Wolfram Alpha Pro now available for students, faculty and staff

Northeastern has now a license for students, faculty and staff to use Wolfram Alpha Pro. As a complement to Mathematica, Wolfram Alpha Pro enables you to upload any kind of file or data right in your browser for automatic analysis and a detailed report.

Additionally, Wolfram Alpha Pro makes it easy for professors to introduce students to computation across a wide array of disciplines. Students also get access to features like the Problem Generator and Solutions help. See http://www.wolframalpha.com/pro/ for product details.

You can access Wolfram Alpha Pro anywhere (home, campus, through your smartphone, tablet, etc). You will only need to login to your Wolfram account through your campus site license or, if you don’t have an account, please follow the steps in this KB article.

 

HuskyCableHDplus

A Major Upgrade for HuskyCable – HD and IPTV

Information Technology Services is happy to announce that earlier this month there were the two major upgrades to HuskyCable in the residence halls. The result is a new suite of services called HuskyCable HDplus. Please note that these services are only available to current, on campus residential students.

IPTV – online streaming of live and on demand content

The most exciting part of the upgrade to HuskyCable HDplus is the release of internet protocol television (IPTV) – which allows for online streaming of live TV and a catalog of on demand TV shows and movies. Similar to Hulu and Netflix, IPTV allows viewers to watch streaming content on computers and devices. Northeastern University’s IPTV service is provided through a partnership with Comcast and delivered through the XFINITY On Campus™ portal. This service offers online access to 200 broadcast and premium channels, as well as on demand content.

Content from can be viewed on computers through the XFINITY On Campus portal, as well as on iOS and Android devices (connected through wifi to a Northeastern network) through the XFINITY On Campus app. A list of minimum system requirements can be found on the IPTV – FAQ page.


Learn more at the HuskyCable HDplus Town Hall
January 19, 2016, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
20 West Village F

Additionally, Comcast representatives will be in the Stetson East and International Village dining halls during lunch and dinner the week of January 11, 2016 to answer any questions.


More HD television channels

In early January 2016, the broadcast cable television channels were upgraded to high definition (HD). Now 56 out of 60 cable television channels are in HD, flipping the ratio of standard definition to HD channels that existed beforehand. The new channel lineup was selected by SGA. As a reminder, HuskyCable HD is available in the residence halls as it is include in the room rate.

Information for setting up your TV can be found on the How To: Set up HuskyCable HD on your TV page. Please note that a channel scan may take up to 45 minutes.

For academic and administrative areas of the Boston campus who are interested may request to access to HuskyCable HD by submitting a Non-Residential Husky Cable request through the ServiceNow portal.

Important Retirements: myFiles, 32-bit Windows image, older versions of OS X

32-bit Northeastern-managed Windows computers

Retiring June 30, 2016

ITS now only offers a 64-bit version of the Windows image. Over the next few months, we will work with faculty and staff to migrate all remaining Northeastern-managed 32-bit Windows computers over to 64-bit.

Why are we transitioning to a Windows 64-bit Windows environment?
Operating systems can come in two different versions: 32-bit or 64-bit. Digital Trends provides good background information in the article “The differences between 32-bit v. 62-bit operating systems explained.” As a whole, the industry has been shifting to 64-bit as it pushes the boundaries of new technologies, allowing consumers to have a better experience with faster computers.

One analogy to explain the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit is to think about a flip phone and a brand new cell phone. While both are perfectly capable of making phone calls and sending/receiving text messages, the smartphone runs on newer technology, offers greater functionality and software (through apps) and it is a more robust productivity tool. The flip phone, on the other hand, runs on older technology, it can’t be updated as easily and it offers a limited set of features. In this analogy, a computer running a 32-bit operating system is the flip phone, and a computer running 64-bit is an iPhone 6S.

To upgrade
Please call the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) to make a desktop appointment, and learn the necessary steps involved in upgrading, including backing up your computer.

myFiles

Retiring in 2016

Now that newer cloud-based storage options are available to the Northeastern community through G-Apps (students only) and Office 365 and OneDrive for Business, ITS will be retiring individual myFiles accounts. Students, faculty and staff should migrate content that is stored on myFiles on to either a local machine or a cloud-based alternative. Please keep in mind that files containing Personal Identifying Information (Pii) should only be stored in a secure manner, such as on a shared network drive or SharePoint. Since myApps will be retiring soon no new individual accounts will be added.

