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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.
September 14, 2016

Why should I buy your recommended Dell laptop when I found this 9” laptop for only $9.99?!?! Because the $9.99 unit is an Etch-A-Sketch. And, the $999.99 laptop deal sounds like a bargain until you actually explore the value instead of just the cost.

September 14, 2016

Ransom is a frightening word – someone takes something of value from you and demands money to return it. Now it is possible for an extortionist to lock up your files until such time as you pay them to let you have the key to unlock them again. With caution you can avoid this possibility, and with pre-planning you can mitigate the need to pay the hijackers if they do encrypt your files.

September 14, 2016

Connecting to secure Penn State resources from a location outside of the Penn State network requires a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection – an added layer of security that protects data while enroute from one computer to another. Penn State currently supports two products to make this secure connection, but one service is taking advantage of the early retirement plan and going away soon. Is it the one you use?

September 14, 2016

The Ag IT Support team has an elaborate ritual of feasts to welcome new team members – lunches, donuts, fruits and vegetables, and (of course) Creamery ice cream. Now that we are done feasting we’d like to invite you to join us in welcoming our newest Support Team member, Laura Sproat!

September 14, 2016

The most current version of Microsoft Office for Windows – Microsoft Office 2016 – is now available to all faculty and staff who wish to upgrade. A few clicks and little patience and you can have it installed! Well….maybe many clicks and lots of patience…..

July 26, 2016

Most Pennsylvanians think that fairs are fun places to enjoy food that medical professionals frown upon. Many people look forward to the fun and relaxation of the exhibits, shows and sales. We in Ag IT know that for many extension professionals it is one of the most stressful times of the year. It is no coincidence that market research shows a significant uptick in the sales of aspirin and antacids during fair season.

July 26, 2016

Summer thunderstorms can wreak havoc on roads and farms and landscaping and roofing, pets, and on a restful night’s sleep. It can also wreak havoc on your office technology!

July 26, 2016

Do you have a lot of data? Are you looking for a data storage location that is accessible from anywhere in the world? (OK…maybe just most of the world!)? Do you need a low-cost storage option? Really low? Have a need to share data with colleagues across the campus? Across the state…country…globe? In need of secure storage and secure access? Then just put it in a box - in a Box at Penn State

July 26, 2016

Just as the fisherman is constantly at work to discover what bait will work to hook the fish he’s after, the unethical cyber-anglers are trying to find out which bait will trick you into revealing your password, your credit card or maybe your banking information. Protect yourself and Penn State; protect your family and your finances by exercising great caution when you get any email that is going to involve private information!

April 13, 2016

If you connect to some secure Penn State services from outside of a Penn State network you may be familiar with using Cisco VPN. A new version has arrived – AnyConnect! This is great news for users of Windows 10 since the previous version was not Win 10 compatible, and good news for Win 7 users since it is new and functional and will outlast Cisco VPN.

April 13, 2016

Daffodils, tulips and program assistant hiring – all sure signs of spring! We’ve got some tips to help you get computer access for your summer employees!

April 13, 2016

“Spring cleaning” is not anywhere near as much fun as “Summer Cookouts” or “Fall Foliage Festival,” but it is something that seems to happen every year. When you get around to spring cleaning in the old technology closet we’ve got a few tips and reminders.

April 13, 2016

Country music of the 1950’s and 60’s usually involved a lost dog and/or a girlfriend’s heart being stolen away by another. At Penn State in the 2016’s sometimes people in the college find that their computer has been lost, or their tablet has been stolen away by another. There are steps to take, and none involve a guitar and songwriting!

December 15, 2015

We realize that not all county offices follow the University Park calendar and so many of you will be working while the staff of Ag IT is sipping eggnog and eating fruitcake…but we will rouse up from our long winter’s nap if your office has an IT emergency!

December 15, 2015

You may have already heard of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), or it may be a new term and practice for you. Day by day the use of 2FA is growing at Penn State, but what is it? What value is it to you and to Penn State? How does it work?

December 15, 2015

Gift-giving and December go together like milk and cookies. If you get a new mobile electronic device and want to immediately start sending and receiving your work email messages through the college’s exchange server there is no need to wait for IT staff to return from holiday break for help setting it up!

December 15, 2015

We realize that although the university is officially closed for the holiday break, many of you will be working while the staff of Ag IT is sipping eggnog and eating fruitcake…but we will rouse up from our long winter’s nap if your office has an IT emergency!

December 15, 2015

Let’s play Jeopardy! Ag IT for $1,000, please Alex. Tens of thousands of dollars; thousands of meetings; hundreds of hours of planning; fifties of administrative approvals; tens of Ag IT staff members and ones of big bottles of aspirin. What is…..the completion of the county wireless project!

October 15, 2015

It is time! It is time to add complexity to your passwords and to simplify your password management! It is time to make bizarre passwords of absurd lengths – and it is time to give up memorizing bizarre passwords of absurd lengths!

October 15, 2015

"I like what I have and I’m keeping it!" or "Out with the old and in with the new!" – the choice is yours. Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013 are available to you for use on your Penn State owned computer – the version you choose to use is up to you!