Friday, 21 December 2012

Knowledgebase - Your Views Wanted

Knowledgebase Awareness and Usage Questionnaire

A student at the University of Sheffield is currently undertaking an internship at CiCS reviewing the self-service Knowledgebase, to gauge awareness and usage of the service.
The following questionnaire has been designed to assess how aware people are that the Knowledgebase exists, as well as how effective they find the service.
The questionnaire is very short and should take no longer than a couple of minutes and will allow for improvements to be made that could benefit you directly. Do not worry if you are not sure what the Knowledgebase is, we are still eager to hear your views on the subject.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

New Year Changes to Google Calendar

Google Calendar Appointment slots
As part of their “Winter Cleaning”, Google are discontinuing some features which experience low usage. Unfortunately they have included the Appointment slots feature as one of the features to be discontinued. This means that after January 4th, you won’t be able to create any new appointment slots. However, any that you have created before that time will work for the next year. Your normal Google Calendar events will not be affected, only those created with the Appointment slots feature.
We are currently assessing some promising alternatives to the Appointment slots feature and will have some advice ready for you in the new year.

Smart Rescheduler
The Smart Rescheduler lab, used for automatically finding alternative times for meetings has been replaced by the Suggested times feature, which is a part of calendar now, rather than an add on. If you have the Smart Rescheduler lab installed on your calendar, it will disappear from January 4th.

Google Sync
We also wanted to give some clarity on the situation with Google Sync, which many of us use to get mail and calendar on iPhones etc using Microsoft Exchange. This feature is being discontinued for personal Google accounts, but not for Educational domains. So for any personal accounts, this method will not work after January 4th, but your university,, account will not be affected and will continue to work as it has been.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

MOLE 2 Training Sessions

In the new year we have scheduled a large number of training sessions for MOLE 2, the University's Virtual Learning Environment.

We have also introduced some new, more advanced courses covering: Assessments & Assignments, Communication and Module/Course Management.

If you would like to attend any of the workshops you can book a place online. For more information about the sessions and booking

MOLE2 Training

Monday, 17 December 2012

Tue 18 & Fri 21 December Maintenance

Students working early Tuesday and Friday morning will need to save their work regularly before 8:00am.
Don't rely on autosave, instead go to the File menu and select the Save option, or click the save icon in the toolbar or use the Ctrl + S keyboard shortcut - but save your work before 8am.
Between, 8:00 and 9:00 Tuesday we are carrying out maintenance on the Barbrook and Broadstone servers. Between, 8:00 and 9:00 Friday we are carrying out maintenance on the Roydmoor and Ramsden servers. During these times the student computing service should work as normal but will not be able to access the file servers. Students on these servers will not be able to save files between 8 and 9am.

If you forget to save before 8 and then find you need to save before 9 you can find information on a workaround Workaround advice available 7:30-9am Tuesday.
In theory, when the maintenance is complete the file servers will become available again to the student computing service and you can save your work as if nothing had happened, However, your work is important and it is best to be safe. For peace of mind save your work regularly before 8am.
Saving your work regularly is a good habit to get into in general and may save you a lot of heartache and retyping for those rare times when servers fail without warning.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Student Mobile Survey - Results

Last month we asked you whether you would make use of a printing service that would allow you to print from your mobile phone or tablet.  

We had a whopping 1479 responses, exactly 500 within the first hour.  The result was a resounding YES, with 87% saying they would use the service if it was made available.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Software Center - Update

Sometimes the Software Center on the Windows 7 computers takes a long time to load or doesn't load at all

When launching Software Center, if after loading, no applications are present and the message “No items found” is displayed you will need to run “Update Software Center apps” from the desktop. This will force Software Center to retrieve the application list and display it.