ITS will be working with individual departments who have used myFiles for enterprise purposes in order to have a smooth transition.

 

Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 or 10.8

Upgrade as soon as possible

ITS has just released the OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) standard image, making it easier than ever to upgrade your Mac operating system. Please note that Apple no longer supports OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), OS X 10.7 (Lion), and OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion). Unsupported operating systems no longer receive updates, which makes them a security risk in the Northeastern environment.

How do I upgrade?

  • Students/non Northeastern-owned computer: If you are running OS X 10.6 through 10.10, you can upgrade to OS X El Capitan (10.11) for free. Details on how to upgrade can be found on the Apple website.
  • Faculty/staff on a Northeastern-managed Mac: ITS has an OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) image available. Please call the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) to make a desktop appointment, and learn the necessary steps involved in upgrading, including backing up your computer.
  • Faculty/staff on an unmanaged computer: If you are a Northeastern-owned computer that is unmanaged, we strongly encouraged to upgrade your system to the standard Northeastern-managed Mac configuration. This configuration offers the latest Northeastern software including Microsoft Office 2011, Adobe Acrobat Pro, and through the Self-Service application, there are even more applications you can download and install.
    • If you choose not to have the standard Northeastern-managed Mac configuration installed on your computer, you may update to El Capitan directly through Apple. Details on how to upgrade can be found on the Apple website. If you are on an older computer, be sure to see if your system is compatible.

From ATS: Spring 2016 Updates

Academic Technology Services has new software features, planned vendor visits, and several pilot projects in process this spring. In addition, there are opportunities to be involved in innovative classroom projects and participate in panel discussions at TEXPO on March 15, 2016.

Digication: new password feature and program assessment options

Our current e-portfolio system, Digication, has added new features that allow students to password-protect pages, enabling them to share their work with potential employers in the job search process. Further, students can now join a Digication course via Blackboard, which makes Digication’s template and course and program assessment feature a good option for departments who would like to conduct assessments of learning against a rubric. Finally, faculty and students who use the assignment feature may notice a change in the assignment submission interface. This interface update streamlines assignment submission by limiting visible options to those that are currently open for submission. For e-portfolio information, visit http://www.ats.neu.edu/teaching-technology/digication/.

Software vendor visits

Academic Technology Services is scheduling a series of visits from vendors so that students and faculty can better leverage free and discounted software provided by the university. Upcoming events include sessions provided by TopHat, AutoDesk, Microsoft, Articulate, MathWorks, IBM and Adobe. Please check our Special Events page to stay up to date on these visits.

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Pilots and projects in progress

We’re currently in the process of piloting several tools, including Zaption, an interactive video platform and Pragya, a smart repository and content management tool. To read more about these tools, join the pilot, or learn more about innovation in Academic Technology Services, please visit our Pilots and Projects page.

TEXPO-logo-300x94TEXPO 2016

TEXPO: Technology in Teaching Expo will be March 15, 2016 in the Curry Student Center. Panel topics will include pilot project outcomes, mobile photo and online editing, microlearning objects, storytelling, open learning resources, adaptive learning, and results of the Learning Management System (LMS) search recently undertaken by the university. If you’d like to present at TEXPO on any of the above topics or about other technology innovations in your classroom, please email ats@neu.edu.

 

24/7 Blackboard help

Students and faculty may now reach a staffed help desk 24/7 for answers to Blackboard questions and issues. You will hear a new call routing menu when you call 617.373.4357 which will help you get assistance faster any time of night or day.  For specific information about Blackboard support in your college or department, visit the ITS Knowledge Base accessible from myNEU and search on blackboard support.

