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Easy file transfer with FTP

Friday, March 13th, 2015

You’ve probably heard the word somewhere and know it has something to do with files. But other than that you have no idea what FTP is. After all, what would you do with it?

Here’s the good news. You CAN actually use it quite easily and it might prove to be very useful when you need to share huge amounts of data with someone outside the university network. Interested yet?

Ok, let’s start by explaining what FTP means first before we get ahead of ourselves.

File Transfer Protocol or FTP is a standard network protocol used to transfer computer files from one host to another host over a TCP-based network, such as the Internet. FTP users may authenticate themselves using a username and password, but can connect anonymously if the server is configured to allow it. (If you want to get more technical, read more on Wikipedia)

To use Stellenbosch University’s FTP server you will need the address of the server and the password:

ftp server: ftp://tydelik@ftp.sun.ac.za
password: tydelik

Keep in mind that this space is not for storing or backing up data. It’s merely a temporary spot to put files in order for someone else to easily access them. The person on the other side who needs to access the files will use the same information.

To set up FTP on your PC, just follow these step-by-step instructions on the Microsoft website.

If you need more information on FTP, here are a few sources:
https://kb.iu.edu/d/aerg
http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/F/ftp.html

As a user of the SU network there are a few other perks when it comes to free access. You can also use a few selected sites without opening your internet account. Read more about these sites on our blog – http://blogs.sun.ac.za/it/2012/04/20/free-access-to-selected-websites/ and http://blogs.sun.ac.za/it/2012/06/08/mirror-mirror/

 

Internet quota for students

Friday, January 30th, 2015

From 2015 all students are on the PAYGO system for internet usage. This means you start the year off with no internet quota and you can load the amount you need yourself.

You can use PAYGO in two ways:

1. By loading quota via your student account (the same way as with printer credits) on www.sun.ac.za/useradm and
2. By making a payment at the cashiers in Admin A

NB: From 2015 a limit of R1200 for the year is implemented for internet usage paid per quota and debited to the student fees account; thereafter internet usage must be paid in cash.

Become a Google search pro

Friday, December 5th, 2014

google-doodleGoogle does more than 2 million searches per second. Impressive, isn’t it? And Google’s head office do not use regular lawn mowers to keep their lawns neat and tidy. Oh no, they hire goats to do it!  (more interesting Google facts)

The word Google has become synonymous with the idea of internet searches in spite of the fact that Google is merely one of various existing search engines. That it’s by far the largest and possibly the most effective, might be a good enough reason for its preference.

But do you use Google as well and efficient as you could? Research done in 2011 at Wesleyan University in Illinois suggests that less than 25% of students can conduct a thorough search for information. Let’s hope this improved over the past three years.

Dharmesh Shah from HubSpot has a few hints:

1. Quotation marks

Instead of just typing the two words you need information on into the search box, rather put the phrase in quotation marks to narrow down Google’s search.

2. Exclude certain words

If you’re looking for info on marketing, but not on advertisements, use “-” in front of the word you want to exclude. For example “marketing -advertisements”.

3. Searches on a specific website

If you happen to know which website might contain your information, include this in your search. For example “marketing” site:www.bizcommunity.com

4. Similar words and synonyms

When you want to include a specific word in your search, but also words with a similar meaning, put “~” in front of the word.

5. Specific document types

If you already know the document you’re looking for is a pdf, you can use filetype. For example: “marketing” filetype:pdf

6. Use OR

When you carry out a search, Google includes all the words you supply. When you only want one of the two terms, use OR. Just remember to put it in caps. For example: marketing OR advertisements.

8. Phone numbers

You receive a phone call, but you have no idea who it’s from. Use Google’s phone book function. For example:  phonebook: 021-123456

9. Area code

If you have no idea for which area an area code is, add the 3 number code to the search box and you’ll immediately get the answer.

10. Numerical ranges

Do you need results falling in a certain time range? Use “..”. For example president 1940..1950.

10. Stock info 

Just add a valid ticker symbol in the search and Google will supply you with current financials and a stock chart.

