Legendary Free Audio Editor Gets an Upgrade: Audacity 2.2.0

Audacity LogoIf you’ve ever needed to find a program to edit audio on your computer, you’ve probably stumbled on Audacity in your Internet travels. Audacity has been around for almost twenty years, and the team that maintains the software just announced a significant upgrade! Continue reading Legendary Free Audio Editor Gets an Upgrade: Audacity 2.2.0

InstructureCon Reveals Upcoming Features in Canvas

Instructurecon LogoLast month, instructional designers from around the world descended on Keystone, Colorado for the annual InstructureCon. This convention is hosted by Instructure, the makers of the Canvas LMS, to announce upcoming features as well as allow educators to discuss innovative ways of using Canvas. SMU’s own Canvas administrators paid a visit to the Rockies to find out more about what Canvas has up their sleeve, and they weren’t disappointed! Continue reading InstructureCon Reveals Upcoming Features in Canvas

CrashPlan Pro: What to Expect in Version 5

CrashPlan logoCrashPlan Pro has been available for primary SMU-owned computers for faculty and staff since 2013. When hardware or software has failed, CrashPlan has saved many of our community members from losing their critical data. OIT is pleased to report that the new version of CrashPlan Pro will provide the same reliable backup service while simplifying the user interface to make file restoration and management even easier. Continue reading CrashPlan Pro: What to Expect in Version 5

CylancePROTECT Protects SMU Campus

CylanceCylancePROTECT is an advanced threat protection program that utilizes machine learning and artificial intelligence to categorize files and running processes. Files deemed ‘unsafe’ or ‘abnormal’ are quarantined, while memory exploit attempts are blocked. Unlike traditional antivirus solutions, Cylance does not rely on daily virus definition updates or weekly system scans. This means it will use less CPU, save memory, and be easier on your hard drive, which should provide a better user experience for you. Continue reading CylancePROTECT Protects SMU Campus

Sitecore Upgrade on June 20

Sitecore upgrade on 06/20/2016On June 20th, we will be upgrading the Sitecore server to version 8.1. Due to the update process, the Sitecore authoring environment, wcmstage.smu.edu/sitecore, will be unavailable for the entire day starting at 7 AM. The public-facing environment of www.smu.edu will continue to be available during the upgrade. If there is a need for emergency updates, changes can be accommodated through submitting a Help Desk support ticket. Continue reading Sitecore Upgrade on June 20

PaperCut Secure Print Launches February 29

logo-papercut-ng[1]Campus printers will be upgraded to a secure print release environment beginning February 29th. During this process each area across campus will be contacted and notified of a “Go Live” date for this service to be activated.

Why PaperCut Secure Print?

In a standard printing environment, a user’s jobs are sent directly to the printer for immediate printing. This results in wasted paper and toner when printing is forgotten and not collected. It also presents a security risk if those forgotten jobs were sensitive or confidential. PaperCut print release provides a simple solution that places jobs in a holding state until the user swipes their SMU ID card to release the print job. Walk-up device features such as scanning and copying will also require card swipe access once this service has been activated.

Instructions on how to set up this device to release secure print jobs from your computer are available on the print services page. (See departmental printing.) Additional communications for this upgrade will be forthcoming.

Microsoft ending support for older browsers

Microsoft EdgeMicrosoft will soon stop supporting older versions of Internet Explorer and will only continue to support Internet Explorer (IE) 11 and their new Edge web browser.

In fact, you may begin receiving prompts to upgrade your version of IE from Microsoft. This raises a common question regarding browser compatibility issues with the various applications and tools we use on a daily basis.

What browsers are available?

Microsoft Internet Explorer/Edge, Firefox and Chrome are the most popular browsers.  It is recommended that you have at least two if not all three of these browsers installed on your computer.

Should I upgrade my browser when prompted?

Yes!  The vendors provide upgrades to the browser software on a regular basis. Most of these upgrades include critical security patches to ensure the safety of your browsing sessions.  Failing to install the latest version makes your system vulnerable.

What do I do if my web applications aren’t working?

When vendors develop the upgrades, they are not able to test their upgrades with every application on the market.  Unfortunately, it is not unusual for a website or web application to “break” with a particular update.  Thus, it is beneficial to know a few troubleshooting steps when you encounter issues with an application:

  1. Clear the browser cache and relaunch the browser completely
    Sometimes, the temporary files behind the scenes cause issues.  Clearing the browser cache and restarting the browser completely often fixes application issues.
  2. Try a different browser
    If one browser isn’t working right with your application, try launching that application in a different browser.  Believe it or not, the applications may function a little differently in each browser.
  3. Use the browser compatibility option in Internet Explorer
    Because application developers are not always able to integrate new changes in the browser code quickly, browsers have several tools built in to fix compatibility issues.  It is often helpful to know how to activate these tools if you really want to continue using a specific browser.  For example– in Internet Explorer, click the gear icon and select Compatibility View Settings.

For additional troubleshooting tips for each browser, click on the appropriate links below

  1. Firefox: support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/troubleshoot-and-diagnose-firefox-problems
  2. Chrome: support.google.com/chrome/troubleshooter/6273575?hl=en
  3. Internet Explorer: windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/internet-explorer-help

Early Issues with ExamSoft and El Capitan

Update: ExamSoft announces a new version of SofTest compatible with El Capitan is available now.

Update: ExamSoft announces a new version of SofTest supporting El Capitan will be available by the second week of November.


examsoftEl Capitan (OSX 10.11) was recently released to the public by Apple. While it is exciting to be the first one to use a new OS, if you use ExamSoft, we would urge you to wait.

At this time, ExamSoft’s SofTest is not compatible with El Capitan due to a vulnerability identified during the initial testing. If you are running El Capitan as your OS, ExamSoft will prevent you from downloading or registering SofTest on your device.  We urge you to please refrain from updating to El Capitan until an official support announcement has been made by ExamSoft.

Questions about Mac OS upgrade should be directed to the Help Desk.

If you need to access your ExamSoft account, please visit www.examsoft.com/smu. Log into the account under the ‘Administrator/Faculty’ area.  If you forgot your password, use the ‘Lost Password’ link to have it resent to you.

Post Updated 10/02 to include information about Mac OS upgrading and ExamSoft account login.

Lync Becomes Skype for Business

Beginning July 29, SMU faculty and staff who use Microsoft Lync will notice changes, like new notification tones, as Lync clients are upgraded to Skype for Business.

What does this mean for current Lync users?

If you use Skype to stay in touch with friends and family in your life away from work, you’ll appreciate the power and simplicity of Skype for Business. Within SMU’s closed system, it’s easy to find and connect with co-workers. If you’re going from Lync to Skype for Business, you’ll recognize all of the features you already used with a fresh interface, simplified controls, and new Emoticons.

skype1 skype2

Some of the new features of Skype for Business will not be available until its server application is available later this year. Until then, users will have access to the current features from Lync within the new Skype for Business interface. For a preview of what’s coming both short- and long-term, visit this link.

Internet Browser Troubleshooting Tips

The IT Help Desk receives reports daily from individuals having trouble using different websites. These reports seem to be growing more and more frequent, and functionality within websites seems to be impacted with each browser upgrade. The following are some troubleshooting tips we use which may help you the next time an application isn’t working as expected in your browser! Continue reading Internet Browser Troubleshooting Tips