To run “Update Software Centre apps”

  1. Double click on the Software Center to launch it.
  2. If you receive the error message: “There is a problem showing the current status”, you will need to relaunch the Software Center after a short wait.
  3. If after loading, the software center displays the message “No items found” you must run “Update Software Center apps”.
  4. “Update Software Center apps” is a desktop shortcut with the same icon as the Software Center.
  5. Double click on this to run it.
  6. A black window will appear whilst the app runs and will go once it has finished.
  7. After completion, click on the software center screen and press F5 to refresh the page.
  8. The list of applications should now appear.

Friday, 7 December 2012

What is available in the IC over the Christmas Break?

During the vacation (Saturday 15th December to Monday 14th January 2012) the IC will still be open 24/7, but there will be a few changes to staffing hours and book loans.

The Concierge team will be on the Welcome Desk throughout the Christmas break.

From 5.00pm on Friday 21st December until 9.00am on Wednesday 2nd January there will be self service only.

For full information on what services will be available during this holiday visit the link below

Christmas in the IC

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Email Attachments on Student Computers

Some students use email attachments to store their documents and transfer them between computers. Although this is convenient, currently it can be quite dangerous. When attachments are opened an the student computing service they may be saved into a temporary folder that is deleted when you log out.

The safest way to work is to always save your email attachments to your networked filestore. Your filestore is backed up over night, is accessible from every student PC and can be accessed from your own computer via MUSE.

Your coursework is very important and you should guard it carefully. The best way to protect your work is as follows:

  • When you create a new piece of work on the student computing service save it in your My Documents folder or onto the Desktop.
  • Whilst working on a file, save it regularly by clicking the Save button. Do not rely on autosave.
  • If working on an email attachment do not view and edit it from the email options. Manually save it to My Documents or to the Desktop first, then open and edit it.
  • If working on your own computer back up your files to your networked filestore using myFilestore in MUSE
    Using myFilestore to back up files
  • Memory sticks are fine to move files between computers but cannot be relied upon to store files safely.
 If you follow those rules your work will be safe. However, regarding the email attachments issue there is a chance we can eliminate the problem. In fact we may shortly be able to announce some very exciting news about the student computing service...

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Key Information Set (KIS)

As one of a range of measures to help students reach an informed decision on where to study for their degree, the Government (through HEFCE) requires that all HEIs publish a Key Information Set (KIS) for each full and part-time UG course offered from September 2012.
This KIS initiative was never a CiCS formal project but did have a huge impact across the University. The project has formally closed and the University has submitted its KIS return to HESA, which covers Learning, Teaching and Assessment Methods (e.g. the number of contact hours and types of assessments), fees, accommodation costs, and information about the accreditation of programmes. 

The first release of data was published via the newly launched Unistats web-site on 24 September. The next step will be a review of the procedures for submitting data.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

How Do You Interpret a Silence?

In the past few weeks we have seen a number of issues for people using the Software Centre on the Windows 7 computers. There have been a few different presentations of Software Centre problems:
  • Software taking a long time to appear in the list has been a common issue  
  • In some cases software can take up to 20 minutes to load.
  • On some machines, however, software is not appearing in the list.
Since the impact of these problems has become clear, we have been working on fixing them. Settings have been put in place to help the software centre populate and to do it more quickly, although we have seen instances where it has broken completely and needs reinstalling. Since we have put these settings in place we have seen a drop in the number of people reporting issues.

So, how do you interpret a silence? The decrease in reports could mean that the changes we have made are working, which would be great! However, what we don’t want is the decrease to mean people are ‘used to’ the software centre issues. That is a bad silence. You shouldn’t get used to things not working. So if you do experience any problems with software centre, please let us know. Either inform the staff on the IC Information Desk or use the Feedback link on the left hand side of our CiCS Home Page.  Every report helps us get it fixed!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

New Compose Interface for Google Mail

On Tuesday the new compose interface for Google Mail was made available to opt-in for people on the scheduled release track including the University of Sheffield. An opt-in screen may appear when you click the Compose button.

The new interface presents the Message Compose window as a child-window within the Gmail interface, with the inbox still visible and accessible behind it. It can be minimised and restored and in many ways operates much like the chat windows within the Gmail interface.