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Discovery Lab

The Discovery lab, an exciting area located on the first floor of Snell Library near Argo Tea, is where you will find large presentation displays, whiteboards, and computers throughout the room, making it ideal for workshops, presentations, breakout sessions, and collaborative project discussions. Faculty, staff and students may reserve the room through the library’s website, http://library.northeastern.edu/. Faculty who would like to use the space on a weekly basis for collaborative instruction/active learning events, directed study, ongoing classes, or special events may contact ATS by sending an email to ats@neu.edu. The wall in the Discovery lab can be used to host curated content like posters or art, and the flat screen placed outside of the Discovery Lab facing Argo Tea can be used to publicize coming events in the Lab. To learn more about everything offered in the space, visit the Discovery Lab website.

Accessibility

ATS has created an accessibility resource page to provide tips and resources to make your course more accessible to students with disabilities. You can find out how to allow one student more time on a Blackboard assessment, request captions for a Tegrity video, create an accessible PDF, and other tasks. Our page also hosts several video resources to provide information on making courses accessible.

Lynda.com – Customize Your Training, 24×7

Lynda.com logo

What is Lynda?

Did you know that Northeastern students, faculty and staff have:

  • FREE access to over 3,000 online video courses from Lynda?
  • Topics range from programming languages to business skills to professional development skills

Why is Lynda beneficial?

  • Each video is short, only a few minutes long.
    • Watch them even if you have very little time.
  • Pick and choose the ones that you need or interest you.
  • Receive a completion certificate that you can have posted directly to your LinkedIn account if you complete an entire course.
  • Offers training on different topics as well as specific software applications.
  • Ability to create and assign playlists allows for more personalized learning.

Excel 2013 Essential Training on Lynda.com

Top 10 Most Viewed Lynda.com courses during Fall 2015:

  • Excel 2013 Essential Training
  • Project 2013 Essential Training
  • Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals
  • Project Management Fundamentals
  • Foundations of Programming: Databases
  • SQL Essential Training
  • Excel 2016 Essential Training
  • JavaScript Essential training
  • Up and Running with Python
  • Up and Running with R

For those of you who have taken the Excel 2013 Essential Training course, you may be interested in some of Lynda.com’s advanced Excel courses:

  • Excel 2013: Pivot Tables in Depth
  • Excel 2013 Tips & Tricks
  • Excel 2013: Advanced Formulas & Functions
  • Excel 2013: Macros in Depth

Lynda.com libraries

Lynda.com has different sections in its Library with courses on different topics and software applications:

  • 3D and Animation
  • Audio and Music
  • Business
  • CAD
  • Design
  • Developer
  • Education + Elearning
  • IT
  • Marketing
  • Photography
  • Video
  • Web

Be sure to explore the different classes today!
To access Lynda, go to lynda.neu.edu and use your myNEU username and password to log in.

Want to know more about how you can use Lynda.com? Visit the Lynda.com page on our site for more information, or contact ITSTraining@neu.edu.

New Software Available – Spring 2016

New and the latest versions of software are now available to the Northeastern community in ITS-managed labs, on Faculty/Staff Northeastern-managed computers and for local install. Software availability is based on the Spring 2016 image.

If you are a faculty or staff member on a managed computer and are not seeing the latest software in Start or Software Center on Windows, or in Applications or Self Service on Mac, you may want to consider having your machine reimaged. You can do this by contacting the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) or help@neu.edu.

Also check out the Fall 2015 new software and Software Updates – October 2015 for anything you might have missed.


New OS X 10.11.2 (El Capitan) standard Mac image

ITS now has an OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) standard Mac image for Northeastern-managed computers. The benefit of a standard image is that ITS tests out the operating system with software used at Northeastern to ensure everything works properly with our systems. This image includes Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac 2016, Acrobat Pro DC, Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Remote Desktop, PaloAlto Global Protect (VPN software), GarageBand, iMovie, OS X Photos, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers.

This image adds support for iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2015), iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, Late 2015) and iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015).

To upgrade to this new image, please call the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) to make a desktop appointment, and learn the necessary steps involved in upgrading, including backing up your computer. The Knowledge Base article How to: Prepare for an OS upgrade on a Windows or Mac computer provides details for those looking to upgrade.

Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) 12.1.6

This version of the antivirus solution provides support for Windows 10 and Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan).

  • Windows – Installed on all ITS-managed lab and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers. Available for personal faculty, staff and student computers through Software Downloads on the myNEU portal.
  • Mac – Installed on all ITS-managed lab and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers. Available for personal faculty, staff and student computers through Software Downloads on the myNEU portal.

Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac

The new version of Microsoft’s Office suite for Mac is a major update, providing an all-new look and feel, and new capabilities, including direct access to OneDrive for Business cloud storage.

  • Windows – Not available
  • Mac – (OS X 10.10+ only) Available on all ITS-managed lab computers. Install on faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers from Self-Service. To install on Northeastern-owned, unmanaged computers, submit a Locally Installed Software request through the ServiceNow portal (sign-in may be required). Also available for personal faculty and staff computers through the Microsoft Home Use Program.

Adobe Acrobat DC

The professional version of the PDF reader, editor and creator has been updated.

  • Windows – All ITS-managed lab computers and Faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers via All Programs > Adobe Acrobat DC. Faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers – also available through Software Center.
  • Mac – (OS 10.9+ only) All ITS-managed lab computers. Faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers – use Self Service.

Adobe Creative Cloud 2015

64-bit systems only
The latest version of Adobe’s Creative Cloud service provides access to design and production applications, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator and InDesign. If you already have Creative Cloud 2014, this will install as a separate instance – it will not overwrite the 2014 version.

  • Windows – All ITS-managed lab machines and Faculty/Staff Northeastern-managed computers. Faculty/Staff – Use Software Center to download; there are several different software packages available, based on your needs, details can be found here. If you do not see it in Software Center, see How to: Determine if your operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit. Northeastern-owned, unmanaged computers – available via submitting a Locally Installed Software request through the ServiceNow Service Catalog.
  • Mac – All ITS-managed lab machines and Faculty/Staff Northeastern-managed machines running OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or 10.10 (Yosemite). Faculty/Staff – use Self Service; there are several different software packages available, based on your needs, details can be found here. Unmanaged Northeastern machines running OS X 10.9+ can contact the ITS Service Desk for local install.
  • Imaged non-ITS labs can contact the Service Desk to upgrade to Adobe Creative Cloud 2015.

ANSYS 14.0

This version of this engineering simulation suite provides several updates across its applications, including automation of several user-intensive operations and improved simulation speeds.

  • Windows – Available on all ITS-managed lab computers and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers under Start > All Programs > Department Applications > Engineering > ANSYS.
  • Mac – Not available.

ArcGIS Desktop 10.3.1

The latest version of this GIS software with tools and capabilities for gathering, editing, analyzing, and modeling data.

  • Windows – Available on all ITS-managed lab computers and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers under Start > All Programs > Department Applications > Design and CAD/ArcGIS.
  • Mac – Not available.

ChemOffice Professional 15

There is an entirely new version of the visualization and analysis suite now available. ChemOffice Professional 15 provides access to the full breadth of applications for biology and chemistry needs on both Windows and Mac. This new suite is available along with the previous Windows-only ChemBioOffice Ultra and Mac-only ChemBioDraw Ultra suites. It is is compatible with Microsoft Office 2010 (Windows), Office 2013 32-bit only (Windows) and Office 2011 (Mac).

  • Windows – Available on all ITS-managed lab computers and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers under Start > All Programs > Department Applications > Chemical Biology > ChemOffice Professional 15. Unmanaged Northeastern computers, and student/faculty/staff personal computers: Direct from vendor. Go to the Knowledge Base for the solution (you may need to sign in with your myNEU username and password).
  • Mac – Available on all ITS-managed lab computers under Applications. Faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers – use Self Service. Unmanaged Northeastern computers, and student/faculty/staff personal computers: Direct from vendor. Go to the Knowledge Base for the solution (you may need to sign in with your myNEU username and password).

Esri CityEngine 2015

The latest version of this modeling application for architects, designers and engineers enhances the link with ArcGIS Online to allow faster creation of 3D models and easier sharing. There are also additional editing, export and workflow features.

  • Windows – Available on all DMC lab machines under Start > All Programs > Esri
  • Mac – Not available.

Students, faculty and staff can now access or install new updates for ITS-provided software.

Maple 2015

The latest version of the mathematical computation software updates most everything, from the infrastructure of the product itself to the tools it provides.

