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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 7, 2018

The holidays are here, and your brand new smart-phone is on the mantle while you struggle to read email on a spiderwebbed-cracked phone screen. Why? Because Ag IT is closed for the week and you don’t know the steps to configure the new one to your email!

December 7, 2018

Over the past many months you’ve been upgraded to the newest version of Microsoft Office – Office 365 and also to a university-wide mail system, Exchange 365. Learning to do what you’ve always done is pretty straightforward between your older versions and the new one….but that is the boring and safe place on the sidelines. The big kids jump into the fray, give things a shot and learn how much more the newest Office Suite can be!

December 7, 2018

While Ag IT enjoys the December Break just like most other offices at UP, we also understand that you have important responsibilities that do not necessarily follow a calendar. For that reason, we have put measures in place to respond to significant IT service interruptions during the holiday break.

December 7, 2018

Ag IT, just like all of you, has routine work to do every day, every week, and every year. And, just like you, we also tackle bigger projects. Some are year-long, and others are multi-year. We just finished the Office 365 migration project, and we’ve been casting about for our next big project since we know that idle hands are the Devil’s playground, and we don’t want to draw the Devil’s attention to us!

December 7, 2018

“Hey Siri! How long do I cook a 25 lb. turkey in the microwave?” “Seriously? You’re trying that one on me?” “Alexa: How much rum do I need to keep a kettle of Hot Buttered Rum throughout the holiday? Is it different if the in-laws are visiting?” “Have you seen the barrels of rum in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies? Yeah, more than that.” “Google! What do I do if the whole office network fails during the holiday break?” “You call your friends and colleagues at Ag IT, just like always!”

December 7, 2018

I need advice! I have this email that wants me to ‘Click here to…..’ and it says it is URGENT!! “Ix-nay!” - Curly Howard, 1936 “Just Say No.” – Nancy Reagan, 1986 "No, no, no. Just....No." - Ag IT Staff, 2018

September 6, 2018

The College of Ag Sciences will be migrating mail and calendaring service to the Office 365 service hosted by the University in October!

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.