Shawn Beattie, ITS, editor
Welcome to Augie Techknowledge from ITS, an e-newsletter to share "what's new" in ITS and provide useful tips and articles on Information Technology at Augustana. We hope you like it and find it useful. The newsletter will be archived on the ITS web site at http://www.augustana.edu/itsfiles/techknowledge. Enjoy!
In this issue:
Windows 7 Update
RSS - Really Simple Syndication
Spring Cleaning for your Computer
Multimedia, Moodle, and MoodleMoot
Summer Projects? We Can Help!
Tip: Update your web profile
Apple's new iPadwent on sale this spring with much fanfare, but is it going to be a game-changer in terms of how we use media and access the web? The answer is a resounding...maybe.
If you haven't noticed, since the iPhone was released several years ago, every phone released since then has been compared to it in reviews. Likewise, the iPad will pressure other touch-screen tablets to match the high-quality user experience found on the iPad.
Essentially a much larger version of the iPhone, without voice telephony, the iPad offers a well rounded package as a media player, mobile web device, and e-book reader. But is it a jack-of-all trades, yet master of none? Amazon's Kindle can provide a better book-reading experience with its crisp and low-power e-ink display, and a traditional netbook or laptop can arguably give you a better word processing or browsing experience. But the iPad is essentially a new genre that wraps many functions up into one. It's a web browser, movie player, gaming device, e-book reader and much more.
Critics of the iPad have noted its lack of a camera, lack of ports, lack of keyboard (although an external one is available), and limited multitasking. Also noted in a quite public battle between Adobe and Apple is the iPad's inability to handle Adobe Flash, which is found on most websites in some capacity -- except Apple's.
While no computing device is perfect, if a multi-function tablet is what you're looking for, the iPad is a great choice at this time and is likely to be the gold standard of this genre for quite some time.
Jeff Martin, ITS
During the next year, we will be moving PCs on
campus from Windows XP to Windows 7. We will begin work on the classrooms and
labs during the summer. It is our hope to have the labs and classrooms across
campus completely upgraded prior to the start of classes in the fall. Starting
with the fall semester, we will begin migrating faculty and staff.
Prior to your computer being upgraded to Windows 7, ITS will provide information on how to properly prepare your system for the upgrade, including how to best prepare your data for transfer and what information we will need to complete the procedure as quickly and efficiently as possible.
If you have questions or concerns, please let us know. ITS will be doing our best to make certain this migration is as smooth and efficient as it can be for the Augustana Community.
RSS - Really Simple Syndication
Brad Isbell, ITS
If you browse regularly updated websites, it is inevitable that you will stumble
across a link to an RSS feed, usually identified by the curious orange icon (see
above). Particularly popular with news sites and blogs, RSS (which stands for
Really Simple Syndication) feeds are streams of data that
represent the content of the site they are associated with.
These feeds have no defined use or purpose, but they do have some common applications. One of which is the use of a feed reader to get site updates without actually having to visit the site. For example, if you go to the Augustana website, down at the bottom right of the home page, you will find the RSS icon. Clicking it will open the feed, and there you will find a link to “subscribe”. Clicking the subscribe link will open the feed in your news reader. Microsoft Outlook has a news reader built-in, as do most browsers such as Apple's Safari. From there, you can view news updates just like you read e-mail! You can find links to RSS feeds on many of the popular websites you already visit.
RSS feeds are also used internally by websites to send content from one site to another. A great example of this is CampusNet which uses feeds to show the Announcements, Blogs, Augie News, and Local/Regional News areas. Feeds can also used to subscribe to podcasts, which are audio and video clips downloaded automatically when they are posted.
You can more information on RSS feeds here: http://www.commoncraft.com/rss_plain_english (opens in new window)
As we get ready to say goodbye to another school year - and
for some goodbye for the summer - here’s some things to remember to do to keep
things running smoothly this spring & summer:
1. Remember that your network password will expire every 180 days. If you do not want to be bothered with the possibility of your password expiring over the summer, change your password now so you won’t have to worry about it over the summer months. If you need help with changing your password you can find documentation at:
Projects? We Can help!
Shawn Beattie, ITS
If you have a
summer project involving scanning paper documents to image or PDFs, scanning
35mm slides, video conversion or editing, or other digitization projects where
you need technical assistance in converting from one format to another format -
ITS can help.
Contact us to
discuss the specifics of your project.
Faculty & Staff - did you know that you can update your own online bio for the
If you would like to update your own information go to: http://www.augustana.edu/directory/update.php (link opens in new window)
Once you get to this page - read through the directions and then scroll to the bottom to fill in your information. If your contact information is incorrect please contact Human Resources because that information is pulled directly from Colleague.
When you are all done click Submit and then go check your profile online by going to http://www.augustana.edu and type your name into the search box in the top right corner.
If you are looking for examples check out: Brian Katz, Pamela Druger or Darrin Good (nice job guys!)
If you have any questions, comments or concerns please feel free to email the web team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great summer!