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Ag IT Matters

Ag IT Matters is an electronic newsletter from the Ag Information Technologies unit. The purpose of this newsletter is to communicate relevant IT issues and projects, keeping our customers engaged and informed.
December 11, 2017

Butterball offers a turkey emergency hotline for the holidays, and if you look a little on Google you’re likely to find a hotline for fruitcake or eggnog emergencies as well. No need to use Google to find help for network and server issues in the College of Ag though...your IT colleagues will be on recliner-chair standby for just that sort of emergency.

December 11, 2017

…Every Who down in Whoville liked email and credit cards a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north did NOT! Or, at least, he liked using YOUR credit cards and accounts more than his own. (with deepest apologies to Dr. Seuss)

December 11, 2017

It is a season of gifts, and if you receive a new smartphone or tablet, we just know that your highest priority will be college/work email. “No!” you will shout to friends and family, “None of those cool apps and no music yet…first I must check my College of Ag Email!” We have you covered, even while we’re closed!

December 11, 2017

If you use your personal cell phone for two-factor authentication to Penn State services, we’ve found a few reminders that may be helpful to you for the upcoming winter break. There are 2FA considerations if you get a new phone, and suggestions for success if you travel over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house – or especially if your destinations are more exotic or remote.

December 11, 2017

If you wander around the halls of Ag IT, you will often hear our staff talking on the phone referring to the Thumbprint Page. “Use this password anytime the thumbprint page pops up,” or “Use the same password that you would for the thumbprint page!” Next month, Penn State will launch a redesign of the Thumbprint page, more correctly known as the WebAccess page.

December 11, 2017

Everybody likes “Pop” things … PopTarts; pop (a beverage found in western PA only); popcorn; Pop-Pop (the Grandfather); Snap, Crackle, Pop, and, as we approach New Year’s Eve, some might enjoy the pop of the Champagne bottle. We hope that you will also like the new way we’ll be sending some important messages….a ‘pop up’ window, front and center on your screen.

December 11, 2017

Butterball offers a turkey emergency hotline for the holidays, and if you look a little on Google you’re likely to find a hotline for fruitcake or eggnog emergencies as well. No need to use Google to find help for network and server issues in the College of Ag though...your IT colleagues will be on recliner-chair standby for just that sort of emergency.

October 23, 2017

100,000 is a lot of somethings. 100,000 days ago it was 1744 and the USA was still a colony. 100,000 calories is 14 gallons of PSU Creamery Death By Chocolate ice cream, or 177 Big Mac sandwiches. If you bought 100,000 Agronomy Guides and laid them end to end you could make an 8.5 inch wide path from Independence Hall to the King of Prussia Mall (and would have to spend 3.5 million dollars…). 100,000 miles is nearly half-way to the moon.

October 23, 2017

Why should I buy your recommended Dell laptop when I found this 9” laptop for only $9.99?!?! Because the $9.99 unit is a Lite Brite Magic Screen. And, the $99.99 laptop deal sounds like a bargain until you actually explore the value instead of just the cost.

October 23, 2017

There are things we take for granted – they are just always there and they just always work…and it isn’t until they disappear that we even notice them. Such is the situation with the one-click to open Penn State’s Directory Services inside Outlook. It just disappeared – disappeared faster than a plate of Tollhouse Cookies at a team meeting!

October 23, 2017

We’re looking for a few people who are willing to do extra work, offer candid opinions, and be a pioneer of software testing….all for no increase in pay, no increase of time off, and no snacks. You will gain the respect and admiration of the whole Ag IT Team, though….and that is worth a lot!

June 15, 2017

You work hard all week. We see it, we know it. We read about how hard you work on Facebook. You catch a rest and a recharge overnight, and a better recovery period over the weekend. We see that on Facebook, too. And then, after the rest and recharge, you are back at it… Your computer would benefit from this same routine that works for you!

June 15, 2017

As teams grow - criss-crossing the state - and daily schedules become more complex, calendar sharing becomes more and more valuable.

June 15, 2017

We’re not even going to hide it. We’ll admit it right up front. This article is an almost identical copy/paste from the March issue of IT Matters. Why? Because it is that important!

June 15, 2017

In July 2016, Penn state invited all of us to test and critique two desktop video conferencing solutions, with the intent to adopt one as our preferred and sponsored platform. Votes are in and tallied, write-ins tabulated and included, then certified and adopted. Who won?

June 15, 2017

Some visitors to the front door do not earn enough of your confidence to open the door and let them sit at your kitchen table. There are other circumstances when this same caution is a good idea, too.

March 17, 2017

A new look and a new name – with the same purpose and the same function. You may have called it Identity Finder, or you may have called it the Blue Dog software – we’re told that some people have called it other things, too. Now it is known as Spirion!

March 17, 2017

The Fair: Where citizens of the commonwealth go to eat sausage sandwiches, get indigestion and eat antacids. The Fair: Where Extension professionals go to conduct shows and sales, get indigestion and eat antacids.

March 17, 2017

The recent blizzard notwithstanding, snow is melting fast with all this spring like weather. Even if you didn’t get much snow, we are looking forward to spring and your new summer workers. With some advanced planning, you can best be assured that your interns and program assistants will be able to use the computers and other IT resources on their start date or soon after.

March 17, 2017

iOS 10 – the current operating system for Apple’s iPhone and iPad has a great feature to help you to unsubscribe from email listservs that are filling your mailbox. It is so simple and so easy that you might find yourself unsubscribed from valuable lists by accident!