The main advantage is that whilst writing an email message you can switch to messages that you have received in case you need to refer back to different conversations.

Here is what the release track says:

The compose and reply features in Gmail have been redesigned. The new compose features appear in a new pop-up window that lets users keep their inbox visible, and the new reply features fit better inline as part of a conversation. For details, see the Gmail blog post

What you need to do
There are no new administrative settings for the new compose and reply features. We recommend you send users the documentation and training resources below.

Impact to Users
Users can opt-in to use redesigned windows and controls when they compose or reply to a message. They can opt-out at any time, until the changes become permanent.

Help Center articles
Google Apps Learning Center, which includes an overview, user guide, video, and FAQ.

Language Availability
  • User interface: All languages that Gmail supports.
  • Help Center: All languages that the Gmail Help Center supports.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Postgraduate Open Day 21st November

An Open Day for prospective Postgraduate Taught and Research Students will take place on Wednesday 21st November. Full details and a link to the programme can be found below.

CiCS will have a stand in the Main Exhibition in Firth Hall where information will be available on the support we offer postgraduate students. The Exhibition is open from 11.00am to 2.00pm.

Postgraduate Open Day

BBC iPlayer and Internet Explorer 8

Chrome Frame allows you to use Google Apps in IE 8, but unfortunately stops BBC iPlayer from working. It’s quite a strange issue, which there are numerous accounts of online (once you know what you are looking for) but no real fix. Having done a fair bit of investigation, it seems that it is a problem is specific to iPlayer rather than flash content, with similar content on all other websites. This includes video content on all other BBC websites (sport, news etc) which works. That is not to say that other websites will not experience similar issues. If you do experience some problems all we can suggest at this moment is using an alternative browser.

The reason for implementing Chrome Frame is that on November 15th Google ended their support for Internet Explorer 8. In usual cases this means endless warning and error messages, reduced functionality in email and Google Docs, and Calendars becoming read only. This is bad news for many Windows XP users who have Internet Explorer as their preferred browser as version 8 is the highest available to them.

To prevent those on XP from being affected by the symptoms I mentioned, we made an application called Chrome Frame available from the Application Menu on managed XP and suggested that it was installed (called “Internet Explorer 8 Google Drive Fix”)

For many XP managed desktop users, I appreciate that this may be of little consolation. However, we hope that the new Windows 7 Managed desktop will be available to you shortly, solving these issues (and a number of others I imagine).

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Dates for Creative Media Workshops

If you would like to know more about creating videos, podcasts and screencasts why not come along to one of our Workshops.  New course dates are now available for staff and student sessions.

Workshop Dates

Monday, 15 October 2012

PC Availability is Back!

The PC availability service, which displays the number of PCs in each student computer room that are currently not in use and therefore available, is back in service.

The original PC Availability programme was written many years ago and worked well on our Windows XP infrastructure. However, when we moved to Windows 7 we did not include PC Availability in the install and we removed links to PC availability from our web pages and from our iSheffield mobile app.

Once the Windows 7 service had been successsfully rolled out we turned our attention to PC Availability and wrote a new system. the old petermeter has now been replaced by the jonmon. This is now being deployed room by room. It may take a few days for all rooms to be covered.

We are now in the process of adding the links to our web pages but in the meantime it can be found below:

PC Availability

If you use iSheffield you will now see that the PC Availability gadget works. Just tap the icon to see which rooms are full and which have available PCs for you to use. PC availability in your pocket - how good is that? To get iSheffield go here on your mobile device:

get iSheffield

Thursday, 11 October 2012

CiCS Quiz - Google Apps, the Answers

The annual Suppliers Fair took place on Wednesday 10th October. Staff from CiCS were on hand to discuss our services, in particular what Google apps are now available for staff.

Thanks to all those who entered our CiCS quiz ‘Name the Google App’.  The winners were Helen and Angela from the Registrar and Secretary’s Office.  If you knew a few of the icons and guessed or googled the rest the answers can be found below:

Google Chrome. Chrome is a free web browser developed by Google.

