Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Four Levels of Navigation in New CMS

In September we're making a change to the local navigation (left-hand menu) on the website within the new web content management system (CMS). Currently the local navigation shows up to three levels of hierarchy as you browse round the site and the menus expand out. We're making a change to the menu to allow four levels of hierarchy in the menu.

The design of the menu will remain largely unchanged, but will have the additional fourth level when visitors browse that deep into a site.

Additional info for CMS Editors:

To give you an idea of what your pages will look like when we make the change, we've updated the CMS preview buttons so when you next log into CMS and preview your site you'll see the new menu in place. If your site doesn't have 4 levels (folders within folders) then you won't see any difference, and you'll only see a difference at the deeper levels of the site.

As the local navigation didn't expand to four levels previously you may find that content shows up that previously didn't, or it may have a title which is a bit long for the local navigation as it previously never showed.

If you spot any pages which are affected by the change you can update your site in CMS to either:
- Show or Hide the pages / folders from the local navigation *1 (see below for how to)
- Update the link text so it's more appropriate *2 (see below for how to)
- Leave it as it is if it looks OK

When we have a date for making the change on the live website we'll put a message on the CMS Start Page - for now this change just affects the preview of the site on the CMS editor and not the public website.

*1 Edit the page and un-check 'Show in local navigation' then republish or on a folder the option is under 'Right hand content & folder settings'

*2 Edit the page and change the 'Page name' or for a folder the 'Folder name' and then republish

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Interactive Support for cPanel Users

The cPanel service lets University staff and groups create non-corporate websites, often including innovative tools and designs. The service support includes a wiki (hosted on cPanel) which has its own suggestions area in which users can make suggestions or request new features.

The suggestions area has proven popular with cPanel users and we have been asked by the user community to raise awareness of this.

The cPanel service is outlined here:

cPanel Service

The cPanel wiki can be accessed here:

cPanel Wiki

The cPanel wiki suggestions page can be found here:

cPanel wiki suggestions

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Towards the Cloud: Infrastructures, Applications, Research Conference

The tenth e-Science All Hands Meeting (AHM) will be held from 26th-29th September 2011, in the historic city of York. The final date for registering is the 12th September.

The main themes will be:    
  • shared infrastructures
  • using the cloud in research
  • end-user engagement
  • applications (e-science, e-social science, research in the arts and humanities).

The conference will feature keynote presentations, workshop sessions, poster presentations and demonstrations. A series of workshops will be held on the afternoons of Monday 26th and Thursday 29th September, alongside the main conference. See the programme information for details. Papers will be peer reviewed and published in a special issue journal (to be confirmed). There will be a small exhibition area and opportunities for networking.

For full details see

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Pilot for Managed Desktop Based on Windows 7

A Managed Service based on Windows 7 will be piloted during the academc year 2011-2012. A small number of PCs running this version will appear in the IC during the year. They will run alongside the mainstream Managed Service based on Windows XP. The full Managed Service based on Windows 7 is expected to be rolled out to everyone for adademic year 2012-2013.

Also planned is a new Windows 7 Managed Service specifically designed to enable teaching via laptops and a new service to enable the remote delivery of applications.

Now for some technical information about changes to the structure of user profiles.

To enable the coexistence of the two managed services there will be some changes to profile structures detailed below. These changes will happen in all user accounts irrespective of whether they use the Managed Service.

Managed XP users should notice no change in operation of their environment but should not attempt to move, rename or delete and of the profile folders outlined below. 

For existing users:
* The directories ManWin & ManW7 will be created in all user's home directories (U:). 
* If U:\MANXP\Favorites or U:\MANXP\My Documents exist they will be moved to be under U:\ManWin. 
* A file named cicsreadme.txt outlining these changes will be placed in their homedirectory.

New users will have the directories created as part of account creation (but will not have the cicsreadme.txt).

The contents of of cicsreadme.txt are included below and contain more details about the new profile structure.

Bob Booth

This readme contains information about system files/directories that CiCS creates
for its managed services.

To enable coexistence with the Managed XP service and a Managed Windows 7 service
which will be piloted during the academc year 2011-2012 some directories have been 
created and some minor changes have been made to storage locations.

Please leave these directories/files alone - do not attempt to move, rename or delete them.

ManXP   - Created when Managed XP service is run. If you have never run Managed XP you
          will not have this directory. Contains the folder "Desktop" and folders used by 
	  XP applications.
Manw7 	- Precreated. Contains "Desktop" and folders used by Windows 7 applications.
ManWin 	- Precreated. Contains directories that can be shared by both the XP & Windows 7
          environments. The folders "Favorites" & "My Documents" are stored here 
          (previously they were stored under ManXP).

profloc.txt - Location of Roaming Profiles

CiCS Aug/Sep 2011

Monday, 22 August 2011

New Appointments Slots Feature in Google Calendar

A new feature has been introduced to Google Calendar which could potentially make it easy for academic staff to manage their contact time with students.

The appointments slots feature lets you allocate a block of time for student contact then divide this into a series of 'slots' of however many minutes you choose.  Students can then select one of the slots to make an appointment.

