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December 2009

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December 16, 2009

Connect-Direct, December 2009

Volume 18, No. 2
CONNECT-DIRECT is a monthly electronic publication of NYU's Information Technology Services (ITS), offering computer-related news, security alerts, and other information of interest to people who use IT at NYU. Thank you for reading Connect-Direct!

In This Issue:

Preparing for the Winter Recess & Winter Session


Alerts & Reminders

Support & Training



In preparation for the holidays, ITS' Technology Security Services would like to remind you to turn off your computer while you are away from the University. Turning off your computer is an important step for these and other reasons:

  • If a new security patch comes out and you've forgotten to activate your automatic security updates features, your computer will not be compromised while you are away.
  • If there is an existing security vulnerability that your computer is already susceptible to, it will not get infected or broken into over the break. Keep in mind, however, that it is important to update your computer's security features as soon as you return from the break!
  • It will help save energy and help make you a good University citizen! For even greater power savings, turn off the monitor, printer, speakers, and other peripherals, and unplug the computer or turn off the power strip it is connected to.

If you need to leave your computer turned on to work remotely while the University is closed, you can take these steps to save energy:

  • Turn off your monitor and printer and any peripherals (your computer’s speakers, for example) that you will not be using.
  • For additional computer energy savings recommendations, check the NYU Facilities & Construction Management website at

And remember that the Policy on Responsible Use of NYU Computers and Data applies whether you're working in your office or working from home. Take a few minutes to reacquaint yourself with it:


ITS recommends that individuals and departments update their voice mail greetings to reflect their status during the Recess. We suggest that you explain that the University is closed, including the dates, and whether or not you will call in to retrieve messages during the holiday. You can also use the NYUHome Vacation Message service to alert those who send you email as to your status during the holiday period. For directions on changing your voice mail greeting and setting an automatic email notification, see


If you are an NYU faculty or staff member or student employee, the University will soon be mailing your 2009 Form W-2 to you. Check the address on your paycheck or Payment Image (available via the Payment Image Viewing channel on the Work tab in NYUHome), and if necessary update your address no later than Jan. 8, 2010 to ensure timely receipt of your W-2.

You can easily update your address using ePASS. To do so, log in to NYUHome using your NYU NetID and password, click on the Work tab, and click "Login" in the ePASS Employee Self-Service channel. Enter your NetID and password when prompted, then click the "ePASS: Employee Self Service" link, click "Home Information" in the left-hand menu, and make your changes. Your new information will be updated in the Human Resources/Payroll database within two days.

Please note that all University faculty, staff members, and student employees should complete this process.



ITS Client Services, Academic Technology Centers, NYUHotSpot CoLabs, Studios, and offices will follow modified schedules of coverage during NYU’s Winter Recess and Winter Session.

Winter Recess (Thurs., Dec. 24 -- Sun., Jan. 3)

  • ITS Client Services
    Thurs., Dec. 24: 10am-3pm; Fri., Dec. 25: closed; Sat., Dec. 26 & Sun., Dec. 27: email and voice mail only; Mon., Dec. 28 -- Thurs., Dec. 31: 10am-3pm; Fri., Jan. 1: closed; Sat., Jan. 2 & Sun., Jan. 3: noon-midnight (normal hours)
  • ITS Academic Technology Centers & CoLabs (NYUHotSpots)
  • Data Service, Advanced Media & Digital Studios

Visit for details on hours, contact information you can use over the Recess, information on making a gift to the University, and detailed instructions on preparing your voice mail and email for the winter recess/session.

NOTE: If you use NYU voice mail, ITS recommends that you continue to retrieve your messages while away to reduce the volume of calls received by our voice mail systems immediately following the winter recess/session.

Winter Session (Mon., Jan. 4 -- Sun., Jan. 17)

  • ITS Client Services Center
    Normal hours of operation & coverage; please see for details.
  • ITS Academic Technology Centers & CoLabs (NYUHotSpots)
    All ITS ATCs and CoLabs reopen at 8:30am on Mon., Jan. 4, and follow normal hours of operation; please see for details.
  • Data Service Studio
    Mon., Jan. 4 -- Fri., Jan. 15: Mon. -- Fri., noon-6pm
  • Advanced Media Studio
    Mon., Jan. 4 -- Fri., Jan. 10: closed.
    Mon., Jan. 11 -- Fri., Jan. 15: 10am-5pm.
  • Digital Studio
    Mon., Jan. 4 -- Sun., Jan. 10: closed
    Mon., Jan. 11 -- Fri., Jan. 15: 10am-6pm (normal hours)
    The Digital Studio will be closed for an additional week following winter recess for improvements. It will reopen on Mon., Jan. 11, with upgraded workstations and software including Final Cut Studio, Camtasia Studio for the Mac, and Microsoft Office for the Mac. For additional hours and upgrade information, please see
  • Other ITS resources & further information:
    Please visit

Mon., Jan. 18 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (University holiday)

The ITS Client Services Center and ITS Academic Technology Centers, CoLabs, Studios, and offices will be closed, but will reopen for normal semester hours on Tue., Jan. 19.



