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IT Main Building closed due to COVID

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

Due to a positive COVID case the IT Main Building has been closed with immediate effect and will only open again on 10 August 2021.

As a result our services will be limited until staff can return to their normal duties. This includes deliveries which will be on hold until 10 August.

During this period we request that customers log calls via the ICT Partner Portal or send an e-mail to help@sun.ac.za

  • Remote user support will be available as normal
  • Hardware support for critical cases logged on the ICT Partner Portal will be arranged on a case by case basis by the technical team.
  • Critical access problems will be managed via the ICT Partner Portal platform.
  • Critical telephone and network services will be managed via the via ICT Partner Portal platform.

We apologise for the inconvenience. Any enquiries can be logged on ICT Partner Portal.

Why does it take so long before I receive my new computer?

Thursday, July 8th, 2021

If you have been waiting for a computer or other hardware you have ordered, you would have noticed that delivery is taking much longer than usual. This is undoubtedly a big inconvenience and cause much frustration.  

The reason for these delays is a worldwide supply shortage of semiconductors effecting 169 industries, ranging from car manufacturing, steel production, consumer electronics and even soap manufacturing just to name a few.

What caused these shortages? Apart from Covid-19 pandemic causing an increase on the number of people working remotely and requiring equipment, a number of other factors also played a role such as the tech war between the U.S. and China.

It is also not expected that the chip industry will be back to its healthy supply-demand situation until 2023.

The two companies that the university appointed as suppliers for laptops and desktops, Dell and Lenovo also notified us of the severe component shortages, and they are doing their best to shorten delivery periods under these severe circumstances.  The shortages include LCD screens, CPUs, audio cards and network cards resulting in extended lead times.

A more detailed explanation is provided here.

We appreciate your patience. Unfortunately, we are dealing with unusual circumstances beyond our control, but please know that we are trying our best to ensure your orders reach you as soon as possible.

 

 

Microsoft Teams performance tips

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

Many SU staff members have experienced lost connections during a Teams meeting or sometimes have technical glitches such as poor or broken voice connections. With this short article, we provide some tips to ensure that your next Teams meeting has minimum disruptions. The tips are split into three categories:

  1. Good practices
  2. Preparing for a trouble-free meeting
  3. Steps to take if you experience a poor connection

The good practices include:

  1. Regularly shut down and restart your PC – at least once a day. The shut down and restart cleans the PC of processes taking up resources. A good habit is to shut down at the end of the workday, and start fresh in the morning.
  2. Regularly run updates, ensuring that the operating system and applications are up to date. This should happen almost automatically on University owned PCs.
  3. Regularly run virus checks.

Preparing for a trouble-free meeting – especially important if you are the host or presenter for a meeting:

  1. Close all unnecessary applications.
  2. Test if you have sufficient Internet bandwidth available. You can do this by running an Internet bandwidth test at Speedtest by Ookla – The Global Broadband Speed Test.
    For voice only and sharing images you need less than one MB/second. For sharing applications and using your webcam, you need between 1 and 2 MB/s.
    For video you preferably need 2 MB/s.
  3. Test if your PC has sufficient resources.
    For Windows 10 press Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
    For a Mac the equivalent is the Activity Monitor: Press Command+Spacebar to get the Spotlight search field. 
    Start typing “Activity Monitor.”
    The CPU usage percentage should be under 50% and memory usage below 60% before you start MS Teams.
  4. If your MS Teams app was open before a meeting, quit and start MS Teams again at least 10 minutes before your meeting.
    To do this right click the Teams icon on the task bar and Quit, then start again.

5. If you share your Internet with other users (e.g. at home), ensure that the others know and do not hog the Internet connection. (e.g. do not play video, stream content, run updates).
Turn the camera off and use audio only if  the speed test or PC resources tests did show limitations.

6. If you are the host or presenter and have doubts about your Internet connection, rather work from your office on campus where you are unlikely to run into limitations. Use Ethernet (a cable connection to your router) rather than Wi-Fi if you have Ethernet available.

7. Have a second device with Microsoft Teams as a standby, e.g. a mobile phone with an LTE data connection. Practice switching devices so that you are familiar with how it works before you host a meeting.

Steps to take if you experience a poor connection:

  1. Turn the camera off if it was on.
  2. Turn off incoming video: (last item under the three dots menu).
    You will still be able to see shared screens and comments.

3. Switch to another device as a last resort, for example MS Teams on your mobile phone or tablet.

The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) is here

Sunday, July 4th, 2021

The Protection of Personal Information Act (4 of 2013) (POPIA) is in full effect from 1 July 2021.  A brief summary of the POPIA Act is available here.

To support the University community’s readiness for POPIA, the Division for Information Governance has launched a series of guides and tools at www.sun.ac.za/privacy, including our institutional privacy regulations, an online privacy impact self-assessment, and channels for reporting incidents or breaches of personal information.

The Division for Information Governance also offers awareness sessions, facilitated privacy impact assessments, and internal advisory and consulting services by request. For more details, contact privacy@sun.ac.za

Also read POPIA: How valuable is personal information?

Everlytic, the digital messaging platform, also has various of helpful articles on its website, as well as a handy POPIA Powerpoint guide.

IT HUB closed

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021

The IT HUB has been closed this morning due to a positive COVID case of one of the staff members. 

For urgent issues students can go to their Computer User Areas (CUAs) for assistance or for less urgent problems, log a request on servicedesk.sun.ac.za.

IT HUB will be closed until Friday, but we will monitor the situation and keep you updated. 

 

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