Google Groups. Groups can be used by you and your colleagues to share Google Apps, such as defining groups in Calendar.

Google +.  Google+ makes it easier to collaborate and communicate using video conferencing or online discussions through circles of contacts.

Google Hangouts. Hangouts let you video chat with up to 10 people, face-to-face. Just click the Start a Hangout button and invite your colleagues.

Google Docs. Google Docs makes it easy for you to share and collaborate on documents, spreadsheet and presentations. You can also create web forms that allow many people to input data into an online spreadsheet.

Google Drive.   Google Drive is a free service that lets you store all your files including documents, photos, videos and Google Docs online and access them anywhere.

Blogger.  Blogger is a web based tool that helps you publish  to the web instantly. You make posts to your blog by submitting a simple form on the Blogger website, and the results immediately show up on your site, with your design.
Create a blog

You Tube. YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share and view videos. Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, although many organisations now offer their material via the site.
You Tube

Google was founded on the 4th September 1998

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Online Video Producer - Student Placement

CiCS – Online Video Producer

There is a student placement opportunity for an online video producer within CiCS.

The role offers a 100 hour project based placement. You will create a suite of innovative/creative videos introducing and evangelising CiCS IT services from a student’s perspective. These will be used to create a structured online induction and will loop with captions on open day events.

You will be responsible for creating the conceptual idea of what the videos should look and feel like. You will feed into the decision making process of which services we should showcase in the videos.  You will plan, shoot and edit the content through to publishing the suite of videos online.

Essential requirements include:
  • - Innovative, creative thinker
  • - Passionate about creating video
  • - Comfortable and confident approaching and engaging students
  • - Experience of planning, creating and editing video content
  • - Experience of hosting content online through channels such as Youtube etc
  • - Thorough with administrative processes such as getting signed release forms
  • - Basic understanding of copyright requirements of any third party content
  • - Ability to produce high-quality content within a relatively short timeframe
You don’t need to be studying a related degree but must be able to demonstrate experience
in creating video content

Salary: £7.29 per hour

Potential project start date: Thursday 1st November

To Apply: Email your CV and covering letter to Bob Booth at:

Closing date: Friday 26th October

Monday, 8 October 2012

Finding Free PCs in the IC

There's a great new way to locate free PCs in the Information Commons. At the top of the stairs on each floor there's a plasma sceen showing the number of free PCs on each floor plus the position of the free PCs on the current floor.

It displays a floor plan of the current floor with dots for the location of each PC and a yellow dot for the location of an available PC. The column on the right of the display show the number of free PCs on each floor.

It's worth remembering too that when there are no free PCs in the IC you may still be able to borrow one of our laptops for up to four hours. This service is free - more information from the link below.

Laptop loan service

The general PC availability utility that lists the number of available PCs in all computer rooms around campus is working but has not yet been enabled on the new Windows 7 student computers. This will be activated in due course and we will let you know.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Join the Fight Against Spam

Nobody noticed, but at 2pm on Wednesday we switched from spam protection delivered by a third party system, Cisco Ironport, to the native spam protection integrated with Gmail.

Google spam filtering works on a different model in which definite spam is destroyed before it gets near the University, but probable spam is delivered but placed in your spam folder. Your spam folder can be found by clicking the More link at the bottom of your left-hand list of email labels. It will change to a Less link and reveal four hidden folders including your spam folder.

For the first few weeks you should check your spam folder to see if any messages are incorrectly identified as spam. In Gmail you can use a button to mark a safe message as Not spam and this will ensure similar messages do not get falsely identified as spam in the future. In Thunderbird, in the message list, click the dot by the message to produce a flame or recycle icon, a new Not Junk button will appear in your message pane - click this to mark this and similar messages as being safe.

