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SYSTEM MAINTENANCE 23- 26 JUNE

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Information Technology will be doing maintenance on various IT systems, as scheduled on the SU Calendar, over the weekend of 23 to 26 June.

Subsequently, any IT service could be interrupted, but we will try our best to limit interruptions to a minimum. Maintenance will commence on Friday, 23 June at 17:00 and will be completed by Monday morning, 26 June at 07:00.

If you have any inquiries, please let us know by logging a request on ServiceNow or calling our Service Desk at 808 4367.

 

 

Microsoft updates via VPN and data costs

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Did you know that your university PC always stays up to date with the latest software and you don’t have to lift a finger? 

One of the main reasons for this is that PCs without the latest software, in particular, Microsoft software, pose a high-security threat if they are connected to the SUN network without being adequately protected. Therefore, it’s extremely important that all network users’ devices are up to date at all times. The same goes for antivirus software. Recently this policy also protected SU staff against the WannaCry ransomware when it wreaked havoc around the rest of the world.

The updates are set up so that Microsoft updates will be done when you connect your device to the SUN network. Updates via the SUN network are free when you are on campus, but it could happen that updates are available for download when you are off-campus.

If you use VPN* at home to connect to the SUN network from off campus, be aware that updates may load in the background. Since they are usually quite large, this could cause unusually high traffic and/or large expenses. Microsoft updates are usually released monthly on the every second Tuesday of the month. If you have limited or use expensive data at home, keep an eye on your data usage during that week. 

*VPN (Virtual Private Network) is  a connection to the SUN-network which gives a user the same access as when he/she is on campus.  Take note that most SUN services, for example email, Sun-e-HR, my.sun.ac.za, the Useradm administration page, etc, are all directly available from the internet without a VPN connection. 

All Office365 applications now available

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Information Technology enabled the complete cloud-based Office365 package for all staff with an active role earlier this month.

The complete Office 365 package includes:
– Outlook mail
– OneDrive for Business (5TB for each staff member and student)
– SharePoint Online (public and team sites)
– Access to online MS Office apps (for example Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
– Five downloadable versions of Office 2016 for personal devices (for example laptops, tablets and smartphones) Take note that these Office 2016 versions are not allowed on any asset number devices, it’s only allowed on personal devices.

What is Office 365?

If you experience have any questions, please let us know by logging a request on ServiceNow or calling our Service Desk at 808 4367. For more information on the Office365 package, please consult our FAQs or have a look at the Office365 training videos.

IMPORTANT: When using cloud-based services, you have to keep your private and work usernames, passwords and data separate. Never use the same username for private and work email accounts, storage spaces and applications.

What is Microsoft Office 365?

Monday, June 5th, 2017

What is the cloud?

Cloud services is a broad description for IT services provided over the internet. Your services aren’t hosted on your system at work or home, but it’s located and managed remotely. Many services today use the Cloud, for example some e-mail services (e.g. Gmail), data storage (e.g. Dropbox) or photo storage (e.g. Flickr) Because it is is located online or ‘in the cloud’, you can access it from virtually anywhere on any device as long as you have an Internet connection. More articles on the cloud.

What is Microsoft Office 365?

Office 365 is an online, cloud-based application of the Microsoft Office products, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access (Publisher and Access are available on PC only) available to staff and students with an active role. 

What do I get?

  • Five downloadable versions of Office365 for personal devices, for example, laptops, tablets and smartphones. This does NOT include asset number devices. 
    IMPORTANT: For the versions to stay active you must be an active staff member or student of the university. Licenses of the downloadable versions have to be refreshed on a monthly basis, otherwise it will stop working.
  • Mail: 50 GB mailbox in the cloud
  • Access to Microsoft Office365 online apps from any computer connected to the internet.
  • Calendar: online calendar
  • Word: online to access from any computer
  • Excel:  online to access from any computer
  • PowerPoint: online to access from any computer
  • People: online contacts
  • Planner: organise tasks and teamwork
  • OneDrive: 5TB online storage
  • Teams: collaboration
  • OneNote: digital notebook
  • Class Notebook: OneNote for classrooms
  • Sway: Create and share interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more.
  • Forms: build survey forms and easily share them with students, parents, and colleagues.
  • Tasks: schedule tasks
  • Video: scalable, easy-to-use portal for uploading and sharing your corporate videos.
  • SharePoint: online storage and sharing of files
  • Yammer: collaboration tool that helps you and your teams stay on top of it all. Start conversations, work together on files, and organise around projects.

What is the difference between the cloud and your PC?

After moving to the cloud you will have both data locally on your PC, on the network (G and H: drives), but you will also have data on the cloud. The same goes for your applications. You will be able to have some applications locally on your PC, while others will be cloud-based. Data on the cloud will be the primary source, while the copies on your PC and network drives are synced versions.

