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NEWS

New Project Reporting Tool

Project Status Tool

Our Project Management Office (PMO) has recently introduced a new project status reporting tool available on the Office of Information Technology’s website at oit.boisestate.edu/pmo.

By choosing Project Reporting from the navigation menu, you can view projects scheduled to go live in the next 30 days, other projects the PMO is actively working on, and all of the projects in the Project Management Office’s backlog.

For more more information about this new project reporting tool, contact oitprojects@boisestate.edu.

PeopleSoft Maintenance Scheduled April 21-22

PeopleSoft Maintenance

PeopleSoft (including Student Center) will be unavailable due to maintenance beginning Friday, April 21 at 5:30 pm, and continuing though Saturday afternoon, April 22.

The Office of Information Technology will update PeopleTools software during this time.

Because PeopleSoft provides data to many of our web applications, this maintenance downtime will also impact functionality for:

  • Blackboard LMS Middleware (not Blackboard Learn)
  • Change My Major
  • Orientation Registration
  • View Disbursements

For questions or more information, please contact the Help Desk at helpdesk@boisestate.edu, or call (208) 426-4357.

Highlights from the Sixth Annual Bronco Appathon

Bronco Appathon 2017

57 students organized into 15 teams gathered at the Interactive Learning Center to participate in a marathon coding competition during the sixth annual Bronco Appathon, held March 10-12.

Teams were given 42 hours to develop an app and plan a presentation to demo the application before a panel of judges. App ideas this year ranged from the practical to the profound in entertainment and technical maturity. “Every year the apps keep getting better and better, and this year all the apps were really incredible,” said Boise State Associate Vice President and CIO Max Davis-Johnson.

Judges from Boise State and local industry partners evaluated all 15 presentations and choose the following winners:

First Place – Team ARVRA ($500 per team member)

Stephanie Labastida, Audrey Miller, Daniele Moro

Jacob Bell (not pictured), Stephanie Labastida, Audrey Miller, Daniele Moro

Team ARVRA created “Show Me,” a self-paced, interactive training application.

Second Place – Team Trappist-4 ($300 per team member)

Miguel Ayala, Brook Cassity, Andrew Mason, Lauren Tomlinson

Miguel Ayala, Brook Cassity, Andrew Mason, Lauren Tomlinson

Team Trappist-4 not only designed their own shirts, they also created a Farmer’s Market experience application, allowing users to pre-order goods and learn about vendors.

Third Place – Team Appetyte ($100 per team member)

Luke Bosse, Greg Braiser, Jake Carns, Brendan Tierney

Greg Braiser, Luke Bosse, Jake Carns, Brendan Tierney

Team Appetyte developed a app to help you find a place to eat if you’re feeling indecisive.

Best Design – Team Trappist-4 ($250 per team member)

View team details above.

Best Novice – Team Trappist-4 ($250 per team member)

View team details above.

According to Davis-Johnson, this year’s Appathon stood out due to the number of students and teams participating, and the students’ high level of technical aptitude and commitment. “They’re serious very year, but they all seemed serious this year. This was our sixth Appathon, we gave them a lot of advice on how to approach it, and they took that to heart. Plus, it’s always an opportunity for students to earn quite a bit of money.”

Sponsors

This year’s Bronco Appathon was sponsored by:

  • Office of Information Technology
  • Associated Students of Boise State University
  • College of Business and Economics
  • College of Engineering
  • Transportation and Parking Services
  • Boise State Bookstore
  • Advanced Systems Group (ASG)
  • ComputNet, Inc.
  • Blackboard
  • ZenWare
  • Micron Foundation
  • WhiteCloud Analytics
  • Boise Cascade Company
  • Xtreme Consulting
  • Swire Coca-Cola
  • Bardenay Restaurant & Distillery

We’re grateful for the generosity of all our sponsors!

For more information about the Bronco Appathon, contact oitcommunications@boisestate.edu.

Mobile Device Backups Are Important

iPhone

For the most part we’ve moved beyond the need to constantly connect our phones and tablets to a computer to back up our data. There are several options available to ensure iOS and Android devices are wirelessly backed up, but you may not be taking advantage of these services.

Since devices are usually updated over the air, you may find yourself in trouble if the update goes awry and you don’t have a recent backup available to help you recover your data.

Also, Apple is soon releasing a significant update for iOS 10. Version 10.3 will introduce a new file system, APFS. While there have been no reports of beta testers having difficulty with or losing data due to this new file system change, it is highly recommended you back up your device(s) before updating (Apple will also warn you to back up your data before the update begins).