11. Calculator

Next time you need to do a complicated calculation, forget about the calculator app on your PC. Just type your sum in Google. For example 48512 * 1.02

12. Word definitions

Do you quickly need a word’s definition? Just type define in front of it in Google. For example:  define:plethora

We hope these few hints help you to get answers even faster, but if you need more assistance, HackCollege compiled this handy infographic. More information can also be found on Google‘s support page.

Google-infograhic

 

 

Infographic via HackCollege

Google Chrome, portals and poodles

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

At the end of October Google announced plans to disable fall back to version 3 of the SSL protocol in Chrome 39, and remove SSL 3.0 completely in Chrome 40. The decision follows the company’s disclosure of a serious security vulnerability in SSL 3.0 on October 14, the attack it dubbed Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption (POODLE). [SOURCE: www.venturebeat.com]

What does this mean in understandable language?

Some SU webpages were built on the Oracle infrastructure and make use of SSL protocol. This means that, if you use Google Chrome as your default browser, you might have problems accessing certain information. If you go to my.sun.ac.za and want to browse to Sun-e-HR, Exam results, meal reservations, etc. you might not be successful.

However, if you use Firefox or Internet Explorer, you won’t experience any hiccups. Alternatively you can use m.sun.ac.za to access selected options. This is only a temporary issue.

Information Technology will be working on a solution which involves an upgrade of portal software over this weekend. Due to this maintenance, some services will not be available from Saturday, 6 December at 12:00, as well as the whole of Sunday.

Services affected are all portal applications, my.sun.ac.za, Sun-e-HR, etc. OIC will also be down, therefore no payments can be made and the change password functionality will also not be available.

We hope to complete this action as soon as possible and provide a better service to users when it’s completed.

For any enquiries, send e-mail to helpinfo@sun.ac.za or call x4367.

Would you be able do disconnect?

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Whether it’s an increasing phenomenon or we’re just more aware of it, addictive social media and internet behavior is becoming more prevalent. To such an extent that internet addiction treatment camps are commonplace in China. According to psychiatrist and neuroscience researcher Sean Luo of Columbia University “3.7 to 13 percent of U.S. and 10 percent of South Korean Internet users express some symptoms of inappropriate Internet use.”(http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-real-a-risk-is-social-media-addiction/)

Last week it was reported that doctors in the USA submitted a man into the US Navy’s substance abuse programme, because he was apparently addicted to Google Glass. He wore the headset for up to 18 hours a day and when it was removed, experienced serious withdrawal symptoms. Even when he was not wearing it, he attempted to tap his right temple, which is where the device is activated. He was diagnosed with internet addiction disorder (IAD).

This isn’t a new phenomenon. In 1996, shortly after internet became part of our lives, internet addiction was already recognised as a possible psychiatric disorder. Even though it’s not officially listed in the latest DSM manual (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), used by psychiatrists, it has been argued that it should be. Psychiatrists also prefer the term Problematic Internet Use (PUI), avoiding the use of the word addiction. PUI refers to excessive computer use interfering with daily life.

The diagnosis of internet addiction isn’t an easy one as it’s not the medium someone becomes addicted to, but rather the available online content. The internet is merely the platform. It has also been observed that IAD could be a symptom of another underlying disorder, instead of a disorder on it’s own.  Many other related addictions can fall under the general term IAD, for example a gambling addiction, addiction to cyber relationships, online shopping, etc. (more detail on IAD can be found on www.wikipedia.org)

Would you be able to disconnect, even if only for a day? How about trying survive this weekend without Facebook, Twitter or e-mail to start? Imagine how much more time you might have on your hands …

In 2013 Paul Miller, an American Technology Journalist from Springfield, Missouri and senior editor for The Verge decided to disconnect from the hyper-connected world in an attempt to ‘find himself’ and become more productive. He abandoned the internet and disconnected from all Social Media, returning to a life before the net, apps and smartphones. Watch the video below to see what he learnt from the experience.

Other related videos and short films:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OINa46HeWg8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0H6AzEMHSc

[SOURCES: http://www.zdnet.comhttp://www.cbsnews.com, http://www.wikipedia.org]

 

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