  • Windows – Available on all ITS-managed lab computers and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers under Start > All Programs > Statistical and Computational > Maple. Northeastern-owned, unmanaged computers – submit a Locally Installed Software request through the ServiceNow Service Catalog. Faculty/staff personal computers – available for download through Software Downloads on myNEU. The home use purchase code is included in a dialogue box when downloading the software from myNEU. Unmanaged Northeastern computers, and student/faculty/staff personal computers may also access the software through RemoteApp.
  • Mac – Available on all ITS-managed lab computers under Applications. Faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers – use Self Service. Northeastern-owned, unmanaged computers – submit a Locally Installed Software request through the ServiceNow Service Catalog. Faculty/staff personal computers – available for download through Software Downloads on myNEU. The home use purchase code is included in a dialogue box when downloading the software from myNEU.

Maple 2015 Student Edition

For the first time, this technical computing software used by engineers, mathematicians, and scientists is now available for student personal computers for both Windows and Mac. All students can purchase the Student Edition at a 50 percent discount through ITS’s site license. Follow the instructions in this Knowledge Base solution (student-only, may require signing in).

Matlab 2015a

The latest version of the high-level language and interactive environment that lets you focus on your course work and applications, rather than on programming details, introduces a new wireless and radar design solution, along with four new toolbox and testing products.

  • Windows – Available on all ITS-managed lab computers and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers under Start > All Programs > Statistical and Computational > MatLab.
  • Mac – Available on all ITS-managed lab computers. Also available on faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers through Self Service.

Multisim 14

The latest version of this simulation software provides new parameter analysis, integration with new embedded targets, and simplified design with user-definable templates.

  • Windows – Available on all ITS-managed lab computers and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers under Start > All Programs > Department Applications > Engineering > Multisim 14. To install on Northeastern-owned, unmanaged computers, submit a Locally Installed Software request through the ServiceNow portal (sign-in may be required).
  • Mac – Not available.

SketchUp Pro 2016

The latest version of this 3D software. Details about new features can be found here.

  • Windows – Available on all ITS-managed lab computers under Start > All Programs > Department Applications > Architecture.
  • Mac – Available on all ITS-managed lab computers.

It’s Not Hard To Remember a Strong Password

No one wants to be the person whose accounts are hacked, and we’ve all seen plenty of examples of the emotional and financial damage that can do. We all also know that having strong passwords for your accounts – myNEU, Gmail, Twitter, Steam, Hulu, or any of the hundreds of other services and systems you use – is the easiest way to personally make it as hard as possible for hackers to succeed.

But advice for creating strong passwords changes often and usually contradicts what you were told before. When you try to follow the rules, you probably find that the passwords you end up with are so complex that you can never remember them. So you write them down. Or use the same password for everything. Hopefully you don’t use one of the passwords on this annual, horrible list (due to be updated this month).

This is not good. There is an easy way to make it better.

Given the computing power and tools available to hackers now, experts have come to realize that longer passwords are better, but the best passwords introduce complexity in the same way as CAPTCHA images do – by being something that a human brain can understand, but that confuses a computer.

Even if you’ve seen this XKCD comic before, it’s still a good demonstration of the idea:

The Northeastern Office of Information Security has several good posts up at SecureNU on why strong passwords are important, and how to create a strong password following the guide of “easy to remember, hard to guess.”

The important thing to remember is that the old line is true – security starts with you. Since your security starts with your passwords, make sure they’re strong ones that you and your capacity for nonsense can remember (Cathas12greentoes! – do not actually use), but that will stump a logical computer.

Accessing software at Northeastern

Software is available for your Mac or Windows computer in a variety of ways depending on your role on campus and the device you are using. Visit the Software & Hardware Services section for more information, including charts listing titles of Northeastern-licensed software and where each title is available.

Most computers come with an operating system installed. After that, many come with Microsoft Office and possibly an antivirus software product. Methods for accessing additional software depend on your role at Northeastern – faculty, staff or student – and the operating system on your computer.

