Technology Information and News

Purchasing Technology from LionSurplus

We were recently asked to pass along the following info related to College employees buying computer technology from LionSurplus. If you are not aware, it is possible to buy equipment that was previously purchased with University funds using your personal funds. ISS controls this process with the assistance of LionSurplus. The main point you need to be aware of is:

Please make sure that anyone who wants to purchase a Penn State-owned laptop, tablet or other computer contacts ISS (Matt Dunmire - mdd16) as a first step. The purchaser should not be contacting LionSurplus directly. ISS will determine if the computer is allowed to be purchased and then contact LionSurplus on the employee's behalf for a price quote.

So to summarize: You get the idea to make a purchase, and we follow through on it for you. If you have any questions contact ISS: 865-INFO or iss-helpdesk@psu.edu

Researcher's IT Fact Sheet

ISS has created a short Fact Sheet for College research staff. The purpose is to help a researcher in making IT decisions related to their project work. A copy of the Fact Sheet can be found here.

Lost or Stolen Technology

Please notify ISS as soon as possible when you experience loss or theft of University property that we provide support for. We have responsibilities to Police Services and to the Office of Information Security which must be met directly after the equipment is noted as missing. Send us an email with details of the event ASAP! You should then work with an ISS Consultant on a replacement.

Technology Purchasing Advice

Over the last few years there have been important changes made in how technology purchases are done in HHD. In an attempt to clear up any confusion on this subject here are some points regarding this and direction to help you navigate the waters.

Purchasing Software : ISS has been appointed the sole purchaser of software for HHD. Due to the need to assure that all software being used in the College is properly licensed, a central authority was needed to manage software purchases. ISS will accept your request for software, consult with you if needed, and process the purchase. ISS then installs the software for you.

Purchasing Hardware : IT Equipment is the other purchasing area that ISS has sole responsibility for. Most of these purchases must be tracked. Many times purchases like this require consultation and planning. To that end ISS employs 2 IT Consultants whose main jobs are working with our customers to assist them with these purchases. Here are examples of items you can purchase (asset not tracked) and those you cannot (asset is tracked):

What Can I Purchase What Can't I Purchase (these assets are tracked by ISS)

USB Flash Drives

(If purchasing in bulk call us for cost savings)

Hard Drives
Cables (USB, video, audio) Computers, Tablets, Docking Stations
Toner Printers
Mice Keyboards (some require drivers which ISS must install
Remote Controls/Slide Clickers Scanners
Projectors
TV, Monitors
Video Conferencing Systems, Cameras, Web Cams
Audio/Video Equipment (Control systems, DVD players, Microphones, Mixers, Amplifiers)
Network Storage Devices

Contact our Consultants using the email address iss-helpdesk@psu.edu if in doubt.

Penn State requires the completion of a CAJ (Cost Accounting Justification) form for any IT Equipment being purchased using research funds. To learn more about this please contact Niki Page in our College Research Office. Niki can be reached at nlg4@psu.edu or 863-7241.

We have put together a FAQ related to technology purchasing. You can find the FAQ here.

So to summarize, best practices dictate that you contact our office as soon as you begin consideration of technology purchases. We are here to help!

Free Microsoft Software for Students

Penn State offers Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013, Office for Mac 2011 and Windows 8.1 Upgrade to currently enrolled Penn State students at no additional cost. By clicking on the following link: http://software.psu.edu/info/microsoft-office-licensing you will be directed to a site to download the software directly from Kivuto Solutions, Inc.

Software under the agreement is only available via download and must be completed within 31 days of accepting the terms and conditions. Please backup your download immediately upon completion and save your product key information. Penn State is NOT responsible for lost product keys or the downloaded files.

If you experience issues during the download or installation process, please contact Kivuto for support. They offer help online and via phone at 866-435-4722 or 888-396-1447 (Monday-Friday 6am-6pm EST).

If you have questions with regards to eligibility please visit this page http://software.psu.edu/info/contact-us

Power Management

We are taking an aggressive approach to reducing our carbon footprint. The amount of energy used by PCs in our College, when they are sitting idle, is what we are targeting. We will be modifying the power settings of some PCs after consulting with the user on their schedules and how they make use of their PCs.

We will be placing PCs in a sleep mode as part of this effort. If you need to access a sleeping PC from a remote location please review our article How to Wake Your HHD Computer.

Users should review the document "User Decided Power Management Program" located here. This document will help users decide how to set their power management settings.

Compromised PCs and PII

If you are one of the unfortunate PC users in our College who suffered a compromise, this document will help you understand what is happening when we show up in your office to claim your PC. There is a FAQ at the end of the document listing some of the more frequent questions we get.

Spirion (Formally Known as Identity Finder)

Spririon brings the power of enterprise identity theft protection to your office computer. Using it can secure your social security number, credit card numbers, passwords, and more from viruses, worms, and hackers. IDF intelligently searches the deepest recesses of your computer to uncover sensitive information and then allows you to use the built-in tools to protect that information by permanently shredding it, scrubbing it clean, securing it with a password, or quarantining it to a secure location.

Running a scan on Windows

Running a scan on Mac

Remediation Workflow

Training Videos

Spirion for Windows

Spirion for Mac

Wireless Networks

The College utilizes the services of central IT (ITS) for wireless networking in our buildings. Most of our main buildings now have TNS supplied wireless networks. Look for these network names to gain access: "psu" "psuwirelesssetup", and "attwifi". For questions on wireless coverage call 865-4NOC.

Foreign Travel with Technology

There has been much interest recently in the College regarding foreign travel with technology in tow. Specifically the concern centers around taking a laptop and your data with you.

Definitive advice to help the traveler make an educated decision on just what is the best approach in this situation is not available based on our searches. ISS would like to offer you some suggestions based on info we did uncover and knowledge gained in talking to other IT groups on campus. Please consider these points before taking your trip:

  • If you can get by with an inexpensive laptop (netbook) take it versus a top-of-the-line model
  • Take a laptop that only has the software needed for the trip
  • Scan your laptop before you leave to make sure that PII has been remediated/secured
  • Put your personal files/data on an encrypted USB memory device
  • If you have personal files/data on the hard drive encrypt them using SafeGuard PrivateCrypto (ITS download)
  • If you can convince your department to invest in a laptop just for foreign travel do that and have us wipe and re-image it after each trip
  • ISS maintains a pool of loaner equipment with laptops that you can borrow

Since this article was first published the University has established the Travel Safety Network (tsn.psu.edu). You can also contact Wayne Mowery with "Traveling with Technology" questions. HDD has a general page on this located here.

Disposal of eWaste

Compact fluorescent bulbs, disposal batteries (such as AA, C, D, 9V) and rechargeable batteries can now be dropped off at our offices. We are located in 16 BBH Building. There are bins in room 10. Carefully place your item in the appropriate bin.

Other eWaste, like old ZIP drives, floppies, inkjet printers, power supplies, cables, etc can be processed through Lion Surplus. If they will not accept your items call 865-4371 and ask for Glenn Fagley. We appreciate your help in keeping our landfills ***clean***!