Royal Drive downtime on Friday!

9 06 2014

This notice from the Technology Support Center went out to all faculty and staff, but since it will have a major impact on most anyone who’s on campus working on Friday, I thought I’d repost:

Royal Drive (also known as Xythos) will be unavailable on Friday, June 13th, from 8 am until approximately 5 pm in order to upgrade and integrate it with Active Directory. We apologize for the inconvenience, however due to the necessity of the vendor, this must be scheduled during normal business hours. Please plan accordingly. If you have questions about this upgrade please contact the Technology Support Center at (570) 941-4357 or

New features will include:

  • Thumbnail view – shows a small image preview of the file
  • Quick view – launches a new screen with a larger view of the file and includes metadata
  • Mobile web view – allows you to manage, view, upload, share, and search documents within the Xythos repository
  • Bookmarks – moved to a link in the main menu; allows you to create a bookmark folder and add bookmarks to it
  • Folder tagging – now you can tag folders as well as files
  • Advanced upload for classified files – upload files and folders and have classification applied at the time of the upload
  • Workflow options – set automatic workflow tasks forwarding to other users while they are out-of-office
  • And more …..

The Technology Support Center
University of Scranton
(570) 941-4357

Summer network downtimes

2 06 2014

Just a heads-up for those who work on campus during the summer — there are some rolling Saturday morning network downtimes planned for university buildings (residential and administrative) over the next few weeks. All are Saturdays, 8am-12 noon and will affect wireless as well as wired phone and computer network connections.

See the calendar (PDF) for a full schedule, but here are a few of the planned downtimes for academic buildings:

  • O’Hara — June 7
  • McGurrin – June 14
  • Hyland — June 21
  • WML — June 28
  • CLP — July 5
  • STT — July 12 and July 19 (July 12 is STT-East, including Harper-McGinnis; July 19 is STT-West)
  • Long/Byron — July 19
  • Brennan — July 26
  • LSC — August 2 and August 9
  • IMBM — August 16
  • Loyola Hall — August 16

And here’s the announcement from the downtime-notices listserv:

Downtime Notices:
1) Purpose
Upgrade network-switch software
2) Systems Affected:
Wireless, IP-phones & computers connected in these buildings
3) Downtime Window:
Saturdays from 8AM to noon for administrative buildings or Monday-Thursday prior to 7AM for residence-halls per the attached building schedule
4) Point of Contact:
Steve Gilbody
Office:  941-6193, Cell: 335-3926

Power Shut Down – Friday!

14 04 2014

Reposting from an all-faculty email. If you’re planning to work over break, and/or if you’re running any critical computing systems, please note:

April 11, 2014

Faculty, Staff, and Students:

On Good Friday, April 18th between 6:00 am and 12:00 noon the electricity to the entire campus will be SHUT OFF to perform needed repairs to the University owned 12,470 volt electrical distribution equipment.  Each year the Facilities department performs a three day preventive maintenance inspection of our electrical system.  We have been fortunate over the past few years that only minor problems have been located and the need to shut down the entire campus was not needed.  This year, however, we have found a few items that need to be corrected.  Good Friday, April 18th and as stated above we will SHUT DOWN THE POWER TO THE ENTIRE CAMPUS FROM 6:00 AM TO 12:00 NOON.

It is recommended that personal computers be turned off when you leave campus for the Easter holiday whether that is Thursday, April 17 or earlier.  Any other sensitive electronic equipment in your areas that does not need to be running should also be turned off and unplugged if it can be done easily.  These are just good precautions to take when you know power is being turn off.

Facilities staff, local electrical contractors, University Police, network services, and other campus staff will assist in shutting the campus down and then turning it back on to make sure heating systems, ac systems, lighting, elevators, security systems, fire alarm systems, refrigeration systems, data centers, card swipes, and the University network comes back on.

If you have a concern about the power being shutdown in your area for this period of time, please contact my office at 570-941-6267 or send an email explaining the concern and we will make every effort to try to accommodate your request if possible.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this very important matter.

Buildings not affected by the power shut down are: Adlin, NRCI, Houlihan, Girl Scout House, Smurfit Art Center, Wayne, Cambria, Fitz Field, J. Joyce Shop, Tioga, Fayette, Liva, and 314-316 N. Irving.

