Teamviewer is a remote-viewer connection software application that DECS is utilizing to provide assistance to users whose machines were either not installed by DECS or are not on the MSU network—whether they are across campus, across the country or across the world! A file is sent to a user that gives DECS the ability to troubleshoot the computer and help fix an issue. It has been proven to be a valuable tool for faculty that are out town for a conference and have experienced computer issues.
DECS is committed to keeping equipment in DECS public computing labs up-to-date and in top working condition. Over the summer DECS replaced four of our eleven standard lab printers. We continue to use the HP LaserJet 9050dn, which is HP's top-end workgroup printer. These upgrades will help to ensure that printing in the DECS computer labs continue to have high quality, speed and reliability.
In an effort to keep our checkout equipment on the leading edge, DECS updated and expanded the available checkout equipment. This summer six checkout laptops were replaced with Lenovo X230 12.5" laptops. The X230 is a great laptop for traveling with the power of a third generation Intel Core-i5 processor and 8GB of RAM while weighing only about 3.4 pounds. Other new equipment added to our lineup includes two additional video cameras, two fourth generation iPads, two MacBooks (including one MacBook Air), and a USB speaker/conference phone.
DECS has once again expanded our services to become the "go to" place for all things 3D. We have a total of four 3D printers to suit a variety of projects. The first printer is a Z-Corp Z250 powder-based 3D printer for complex jobs and multiple colors. DECS also has three MakerBot 3D printers: two MakerBot Replicator 2 printers and one MakerBot Replicator 2X printer. The MakerBot printers use ABS or PLA plastic, which are stronger and much less expensive than the material used by the Z250 printer. This makes them ideal for most 3D printing jobs at a very reasonable cost. The most recent addition to our 3D product line is an Artec EVA 3D Scanner. This portable scanner is handheld and capable of scanning objects in a wide variety of sizes as well as capturing texture. These features make it a great tool for any 3D scanning project.
TeamBox is an online collaboration tool designed for project management, task management, team collaboration and file management. It was purchased at the request of a faculty member who is managing a multi-university project involving some twenty individuals around the United States. There are plans for faculty to use it for course management.
A project is the central feature of TeamBox. It has task lists, tasks and members. Task lists break the project into areas to be worked on and each task outlines specific items to be completed in that area. These tasks can be assigned to an individual with due dates and priorities. In addition, files can be attached to a task and the time spent on a task can be tracked.
Contact Fred Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org, 355-3816) if you would like more information about this product.
Two motorized projector screens were installed in the DECS public computer lab in 1307 Engineering Building. These screens are connected to the power status of the projector and therefore require no additional effort from instructors: they automatically lower when the projector is turned on and rise when the projector is turned off.
This summer DECS enabled Gigabit (1000 Megabit) connection speeds to labs and offices in the Engineering Building. This allows more efficient shared file storage and other bulk data transfers in the building and around campus. The higher speed should also assist mobile devices that contain wireless and wired connections to prefer the wired connection consistently since the link speed should be greater than the wireless speed. DECS also configured redundant network links between the building switches so more of the network can remain available during a device or power failure. If you are not seeing Gigabit (1000 Megabit) connection speeds on your computer, please verify your computer is either attached directly to a wall network jack or to Gigabit switches in your room, or contact the DECS Support Office for assistance.
DECS installed a new building router this summer and moved all existing College of Engineering network connections to it, often with a downtime far less than a minute. The new router is fully prepared for 10 Gigabit connections, and 10 Gigabit to the MSU network will be completed in the near future. DECS servers are currently using redundant 10 Gigabit connections. The current level of redundancy allows network software upgrades with little to no impact on operation, and also protects network functionality from single device failure.
DECS installed a new NetApp storage appliance this summer and has migrated existing data to it. Add-on software called SnapMirror allowed the data to be synchronized in advance which kept the cutover downtime very short. The new NetApp cluster has redundant 10 Gigabit network links to each filer, provides roughly twice as much data storage using half as much physical space for disks, and the physically smaller drives (with greater capacity) consume less power.
A new service was put into production that enables engineering users to connect to engineering computers from anywhere they have Internet access and an appropriate remote desktop client by following a few simple steps. The gateway allows for a quick and easy connection to engineering computers without setting up the VPN or more cumbersome tunneling.
Instruction on how to use this service can be found here: https://www.egr.msu.edu/decs/how-to/how_connect_egr_computers_external_network
428 S. Shaw Lane, Room Number 1325
East Lansing, MI 48824