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Information Technology Services FAQ

Information Technology Services FAQ

 

Q What is ITS?
A.

ITS is Information Technology Services, which is responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, and security of computers, software, telephones, and the network on campus.

Q Where is ITS located?
A.

Donnelly Library, ground floor

Q. What is the ITS helpdesk number?
A.

505.454.3496

Q. Can I get high speed internet in the residence hall?
A.

Yes, bring your computer (just the tower, not the keyboard, monitor, or mouse) to ITS and the technicians will check the computer to make sure it is up to date, install anti-virus (if you do not have any), and provide you with a network cable.

Q. Does the university provide wireless access?
A.

Yes, the entire campus has wireless access but the university does not publish the SSID. You must bring your computer into ITS to have a certificate installed in order to access the university wireless network.

You may have to renew your wireless certificate every year.

Q. Why do I need a university student username?
A.

All computers on campus require a username and password to login. The username and password provides you access to university computers, email, Blackboard, Self-Service Banner (SSB), and remote library resources.

You must never use another person's username and you must never share your username and password with any one else. You are responsible for what happens under your username and if there is any violation of the university computer usage policy, you will be responsible.

Q. Why do I need student email? I already have an email account?
A.

The university student email account is used for official communications from the university. You are responsible for checking your email and managing your email account. You should check it regularly to make sure you do not miss any important messages.

Q. How do I send an email to my professor or another student?
A.

There are two ways to lookup up email addresses. One is using the student email system, create a new email, and click on the "To:" button and it lets you search for students or staff.

Or you can email faculty and staff from the Highlands' web page by searching in the Staff Directory. You can actually send email directly from the campus directory.

Q. What is Blackboard?
A.

Blackboard is a course learning system. It is a way for your instructors to provide you with information or interact with you in a class. Some classes extensively use Blackboard and some use it very little. Check with your instructors to learn how Blackboard might be used in their classes. Learn how to login and check to see if there is information or assignments that affect you.

Q. What is Self-Service Banner (SSB)?
A.

Banner is the university's administrative software system where information about your classes, grades, and accounts is stored. Self-Service Banner is a way for students, faculty, and staff to access their information in Banner. You can check your class schedules, view your account balance, see your grades, view an unofficial transcript, see your financial aid, make online payments, respond to a survey, evaluate your classes, and as an upper classman add and drop classes. Rather than going to the appropriate office and having them look it up in Banner for you, you can do from wherever you have internet access, any time of the day and any day.

Q. What software is running on university computers?
A.

All university computers have the Office 2007 Suite and access to the internet. Some computers in certain labs have special software as requested by the departments.

Q. What is the best way to move or save my files and documents?
A.

There are a lot of options available. First, we would strongly encourage you to have a USB drive (also known as a flash or jump drive) available for saving files and moving information between computers. Each computer you use has a "My Documents" folder  on it that is only accessible to you on that particular computer. When you move to another computer, you will have a "My Documents" folder but documents don't automatically transfer from computer to computer. Although we do not normally delete files from computers during the semester, it could happen; you can not expect that the files you saved in "My Documents" will be there.

One suggestion is to work in 'My Documents", save your files, close the program you are using and then copy your files from "My Documents" to your USB drive. When you start working again, copy them from the USB drive to "My Documents", make changes, and then copy then back to the USB drive in a new folder (name the folders with the date).

You might also consider emailing yourself a copy of the files which you can then access from another computer on the internet.

You are responsible for your files and documents. We can offer suggestions, but you have to back up and protect them. We will not be able to recover lost files for you.

Q. What is the big deal about backup?
A.

With computers and any storage device, like a hard drive, the question is not if it "will" fail but "when"? Computers, hard drives, and USB drives will all fail, sooner if they are abused. So you do not want to work for days or weeks on a project only to lose it at the last minute because you only have one copy of your file or the device you stored it on got lost, stolen, or just failed.

You MUST make regular backups. A backup is a copy of your files, preferably in different location. Do not keep all your copies in the same place. You can use a USB drive, CD, or another computer as a possible backup of your documents. If you have a large email account (student email accounts are not that large), you can backup by sending a copy to yourself. If you lose a file or want to go back to an earlier version, find your backup and start using it. If you lost your latest version of the file, you will have to redo some work, but not everything. The more often you make a backup, the less information you will lose if the current version is lost or fails.

Do not delete old backups until you are sure your current version is good and you have made a new backup of it. (That means do not immediately replace the last backup with a new one. Keep a few versions of your files and only replace the oldest one.)

CDs might be one of the most reliable long term methods to back up projects. Consider backing up all your files for the semester and keeping them on a CD.

