Intermittent Web Site Issues This Morning

This morning the SHU Web Team made significant changes to the University’s Web site in preparation for the upcoming launch of the new Web site.  This caused some unexpected performance issues on the Web site, with some users reporting slow page loads.  The changes are being backed out to resolve these performance problems and the change will be rescheduled for an upcoming maintenance period so that the impact on users will be minimized.

Stephen G. Landry, Ph.D., CIO, Seton Hall University

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Setonian Article on SHU’s #5 Ranking in US News “Most Connected” Campuses

This week’s Setonian has an article on Seton Hall University’s ranking as the fifth “Most Connected Campus” by U.S. News and World Report.

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Microsoft Highlights Seton Hall U.’s Early Adoption of Windows 8 at Annual Shareholders’ Meeting

“Speaking to shareholders at Microsoft Corp.’s annual meeting today, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer highlighted the company’s recent product launches and financial performance, and outlined the company’s shift to devices and services. … Ballmer noted that … [c]ompanies worldwide are already adopting Windows 8 including Johnson & Johnson, BT (British Telecom), 20th Century Fox Television Distribution, Bank of America Corp. and Seton Hall University.”

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Reminder to Freshmen: Your Prepaid AT&T Cellular Plan Expires Next Month

All incoming Freshmen this year received a Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone with an AT&T voice and data plan prepaid through December 15th.  All participants in this innovative pilot project recently received an email reminding them of the upcoming end of their prepaid plan and outlining some of their options at the end of the semester.  Participants may elect to keep your current plan, which includes unlimited text and data, by prepaying the University $360 for the cost of maintaining for the next six months. This is a fantastic offer that leverages the University’s bulk purchasing power for AT&T plans.  Other options are outlined in the email participants recently received.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding your Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone or your prepaid AT&T plan, please call the technology service desk at 973-275-2222 for further information.

Steve Landry, CIO

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AT&T’s Education Network Highlight’s SHU Presentation at EDUCAUSE 2012

 EDUCAUSE is the premier technology conference for the higher education leaders.  Seton Hall University had several presentations at EDUCAUSE 2012, held earlier this month in Denver, CO.  The AT&T Education Network blog today posted this excellent summary of one of those presentations, “Seton Hall Takes Education Innovation to a New Level with Mobile Technology,” by David Middleton and Michael Taylor.

From the article:

The evolving horizon for CIOs was a major point of conversation at the 2012 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference in Denver last week, where I had the opportunity to learn from two University leaders working to reinvent the college experience through mobile technology – David Middleton and Dr. Michael Taylor, directors at Seton Hall’s Center for Mobile Research and Innovation (CMRI).

These gentlemen embody key traits held by this new generation of education IT leaders and advisors:

        • Informed on the latest technology
        • Engaged in exploring and testing emerging trends
        • Committed to advancing research in mobile learning and its academic impact
        • Vested in helping students transform from technology consumers to professional users
        • Skilled at partnering with industry leaders, as Seton Hall did with AT&T, Microsoft and Nokia
        • Dedicated to advising and collaborating with other university IT experts on best practices and lessons learned.

Read the whole article at:

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Seton Hall University Ranked 5th “Most Connected” Campus by U.S. News

Seton Hall University was ranked #5 in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of the “Most Connected” colleges and universities.  U.S. News states: “While technology can potentially improve connections between students and educators, there may still be challenges on the school’s end with providing Internet access and support for all. U.S. News & World Report is highlighting colleges and universities that excel in these areas with its first-ever ranking of the Most Connected Colleges.”

From the article:

Although it may be easier for a smaller school to provide Internet access for its academic population, some institutions also stand out by equipping students with technology for academic use. Seton Hall University in New Jersey, the fifth-ranked school on the Most Connected list, for example, provides incoming freshmen with laptops and smartphones—a program that Seton Hall started this year.

See the complete ranking at:

Congratulations to the faculty, students and administrators, and especially to the professional staff in the Department of Information Technology, who contributed to this significant endeavor.