Mark Murphy

Office 365 Upgrade – Dec 1

21 11 2013

Announcement from TSC, sent out in an all-faculty email on 2013-11-18:

Microsoft Office 365, our hosted email system, is scheduled to be upgraded beginning on Sunday, December 1st at 7:00 pm.  This upgrade may take up to 72 hours to complete.  Important items to note:

  • During this time, customers will continue to have access to their email.
  • We recommend customers access email via the portal ( for uninterrupted email access.
  • Customers using the Outlook client or mobile devices may experience an hour or so during the upgrade, when their account is converted, where they will be repeatedly prompted for their password.   We recommend that customers wait an hour and try accessing their email again in the client or on their mobile devices  –  or access email via the portal (
  • This upgrade will provide additional features and functionality including Sky Drive Pro for faculty and students (25GB of free storage space).
  • To see what’s new and learn more about Office 365, please visit

Questions may be directed to the Technology Support Center at extension 4357 or by emailing

Royal Drive – Off Campus Access restored

19 08 2013

Yay! Update from the my.scranton portal, posted on Friday afternoon:

Off-campus access to Royal Drive has been restored. University members having access to Royal Drive should now be able to access their files and folders from anywhere using either the Royal Drive client or through the portal. Please report any problems to the Technology Support Center at (570) 941-4357 or Although the Technology Support Center will be closed this weekend (Friday & Saturday, Aug 17 & 18), a staff member will be monitoring both email and voice mail. Thank you!

Wireless Network work this week

5 08 2013

Update 2013-08-08: Downtime complete :)

[Updated 2013-08-05]

Network Infrastructure is going to be working on our wireless network this week, upgrading to a new version of Cisco NAC. If you’ll be working on campus this week, you may see some downtime on Tuesday and Thursday in the late afternoon/early evening. Notice from the downtime-notices RoyalList:

Network Infrastructure will be upgrading Cisco NAC to version 4.9.3.

To add support for newer operating systems and antivirus as well as add new features. During this upgrade we will also be migrating off of legacy hardware onto new appliances.

August 6th 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
August 7th 4:30 PM – 8:30 PM

August 6th 4:30PM – 6:30 PM:
Approximately 20 mins of downtime is expected for the wireless network.  Wired connections will be unaffected.
August 7th 4:30PM – 6:30 PM:
There will a 1 hour window of downtime where wireless (Royalair, RoyalGuest) and unauthenticated users on wired connections on campus will be unable to login.

Royal Drive – Off Campus Access

31 07 2013

Update as of August 16th: Fixed!



Notification from the TSC, sent out via email yesterday at 4:20pm:

Access to RoyalDrive from off-campus, via both the portal and the Xythos client, has been disabled as of 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 due to a vulnerability.  Alternative methods for off-campus access are being developed and tested and will be made available as soon as possible.  If you are currently working off campus and need access to files on RoyalDrive, the server, via both the portal and the Xythos client will be made available to you from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 31, 2013.

More information will be provided via my.scranton portal announcements.   If you have further questions, you may contact the Technology Support Center at 570.941.4357 or

[Update as of August 1: ]

Off-campus access to Royal Drive will continue to be restricted until the vendor releases a patch for the vulnerability. Employees having a critical business need to access Royal Drive from off-campus through the end of next week may request alternative access by submitting an email message to with a valid business justification. If you have questions, please contact the Technology Support Center at (570) 941-4357.

Royal Drive and my.scranton downtimes

3 06 2013

Two upcoming downtimes that might affect faculty:

Royal Drive will be down Thursday, June 6 after 4:30pm.

my.scranton will be down Sunday, June 9 from 7:00am to noon.

Both are related to the Luminis 5 platform upgrade.

TAG Meeting 2013-04-03

3 04 2013

TAG met for our third and final Spring 2013 meeting this morning, and it was a meaty one. Here’s what’s going on:

1. TAG Leadership for 2013-2014

Continuing the discussion from our March meeting, we’ve officially agreed to move to a rotating, 2-year-term, 2-co-chair leadership model for 2013-2014. Jeremy and Kristen nominated Dave (currently a Faculty Senator) to take over for Jeremy as co-chair in 2013-2014 and serve as TAG’s liaison to the Faculty Senate. We held a not-quite-strictly-parliamentarian vote among the faculty TAG members present, which passed with no audible or visible dissent, so Dave will start his 2-year term in Fall 2013… or more likely Summer 2013. Kristen will stay on for 2013-2014 and then rotate off, to be replaced by a new co-chair in 2014-2015.

2. Identity Finder Automated Scans

Jim brought Adam Edwards, our new Information Security Officer, with him to the meeting to talk about an Information Security Office/IT Client Services Identity Finder Proposal on Automating Scans. For those just joining us, Identity Finder software scans your computer for sensitive, unsecured Personally Identifiable Information (PII). It’s been installed on faculty computers since 2011 (Windows only – Mac and Linux users can skip this part). To date, the scans have been encouraged but entirely voluntary and entirely user-initiated.