Recovery of lost files is very difficult and often impossible or very expensive, so you must take steps to protect your data by backing it up and being careful with the media. This means do not drop it, scratch your CD/DVD, leave in a hot car, wash your USB drive or lose it.

We strongly discourage the use of floppy disks. They tend to have a limited life span and a very small capacity. You will probably find that many new computers no longer support floppy drives.

Q. Should I turn off my popup blocker?
A.

You need to decide if you want to block popups or not. But you will find that several programs through the university will not work if you do not allow popups and cookies from *.nmhu.edu. We think you should use just one popup blocker. If you use one (and turn off the rest), then be sure to allow popup from sites that require them.

Q. What do I do when I am having trouble logging in?
A.

We try to provide all new freshman with our "Save Me" document entitled "Computer Use Tips for Students from ITService@NMHU". This document tells you how to log on to any university computer with a username of HELP (no password) or go to the ITS Self-Help pages at http://its.nmhu.edu/help to look up your username or change your password.

You can get a copy of our "Save Me" document in the online documents section of the Highlands page site in ITS section searching for helpdesk.

The "Save Me" document also has useful information about how to select a new password.

Q. Why is the computer not accepting my new password?
A.

Student passwords must be at least six characters long. You cannot immediately reuse a password or change your password more than once a day.

Q. The computer says my account is locked. What happened and what do I do?
A.

If your password is entered incorrectly too many times, the system locks you out to prevent anyone from trying to guess passwords. It generally unlocks in about 10 minutes and you can try again or you can call the helpdesk at 454.3496 to get it unlocked.

Q. I keep trying my password but Self-Service Banner or Blackboard will not let me log in. What is wrong?
A.

Are you using your temporary password which is your birth date? SSB and Blackboard do not support the temporary password. You must log in to email or go to the ITS Self-Help page and enter a password and then you will be able to log in to SSB and Blackboard. The library resources have the same requirement; they do not support the temporary password.

Q. Does the university provide free software?
A.

We can provide you with a free copy of our anti-virus program. When you bring your computer by for use in campus housing or for the wireless certificate, you will be offered the anti-virus program. If you need a copy of the anti-virus program, bring a blank CD or a USB drive to ITS and we will make a copy for you to install on your computer.

Q. Does the university sell software?
A.

Our license with Microsoft allows us to sell the current Windows Operating system or the latest full Microsoft Office Suite to students at a student discount rate. This can be purchased through the Purple Pub in the Student Center. You need to visit them for more details or to purchase the software.

Q. Should I turn off computers in labs when I am done?
A.

No, normally leave the computers on for the next person unless instructed differently. It is very important to always log out before you leave a computer. Do not leave until you see the "Login Screen" appear. Remember that anything done on that computer, in violation of the computer usage policy in your name, is your responsibility.

Q. Where can I find a computer to use on campus?
A.

There are computer labs in almost every building. Some of those labs are reserved for the students in those departments and might have special software needed for them.

Large public labs include the Purple Pub in the Student Center and computers in the Library. Both areas tend to have extended hours and you should check their schedules.

Q. What kinds of things can I find online?
A.

At the Highlands website www.nmhu.edu, you will find information about departments and majors, the academic calendar, news stories, the campus calendar, faculty and staff directory, and information about athletics. The university class schedule actually shows how many spaces are still available in a class. It is probably the most up to date listing of classes you can find. Also in the online documents section you can find forms, handbooks, and policy and procedure manuals.

Q. How do I remove a USB drive from the computer?
A.

When using a USB drive in a computer, you need to tell the computer you are done with the drive before you remove it. In the right hand side of the task bar you should see an icon like: green arrow. Click on the icon and it will list the USB drives in your computer. Click on the one you want to remove. It will close it down if it can or issue a warning and then tell you it is okay to remove the drive. If the USB drive has a light, it will probably also go out when it is safe to remove if you clicked on the icon.

Removing the drive before it finishes or without telling the computer you want to remove it, increases the possibility that you might lose data or corrupt a file.

Q. My instructor says they did not get my email assignment, how can I find a copy to send again?
A.

Student email keeps a copy of all the mail you have sent in the "Sent Items" folder. You should find a copy of any emails you have sent in that folder.

Emails in the "Sent Items" folder count against your email size limit. Be sure to delete sent items you do not need to keep and then empty your "Deleted Items" folder.

Q. I am unable to send or receive email and I get messages saying my mail box is full. How do I correct this problem?
A.

Email space is not unlimited. You need to clean up old emails. When you delete an email it does not immediately get deleted but goes into your "Deleted Items" folder. You must empty your deleted items folder to permanently delete items from your mail box. Right click on the "Deleted Items" folder name and select "Empty Deleted Items".

Always be sure to check your Inbox, Sent Items, and Deleted Items folders to make sure you are not keeping any unnecessary emails.