The standard Northeastern image – faculty/staff computers

There is a standard Northeastern image (suite of software) available for faculty and staff computers. These applications are installed on your device and are readily available. On Northeastern-managed Windows computers, most software is made available to faculty and staff through a process called Application Virtualization (App-V), which must be run initially while you are connected to a Northeastern network: NUnet, NUwave, or via the VPN. These applications are not installed directly on your computer but are readily available to ensure your computer contains only those applications you use.

Faculty and staff will find additional titles to download by going to the Software Center on a Windows computer, or to Self-Service on a Mac. This will allow you to download and install the applications you want, without adding extra software you don’t need.

The standard Northeastern image – lab computers

There is a standard Northeastern image (suite of software) available in ITS-managed labs, such as the InfoCommons and the DMC. These applications are installed and ready to use. A full list of applications can be found on the Software – Labs, Classrooms and Individual Access page.

Virtual Desktop/Virtual applications

Many larger software packages are available for students, faulty and staff from RemoteApp accessible from myNEU. This method also allows Mac users to access certain software applications that are only available on a Windows platform.

Local Installation Options

Software Downloads

Some software, such as Symantec Endpoint Protection antivirus software, is available to students, faulty and staff on the myNEU portal through a section called Software Downloads.

Free & discounted software

Some software, such as Adobe Creative Cloud, is available to students, faulty and staff on the myNEU portal through a section called Free and Discounted software. The link directs you to a third-party vendor who provides access to select software titles for either free, or at a severely discounted price. ITS publishes information on the software that have been negotiated for on Northeastern’s behalf, however the vendor website may offer additional software titles.

Direct from vendor

As a result of ITS partnerships, students, faculty and staff have access to software directly from some vendors. To use this method, you will be required to identify yourself as a member of the Northeastern community and possibly enter a code specific for Northeastern. This way, you will have fully patched, updated software at all times.

Local install from the ITS Service Desk – faculty/staff

Faculty/staff my also request some software titles from the ITS Service Desk to install on University-owned devices which are not configured with the standard Northeastern image. Clicking on the Locally Installed Software request through the ServiceNow portal (sign-in may be required) will bring you to a browsable list of software available for Windows or Mac. Simply select the software you need, add it to your cart, and submit your request – the ITS Service Desk will contact you with directions to install.

If you need access to a specific software title, visit the Available Software pages or contact the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP).

 

Coming Soon – New ITS Projects For Spring 2016

Information Technology Services works year-round to bring the Northeastern community new and enhanced technology and services. Starting this spring, ITS is rolling out a number of updates. Read on for more information about how this will affect you.

IT Strategic Planning
Stronger passwords and challenge questions for students
New Virtual Desktop and Application service
Transition to 64-bit Windows environment
Upgrading to App-V 5.0
Switching faculty/staff email from @neu.edu to @northeastern.edu


IT Strategic Planning

Anticipated for the first half of 2016

Information Technology Service has been charged with delivering the University’s IT Strategic Plan, which is derived from, informed by and in support of the academic plan. The IT Strategic Plan is intended to define the goals and priorities of six strategic themes created in collaboration with the Sponsors; Jim Bean, Philly Mantella and Tom Nedell, CIO; Rehan Khan and Strategic Planning Partners; Greg Condell, Seamus Harreys and Anthony Rini. This strategy will continually evolve to stay in line with changes in the academic plan, as well as technological advances.

Currently the six strategic groups are developing and aligning the plans for their areas. More information about the finalized IT Strategic Plan will be released in the first quarter of 2016.

Stronger passwords and challenge questions for students

Anticipated for the first half of 2016

Coming soon, students will need to pick stronger passwords and challenge/authentication questions used to verify your identity. Strong myNEU passwords and complex challenge questions and answers are the key to keeping your information safe, secure, and private by reducing the likelihood that criminals would be able to gain access to your accounts and personal data. Identity theft and other forms of online crime can seriously damage your reputation, credit history, job prospects, and much more. You can help to protect yourself by using strong passwords for online accounts.

Pro Tips:

  • Longer passwords are better than complex short passwords. 
  • Authentication questions and answers are best where the answer is nonsensical, and where only you will understand the relationship between the question and answer.

