Classrooms Get Upgrade Over Summer

During the last few weeks of summer, several classrooms in Dallas Hall have been given a much needed upgrade.

2015-09-02_11.53.14Faculty teaching in these rooms will now notice that HDMI is an available source and the black AV box has been moved into the lectern to give you more room to stand. We’ve also re-designed the keypad interface so users can select a laptop input just by pressing a single button. (Previously it was necessary to also make a selection on the small switcher that was under the keyboard tray.) If you want to use your laptop, simply choose VGA or HDMI on the familiar keypad and plug in the appropriate cable. These rooms have also been given new projectors that provide a brighter, clearer image.

Continue reading Classrooms Get Upgrade Over Summer

Faculty Media Lab to close during renovations

OIT’s Faculty Media Lab will close on July 23 for the duration of the CUL renovations. The Faculty Media Lab has provided dozens of faculty with a space for multimedia projects, digitizing, and multimedia training.

While the space will be closed, the assistance provided will continue through other areas on campus. General multimedia question and assistance can be obtained by contacting the OIT Help Desk at 214-768-HELP or The SMU STAR Program will still continue to work on faculty and department digital media projects; Please continue to make requests though the help ticket system. For digitizing needs, please contact the CUL’s Norwick Center for Digital Services for availability and assistance.

New Voicemail System Implementation Begins

Beginning on July 13, OIT will transition the existing campus voicemail system to the new Unified Messaging service. 

This new service will deliver voicemail messages straight to your email mailbox.  A speech-to-text transcription will be included in the email message along with the actual audio file.  In addition, users can call into the voicemail system to retrieve messages as well as access email, calendar appointments and more.  If an individual calls your number but does not leave a message, a missed call notification will be delivered to your email as well.  All of these features (and more) can be controlled from the options menu within

OIT personnel will be migrated the week of July 13.  The week of July 20, a pilot group will be migrated.  This two week period will provide valuable feedback on both the migration process, our communications and our documentation.  We will then schedule the remaining voicemail moves to take place during the months of August and September.

It is important to note that any messages that exist on the current voicemail system will NOT be migrated to the new system.  Once your voicemail is migrated, you will no longer be able to access the old system. Therefore, it is imperative that you review any existing messages and document any numbers or details you may need from those messages before your scheduled migration.  Each person will receive an email with the date of their migration and more detailed instructions.

To view additional information on this new service, visit

The IT Help Desk is Moving!

Moving Truck

We’re Moving on July 2!

In an effort to better serve you during the Fondren Library Center remodel, the IT Help Desk will be relocating to the main floor of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center for the 2015—2016 school year. We will still be providing the same excellent service that you have come to expect, just in a new location starting July 2.

SPSS License Renewal

SPSS_logo.svgEvery summer, SPSS goes through a license renewal process. During this time, some customers will be given a countdown for when their license will expire. While this message is distressing, there is a 90-day grace period during which there will be NO disruption of service.

Once SMU has received the renewed licenses, all machines running SPSS versions 21 or 22 and have LANDesk installed will update automatically. Those who have software older than versions 21 and 22 will need to update to one of the two most recent iterations via LANDesk. Those who do not have LANDesk or would like assistance with updating to the two most recent versions should contact the SMU Help Desk for assistance. Version 23 will be made available at this time as well for those who would like to update. And of course, SPSS is available at all times via

4 Ways to Manage Stress Using Technology

If you’re looking to relieve your life of unnecessary stress, try one of these tech-savvy methods to lighten your burden and make you feel ready to take on the world.

1. Calming Reflection

Meditation has proven itself as a common yet efficient way of managing stress, and with apps like Mindfulness and Calm, short meditation sessions are at your fingertips wherever and whenever you need them. The Breathe2Relax app provides you with breathing techniques to help you quickly simmer down in any situation.

2. Soothing Sounds

While white noise machines do exist, you can quickly find hours’ worth of relaxing sounds on sites such as YouTube or Spotify, where there are multiple playlists to choose from, or by using the handy Relax Melodies app.

3. Gadgets and Gizmos

A Dublin startup called Galvanic created Pip, a biosensor which measures electrodermal activity associated with stress levels by having the user place their thumb on a small device. After calculating your levels, Pip can suggest techniques to reduce stress, and warn you if your stress levels are too high.

4. Quality Sleep

A great device to use for a re-energizing catnap is the Phillips Wake-Up Light. Described as an uplifting alarm clock, this accessory simulates a sunrise and accompanying sounds to help eliminate grogginess. According to a review by, even after just four hours of sleep, the experimenter woke up feeling refreshed, thanks to the new clock. An app with a similar purpose is SleepBot. Previously featured on our blog, this alarm clock app measures your movement while sleeping to determine the best time to wake you and leave you feeling refreshed.


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.

“Clutter” Is Coming to the Office 365 Mailbox

Office 365In June, Microsoft Clutter, a new mailbox management feature, will be activated for all SMU mailboxes hosted by Office 365 (primarily student mailboxes).

Clutter learns from your actions the messages you are likely to ignore. As less important messages arrive, they are automatically moved to the Clutter folder. It gets smarter over time, learning from your prior actions with similar messages and assessing things like the type of content and even how you are addressed in the message. To keep users informed on actions taken, Clutter will send summary notifications once per week, and will alert up to once per day when new types of emails are moved to Clutter for the first time.

The personalized Clutter experience adapts to your actions and preferences without you having to do anything. The information Clutter learns from each user’s actions are only applied to that user’s experience and are not shared with anyone else.

You can enable Clutter now from within the Outlook Web App by navigating to Settings (the “gear” icon in the upper right corner of Outlook Web App), OptionsMailAutomatic ProcessingClutter. You can also navigate to the same space if you wish to opt-out once Clutter is enabled globally.


Using Clutter in Office 365 tutorial after the break. Continue reading “Clutter” Is Coming to the Office 365 Mailbox

Travel This Summer With These Apps

Summer has just begun, which normally means that a future vacation is right on the horizon. Organizing a trip can get a bit wearisome at times, but with these free apps, planning can be an (ocean) breeze!

mzl.qwxrvsfjSky Scanner

If you aren’t particular about flight dates, just choose your ideal destination and where you plan to depart from, and leave it to Sky Scanner to find the best deals!



If you have a location you want to travel to and want to know what sights and experiences the destination has to offer, look no further than this app! Tripomatic gives detailed information and pictures for each major sight that your destination presents, from popular restaurants to esteemed museums.



Ever get flight and hotel confirmation emails and have trouble keeping up with all of them? If so, use TripIt to organize your itinerary. You can also add itineraries for multiple trips, so whether you want to plan out a weekend getaway or a business trip, this app is for you.



If you are trying to fill your itinerary, use Gogobot to see what restaurants, sights and hotels at your destination will best suit your needs.



Hipmunk compares hotel and flight prices and puts them all in one place. It also provides ratings, reviews, and pictures, so you know just what you’re getting when you book them.



Once you reach your destination and are looking for shopping or entertainment, use AroundMe to find a variety of locations to visit, whether it be a movie or music festivals or finding the nearest supermarket or gas station.