One big advantage of this system is that you can now actively join the fight against spam! If you receive any spam or fraudulent messages into your inbox you can use a button to mark these as spam. This will alert the Google processes which can then identify and flag up similar spam messages in future. In this way the University community can join the millions of Gmail users already fighting spam in this way and make it increasingly difficult for the spammers to get through.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Watch Out for Scam Emails

It's the time of year where online criminals seek to prey on new students and trick them into revealing their account login details. University email addresses and login details are very attactive to online criminals who at this time of year especially are keen to get access to the the money changing hands in the form of student loans.

Luckily, we at CiCS, intecept and destroy the vast majority of fraudulent emails and spam, around 95% of all email messages coming into the University are eliminated in this way. However, some fraudulent emails do get through and whilst we do have ways to limit the damage it's much easier if people know how to identify email scams.

Fradulent emails, also known as phishing emails, seek to trick you into revealing your University login details or your bank details. An email is sent which is formatted to look like it's from a well known bank, from the Student Loans Company or from your local IT Support desk. It alledges that there is some kind of problem with your bank or email account and either asks you to reply with your personal details including your email and password or it may provide a link for you to complete an online form - the form being formatted to look like it's part of the organisation's official website.

Once you supply your account details the criminals are one step closer to their bounty.

You should always be very suspicious of any unusual or unexpected email that refers to your account details or asks for personal information. If you have any doubts at all about whether an email is genuine call our helpdesk on 0114 2221111 and discuss your concerns with our staff, or alternatively ask staff in the Information Commons.

The following links have information about common scams aimed at students:

Student Loans Company
Bank Safe Online
CiCS Online Fraud web pages

Monday, 24 September 2012

New Software Download Service

CiCS provides a range of academic software to University staff and students, either at discounted prices or for free. Different software providers offer us different licesing terms and conditions etc but we worry about all of that and just provide cheap academic software to you.

Up until recently you had to visit the Computing Centre to collect your installation discs and pay. However, now we have made most of our software available to download directly onto your University computer from our new software download service.

This is linked below and features a list of our available software with instructions on how to download and information about eligibility etc:

Software download service

As these applications tend to quite large we recommend you download them on campus rather than at home. If you do need a copy on a computer at home, for which some software is licensed, we suggest you download on campus to a USB memory stick and take that home with you. Also if you are recommending that a class of students download a software application you should stress that they do not all do this at the same time during your lecture!

We've heard it works better in Internet Explorer than in Chrome - let us know if you have any problems downloading.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Student View of Your MOLE 2 Courses

A new feature called ‘Student View’ is now available in MOLE 2 to allow Teaching Staff to see how a Course is displayed to students.

You may already be familiar with the similar 'Test Student' facility which requires you to log on separately into a Course using a Test Student ID assigned to you.  One drawback with this facility is that ‘Test Student’ is governed by the same data rules which apply to actual students regarding course availability. i.e. if the course is not due to be available to students until September 17th, you will not be able to use the Test Student account to access the course until that date either.

This new ‘Student View’ does away with this rule as it is a feature within your own usual MOLE 2 account.

Instructions on how to use Student View

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Student IT support moves to IC for longer opening hours

From Monday 10th September, all student IT support will take place in the Information Commons. Not only does this take the service to the place where the students are, but it allows us to offer face to face IT support for much longer service hours.

The primary contact point in the IC is the Information Desk on Level 1, although students can ask any staff member for help.

From the Information Desk students can get help with:
  • Problems using University IT services
  • Problems using software
  • Reinstalling corrupt computer operating systems
  • Removing viruses and malware
  • Replacing easy-to-access parts on their computer kit
All this support is available during IC staffed hours, up to 70 hours per week.

Many problems will be sorted at the Information Desk there and then, but for complex software problems we may have to pass the query on to an expert.

For hardware maintenance and more difficult operating system installs or virus removal we will take the computer to our workshop. Once the work is complete, the student will be notified and can collect the computer from the Information Point any time during staffed hours.

Full details of the extended Technical Support Service for students are available on the CiCS website via the link below.