Stephen G. Landry, Ph.D., CIO, Seton Hall University

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Setonian Article on Registration Problems

 The Setonian has an article on this week’s problems with registration caused by the high volume on the system due to the compressed registration schedule:

Stephen Landry, CIO

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PirateNet Problems Affect Senior Registration

This morning PirateNet was down between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM.  This affected Senior registration.  This is due to the high volume on the system that resulted from the compressed registration schedule following Hurricane Sandy and the cancellation of classes the week before last.  Other systems experienced volume related performance issues as well, including the SHU Web site and Banner Self Service.  As of this time all systems have been restored and are performing normally.  University IT Services is taking steps to help prevent this from occurring when registration is opened to other classes.

Stephen Landry, CIO, Seton Hall University

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SHU Presents at EDUCAUSE 2012

EDUCAUSE is one of the most important annual technology conferences for higher education leaders.  Seton Hall University had several presentations at EDUCAUSE 2012 held this week in Denver, CO.  On of these was a panel, “Improving Learning through Agile IT: Cloud Computing and Classroom Technology for the New Digital Era,” moderated by Cameron Evans, Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft, Inc., and including Stephen Landry, CIO for Seton Hall University.  Landry discussed Seton Hall’s Mobile Computing Program, providing technology for all undergraduate students as part of their tuition and fees, and this year’s adoption of Windows 8 tablet PC’s as part of the technology suite provided to incoming students.  In addition to Seton Hall, projects from Cornell, Emory and Tulane Universities were highlighted.  A complete description of the program can be found at:

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Effects of Hurricane Sandy on University IT Services

Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New Jersey last Monday, resulting in widespread  and lingering power and cellular outages.  The University’s main campus did not lose power or Internet service during the hurricane.  All IT Services housed on the main campus continue to operate normally.  However, many off campus buildings, including Human Resources, University Advancement, and St. Andrews Seminary do not have power or network connections to the campus.  As the University re-opens this week many students, administrators and professional staff continue to be affected by local power outages and road closures.  University IT Services is anticipating delays in meeting appointments and service requests as we operate on reduced staff and work to restore services to the off campus locations affected by the hurricane.  We ask the continued patience of the University community in the coming weeks as we resume normal operations following this significant event.

Stephen G. Landry, Ph.D., CIO, Seton Hall University

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ZDNet Article on Windows 8 in the Enterprise Highlights SHU’s Participation at Gartner Symposium

Earlier today ZDNet published the article “Microsoft’s Windows 8: The Enterprise Case.” This article highlights a panel at Gartner Symposium 2012 on Windows 8 early adopters, including Seton Hall University.

“Stephen Landry, CIO of Seton Hall, oversees a program that hands out computers to every student. He has conducted multiple pilots with tablets to see if they can replace laptops. Guinea pigs for these projects include freshmen, the science and business departments and the honors program.  … Why Windows 8? Standardization. ‘We believe access to good technology is a prerequisite [to academic success]. Standardization allows us to provide the highest level of support. A lot of campuses look at bring your own device, but our students want us to support the device,’ said Landry.”

Read the entire article at:

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Reuters Article on Windows 8 Highlights Seton Hall’s Early Adoption

“One institution that has made an early move to Windows 8 is Seton Hall University in New Jersey. The school has already deployed tablets and laptops running pre-release versions of Windows 8 to its freshman and junior classes — with help from Microsoft, which subsidized the effort with free consulting time. ‘The benefit of the upgrade to Windows 8 for me is that it’s touch friendly. Lots of the devices that we have in the community could benefit,’ said Stephen Landry, Seton Hall’s chief information officer. Landry said his students overwhelmingly liked the new system, after a brief training session, but he acknowledged that many of his peers in higher education were not ready to move so fast.”

Read the whole article at:–sector.html

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One Highlight of Gartner Symposium 2012: The Evolving Higher Education Technology Ecosystem

Today was Higher Education day at Gartner Symposium 2012, a gathering of over 15,000 technology leaders from across the globe, representing all industries.  One of the highlights of today’s presentations was “The Evolving Higher Education Technology Ecosystem” by Jan-Martin Lowendahl, Gartner Research VP for Higher Education.  Lowendahl’s key point was that colleges and universities who wanted to make use of technology to improve learning or expand their reach need not build the necessary systems and services themselves; that there was an “ecosystem” of technology partners who were able to provide the systems and/or services to help them in this effort.