Q. Can anyone send email to my student email account?
A.

Yes, your student email account is a standard email account capable of communicating with anyone else with email. Your email address is your username followed by "@student.nmhu.edu". Example: username@student.nmnu.edu

Q. I moved and the university has the wrong address. Can I change it?
A.

Yes, go to Self-Service Banner and in the Personal Information section, change your mailing address. You are unable to change some of the other addresses online. Please contact the Registrar's office if other addresses are incorrect.

Q. Is it ok to allow cookies for Highlands web pages?
A.

Yes, a couple of applications used by Highlands require that you allow cookies for them to work. We recommend that you allow cookies for NMHU.EDU.

Q. Should I save my password?
A.

No, we discourage saving your password on public computers. If by mistake you forget to log off a public computer and someone else tries to use your account, they will be able to access everything to which you have access. You are responsible for what happens in your name so by not saving passwords, you are adding another level of protection.

Q. Is it ok to let someone else use my student account?
A.

No. You are responsible for what happens in your account and you must never share your account or password with anyone else. If you think someone has learned your password, change it as soon as possible. If another person has a reason to be using university computers, they will have their own username and password.

Q. Java wants to upgrade to a new version. Should I allow Java upgrade?
A.

Do not upgrade without checking with Highlands, especially if you are taking Blackboard classes. Blackboard and Elluminate (used in some Blackboard classes) are very sensitive to the version of Java so check before you upgrade.

Q. Does the student email provide virus protection?
A.

Yes, student emails are scanned by two separate programs to check for virus. However, you must always exercise caution when you receive emails. Do not execute programs found in emails you receive unless you have confirmed the authenticity with the person who sent it and you know them. Sometimes emails come from someone other than the person from whom they appear to come. Always exercise caution.

Q. Does the student email provide spam protection?
A.

Yes, we have a spam filter on the student email that eliminates spam. If you are getting a significant amount of spam contact the ITS helpdesk and ITS will look into the problem. You must protect yourself from spam by not acknowledging it to the sending and verifying that they have a good address and being very careful who you give your email address to. Do not publish your email address where programs can harvest emails and then start sending you spam.

Q. Why does Highlands send me all this email?
A.

Highlands does not send email advertising products nor does it send spam. We do send emails about what is happening on campus. If it does not apply to you, please delete. Remember that someday you might want to share information about something and you will appreciate the resource.

Q. Why is email so slow or seems to hang or freeze up? How do I get rid of large emails without reading them? Best practices for reading email when my internet connection is slow.
A.

If your email contains a very large message, it might take a while to download before you can view it. As a result, your email appears to "hang". If you turn off the reading pane ("Show/Hide Reading Pane") you can view the size of a message before you view it. If it is very large (over 1MB) and your connection is slow you might want to skip it until you have a faster connection.

We recommend that you change your settings so you can view the size of the messages in your Inbox. To do that, click on the pull down at the right of the folder name on the blue bar that says "Outlook Web Access". Change it to Messages. Now you can see the file sizes. You might find it easier to view messages and have the full details if you change your reading pane so show the message below (bottom) rather than to the right of the list of messages in the folder.

If your connection is slow, turn off the reading pane so that messages are not downloaded for review until you double click to read them.

Q. Why do I need to set a security question in Self-Service Banner?
A.

If you need to use the ITS Self-Help pages to reset your password or perform some other task, we need to verify who you are. So we use the security question from Banner. You create the question and provide the answer. All the computer does is ask you the question and then match your response to what you entered when you set it up. (Case is not important, but spacing and punctuation is.) The answer should be simple and something you know but others are not likely to know. Remember not to share it with anyone. Good questions could include:
What is your mother maiden name?
What is your favorite color?
What is father's middle name?
What is your first pet's name?

Q. The university is using Microsoft Office 2007, how do I exchange documents with my home computer which is using Office 2003?
A.

There are two solutions to this problem:

One solution in Office 2007 is to save your files in a format compatiple with the version of office or other program that you have with the "Save As" file option and choosing the appropriate file type.

The second option is to go to the Microsoft site and download and install on your computer the free converter that allows older versions of Office to read Office 2007 documents. Please read the details and download at Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats


General advice on maintaining your computer:

Here are some suggestions or best practices:

  1. Keep your computer up to date. Turn on the Automatic Updates and install the Microsoft critical updates when they are issued.
  2. Make sure your anti-virus program is running and it has the latest virus detection files. New ones are issued daily. Remember the university can provide students with a free copy of our anti-virus program.
  3. Do not save your password on public computers.
  4. Never share your username, password, or computer account with anyone. If someone should be using a university computer, they will have an account.
  5. Back up up your files regularly.
  6. Always log out of the computer when you are done.
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