Here’s info backup options for both iOS and Android devices:

iOS

Automatic Wireless Backups

  • Launch Settings, then tap iCloud > Backup
  • Connect your device to a power source (if possible)
  • Connect to a wi-fi network
  • Check to be sure you have enough available space in iCloud for the backup (if not, 50 GB of storage space is only .99 per month)

Manual Wireless Backups

  • Launch Settings, then tap iCloud
  • Select Backup, and make sure “iCloud Backup” is on
  • Tap Back Up Now (be sure to stay connected to your wireless network until the process completes

Wired Backups

  • Open iTunes, and connect your device to your computer
  • Select your device within iTunes
  • Click Back Up Now

Detailed backup info for iOS devices can be found on Apple’s website.


Android

Wireless Backups

  • Use the Android Backup Service:
  • Launch the Settings app on your Android device
  • Under “Personal,” tap Backup & reset 
  • Tap Back up my data and switch it on

Wired Backups

  • Connect your Android device to your computer with a USB cable
  • On the Android device, pull down the main menu and select USB Connection
  • Choose USB Mass Storage and tap OK
  • On your computer, you’ll see a new drive or “Removable Disk” on your computer. Open the drive and copy all the contents to a folder on your computer.

Detailed backup info for Android devices can be found on Google’s website.


Need Assistance?

Contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357, or email helpdesk@boisestate.edu.

Tech-Friendly Conference Rooms for a Monthly Fee

Get a conference room for a monthly fee

Conference rooms, especially with video conferencing equipment, are expensive to build and more expensive to maintain over time. Let the Office of Information Technology equip your conference room and provide worry-free support and maintenance for a simple monthly fee–no initial investment required.

We offer three room configurations that include just-in-time support and ongoing maintenance:

  • Breakout rooms with a television monitor and laptop connections;
  • Conference rooms that include a projector, laptop connections, sound system and control panel; and
  • Teleconference rooms that include all the features of our conference rooms in addition to camera(s) and microphone(s) for video conferencing.

Yes, we can help you customize these options for your department needs.

Visit the OIT Conference Room Services page or contact a conference room specialist today at 208-426-4357 or helpdesk@boisestate.edu.

We Are the Office of Information Technology

System engineer works on a network router

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the IT department at Boise State? Max Davis-Johnson, CIO Office of Information Technology, introduces this short video that takes you through a day in the life of the IT department at Boise State.

Video Transcript

[intro music]

>> MAX: Hi, this is Max Davis-Johnson, Boise State University Office of Information Technology. I’m going to talk a little about life in OIT.

Higher Ed IT is unique. And it’s not any one thing we do, it’s just the variety of things that we do.

We have transactional systems. We provide servers and storage. We provide desktop systems. We manage applications. We provide this huge open network that needs to communicate all across country and provide wireless.

We provide help desk. We provide classroom technology. There’s just a lot of things that we do in our life in OIT.

But we’re driven by three core principles, directives and these are: one, we want to keep the trains running on time.

And what I mean “keeping the trains running on time,” systems need to be available, the networks need to be available, data needs to flow from system to system, upgrades to all the systems need to be made.

If we’re doing our job right there, you don’t even notice. And that’s the way it should be.

Another core driver is we want to be laying new track. Technology is always changing. We have to examine it and figure out what direction we want to take the track. We always have to be working to improve how our trains run.

And with the new things coming out we have to be able to go new routes.

And then the last thing is we want to create raving fans. And what I mean by that–you’re excited, you call us, we get you the help you need, we get you the support you need, you like what we do, we help you get your work done and get your job done.

So, I want you to just watch the rest of this video and it gives you a sense for what we do in a day in OIT.

>> NARRATOR: Today, over 17,000 students, faculty and staff will sign in to the Boise State University Wi-Fi network, a complex system built and maintained by our network and accounts teams who installed and manage access to over 1,000 Wi-Fi access points on campus. And our cybersecurity team ensures our network is secure and our data is safe.

Close to 15,000 people will sign in to myBoiseState, a custom web application that provides access to our email, student data, HR, learning management and other systems. myBoiseState was developed here on campus by our communications and web application development teams.

Our web application development team, working with project managers and business analysts in our project management office, build and maintain other custom applications like Major Finder that connects students with the best major based on their interests, aptitudes and career goals.

Our project management office also coordinates the work of our core systems development teams, who enhance and refine our HR, student data and learning management systems.

All of these applications run in the Boise State private and hybrid clouds designed, monitored and maintained by our system engineers and application administrator teams to make sure all of our servers, networks and architecture is up to date and backed up every night.

Our executive leadership team works with key University stakeholders to resolve the issues of today and make plans to address the needs of tomorrow.

The communications team makes sure the Boise State community is aware of maintenance outages and upcoming developments. This team also provides technology training and maintains the university website.

