Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Birthday! Windows XP turns 10

“Few products have impacted more people than Windows XP. Microsoft officially launched the operating system -- the first for consumers based on the NT kernel -- on Oct. 25, 2001. That's right, 10 years ago today. But PC manufacturers started offering XP systems in early September 2001, a week before terrorist attacks against New York City and Northern Virginia. XP is the most popular Windows version ever released. Even today, depending on the analyst crunching numbers, more people use Windows XP than any other PC operating system (although Windows 7 is nearly tied).
Windows XP is a workhorse. Microsoft kept it in market longer than any other Windows version, allowing a very stable ecosystem of third-party applications and products to evolve around it. The operating system fulfilled the vision set for Windows 95 six years earlier -- release of stable, 32-bit code suitable for businesses and consumers. Microsoft's biggest development challenge: Providing compatibility with games and supporting hardware drivers that wanted access to the kernel, which NT blocked for security reasons.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

iPad Keyboards

As we discuss in our OIT session "iPad Tips & Tricks", many iPad users find the iPad's touch keyboard problematic when it comes to creating or writing documents and content. To address this issue, we provide a couple of alternatives that can be used as a solution. A recent CNET review of iPad keyboards, "Keyboarding your iPad: Best keyboard cases", provides a variety of options for consideration. 

For those who have missed the first two opportunities to participate in "iPad Tips and Tricks", this session will again be offered on Wednesday, November 16 at 1:30 pm. To register for this session please email 

More information regarding November and December professional development opportunities for faculty and staff is located on the OIT Academic Computing website

Microsoft's Windows 8 preview

Have you upgraded to Microsoft's Windows 7? Well get ready for Windows 8!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mindjet for iPad

As a student and as faculty, I have found mindmapping tools to be useful for brainstorming as a group or as a planning tool in preparation for writing papers, articles, etc. I wanted to find one that would work well on the iPad and a recent blog post on socialmediatoday provided interesting and valuable tips as well as a good, free mindmapping tool called Mindjet. The article, "Writing Tools, Part 1 - Why Authors Need iPads", included five reasons the author recommends iPads as valuable tools in the writing process. The importance of these mobile devices as productivity tools is becoming widely recognized. For faculty in higher education, the iPad with a mindmapping tool could greatly assist in organization, planning, and presenting research and published articles. OIT has iPads available for faculty and staff to utilize and evaluate for professional and personal purposes. Contact Carlos Miranda for further details.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Top 5 things to consider when buying a smartphone

#1 Your phone provider – If you don’t plan on switching phone providers, make sure you look at the phones that your carrier only supports. There are a lot of smart phones out there that don’t work with certain providers.

#2 The data plan – Smart phones are a little more than your usually mobile phone. The reason this is because you’re going to have to add on a data plan. Make sure you compare prices to other mobile carriers to ensure you’re getting the best price. How much data you will use is another consideration.

#3 The battery life – You can get a lot of reviews online and while the manufacture will generally tell you how long the battery is going to last, you may want to get an opinion from actual users. You don’t want a phone that is only going to last a few hours.

#4 The operating system – In today’s day and age, all smart phones have different based operating systems. Whether you’re using an Apple, Android, or BlackBerry you will want to know what each operating system can do for you.

Also go into a Cellular/Electronic store and spend some time trying some of these devices before buying one.

Monday, October 17, 2011

iPad and iPhone Users Get 50 GB FREE is giving away 50 GB of free storage to anyone who uses a Box Personal account on an iOS device. That’s right, it’s 50 GB in the cloud completely free, forever. Your 50 GB of storage isn’t just limited to your mobile device – you get it anywhere you use your Box account, like on your laptop at home or your desktop at the office.

This is a great way to backup all of your important data.

This promotion only runs for 50 days, so get your free space in the cloud by following these steps:

  1. Visit the app store and download the Box app for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
  2. Log in to your account or register for a new one directly from the app
  3. Start sharing and collaborating in the cloud

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wikis in the Classroom

On Thursday, October 27th OIT will deliver the second webinar focused on Collaborating in the Cloud. This month we will provide an overview and comparison of blogs and wikis. Both of these technologies provide valuable possibilities for enhancing teaching and learning. As with other cloud technologies they allow students and faculty to connect, communicate, collaborate and co-create knowledge. Blogs can be utilized as online journals while wikis are useful for group projects or repositories. The article "Wikis in the Classroom: Three Ways to Increase Student Collaboration" provides good ideas from one faculty member who has had success using wikis in his class. 

Please consider joining us for more discussions and information regarding blogs and wikis. Contact Dr. Carleen Shaffer to register at

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

iOS 5 and new iPhone 4S

iOS 5 coming soon, iPhone 4S coming Oct 14.

Diigo Bookmarking

Last week's OIT webinar provided an overview for three tools: Diigo, Evernote, and Dropbox. Additional sessions will focus on each of these individually. 

Diigo is described as a social bookmarking tool that is 'in the cloud'. However, this tool does far more than simply bookmark favorites. As listed on the website, Diigo is "a personal research tool, collaborative  research platform, social content site, and knowledge-sharing community". By creating a private group for your class you give students continuing access to resources outside the classroom that become a part of their personal library. Diigo is a tool that can be used as a lifelong technology.  Students and faculty can build an annotated bibliography that is accessible anytime, anyplace and from any mobile device. For further information Student Learning with Diigo.