This makes it easy for students to arrange time with their tutor and for staff to schedule in predefined times for studnet contact.

For more information about appointment slots see the link below:

Google Article on Appointment Slots

Friday, 19 August 2011

Connecting to Networked Drives from OSX Lion

CiCS has developed a script to help Mac users with OSX Lion connect to the networked drives at the University. The script can be downloaded and run from here:

Novell Fix for OSX Lion

The networked drives holding general purpose filestore at the University are built on Novell technology. Some Mac users get by without ever needing to access these drives but others like to use the networked drives - there's no right and wrong.

However, since OSX Lion was released we've had reports of Mac users running Lion experiencing problems accessing the networked drives. Our technical staff have researched this and developed a script which solves this problem. The script is downloaded and run once, then the OSX Lion Mac can access networked drives as required with no further intervention required. We've tested it on a number of Lion Macs and it seems to work consistently with no problems.

OSX Lion users who need to access networked drives are encouraged to try out this script and let us know if there are any further problems.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

University's Internet Connection Speed Doubles to 4Gbps

The University's connection to the Internet is set to double in speed from 2Gbps to 4Gbps.

This will take place over two days:

30th August 2011, 07:00 - 09:00
The connection in our secondary machine room will be upgraded.  No interruption to service is expected but Internet connectivity for the whole campus is "at risk" for the duration of the work.

13th September 2011, 07:00 - 09:00
The connection in our primary machine room will be upgraded.  No interruption to service is expected but Internet connectivity for the whole campus is "at risk" for the duration of the work.

We have two connections to the Internet so that if there are problems in one machine room the University remains connected via the other machine room. For the vast majority of time both connections are active and the University can exploit the full connection capacity.

Our Internet connection speed is measured in Gbps which means gigabits per second, ie one thousand millions bits of computer data each second.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Research Computing: New License Key for NAG Numerical Routines Library

CiCS manages the University's licenses for the NAG Numerical Routines Library for Fortran and C programmers. Our site license offers a cost effective way to support research by allowing us to install these libraries on any workstation within the campus.

If you have previously installed NAG on a personal or departmental Linux computer, you will need to update your installation with the new license key using info from the following web page:

The NAG libraries are also available on 'iceberg' the central HPC cluster for general use.  Example programs that access the NAG library can be obtained on iceberg by using the commands:

   nagexample   for Fortran


   nagc_example  for C/C++

We have licenses for all Linux 32bit and 64bit implementations of the NAG Numerical Routines Library but we will cease to support the Windows implementations of NAG at Sheffield University during the next academic year.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Services for Students Booklet

The new IT Services for Students booklet, which we give to each new student when they arrive at University has been produced and can be viewed by clicking on the image below. For the first time we have designed the booklet to meet the needs of new students arriving at University and prospective students having a look round at open days.

We had some spares of last year's booklet left over so, after checking through the content, we thought we might as well put them on the open day table rather than just recycle them. The prospective students loved the funky design and snatched them up! As a result we ran out of these booklets much sooner than the purpose written open day leaflets we had prepared. All credit to Print and Design Solutions for their innovative, eye catching design.

It was such a success that we decided to write this year's booklet with both audiences in mind, this was easier than you might think and very cost-effective in terms of print costs.

New and prospective students have the same questions. How do I get Internet? Can I connect my own computer or phone? Can I get my stuff from home? What if my computer breaks?

Have a read through the booklet and see how we've attempted to answer these questions from both a new and prospective student perspective at the same time and let us know what you think.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

MOLE 2 - Our New Virtual Learning Environment

MOLE 2 is coming! From 2011 to 2012 you will start to notice changes to our virtual learning environment, MOLE.
Departmental courses are being moved from MOLE 1 to MOLE 2 in two main phases. We have been working with departments to find a timescale which suits them. Some will be on the new system for the start of the 2011 academic year and the rest will move in time for the academic year starting in 2012. To find out if your department is in the first phase to be moved over to MOLE 2 click on the link below.
For more information about the move to MOLE 2 see the link below.

Student Printing - Minimum Top Up Level Dropped

Following the upgrade of the Student Printing Service (PCMS), the minimum online payment for users crediting their account has dropped from £3 to £1.

This doesn't affect the price of printing but it does mean that students can top-up their printing credit by smaller increments and thus reduce the risk that they will leave University with a large level of unused printing credit. Every little helps!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

CampusM Mobile App for Android

The University's mobile app, CampusM which delivers personalised University information to smartphones now has a version available for Android devices. It is available from the Android Market, a direct link is provided below.

CampusM for Android Free Download

This vew version complements the existing versions available for Apple iOS devices and BlackBerry devices. Windows and Symbian smartphones can use the web browser version of Campus M. All versions of the CampusM app are avaiolable from our CampusM web pages:

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

University Email Storage Increase

The storage allowance for staff and student email will increase shortly from 7GB to 25GB.

When CiCS moved student and then staff email services from home grown solutions to new services provided by Google one of the big selling points was that we could now offer each University member a huge 7GB quota of storage for email messages and attachments. Who would have thought that within two years we could offer every University member 25GB each?