Posts tagged update

Yep, it’s happening again. This week we’ll be making some tweaks to LUNA, the network which is behind internet access in Student Village and Riseholme Park. Don’t throw things at us though, this is an upgrade to the internet in student accommodation which is all good. During the changes you won’t experience any interruption in network access.

How things work won’t change at all – the process for getting online will be exactly the same as it is at the moment. However, we’re putting some shiny new equipment in to replace the old stuff as well as updating all our software, meaning that the entire network will be more reliable (no more random dropouts at 2am when you’re catching up on TV), more robust (you won’t be able to break it by using something we’re not expecting) and generally a bit snappier.

We’ll also be revamping the look and feel again to bring it in line with our new web design. This will be even faster than before, as well as offering top-notch accessibility and browser compatibility. At the same time we’ll be taking a close look at how to make some bits of the process easier to work with, such as adding games consoles.

Finally, once we’re happy that things are stable, we’ll be turning on some new features such as optimised scans (which are even faster) and an at-your-convenience scan which you can perform when it’s best for you without losing internet access, unlike the current system of being unceremoniously booted from the network.

We’ll be removing the feedback box so many of you have used to complain at us (and in one case wish us several unpleasant diseases, for which we award a bonus star for creativity) since we think it’s served its purpose, but you’ll be pleased to know that it’s successfully helped us to resolve a great many problems which we wouldn’t have been able to spot without you. Thanks!

Further to the revelation that there are students out there capable of voicing an opinion, we now have to deal with the resulting fallout. At this point I need to quote Joss, the nice man from CERD, who likened my approach to IT support to this:

Whilst I’m tempted to staple this notice to the front of the helpdesk and watch confused students ask “will you really set us on fire?”, it’s actually better to deal with stupid questions by documenting your response, on the basis that the universe never ceases to provide a constant stream of the terminally confused, people who don’t bother to read the dialog box which pops up with important information and clear instructions, and people who believe that the helpdesk are there to actually operate the computer on their behalf.

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Today, I attended some training. I also have a headache, need to do some washing, and need to pack for a weekend in London (off to see the Lion King!), but that’s another issue.

Other things that happened today are good:

  • I updated the jQuery framework which lies behind LUNA and PFMPC to the latest version, giving several speed increases which will be completely unnoticeable for most people but which make my benchmark tools very happy.
  • I updated some of the CWD CSS to fix a niggling bug in IE6 and improve appearance on browsers supporting the CSS3 specification. This brings CWD to version 1.3.7.
  • I updated the HTML in PFMPC from CWD 1.2 to 1.3, bringing more cross-browser goodness, better semantically valid navigation, improved printing and a liquid layout to make best use of bigger screens.
  • I hacked some regex into the game console registration pages in LUNA, which now forces people to enter a valid MAC address when they’re registering. Unfortunately they have to enter uppercase letters (a true MAC address can be either) to keep our network access software happy, but tomorrow may include fixing this so some clever JavaScript converts it to uppercase for them.
  • I’ve got a server to play around with where I can put a nice LUNA feedback page.
  • Kirsty has managed to do some more work on the ICT team blog, so I’m seeing if this post will cross over successfully.

The waiting is over, the changes have been made, LUNA is here.

All users of the internet in University accommodation (Student Village and Riseholme Park) will see the new service whenever they connect to the internet. None of your details have changed, you still use the same username and password to connect, but how things look will be different. Hopefully cleaner, faster and easier to use.

The next phase of the upgrade (requiring people to have updated machines and anti-virus) is already partially in effect, all new machines being connected and those already in quarantine will need to be running recent service packs. However, as far as we are aware nobody is affected by this requirement since you’re all well behaved and have updates turned on. At the next scheduled required rescan (about two weeks away) all users will be required to be up to date and running anti-virus and anti-malware software. Sadly we don’t have a cool web address like http://getsecure.lincoln.ac.uk to give to people which talks them through what to do, so in the meantime I’ve created my own quick guide:

Nick’s Guide to Getting Secure

Read it, make sure you follow the three simple steps, and that’s it. Easy.

We are aware of some possible issues when setting up printing from Windows Vista or Windows 7 which are causing trouble for a small number of users. We’re taking a look at this right now, and hope to have an update for you before the day is out.

Printing from Windows XP, OS X and Linux is unaffected.