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Email Maintenance Scheduled Tonight, 12 Midnight – 2AM

Tomorrow morning, Friday, September 21, from 12:00 Midnight through 2:00 AM the Microsoft Exchange Email servers will be offline for maintenance.  This will affect all faculty, administrative email, and Law School email.

Steve Landry, CIO

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Update on Wireless Issues in Boland and Aquinas Halls

This afternoon University IT Services completed installation of 44 additional wireless network Access Points (APs) in Aquinas Hall.  This is providing significantly greater wireless signal strength in that residence hall.  University IT Services is preparing Boland Hall for the installation of additional wireless access points tomorrow.

University IT Services continues to test updated drivers from Samsung that will boost the wireless signal strength on the Samsung Ultrabooks used by most residents of Boland and Aquinas Halls.  A driver updated is expected to be available shortly for Samsung Series 5 Ultrabooks running Windows 7.  If all goes according to plan, faculty and students with the Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook running Windows 7 will receive an email tomorrow outlining the process for updating the driver on your computer.  It is a simple process that only involves a few clicks, but the installation will require a reboot of your computer during the process, so please read tomorrow’s email carefully.

Steve Landry, CIO

Update 9/13/2012, 5:00 PM: A new wireless driver is available for Samsung Series 5 Ultrabooks running Windows 7. If you are experiencing problems connecting your Samsung Series 5 / Windows 7 Ultrabook to the campus wireless network, University IT Services recommends that you obtain this latest driver by taking your Samsung Ultrabook to the PC Support Services Mobile Consultation Area on the first (lower) level of Corrigan Hall during normal University business hours (M-F, 8:45 AM – 4:45 PM).  The installation will take approximately ten minutes. A new wireless driver is also available for the Samsung Series 7 Slate PC running Windows 8 Prerelease (Windows 8 PR).  This will include all Samsung Series 7 Slate PC’s distributed during Freshmen Orientations in June and August and Transfer Orientations in August.  This will be installed as part of your upgrade to Microsoft’s latest version of Windows 8 (Windows 8 RTM). This will also fix some minor problems with your Samsung Series 7 Slate PC, such as needing to re-boot when your stylus stops working or your computer freezes.  You can upgrade your Samsung Series 7 Slate PC to Windows 8 RTM with the latest wireless driver by taking your Samsung Slate to the PC Support Services Mobile Consultation Area on the first level of Corrigan Hall during normal University business hours.  The installation will take approximately thirty minutes.

Previous posts on this topic were:

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Update on Faculty and Admin Email – Access to All Users’ MS Exchange Email Boxes Restored – Some Additional Recovery Tasks Still Under Way

September 8, 2012; 8:00 PM

As previously reported, the MS Exchange email system, serving the University’s faculty, staff and administrators, had a serious problem beginning early morning Thursday (9/06).  The likely root cause of this problem has been identified and isolated (see the blog post for details). All users now have access to their MS Exchange email.

Note that you may have to restart MS Outlook to force Outlook to reconnect to the server.  You should also check your Out Box and release any email that you composed in Outlook but which Outlook was unable to send because the server was offline. If you are having difficulty connecting through MS Outlook, try WebMail (a.k.a., Outlook Web Access, or OWA; the link to WebMail/OWA is in the upper right hand corner of the SHU Web site and along the top navigation of PirateNet).

If you had access to your email box any time Thursday (9/6) or Friday (9/7) afternoon, then all your email has been recovered.

If access to your email was restored late Friday night or today (9/8), then IT Services is recovering your email from multiple sources, as described in a prior blog post (see for details).  IT Services restored your email box from a backup taken early Wednesday morning.  Email that was sent after the server crash early Thursday morning is in a pending queue that is being delivered now.  Once this pending email is delivered, you will have all your email except that sent to you on Wednesday, 9/05.  This email will be recovered from another source, the MS Exchange logs and journals, next week and merged in to your In Box.  Since recovery from the MS Exchange logs and journals is labor intensive, it may take the better part of next week to complete this recovery process for all users.

