Where’s My Volume?

by Adam Jones

In the Classroom Support office we get a lot of phone calls from professors who are having trouble setting the volume in their rooms. Since this comes up so often, I’ve decided to write a guide to help you.

While this might seem simple to experienced computer users, it is still confusing to others. (Which is exactly how I feel when my father tries to explain what an intake manifold does. No idea.) For those of you who have trouble with sound settings, just follow these instructions, and you’ll know what to do. Continue reading Where’s My Volume?

Making Windows 8 Feel Like Windows

shell start

By Robert Burkett

If you bought a new computer in the last 6 months to a year, it probably came with Windows 8 pre-installed. For those who have been using Windows for any length of time, it’s likely been a frustrating experience to navigate compared to all previous versions of Windows. If your new computer is not touchscreen, it makes even less sense. You may get used to it, or you may scream… either way, there is hope to make it feel more like Windows.

A couple add-ons from www.classicshell.net with their Classic Start Menu and Explorer really help bring back that familiar environment that you can’t live without. I suspect Microsoft will eventually add these features within Windows 8 with future updates, but until then (or not), the Classic Shell is more than sufficient.

classic explorer

Physical Security

Physical-Security2by George Finney

Physical Security – Technology can only help us so much when it comes to protecting University owned assets.  People are always our first line of defense.  This means not leaving your laptop unattended at a coffee shop or in your car overnight.  It also means locking your filing cabinets at night or putting sensitive files back into a locked cabinet when they are no longer needed.

Online Training is available for SMU faculty and staff in Courses.SMU.

For more information about Information Security and Security Awareness Training, visit smu.edu/infosec.

Faculty and Staff—Work at Home Software

microsoft-apple

by: Rachel Mulry

Did you know that faculty and staff can purchase select Microsoft and Adobe products at a significantly reduced cost for a home computer?  The following titles are available: Microsoft Office 2011, Office 2013, Windows 7 (upgrade), Windows 8 (upgrade), and the full Adobe Creative Cloud suite. This software is only available while you are an active Faculty or Staff member and must be removed when you leave the University.

To purchase your copy, visit http://smu.onthehub.com.  You will need to register using your SMU email address in order to receive the discount.  Please note: the Help Desk has several copies of Office 2011, Windows 7 and Windows 8 for purchase. These are at a reduced cost and available while supplies last.

For more details, visit http://www.smu.edu/BusinessFinance/OIT/Services/SoftwareLicense

Sensitive Information

Sensitive-Informationby George Finney

The University requires a large amount of sensitive information in order to keep running.  From needing banking information in order to pay employees or requiring social security numbers in order to provide loans to our students, this information is necessary for our day-to-day business.  Just remember: if you don’t need it, don’t ask for it.  If you do need it, be mindful of where the data is going when it leaves your hands.

For more information about Information Security, visit smu.edu/infosec.

Password Protection

Password-Protection

by George Finney

Password Protection – For accounts that may give you access to sensitive information, you should have a stronger password than personal accounts like Facebook.  If you suspect it has been compromised or shared with someone else, change it!  SMU requires you to change your password every 6 months just in case your password has been compromised and you don’t know it, but you are always the best judge of how to protect your password.

For more information, visit smu.edu/infosec.

No More Clunky Documents

Whether you are working on a thesis or a project report, any lengthy document can be cumbersome to work with.  Two new enhancements to Word 2013 that I really find useful are the ability to expand and collapse headings and to set collapse by default.

New Features in Word 2013When you hover over a heading within your document you’ll see the triangular Expand/Collapse button. You can open or close that heading just by clicking on the button.

Expand_Collapse W2013

To expand or collapse all the headings in your document, right click a heading and choose an option from the Expand/Collapse menu.

 

If you want, you also have the ability to set the default to open in a collapsed mode. Once you have your cursor placed in a heading, navigate to the Home tab. In the Paragraph section select the Paragraph Settings button (#1).  Then, select the Collapsed by default option (#2) and click OKparagraph dialog boxViola! You should now have a document that is much easier to work with and looks something like the example below.

CollapsedIf you would like a tour of Office 2013 and learn a few shortcuts like these, come join my webinar on Sept 26 or Oct 30.

 

 

Digital Note Taking: Tips and Tricks for Keeping Track

by Zach Peterson

The whirlwind hustle and bustle of the new semester is behind us, and everyone is starting to settle in and focus on their studies. Whether you take notes on paper or digitally, your notebooks can get awfully cluttered and confusing as the semester rolls on. Once finals come around, you’re lost in a sea of information.

Taking notes shouldn’t have to be a pain! Since it is one of the most critical parts of a successful college career, it’s important to find a system that you’re comfortable with and one that is helpful when review time comes.

The Cornell Systemcornell system

If you’re a fan of the tried-and-true pen and paper, the Cornell System can make your note taking much easier and useful. It was first created by Cornell education professor Walter Pauk. It’s a simple method of splitting a single page into three sections; one for general notes, a small sidebar for keywords, and a small bottom strip to summarize the notes on that page. For more info and a template to take it for a spin, Lifehacker has you covered.

Evernoteevernote

One of the most popular web-based note taking applications out there is Evernote. It has applications available for PC, Mac, Linux, and most mobile devices. They can all sync to your account, so you’ll never be far away from your notes. You can also add multimedia and share your notes quickly with others. There are both free and paid versions of Evernote, with the paid version providing more features and storage space.

OneNoteonenote

If keeping your notes in the online cloud isn’t your bag, Microsoft has a great solution for Windows users that you may already have on your computer! It’s called OneNote, and it is included with most versions of Microsoft Office. OneNote is a powerful system that allows you to create multiple notebooks for different classes, projects, or anything else you may need. It’s super easy to edit text and insert multimedia like images, videos, and audio. OneNote also is capable of sharing notes with others. For Mac users, a good alternative to OneNote is called Outline.

Livescribe Penslivescribe-echo_0

If you like a mix of both the old-fashioned and the high-tech, an option for you could be a smartpen. Using specially-designed paper notebooks and an infrared camera, smartpens are able to save a digital copy of your handwriting for storage and searching. In addition to saving your writing, the pen can also save audio recordings and sync them with your handwriting, allowing you to tap on any portion of the page and replay audio. Just be sure your professor is okay with it before recording! These pens start at around $100 and can also work in conjunction with Evernote.

No matter what method you choose to take those notes this semester, it’s just important that you do!