Throughout the day, just over 1,000 people will sign in to public computers maintained by the Customer Care hardware team. Faculty will sign in to computers in more than 100 classrooms and utilize technology designed for teaching and learning maintained by our Learning Technology Solutions team. Who, in addition to maintaining technologies like classroom capture video recording, also explore technologies like our new student response system. This allows instructors to quiz students, in real time in the classroom, all through students’ smartphones or computers.

In three primary locations on campus, the Help Desk, a blended team of professional staff and student workers, will assist around 200 people with a variety of technology solutions from troubleshooting account issues to installing software to teaching basic features of Microsoft Office and Google Apps.

Outside of class, students and instructors will generate over 30,000 sessions in Blackboard, our learning management system, where they upload assignments, interact with one another and review classroom capture videos on their computers and mobile devices.

Working with our R2 high performance computing cluster, researchers will process massive amounts of data and calculations that inform scientific discovery, bench research papers, and state-level decision makers.

And tomorrow morning, we’ll be here early to do it all again.

We are the Office of Information Technology at Boise State University.

Write Code, Earn Cash at the Sixth Annual Bronco Appathon!

Sixth Annual Bronco Appathon

The Sixth Annual Bronco Appathon returns to Boise State March 10 – 12, 2017.

Open to all registered Boise State students, Bronco Appathon is a weekend marathon of coding to earn cash prizes and awards. Free food and beverages are provided to participants and raffles will be held throughout the weekend.

Students form teams of up to four members and begin developing an app on Friday evening, then present their work to a panel of judges on Sunday afternoon.

Cash prizes of up to $500 per team member are available, with additional awards for Best Design and Best Novice App.

Registration is open to current full-time and part-time Boise State students through Thursday, March 2 and is free of charge.

For more information about Bronco Appathon 6, visit oit.boisestate.edu/appathon.

Like Printing Money (With Someone Else’s Printer)

Image of a printer with the title Department Print Services

The Office of Information Technology Customer Care team has been working to lower the costs and environmental impacts of printing and copying on campus. In December, Customer Care launched the new and dramatically improved Department Print Services which includes printing, copying, toner, paper, maintenance and support in a convenient “only pay for what you print” model that will save you time and money.

What do you think you know about department printing?

Until recently, what was the ratio of network printers to employees?

(A) 1 to 100 (B) 1 to 35 (C) 1 to 5

(C) Until last year, OIT Customer Care managed about 785 network printers making the ratio approximately one printer to every 4.5 employees! And you likely still didn’t have one close to your desk.

For your eyes only! Does the Department Print Services provide secure release?

Yes / No

Yes. The new Department Print Services allows you to print from your desk and release your print job at your printer.

Before the Departmental Print Service upgrade, how many different network printer models did OIT maintain?

(A) Over 100 (B) 50-100 (C) Less than 50

OIT Customer Care maintained and supported over 200 different printer models representing 15 vendors before the recent upgrades. Imagine trying to keep over 200 different types of printers working and filled with the correct toner.

True or False: Printer Toner Cartridges Expire

True or False

True. Print toner does expire which is why we do not recommend purchasing toner in bulk. Plus, installing old toner cartridges in a printer can create a huge mess. Let us manage the bulk purchasing and you simply print when you need to.

How do I sign up for Department Print Services (and never have to deal with toner on my hands again)?

Visit the OIT Department Print Services page for details and our really affordable pricing model. Contact a Department Print Services specialist via the Help Desk at 208-426-4357 (HELP), chat or helpdesk@boisestate.edu and you’ll never have to get toner on your hands and clothes again.

Folders Are Here for Your TechSmith Relay Library!

 

TechSmith Relay logo

Last week TechSmith released a new feature to our Boise State Relay Library: folders!

You can now create folders and subfolders to organize your videos and media content in TechSmith Relay Library. You can also share a link to a folder which makes it easy to share a series of videos. More functionality will be added in the future.

Visit the TechSmith Relay Library Folder page on the Boise State Video website for more information.

If you have additional questions about TechSmith Relay Library, contact the OIT Learning Technology Solutions Team at lts@boisestate.edu

 

Coffee and Donuts for Researchers, February 2

coffee and donuts forum for researchers

The Office of Information Technology’s Research Computing Support Department will host a Coffee and Donuts for Researchers Forum on Thursday, Feb. 2, in Albertsons Library Room 201C. The room is on the second floor through the College of Innovation and Design.

The Boise State research community is invited to mingle from 9-10 a.m. and attend a special presentation from 10-11 a.m. titled “Making Sharing Data Automagic with Globus.”

Globus subscription services allows researchers to share and transfer data, no matter how big, with anyone from just about anywhere. Watch a demo and to see how you can access Globus. Attendees also will be able to ask questions about the department’s new compute cluster, R2, which is now up and running.

For more information, visit rcs.boisestate.edu.

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