New Virtual Desktop and Application service

Limited release currently available; full deployment in the first half of 2016

ITS has been working with select faculty on a new virtual desktop and application system, using VMware Horizon. This service has already gone through a test pilot and has moved onto a limited release. Faculty who are interested in trying out the new software visualization service should contact ITS at ITS_DaaS@neu.edu. At this time, the new virtualization service offers the same software as RemoteApp, but it deploys the applications in a different manner.

Transition to Windows 64-bit environment

Anticipated for June 2016

For the last few years, ITS has been taking steps to move the Windows-using Northeastern community towards a 64-bit-only environment for desktops and laptops. This transition to a 64-bit, and retirement of the 32-bit, is similar to the Windows XP retirement project in 2014. Approximately 1,200 managed laptops and desktops are still running a Northeastern-managed 32-bit Windows system. Starting this semester, ITS will only offer a 64-bit version of the Windows image for computers. Faculty, staff and labs currently using a Northeastern-managed 32-bit Windows computer will need to upgrade to a 64-bit image by June 30, 2016. 

Additional details can be found on the Important Retirements post.

Upgrading to App-V 5.0 (Northeastern-managed Windows computers)

Anticipated for the first half of 2016

The main method used to deploy over 75% of the software on Northeastern-managed Windows computers is a process called application virtualization. Within the next year, ITS will be updating the software used in this process to the latest version – going from App-V 4.6 to App-V 5.0. This new version is offers more features, however it only works on Windows 64-bit systems (this is one catalyst for the transition to Windows 64-bit environment noted above). When ITS switches over to App-V 5.0, only those on a Northeastern-managed 64-bit Windows image will have full access to the ITS software available to the Northeastern community.

App-V 5.0 will be deployed in a phased manner, similar to the Office 365 project – Northeastern-managed Windows computers will be switched over in groups and not in one day. As this upgrade approaches look for updates from ITS.

Switching faculty/staff email from @neu.edu to @northeastern.edu

In support of the Northeastern brand, ITS is planning to transition the primary faculty/staff email address format from @neu.edu to @northeastern.edu. Currently both @neu.edu and @northeastern.edu are supported domains, meaning that if an email is sent to you with either ending, you will still receive the message. The biggest change after the switch will be that any emails sent from a faculty or staff member will appear as an @northeastern.edu email address.

Now available for students: OneDrive for Business

Last fall, Northeastern introduced free downloads of Microsoft Office for students through Microsoft Student Advantage Program, which is made possible by the university’s Office 365 license. As of this fall, students now also have free access to OneDrive for Business, the Office 365 cloud storage service. NOTE: OneDrive for Business is not the same as Microsoft’s OneDrive.

onedrivebiz-logo

What do students get?

  • Online storage for mobile, offline and online files
  • Access to the online Office applications: Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote

Why does this matter?

The biggest benefit is the tight integration of OneDrive for Business with the Office mobile apps on phones and tablets. Over the past year, Microsoft has added connections to other cloud services, including Dropbox and Google Drive, but the native storage space – where the mobile apps really want to save to and open from – is Microsoft’s own OneDrive for Business service.

Another advantage is that because this storage is part of Northeastern’s Office 365 license, it is locked down to the Northeastern community. This makes it a great place to share or collaborate on files with other students, as well as faculty, advisors and university staff.

This also provides access to the online Office applications. They have the look and feel of Office 2013, have even more functionality than the mobile apps, and save automatically to OneDrive for Business. When you’re not on your own computer, or you have something you don’t want to view on a mobile screen, you can log into OneDrive for Business to open and edit online the Office files you’ve saved there.

How do I access it?

Students can access OneDrive for Business and the online Office applications by going to:

portal.office.com

Enter your Office 365 username ([myNEU username]@northeastern.edu). When you tab or click into the password field, you will be redirected to the Northeastern Office 365 sign in page, which will autofill the username you previous typed. Then you will need to enter your myNEU password. You can also access it through the Student Advantage Program channel on the myNEU portal.

What else do I need to know?

Access to OneDrive for Business is tied to your Northeastern Office 365 account – your access will end one year after you leave Northeastern, whether you graduate or withdraw.

To learn more, including How To’s for some of the most common features, visit the OneDrive for Business page.