A recently created ITS website, which offers a supplement to the resources found at, provides information that can assist faculty, staff, and students in carrying on with their classes and activities in the event of a health or security concern. Note that most or all of the ITS-supported services accessed via NYUHome or will function normally from a remote location. This includes NYU Email, Blackboard, and Files 2.

Please visit [Editor's note: This website has now been retired.] for instructional support for faculty and students, instructions and system requirements for working from home, and recommended security and computing practices. ITS continues to update the website with additional information, tips, and recommendations. ITS encourages you to visit the site and familiarize yourself with the system requirements and resources at this time, so as to be prepared in advance.

Members of the NYU community who have health-related H1N1 questions and concerns should visit


To make professional development for University employees even easier and more accessible, the NYU Office of Talent, Learning, and Organizational Development is introducing NYUiLearn. Available to employees through the Work tab on NYUHome, NYUiLearn is a portal that provides 24/7 access to registration for classroom-based courses as well as online courses and resources. NYUiLearn also gives employees convenient access to their current training records.

For more information, please see


ITS is offering a full schedule of NYU Blackboard training courses to help faculty members prepare for the spring 2010 semester. You will now be able to register for these in-person classes via the new NYUiLearn system (see item above).

In-person courses begin on January 12, 2010, but you can register now or at any time. To register, sign in to NYU home, click the Work tab, and look for the "NYUiLearn Login" button. In NYUiLearn's left navigation menu, click Course Catalog, then scroll down the list of courses to locate the Blackboard courses. Click on a course title for course and schedule details, and to enroll, as desired.

Spring-semester courses include the following:

  • Setting Up a Blackboard Site — Are you new to Blackboard, or do you need to brush up on your skills? Come to this introductory course to learn how to get started with Blackboard at NYU and the basics of running a course site.
  • Communicating & Collaborating — Interested in encouraging your students to collaborate more outside of the classroom? Need to quickly get in touch with your students to tell them about a room change? Come to this session to learn how to effectively use Blackboard's interactive tools.
  • Grading Student Work — Are you tired of your students asking about their grades? Come to this course to learn how to use Blackboard to disseminate grades to your students, and manage your grade book.
  • Presenting Content and Learning Paths — Do you want to make sure your students complete materials for Chapter 1 before moving on to Chapter 2? Learn how to do this and much more using the tools made available in Blackboard to organize and control content, keep your students on track, and monitor their performance.
  • Managing Assessments and Student Submissions — Are you tired of manually giving and grading student assignments? Do you want to automate the grunt work associated with assessing students? Come to this course and learn how blackboard will save you time and frustration.

Online Handouts, Tutorials, and Self-Help

ITS also offers a full selection of online NYU Blackboard handouts and training videos, available at Use these to supplement your in-person training, or take a Blackboard training course via a video served at your desk. For additional help, check the Ask ITS knowledgebase at


ITS has launched NYU Wikis, a web-based collaborative tool that faculty, staff, and students with NYU email accounts can use to create and manage private and public content for research, instruction, and University-related activities.

For more information on this new service, and for instructions on starting and maintaining a wiki, please see



If you recently updated your Macintosh operating system to Snow Leopard and you use VPN (Virtual Private Network) to connect remotely to NYU-NET services, you should use Snow Leopard's built-in VPN software instead of downloading NYU's current version of the Cisco VPN. For instructions on how to configure VPN to connect to NYU-NET, please search the Ask ITS knowledgebase.


If you are attempting to connect to NYU-NET via VPN from NYU Abu Dhabi, there are several additional steps you will need to complete in the configuration process, apart from the steps taken during regular VPN configuration. For instructions, please see Ask ITS knowledgebase.



ITS and the NYU Libraries offer a variety of free classes that can help you take advantage of technology and Library resources in support of your research and coursework. While the classes may be winding down as we approach the end of the current term, a new schedule is planned for the spring semester.

ITS classes ( include NYU Blackboard training, for which you can register now (see the item in this issue of Connect-Direct for details). There are also regular workshops in the use of the NYURoam wireless network; please see for the full schedule and to register for a workshop session. For Libraries classes, visit; these include Data Service tutorials presented in collaboration with ITS and covering topics in statistical software, mapping/GIS software, research design and publishing, as well as weekly clinics in statistics and GIS.

CONNECT-DIRECT is a monthly electronic publication of NYU's Information Technology Services (ITS). The first issue of each semester is mailed to the entire NYU community to convey important information, and all faculty, staff, students, and administrators are automatically subscribed to receive this newsletter each month. We hope you will find it useful and informative. For more about this publication, including information on subscribing/unsubscribing from the email newsletter, please visit .

Thank you for reading Connect-Direct!