I want to thank the University community for their patience and support during this difficult few days.  I want to thank the IT Services team who spent long hours working to fix this problem; their effort, dedication and knowledge has been outstanding.  And I want to thank the support teams from Microsoft and NetApp for their help during this time.

I want to remind everyone that, while everyone currently has access to the campus mail system, some significant challenges still remain.  We’re running on a temporary server, so next week IT Services will be adding additional servers to the MS Exchange cluster to improve reliability and performance. Until then, we may experience additional intermittent email outages as IT Services continues to work on the system.  IT Services will work next week to restore Wednesday’s email for those users who are missing it.  And other cleanup tasks remain.  I ask for the continued patience and support of the University community as we restore full email service to the campus.

Steve Landry, CIO

Posted in Email, Microsoft | 9 Comments

MS Exchange: The Cause of the Crash

September 8, 2012; 6:00 PM

University IT Services has been working with Microsoft and NetApp, our data storage vendor, to determine the root cause of the problems the University has been having with our MS Exchange email system.  At this time it appears a software glitch in an until recently unused feature of the NetApp system was causing the problem.  This caused the NetApp Storage Area Network to report the size of the file systems incorrectly to MS Exchange.  This in turn caused MS Exchange to fill the file systems, causing the recent system crashes and data corruption.  Now that IT Services has determined the root cause of the problems, we have disabled this feature and stabilized the system.

I want to thank the University IT Systems team for their dedication throughout the last few days; they have put in many long hours to restore this vital service for the University.  I also want to that the technical support teams from Microsoft and NetApp, whose assistance in resolving this problem have been invaluable.  And I want to thank the University community for your patience and support as we’ve worked to resolve this problem.

A good deal of work remains to be done.  We still have to restore Wednesday’s email for about 500 users.  We’re also running on a temporary server, so we need to build and add additional servers to the Microsoft Exchange server cluster for redundancy to improve reliability and performance.  And we may run in to additional snags as we complete repairs to this key communication tool.  In the meantime, please be prepared for additional email outages with little or no warning until the system is fully repaired.

Steve Landry, CIO

Posted in Email, Microsoft, Updates | 2 Comments

Update on Wireless Network Issues in Boland and Aquinas Halls

September 7, 2012

Last Friday, August 31, I let you know that University IT Services was aware that a significant number of residents in Boland Hall and Aquinas Hall were reporting they could not connect to the campus wireless network in their rooms.  University IT Services has been working with Samsung, Intel and Cisco to resolve this issue.  I want to thank those residents who were able and willing to help IT Services’ technicians test in their rooms and who tried different configurations on their computers to find the best way to resolve the problem.  I want to report that we are making progress on improving the wireless experience for residents in those areas.

Yesterday Samsung provided the University with a new wireless driver for the Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook and Series 7 Slate PC.  This wireless driver will increase the power of the wireless radio in those devices.  IT Services is testing that driver today and over the weekend.  If all goes well, we should be ready to deploy that new driver to the Samsung Ultrabooks and Slates next week.

Our plan is to distribute the new driver via our Microsoft Windows management tools.  Sometime next week while your computer is connected to the campus network your computer will download and install the new driver. You may need to restart your computer to complete the installation.  We expect that most users will see better wireless connectivity following the installation of this new driver.  More details about the new driver and what your experience will be while the driver downloads and installs will be provided next week.

We continue to work with Samsung, Intel and Cisco to improve wireless performance in Boland Hall and Aquinas Hall, and will continue to update you as we take additional steps to improve wireless performance in the residence halls.  Please continue to report any new problems you find with the campus wireless network or any other technology.  And please continue to remove any consumer access points and turn off any unneeded wireless devices (see the previous email on this at:

Stephen Landry, Ph.D.
Chief Information Officer
Seton Hall University

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Update Regarding Access to the Microsoft Exchange Email System

[Update 9/08/2012, 8:00 PM: University IT Services has restored all users MS Exchange email boxes. Those users who were restored today - mostly South Orange campus administrators - will have all their email except for that delivered on Wed., 9/05.  That email will be recovered from another source next week and merged in to your In Box, so that no email will be lost.  See below for more details. ]

Friday, September 7, 2012, 5:00 PM

As previously reported, the Microsoft Exchange Email system experienced a failure early in the morning of Thursday, September 6.  This system provides email services for all faculty, staff and administrators on the South Orange and Law School campuses.  Yesterday about a third of the MS Exchange email users were not able to access their email at all, and everyone else on that system experienced intermittent outages.  Last night and early this morning the IT Services team, working with Microsoft, rebuilt the server completely and ran recovery utilities to restore corrupted data on the file system.  As of 5:00 PM this afternoon (Fri., Sept. 7) those mailboxes that were not corrupted in Thursday’s incident were restored and those users will see their pending email delivered over the next few hours.

