mobile-powered devices can be obtained
- Pay close attention to your time/date sensitive resources. Calendar
programs in particular will need special attention since they may be greatly
affected by the extended DST. Everyone is encouraged to pay close attention to
time sensitive events over the next few weeks.
- Take extra measures when scheduling calendar events, particularly
if you are using Microsoft Outlook. Without implementing appropriate
fixes, calendaring applications, such as Microsoft Outlook,
will not work properly. Some of the patches released to accommodate the extended DST
may cause confusion and result in meeting times being listed incorrectly in your calendar.
It is recommended that you print a copy of your calendar before and after the
application of DST fixes in order to compare the two to ensure calendar accuracy.
The FDU technical teams have taken proactive approaches towards updating university
computers and calendaring applications, and will continue to test and evaluate the impact
that the extended DST may have on university resources and will advise accordingly.
For further information about DST, or for help in patching your electronic devices,
please contact the University Technical Assistance Center on extension 8822, by calling
(973)443-8822, or via email to email@example.com.
Backing Up Your Data
February 15, 2007
Computers can and do fail. Computers can also be
lost or stolen. Nasty viruses, worms, or other malware
can take down your system by creeping through
your antivirus software and firewall. The problem is
that you usually get no advance warning of pending
doom before it's too late. In an instant your data is
gone. Impossible or timely to recreate documents,
spreadsheets, presentations, research, homework,
thesis, music and pictures simply become no longer
This scenario has happened to more than a few people.
Some will argue that it is not if you will experience
a loss but when you will experience a loss. In
extreme cases, it has put companies out of business,
forced students to extend times of study or retake
classes, or can cost many thousands of dollars or
man hours to recover. And the worst part is this: It's
completely avoidable. By backing up your data, you
can retrieve all or most of what you lose.
It is important to understand that computers are not
100% reliable and that it is the user of the technology,
not the technology itself, that is ultimately responsible
for enforcing safeguards to protect valuable information.
Develop and execute a robust back up plan
which is tailored around your tolerance for data loss.
If you regularly make backup copies of your files and
keep them in a separate place, you can get some, if
not all, of your information back in the event something
happens to the originals on your computer.
Deciding what to back up is highly personal. Anything
you cannot replace easily should be at the top of your
list. Before you get started, make a checklist of files
to back up. This will help you determine what to back
up, and also give you a reference list in the event you
need to retrieve a backed-up file. Here are some file
suggestions to get you started:
- Personal projects (documents, spreadsheets,
presentations, database information, …)
- Bank records, and other financial information
- Digital photographs
- Software or music purchased and downloaded
from the internet
- Your e-mail, address book, and calendar (for
those using Microsoft Outlook, this is the .pst file)
- Your internet favorites and bookmarks
Store your backup copies to an external hard disk
drive, CD, DVD, USB thumb-drive, or some other
storage media regularly and safeguard. Call the
UTAC on x8822 if you need help backing up.