Student Face to Face Support

The staff IT support service is still located in the Computing Centre and is restricted to office hours, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.

Goodbye to MOLE 1

On September 6th the links to MOLE 1 from MUSE will disappear. 

There will still be a few departments using MOLE 1 as an archive or for delivering assessments but it will be linked to from within MOLE 2. 

Any questions or comments please email:

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

High Quality AV Kit for Loan

Brand new audio visual recording equipment is available to loan from Audio Visual Services. The new kit, listed below, is very easy to use and can greatly improve the quality of your recorded material.
  • HD (SD card-based) Camcorders
  • Handy Video/Audio Recorders
  • DV Camcorders
The booking form and equipment user guides can be found on the Audio Visual web pages.
Audio Visual

Monday, 20 August 2012

New Teaching Desktop - Workshop Spaces Available

Short sessions are still available on the following dates for academic staff to run through the look and feel of the new teaching desktop before teaching starts.

  • Tuesday 21st August
  • Tuesday 28th August

All workshops run from 10:00am - 10:30am in IC Collaboratory 1 (level 1, room B20)
Book a Place                           

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Clearing 16th August - External Calls

The University will be experiencing a very high volume of external calls from potential students today. These can saturate the main incoming lines to the University during the peak hours of 9.00 - 11.00.  As a result of this any incoming or outgoing calls may receive a busy tone.

We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.  There should be no issues in making calls to internal extensions.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Toner Cartridge Amnesty

Last year, the University Print Management Team, with the support of the Recycling Team collected unwanted ink and toner cartridges from departments and redistributed them within the University.

It was so successful that we’ve decided to organise another Toner Cartridge Amnesty!

This will take place throughout August and you can find out more below:
Toner Amnesty

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Graduation Gigapixel Images

Sheffield is the first UK University to take high definition images of the hall just before the start of the ceremony. These gigapixel images, which are normally reserved for high profile events such as the Royal Wedding, were taken by one of our own students, Edward Miller, working with CiCS. Edward, who graduated at one of the ceremonies also won the Sheffield University Business Planning Competition earlier this year, and is setting up his own business Re-Axive. Building on our use of social media, the pictures will be taggable through Facebook. Read more:

Press Release

Thursday, 19 July 2012

A New Teaching Desktop for September

Computers in CiCS student computer rooms, all Libraries and lecturers PCs in teaching spaces will be upgraded to the new windows 7 desktop by the start of the new academic year.

Short sessions are now available for academic staff, to run through the look and feel of the new Teaching Desktop before it is rolled out. We will be highlighting the main differences and strongly recommend attendance on a session before teaching starts.
  • Tuesday 7th August
  • Tuesday 14th August
  • Tuesday 21st August
  • Tuesday 28th August
All workshops will run from 10:00am -10:30am
IC Collaboratory 1 (level 1, room B20)

Book a place

Thursday, 12 July 2012

New Quick Link Directory for other Universities

This new directory gives a list of quick abbreviated dialling codes for use on the University’s telephone system.

 It covers universities, colleges, national organisations and some useful local numbers and services.  To use the 3 letter Dialling Codes just press *11 on your handset followed by the appropriate code.  There is no need to press key 9 for an outside line.

Quick Dialling Directory

Friday, 29 June 2012

Shared Inbox Tip from Google Mail

Please don't share your passwords with colleagues. This would be in direct contravention of the IT Code of Practice.

If you need to use a shared inbox for your department, or just have someone keep an eye on your work emails whilst you're away, Inbox Delegation in your University GMail is a great way to do it.

Full instructions on delegating access to email, calendar and more can be found on web page
Delegating Access

Friday, 22 June 2012

Listen to the Presentations from our Recent Google Event

You can now listen to each of the 6 presentations that took place at the 'Making the Most of Google ' Event on the 18th June.

Colleagues from around the University shared their 'Google' experiences, giving examples of how the different Google Apps are being used to help them in their day to day work.

The presentations

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

MOLE and MOLE 2 Update News

There will shortly be a significant upgrade to the University's VLE, MOLE 2. 