The same applies to your Office365 applications. For this reason, it’s important that you keep track of where you save your data. 

IMPORTANT: SU copyright agreements do not extend to storing and sharing of documents protected under the copyright law on OneDrive for business, SharePoint online or any other public store spaces.

What are the advantages of cloud services? 

  • More storage space available, up to 5TB on OneDrive and 50GB on Outlook.
  • Your data is available from anywhere, anytime, on any device. You’ll always have access to your data if you have an internet connection.
  • Your information is also safely stored, even if you lose one of your devices.  

What are the disadvantages of cloud services?  

  • Familiarise yourself with copyright regulations. Make sure you know what you are allowed to store and share online.  SU copyright agreements do not extend to storing of documents protected under the copyright law on OneDrive for business or any other public store space.
  • You are entirely responsible for your own information. Be careful who you give rights and access to, as it will compromise your information if it’s visible to other people.
  • You are responsible for synchronisation between online and local data. Synchronisation between online and local information needs to be set up correctly and done on a regular basis.
  • Keep in mind that access to cloud services when on campus will not incur any costs, but if you work from home your own data will be utilised.
  • It is very important that you keep your private usernames, passwords and information separate from your official work, to prevent your data from getting mixed up.
  • Having access to the cloud from any computer makes your digital identification vulnerable, do not use computers you do not trust to access your cloud services.

What if I have been using OneDrive personal, Dropbox and other cloud storage options? 

You can keep on using them, but it is very important that you only use these storage options for your personal data.

OneDrive for business and SharePoint online is available under of the US MS Licence agreement for storage and sharing of institutional data. The storage and sharing of institutional data are not allowed on Dropbox, OneDrive personal or any other cloud storage. IMPORTANT: SU copyright agreements do not extend to storing and sharing of documents protected under the copyright law on OneDrive for business, SharePoint online or any other public store spaces.

What is the difference between the storage options?  

 

ONEDRIVE

ONEDRIVE FOR BUSINESS

SHAREPOINT ONLINE

DROPBOX

GOOGLE DRIVE

 

PURPOSE

Personal

Business

Business

Personal

Personal

 
 

MANAGED BY

You (private)

You (business)

Teamsite owner, moderator (business)

You (private)

You (private)

 

WHAT DATA SHOULD I STORE HERE?

Personal files
(photos of your pet, last holiday, etc.)

Work files
(e.g. Word or Excel docs, PDF’s, etc.)

Your teams’ collabrative files, big data files, etc.

Personal files
(
photos of your pet, last holiday etc.)

Personal files (photos of your pet, last holiday etc.)

 

HOW MUCH STORAGE SPACE?

5GB (more if you created an account before Feb’16)

5TB

Limited by your imagination or work needs.

First 5GB free, then pay as you need.

First 15GB free, then pay as you need.

 
 

FILE SHARING?

Yes, similar to Google Drive or DropBox.

Yes. You manage the share (security) of file/folder. Simple versioning.

Yes, team collab space; managed by moderators. Most granular and secure.

Yes, very simple.

Yes, very simple.

 
 

Do I still have to back up my data if it’s stored in the cloud?

Yes, it’s always beneficial to have more than one backup of your data, preferably in different locations.

 

 

Calling all reluctant designers

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Whether you are a professional, aspiring or reluctant designer, occasionally you have to rustle up a poster, flyer, ad or some form of graphic representation.

Canva an Australian company, was founded in 2012 to easily create graphic designs for whatever purpose.

The web site rapidly became popular, with more than 750,000 users in its first year. It currently has over 10 million users across 179 countries. It’s also considered to be one of the easiest graphic design platforms available at the moment. 

Canva is considered to be one of the easiest (according to some THE easiest) graphic design platforms currently available. One of the biggest challenges with graphic design is learning to use software like Adobe Photoshop, a fairly complicated programme. Canva eliminates this learning process and doesn’t expect you to be an expert designer to use it. How is this possible?

One way with which Canva simplifies the design process is by using an easy, intuitive drag and drop system which makes adding, removing, and editing elements extremely easy. You can choose between 11 available templates or customise your document from scratch. It also provides over 8,000 free and paid layouts.

Additionally, it offers a free photo editing tool, colour palette generator, and font combination tool, along with a database of over a million photographs, graphics and fonts. Many of the images are for the Premium package, which will cost you $1 per image, but you can easily upload and use your own images.

All these tools can be used for both web and print media design and graphics. Canva is free for individuals, but also offers a ‘Team’ tier at $12.45/month,

SOURCES:
www.wikipedia.org
http://www.pcworld.com
https://www.cnet.com
http://socialconceptsconsulting.com
http://sociallysorted.com.au
https://beautifulpixels.com
http://createyourlaptoplife.com
http://executivesecretary.com/canva-a-design-tool-for-the-non-designer/

 

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