Microsoft Retires Support of Windows XP, April 2014

Microsoft has announced that as of April, 2014, all support for the Windows XP operating system will be retired.

Consequently, and to prepare departments currently relying on these older computers, ITS advise it will no longer support Windows XP computers as of September 2013.   Any Windows XP computers will have a DNR (do not resuscitate) status.


At the end of March, 2014, all computers with Microsoft XP will need to be removed from the university network.

Here’s why. When Microsoft announces retired support for an operating system, security updates will no longer be sent. That will pose an unacceptable security threat to our network.

In anticipation, ITS will begin the process of helping departments identify and transition from Windows XP in the coming months. This planning will include an identification of XP computers, options for replacement and leasing options.

Departments with a significant number of XP computers will be contacted by Client Services in the coming months,  but if you would like more info or to start, please call Client Services at 494-3834, or email us at


What? No connection?!

I can’t get wireless. No bars. Email is down.

Woes of modern life. Funny, just a couple decades ago, and in all of humankind before, those needs were unknown. Today, they disrupt our lives.

Recently the Dal email system was barraged and overwhelmed with spam from someone’s account that got phished. They gave their username and password, for something, like they shouldn’t have. It happens. There’s a sucker born every minute.

You know who yells the loudest when email fails to function? Those who don’t have an alternative email. Those who do simply cutover. It’s not the end of the world. Call it a personal contingency plan for communications. We’ll do our best to keep the primary system up and running, but there are no guarantees of 100% uptime. Things happen. To all online services.

If you do work from an alternative email, never send sensitive or private information. More on that at Email is not private.

Dal experiments with Gmail, Gazette

Katrina Pyne did a good job on her article for the Gazette on Gmail. To clarifya few of the points, Alumni Services has vetted options in considering a new Dal email-for-life service. We reviewed alternatives such as remaining with the status quo or offering the email through Microsoft or Google. Google won out and we are now discussing the contact language. No date is set for the cutover in service, but expect to hear more about this in the months ahead.

Googled… A primer

Worth a listen…

Media critic Ken Auletta tracks the development of Google from a search engine created in a garage in 1998 to the provider of all things Internet in his new book Googled: The End of the World As We Know It.

Improved customer service at Help Desks

In order to improve our Help Desk customer service, ITS has installed a new queue-based phone system for customer calls. Calls to the main Help Desk line, 494-2376, will be routed to the first available agent. If all agents are busy, customers are placed in a queue until an agent becomes available.

The new system also allows for more effective distribution between the separate Help Desks. If the Killam location is busy assisting customers, calls are now forwarded to the Carleton Help Desk, and vice versa.

We’re here for you. Got a question? Email us at .

Top Ten List for Technology

  1. There is a new Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for all users of Dalhousie network, computing resources and information systems. This policy applies to all who use Dalhousie network and computing resources. See AUP.
  2. Dal’s email system was bolstered this summer with more resources. You now have 500 megabytes of storage. If you need more, ask. This is a short-term resolution. We are exploring new options for student, alumni and employee email systems for the next year.
  3. A project is underway to revamp the Dalhousie web site. For more information, see Busy Summer Indeed & Web Project Update. Expect to hear more throughout the year.
  4. A new wireless network is being installed across the campuses. The Carleton Campus received new equipment this summer and plans call for expansion to both Studley and Sexton Campuses in the next twelve months.
  5. Information Technology Services (ITS) is in the process of writing a strategic plan for IT across the University. It will be linked to the goals and objectives of the University Strategic Planning process. The University community will be invited to review and provide feedback this fall.
  6. It is a good idea to have a separate email for personal business. Dalhousie email provides a high degree of privacy and security, but never assume what you send has absolute privacy. In this day and age, there is no such thing. See Privacy Online.
  7. If you receive emails requesting you to update your account or anything else that requires you to submit personally identifiable information, don’t! If in doubt, contact the ITS Help Desk (ext. 2376 or . The phishing scams are getting more and more sophisticated. Don’t be duped!
  8. Your default email is your It’s a good idea to change that to an alias like your first.lastname. It will hide your NetID and make it easier for people to email you intuitively. See Email Services.
  9. If you need to distribute large files, avoid clogging the email boxes of recipients and use the file transfer.
  10. If you work with sensitive data or information systems from home, download the VPN.

For additional information on these or any other topics, drop us a note, comment or call the Help Desk at ext. 2376.

Our job is enabling your success.