For those users who do not currently have their email boxes restored, the process will take longer and involve merging data from multiple sources to completely restore all your email.  Over this weekend IT Services will restore your email box from a backup from early Wednesday morning.  Your pending email from early Thursday morning on will then be delivered automatically to your In Box.  Wednesday’s email will then be restored from the system journal over the course of next week.  Since restoring from the journal is a long and labor intensive process, completing the restoration will likely take the better part of next week.  By merging the three data sources, IT Services expects that no email will be lost.

Please keep in mind that the MS Exchange server currently in place is a temporary fix.  Additional work will take place over the coming week to effect permanent repairs.  In the meantime, the system may need to be brought down with little notice to perform additional work.

You can see the previous updates on this issue at:

Thank you for your continued patience as we work to fix this important service to the community.

Steve Landry, CIO

Posted in Email, Microsoft, Updates | 3 Comments

Campus MS Exchange Email Down for Some Users; Intermittant Outages Ongoing

Summary: The University is experiencing problems with the MS Exchange servers.  Approximately a third of faculty, staff and administrators on the South Orange Campus are currently without access to email.  All faculty staff and administrators will experience intermittent email outages as we work to resolve this issue.  

The campus Microsoft Exchange email system provides email services to faculty, staff and administrators.  Last night at approximately 1AM, the campus Microsoft email server experienced a technical problem causing services to stop.  All incoming and outgoing email was queued awaiting delivery. The servers were restarted this morning, and some email service was restored for the majority of MS Exchange users.

Unfortunately, one of the three file systems serving MS Exchange users on the South Orange Campus was corrupted during this incident.  For this reason,  about 500 MS Exchange email users  on the South Orange Campus are still without email service.  In addition, the ActiveSync that pushes email to users’ cell phones and other devices was in the affected file system, so for those users who can access their email, access is currently limited to MS Outlook or Outlook Web Access (a.k.a. “OWA”, or “Webmail”).

The University IT Services team is working with Microsoft support to restore the corrupted files.  This is taking significantly longer than anticipated due to the size of the files, the time required to repair them, and the need to proceed carefully so as not to inadvertently lose any user’s email.  At this time, IT Services and Microsoft believe the repair will be successful and no users’ email will be lost.  In the meantime, all MS Exchange email users, including users at the Law School, will experience brief intermittent email service outages as Microsoft and IT Services work on the problem.  Further updates will be posted as we have additional information.

Steve Landry, CIO


Posted in Email, Microsoft | 8 Comments

Online scammers are using a recent email from Microsoft

A group of scammers are using a recent email from Microsoft as part of their phishing campaign.  They are sending emails similar to a legitimate email from Microsoft with the title “Important Changes to Microsoft Services Agreement and Communication Preferences.”  But the scammers have replaced the links in the email with ones that infect your computer with malware.  Do NOT follow the links in any email unless you are able to confirm that the sender is legitimate (for example, by examining the header information in the email to make sure the email is really from the source it claims to be) and that the hyperlinks are to legitimate sites (for example, hovering your mouse over a hyperlink will display the full adress which should be to a URL within the source’s domain).

If you have any questions about whether an email is legitimate, DO NOT open the email, but call or forward the email to the Technology Service Desk (Tel.: 973-275-2222; email:  They can assist you in determining if the email is legitimate or a phishing scam.

You can read more about this particular scam at:

You can learn more about phishing and protecting your identity online at:

Steve Landry, CIO

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Wireless Problems Being Worked On in Boland and Aquinas Halls

University IT Services is aware that some resident students in Boland Hall and Aquinas Hall are experiencing poor wireless network performance using their Samsung Series 5 ultrabook computers in their rooms.  The IT Services networking team is working with Samsung and Cisco to improve network performance.