The service will be shut down from 5pm on Wednesday 4th July and will return by 9am Monday 9th July,

Full details about this upgrade, the annual course rollover and the move of all courses from MOLE to MOLE 2 can be found on our web page below:

Update News

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Get Connected

  • Free wireless Internet in all University accommodation.
  • Additional free wired in most accomodation
  • Free wireless Internet on campus.
  • You can connect computers, laptops, consoles, mobiles and tablets.
  • Access your favourite social websites as well as our academic resources.

Loads of Computers

  • Use your own laptop or tablet on campus
  • If your laptop breaks we'll try to fix it for you
  • You can borrow our laptops for free
  • We have over 1600 desktop computers in rooms and study spaces around campus.
  • Specialist software such as Office, Photoshop, Matlab and AutoCAD is available on all PCs across campus.
  • PCs can be booked in advance to guarantee you some study time.

Web Based IT Services

  • The University provides a whole range of web-based services.
  • Lecture notes and library resources are available 24/7 online.
  • Save your work on our PCs or in your University Google Docs account and access it online in any place at any time.
  • Thanks to the University portal MUSE, you can access all of your resources anywhere in the world.

Free Laptop Repairs

  • We run a free drop-in service to help with software and hardware problems.
  • Technical advice is given when required at drop-in sessions or by phone.
  • We offer support by phone, email and remotely so you don't even have to come in to see us.
  • You'll have acess to our online knowledgebase of frequently asked questions and answers via the University portal MUSE.
  • We also offer software for sale at discounted prices.

Student Printing

  • All our PCs can send prints to fast, inexpensive printers.
  • You can collect your print outs from any of our printers on campus.
  • You can top up your print credit online via the University portal MUSE.
  • You can send prints from your own laptop (Windows or Mac) and collect them from any of our printers.


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Preparing for IPv6

IPv6 is latest version of the underlying technology that makes it possible for us to connect our devices to the web. It replaces IPv4 which has started to run out of addresses. (IPv5 was was developed in the 1980s as an experiment but was never widely distributed.)

We have already made our wireless network eduroam compatible with IPv6 and are starting the more complex process of making our wired network compatible with IPv6.  In order to do this we have to reboot each network switch to apply a software upgrade and a configuration change. This causes a service outage of around 5 minutes to network and phone connectivity to the devices served by the switch.

We are rolling this out around campus on a building by building basis. In each case work starts at 7:45 am and should be complete by 8am. Although this maintenance is low risk, in rare circumstances people may experience an outage of up to 20 minutes.

So far the schedule for maintenance is:

Thursday 14th June 7:45-8am
  • BioIncubator
  • Broad Lane Court
  • Computing Centre
Monday 18th June 7:45-8am
  • Dainton
  • Dental School
  • Drama Studio
More details will be announced as work progresses. Up-to-date information can always be found on the CiCS Service Status page.

Creative Media Workshops for Staff

One hour practical workshops are available in the Information Commons. The sessions will show you how to create videos, podcasts and sceencasts:

Thursday    21st June 1-2pm
Wednesday 27th June 2-3pm
Wednesday 11th July 2-3pm
Thursday     26th July 1-2pm

All workshops will take place in IC Collaboratory 1 (B20)

Workshop Booking Form

Monday, 11 June 2012

June 15th - 17th Infrastructure Upgrade

A substantial upgrade of our IT infrastructure is planned for the weekend of Fri 15th - Sun 17th June. After further consultation with staff, we have reduced the scope of the upgrade work and will be working through the night, aiming to restore the majority of services by 9am Saturday 16th June.
However, if there are unexpected problems, services may take until midday to return.

During this time the majority of University IT services will be unavailable. However, some services including the University website will remain available. In addition, staff can continue to use email via mail clients such as Thunderbird, Outlook and Macmail as well as some smartphones.

Up-to-date information is available via our blog on the link below. This will be updated regularly as we approach the upgrade and during the upgrade as each milestone is reached, taking down services and then returning them to operation.

