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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.
June 4, 2019

Microsoft introduced the Windows 7 operating system in 2009. After ten years of dedicated service, Microsoft has announced its retirement date of December 31, 2019. Those of us who toil for Penn State usually need more than ten years before retirement – it must be nice to be a part of Microsoft!

June 4, 2019

Most Pennsylvanians think that fairs are fun places to enjoy the kinds of food that can make a cardiologist weep – unless they are seeking new patients. The people of our communities look forward to the fun and relaxation time with friends, 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.

June 4, 2019

My documents are on the move…or rather, your documents are on the move….no…make that your My Documents are on the move!

June 4, 2019

Pennsylvania is a great state for fishing! There is fishing for steelhead in Erie, and fishing for compliments and votes in Harrisburg. Muskie are found in Raystown Lake, and tuna can be found even in small communities. The other activity – phishing – is also prevalent in Pennsylvania, especially at Penn State – and it has hazards all its own!

March 7, 2019

If you’re feeling a little constrained by earthly computing, cloud computing might be right for you!

March 7, 2019

With all the cold, wind, sleet and snow, we are sure you are thinking of spring and your summer helpers/ interns. With 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 7, 2019

As spring arrives and moves into summer, two projects with big impacts will be shifting from the planning and preparation stages into implementation – and the implementation phase of one or both will impact you!

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.