The Information Security Office and IT Client Services are jointly proposing implementation of weekly, automated, required Identity Finder scans (see the proposal for details). Adam explained the rationale — if IR knows where sensitive data is stored on campus, it’s easier to protect that vulnerable data and avoid embarrassing FERPA violations. It’s also easier and faster to fix and return malware-infected machines if IR knows whether or not the machine had any sensitive data on it. Here’s how the proposed scans would work:

  • Every Friday at 12:30pm (or the next time your work machine was turned on), Identity Finder would automatically begin a scan.
  • Scans would be limited to only certain types of sensitive data – e.g., Social Security numbers, drivers’ license numbers, credit card numbers, and birth dates.
  • The Information Security Office would receive reports on the scan results. Adam would see the number of hits, and a masked view of the PII found, but he would NOT be able to see the file or the full PII picked up in the scan.
  • If a computer frequently had many hits identified, Adam would reach out to that user to help them better manage their sensitive data (so that the Information Security Office’s efforts would be focused on the largest sets of the most vulnerable data).

Adam has been testing with a small group. This Friday he’ll be rolling out the automated scans to all PIR staff members for another 2-3 weeks of testing. Adam noted that they are working on finding the most effective and efficient ways to scope the scans to minimize scan time.

TAG members mentioned a few concerns:

  • Scan length and performance effects — Kristen and Kim had run test scans on their machines that took much longer than expected (Kristen’s was 7 hours and 45 minutes, with a noticeable impact on performance).  Jim said that the subsequent scans are much faster, since you can set Identity Finder to ignore locations with many false positives – his scan takes about 3 hours. With respect to performance, Identity Finder does have a throttling capacity, such that it is not supposed to impact other applications. Adam explained that continued testing with PIR will help him make the scans faster and less noticeable.
  • Scheduling — Kevin and Katie noted that many faculty members (and their computers) are not on campus on Friday afternoons, especially if a scan needed multiple hours. We discussed a few options – for example, scheduling for Tuesday or Thursdays during the 11:30-1pm time slot, having an option to skip a scan if your machine had already been scanned within the past week, being able to pause a scan, doing monthly instead of weekly scans, pinging computers to automatically turn on and scan in the middle of the night, warning everyone to run their first scan overnight, etc.

To help resolve some of these issues and identify other areas of concern for faculty, TAG members volunteered to serve as test subjects for automated scans. Adam said that he’d like to work through the PIR staff first but will then reach out to TAG members for additional testing and scoping.

We invite our fellow faculty to contact us with other concerns or questions.  If you’d like to try Identity Finder, it should already be installed on your (Windows) machine, and you can find a Quick Guide for getting started at

3. Academic Server Decommissioning

An official memo from IR will be coming out in the next few days announcing a timeline for the decommissioning of the academic server (, which has been in the works since mid-2011.  The server has been heavily targeted by attacks, so due to security concerns, will no longer be *public-facing* beginning June 15. Internal access (via a campus IP address) will still be available until August 31 in case users need more time to move content. Adam explained that a firm deadline was needed in order to mitigate the major risk of a supposedly retired server still being public-facing.

Adam would like to work with people who still have public content on the server to migrate to either the CMS or another campus server.  (Content was supposed to have been migrated to the Content Management System (CMS), but there is still some active content there that was not migrated for one reason or another – some of it could not be accommodated within the CMS’s available functionality.) He has already met with the CTLE and the Library about moving the development pages for the Academic Integrity Tutorial. TAG will help reach out to faculty members who still have either individual content or organizational content on academic to determine what needs to be migrated where, and what level of support, assistance, or training is required. Adam will send Kristen information about the remaining directories and a list of faculty usernames connected to content on academic. After the official IR memo comes out, TAG will follow up that communication with those faculty members. (Faculty members who had individual pages on academic were contacted back in 2011 about moving their content, so hopefully most of this migration work is already completed.)

This discussion brought up some broader concerns about web development resources on campus. Tim described some of the difficulties he had finding a home for the Sheep Brain Dissection Guide. Eugeniu mentioned that some faculty members who had migrated their content from academic to the CMS reported that the Google ranking of their page had gone down in search results. The local WordPress server ( might be a new option for student and faculty web development, but the extent of this service is still being discussed. We didn’t come up with any answers on this, but as always faculty members may contact TAG with other concerns, questions, or suggestions regarding web development on campus.

my.scranton downtime at 4:30pm today

7 11 2012

Just got this notice — PIR is working on myScranton portal issues this afternoon:

Sungard has recommended some configuration changes for the myScranton portal that necessitate a restart. This will occur today at 4:30 PM. Expected downtime is less than 30 minutes.