In troubleshooting this problem, the IT Services networking team has observed that the wireless performance problem is due in part to a significant number of consumer wireless devices in those residence halls that are either not being actively used or that are improperly configured.  Consumer access points (such as those available from D-Link, Lynksys, Netgear or Apple) use a different Internet address space from that used by the campus wireless network, and may interfere with the network addresses of users in the vicinity. Consumer devices such as printers or gaming consoles often have built in wireless access points that may interfere with the wireless radio signals if not properly configured.

In order to assist the IT Services networking team in troubleshooting and resolving the wireless networking problems in Boland and Aquinas Halls, we ask that residents do the following:

  • If you are experiencing wireless connectivity problems in your room and you have not reported it to the Technology Service Desk, please report it by calling extension 2222 or emailing as soon as possible.  Please provide the location and specific device(s) you are using when you experience the problem.  Having complete information about the areas and devices experiencing wireless problems helps the IT Services networking team as they develop remediation plans.
  • Please remove any consumer access points (such as those available from D-Link, Lynksys, Netgear or Apple) from the residence halls.
  • Please turn off any wireless devices, such as laptops, printers or gaming consoles, that are not being actively used.  Please turn off any wireless “hotspot” feature on your cell phone or smartphone as this can interfere with the campus network.

These steps will help the University IT Services networking team as they work to ensure the best possible wireless experience for all members of the campus community.

The IT Services team will keep you updated as we work to resolve this problem.

Stephen G. Landry, Ph.D.
Chief Information Officer
Seton Hall University

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Forbes Article on the Apple v. Samsung Verdict

Some students and faculty have asked if the Apple v. Samsung verdict has any impact on Mobile Computing 2012.  The short answer is, NO! The Apple lawsuit did not cover any of the Samsung devices Seton Hall University is using for our Mobile Computing Program.

Forbes has an excellent article outlining the impact of the Apple v. Samsung verdict to most of us.

What Does Apple’s Patent Trial Victory Over Samsung Mean To You? Nothing.

“But does the closely watched verdict mean anything to consumers? No–at least not for now. Why? … You won’t have to surrender your Samsung smartphones or tablets or worry that some court-induced software update will cause your device to stop working overnight. … The verdict raises questions anew about how well the U.S. patent system works. … ‘Patent rights only benefit society when they encourage innovation that would not otherwise have taken place. … Can Apple credibly claim that it would not have entered the smartphone market, where it is presently enjoying 50% profit margins even with competition from Android, had it not been able to obtain these broad patents?  I think the answer is no.’ “

Read the whole article here:

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Multiple IT Services Affected This Morning By Data Center Network Problem

To the University Community:

This morning at approximately 9:30 AM the data center experienced a networking problem that affected multiple servers.  The campus Web site was not affected by this outage, but PirateNet, Blackboard, Banner and faculty and student email were all affected by this brief outage.  As of 10:00 AM the networking problem has been resolved, all affected servers are being restarted and access to PirateNet, Blackboard and email have been restored.  Full service should be restored by 10:30 AM.

Charisse Pagan
Manager, Technology Service Desk
(973) 275-2222

Posted in Blackboard, Email, Live@EDU, Network, Updates | Leave a comment

ExtremeTech Likes Windows 8

ExtremeTech recently posted a review of the Windows 8 final build (formally called RTM, for “Release to Manufacture”) titled “Windows 8: Hands on with the final build”.  They tried Windows 8 RTM on a Samsung Series 7 Slate PC, the same model being used by Seton Hall University faculty and students in our business, sciences and honors programs.  They really like it:

“Windows 8 and the Metro/Modern/Rectilinear interface are an absolute joy to use on a touchscreen. They blow Android and iOS out of the water in terms of ease of use, functionality, and speed.”

They acknowledge that the next few months are critical ones for Microsoft and Windows 8, and in particular, wide adoption is going to depend on thousands of developers who now have Windows 8 developing the thousands of apps that will make Windows 8 a game changer for Microsoft.

Read the full review here:

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