More information about August 8-10 network outage

A significant on-line service outage affecting campus and downtown offices will occur beginning at 8:00 P.M. on Friday, August 8 and continue until Noon on Sunday, August 10.  

During this time the only services that will be available will be Bmail (and related applications such as Calendar, Drive, etc.) and the outward-facing Bucknell website.  All other network services (Banner, myBucknell, Netspace, etc.) will be inaccessible.  

When we undertake such a significant service outage, we feel that it’s important to let the community know why we’ve undertaken such a project:

We’ve reached a point where, in order to continue to support the increasing use of technology on campus, it’s necessary to make some evolutionary upgrades to Bucknell’s computing infrastructure.

Specifically, both our file storage subsystem and the network segment that provides connectivity between the myriad of devices in Bucknell’s data centers have reached their ultimate performance capabilities and must be replaced.  The equipment acquired for this replacement, at its base level, significantly exceeds current levels of performance and provides enough expandability to accommodate increasing campus requirements for several years.  For instance, the network upgrade within and between data centers will provide a tenfold speed increase in select areas, with expandability throughout when needed.

When you replace the engine in a car, you can’t drive while the engine is being swapped. Since the same notion applies for this technology replacement, L&IT is making every effort to minimize unavailability.  There’s a lot of information in the current file storage subsystem – enough to take several days to move – so we’re replicating that information to the new subsystem while the old one is up and running.  We’re also installing and cabling the new network equipment so it’s ready to swap in as quickly as possible when the time comes to do so.

Still, it’ll take some time to shut down the servers in the data center, perform a final data synchronization, move the new file storage subsystem into production, swap scores of network connections, and restart and test the functionality of Banner and approximately 350 other application and database servers.  L&IT estimates it could take up to thirty-six hours for final tasks to be completed.

Though this upgrade is happening “behind the scenes” and, frankly, won’t present much of a photo op, it will create the much stronger foundation needed to support the ever burgeoning technology needs of Bucknell’s students, faculty, and staff for a number of years to come.

If you have any questions about the outage, please contact 570.577.7777 or 

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Credo Reference has a new enhanced platform!

Credo recently unveiled a new look to their award-winning Credo Online Reference Service, updating several features with a focus on user experience. The enhancements are based on input from subscribers matched with cutting edge technology to create a cleaner, more modernized layout and increased search-ability.

Check out Credo here!

Changes you’ll see in new platform:

Search Results Page
• Displays up to three relevant Topic Pages
• Related Resources move from right side of screen to left.

Entry Page (Full text article page)
• Audio functionality – listen to article or download mp3
• Link to a Topic Page (if article heading matches Topic Page heading)
• More highly visible “search only this title” search box.

Find a Book
• Browse now includes book jacket and synopsis

Topic Pages
• Redesigned with link to Mind Map prominently displayed
• Related Topics no longer in cloud format
• Target database results now displayed horizontally

Concept Map
• Renamed “Mind Map” – functionality and look remain the same

• Renamed “Tools” – functionality remains, completely redesigned look and

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Alexander Street adds 5 million new tracks to Music Online database!

Bucknell Users:  Alexander Street just added 5,212,609 completely free tracks to the Music Online collection.

This massive bonus update brings you content from 20,000+ independent labels, making yours the largest collection of its kind. Did we mention it’s absolutely free?

How do we even begin to tell you about it all? Why don’t you dive in and see for yourself.

New content includes:
Nearly 4 million independent popular music tracks
1.3 million world music tracks
390,000 American song tracks
396,000 classical music tracks
441,000 jazz tracks

Plus, this audio is searchable right alongside your preexisting content, with features including:  Semantic facet browsing. Narrow results by discipline, release date, language, label, performer, and more.

High-definition audio. Stream tracks at up to CD quality (320kbps), so you don’t miss a note.

Waveform view. Use the audio waveform view to create precise audio clips, then share them with your colleagues, classmates, or the world.
And much more.

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Preview the new Research by Subject pages!

Be among the first to check out the preview of our soon-to-be-launched redesign of Research by Subject!

You’ll notice streamlined design, better navigation, and stylistic parity with the new Bucknell website!

Please send any comments, suggestions, criticisms to Jason Snyder.

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3D Printer Gets an “Experimental” Twin

In addition to the Makerbot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer described in a previous post, ITEC has acquired a second, “experimental” 3D printer called the Makerbot Replicator 2X. The Makerbot Replicator 2X is not an evil doppelganger of the original, the Lore to Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation or the Frankenstein monster to Dr. Victor Frankenstein (in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein). Instead, it is an updated model that has two “extruders” - in other words, dual 3D “print heads.” The dual extruders can allow you to print three-dimensional objects with two intertwined colors. They also make possible the use of MakerBot Dissolvable Filament as an infill layer to the hard plastic ABS filament. The dissolvable filament allows you to create internal support structures that can be dissolved away using a chemical called Limonene.

Please contact itec if you are interested in using either of our 3D printers for teaching or research.

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Bucknell joins Eduroam!

Bucknell has recently joined eduroam (education roaming). You’re probably asking yourself, “What is eduroam?”

That’s a difficult question to answer without the use of a lot of technical jargon.  Basically, eduroam is an international wireless network.  It allows Bucknell faculty and staff users to connect to wireless networks at participating Eduroam institutions, using their Bucknell credentials.  Likewise, if a visiting “eduroamer” comes to our campus, they can use their home institution’s credentials to access wireless internet.

For details, check out:

If you have questions, please contact the Tech Desk!

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Respondus Server Settings Are Now Pre-Configured

Bucknell has a site license for a product called Respondus that allows faculty members to create a quiz in Microsoft Word and then publish the quiz to our Moodle server. Respondus is particularly useful if you have a quiz that includes images as part of the questions, since it is very easy to insert images (or “pictures”) into a Word document using the Insert tab in Word. Please be aware that you need to follow specific guidelines when creating your quiz in Word so that Respondus can read the file. For example, your document should begin with the first question and should not have any title information.

Here is how a multiple-choice question would look in a Word document that can be imported into Respondus:

1. Where was Barack Obama born?
*A. Honolulu, Hawaii
B. Nairobi, Kenya
C. Hagatna, Guam
D. ShiKahr, Vulcan

You’ll notice that the sample multiple-choice question above begins with a number, then a period, then the question stem (after a single space). Each possible answer is on its own line, beginning with a letter and a period. (You can also use a right parentheses instead of the period.) The correct answer is indicated by an asterisk just before that answer choice, with no space between the asterisk and the letter. See Format Questions for Respondus or Studymate or Standard Format for Importing Questions into Respondus for a more detailed description of how to format typical question types in Word for importing into Respondus.

Once you have imported your Word file into Respondus, you can use the Respondus Publish Wizard to publish the quiz to Moodle. When you click on the drop-down arrow to add a new server (for our Moodle server), make sure that “Yes, check for preconfigured server settings is selected,” and click on the “Next” button:

Add New Server

Respondus will retrieve the appropriate configuration details for our Moodle server. You can then provide a name for the server and add your username and password information, allowing Respondus to connect to the server and (ultimately) to retrieve the list of courses in which you have instructor status.

Contact itec for more information about how to use Respondus to publish quizzes to Moodle.

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