Full details and updates during the maintenance period can be found at:

Upgrade Information

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Possible Hack of LinkedIn - Change your Password

There are reports that hackers have obtained 6.5 million encrypted passwords from social networking CV site LinkedIn. The reports have not been confirmed but are likely to be true. At present the risk is low as they may only have passwords without user names - however this may change over time.

Our advice for now is that LinkedIn users should change their passwords. However, it's worth reinforcing that you must never use your University password to log into external sites, specifically to avoid situation like this. If you do use your University password to access LinkedIn or any other web based services you must change it to something different.

Information on managing multiple passwords can be found on our security web pages, see:

Managing Multiple Passwords

Your Accounts after Graduation

As graduation approaches for some students, we would like to remind all students that after graduation your University provided computing accounts will come to a close.

If you need to keep any of your files, data, pictures etc. you will need to move them out of your university account. To help you prepare for this time we have created a series of webpages so that you can migrate any emails, contacts, documents etc out of your account before it is closed.

Migrating your Google Apps

Friday, 1 June 2012

What is Creative Media all about?

The creative media team have produced a new video about the services on offer in the Information Commons.

View the video on their web pages, plus find out more about the equipment that is available for loan or how to book the creative media room. You can also book a workshop to find out  how to get started.

Creative Media

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Book Now for Our Google Event on 18th June

Speaker: Gary C. Wood, School of English and Linguistics

Google in Teaching: A Case Study All About Linguistics

This talk will present a case study of a first year undergraduate module, Introduction to Linguistics, in which students have recently created a website to promote linguistics to prospective students.  We will consider how this was made possible through the use of a range of Google tools, including Google Sites to build the website itself and to promote collaboration between groups  We will show how using Google Hangouts helped to solve the perennial problem of students complaining that it is impossible to coordinate everyone’s timetables to get together outside class; look at how students used Google Docs to create materials; how Google Forms were used to manage the website’s launch event and student evaluation; and how features of Google Calendar streamlined the scheduling of consultation sessions.  The talk will demonstrate the potential these Google tools hold for innovation in learning and teaching, through showcasing the students’ published website, and by considering their feedback on the process.   There will also be opportunity for colleagues to think about how these tools might apply in their own teaching or department, and to ask questions around this.

Full details of all speakers confirmed so far are available on the event web page below, from which you can also reserve your place.

Book a place

Friday, 25 May 2012

New Suggested Times Feature in Google Calendar

When you add participants to a meeting you can now have Google Calendar suggest times when everyone is free making it easier to find a suitable timeslot. The suggested times link appears below the list of participants, clicking it reveals the list of suggested times.

This list contains suitable slots for the coming week. However, if there are no suitable timeslots available this week it will not automatically look for times in the following week; instead it will ask you to choose a different start date for the meeting. You will have to manually change the date of the meeting to be at least one week ahead.

This is a bit inconvenient but perhaps it will be improved in future. Even as it stands, the suggested times feature offers an excellent improvement to Google Calendar.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Google Event on the 18th June - Another Speaker Confirmed

Our Google Event on Monday 18th June has another confirmed speaker, Dr Sam Clarke is a Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering in the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering.

'Using Google Apps to Organise a Department'

In the Civil & Structural Engineering department we have been using the suite of Google Apps to try to move away from reliance on email and static printed documents as the main means of communication. The move has seen us try to rethink the way our systems have worked in the past, trying to see how Google can save us time and effort, from embracing Google docs to coordinate student meetings to replacing our previously paper based staff handbook with a Google Site. Our staff handbook has allowed us to create a dynamic source of information which at its base level is a repository, but has the ability to be so much more through the integration with the full suite of Google Apps.

The focus of this session will be to look at the root cause of the changes that were made, how we looked to address them and some of the issues we encountered on the way.

Full details of all speakers confirmed so far are available on the event web page below, from which you can also reserve your place.

 Book a Place