New Training Tool: Stormwind

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Eddie has just renewed his certification with Stormwind, a great tool for IT training and certification. I’ve been getting acquainted with the site, the classes they offer, and how it all works.

Stormwind provides a huge range of IT courses for learning new skills, re-learning old information, and brushing up on relevant IT knowledge. They offer hands-on labs, ebooks, student guides, practice exams, professional mentoring, and more.

Their courses cater to the following categories:

  • Cisco
  • Microsoft
  • VMware
  • Project Management
  • Microsoft Office/Desktop
  • IT Pro
  • CompTIA
  • Cyber Security
  • ITIL
  • Microsoft Office 365

In coming posts, I hope to be able to promote specific trainings. For now, be aware that this tool exists and it is at our disposal. If your interest is already peaked, leave a comment, or contact me or Eddie.

The ITIS Crowd

People Giving Thumbs-up

Meet Micah Martin, the new SysAdmin III in Brett’s department. His first day was Jan. 20, and he works primarily with Student Services and Kiosk systems. He’s a Utah County boy through and through– so much that he even introduced me to the Utah State Song. Did you know states had their own songs? Me neither. So here’s ours, if you care to listen. It’s quite fantastic: http://youtu.be/7ontB2Sp2do

Aside from knowing our state song, another fun fact is that Micah believes The Legend of Zelda to be the greatest gaming franchise ever. Before UVU he worked at SirsiDynix, but he agrees that UVU is much better, and since it’s closer to his home in Provo, he rides his bike and the train to work now. He and his wife have 3 kids named Kloe, Andrew, and Alice. He considers himself a family man, and claims that his wife is far more interesting than he is. Interesting or not, we are happy to welcome Micah Martin to the Infrastructure Services crew.

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In other news, has anyone seen Andrea Osborn lately? Oh no, that’s right, she had a BABY! She and Geoff welcomed their new little guy into the world back on Jan. 16. Geoff tells me that mommy and baby Alex Junior are doing great. Congratulations to Geoff and Andrea.

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I asked for a picture of little Alex to share, but Geoff and Andrea say he’s too cute for the internet, and I have to agree. ;)

Communication in IT

Brett shared an article with me that featured the IT Division at the University of Florida. In 2012, they received a clear and official mandate: Create awareness of the IT Services and the value they provide across the University. To put it another way: COMMUNICATION.

When you consider that UF had 50,000 students, 3,100 faculty, and 10,000 staff members on multiple campuses across 900 buildings in 2012, it becomes clear how difficult of a task that must have been. But 3 years later, it’s also clear how successful they’ve been in accomplishing it.

One of their solutions for establishing a communicative, transparent presence across their large institution was a “Social Media Plan”.

This blog, though not nearly all it could be at this point, represents one way that we in ITIS are trying to better communicate with each other, and stay informed of personal and professional topics regarding our individual departments and employees.

Communication in IT is huge. Several projects currently in the works are aimed, in a roundabout way at least, to improve interdepartmental communication and awareness, as well as maintain and build upon our presence at UVU and the way we communicate with the greater campus community.

Read the whole article here: https://www.educause.edu/ero/article/communicating-value-it-your-university

Capitol Reef Field Station

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 11.27.31 AMOn Monday, Kevin made the virgin phone call to Kurtis from the new IP phone at the Capitol Reef Field Station.

The CRFS used to be on a satellite link for network, and because of the delay we were never able to get a phone working over there. But thanks to the work of Kevin Dent and others, and switching over to a microwave link that provides 50Mbps, we now have a working IP phone and much faster network bandwidth for the Field Station.

Check out the UEN article about it: http://go.uen.org/2EH

And if you’d like to learn more about the Capitol Reef Field Station, check out their website. I’d start with the very interesting history page: http://www.uvu.edu/crfs/about_us/history.html

Many thanks to Kevin, and everyone else who had a hand in this project.

Eddie’s BBQ Pork Recipe

Remember when Eddie made us all BBQ Pork Sandwiches in the break room? The awesome free lunch included the sandwich, chips, finger-food desserts brought in by Chuck Colborne, and was open to everyone in IT.

Thank you, Eddie! He did that for us entirely out of the goodness of his heart (and a little bit to encourage donations for the IT Potluck). To those of you who requested Eddie’s recipe, here it finally is.

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IT Christmas Potluck

Yes, it’s been a while now since Christmas, but here are some pictures from the IT Potluck anyway.

Having lunch together first followed by playtime in the SLWC was a nice switch-up from past potlucks. We received a lot of good feedback. Thank you everyone who had a hand in planning, coordinating, and donating funds for this fun event.

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General

Break Room- It’s Infrastructure Services’ week to clean. December Birthdays: Landon Conover’s was the 6th, Duane Lee’s was the 7th, Roark Fisher’s is the 13th, and Darvin Burgess’ is the 24th.

Wendia- They’ve fixed some main problems they’ve been having. Surveys are working, and projects will now actually close when you close them.

Leave Time- If you’ve taken leave, but haven’t entered it into TIMS, make sure you have it submitted by the 30th.

PBA- The last day wrapped up yesterday. All PBA presentations can be viewed at uvu.edu/pba.

The ITIS Crowd

People Giving Thumbs-up

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 11.12.11 AMFrom custodian, to the IT Service Desk, to Area Tech, and now as our new Networking Administrator, it’s Caaaaaaaaaaameron Jarmaaaaaaaan!

Here’s a few things about him you may not have known:

  • He’s worked at UVU for 7 years and is pursuing an Engineering degree.
  • He loves spending time with his family, especially on family camping trips. He’s been married for 12 years and he and his wife have 5 kids.
  • He enjoys the outdoors, back-road jeeping, working in his yard or garage, and anything to do with building stuff.

Congratulations on your new position, Cameron.

 

Now let’s get to know someone else a little better.

Did you know that Mike Duffin runs a side-business called AV Productions that DJs all sorts of events? Me neither. He and a gentleman named Craig Conover (Landon and Jacoby’s dad), both got started in the business at the tender age of 14! Mike and Craig would later become partners, and they’ve been successful business runners for over 30 years.

Check out their mobile DJ setup from the 80s. Totally radical.

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If you’d like to read more about the history of AV Productions, copy and paste the following address into your search bar for an article the Daily Herald wrote about them several years back: http://avpro.com/audio/

More Christmas Parties!

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The OIT Christmas Party:

We’ve pretty much outgrown the Data Center, so this year’s Christmas Potluck will be in SC 206 THIS Tuesday. We’ve reserved the gaming area and bowling lanes in the SLWC, so we’ll have plenty of space to mingle, have lunch, and play some fun games! If anyone’s interested in a ping pong game, I hereby challenge you! Don’t forget your food assignments (click on the flier below if you’ve forgotten what yours is), and if you feel like contributing to the cost of the reservation fee, there’s a donation box in the BA005 break room.

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PACE Holiday Social

Thursday, December 18, from 11-1 in the Grande Ballroom. Ugly Sweater contest, food, entertainment, prizes, book & toy drive. See you there!

December Recipe – Peppermint Bark

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 oz Milk Chocolate
  • 12 oz White Chocolate
  • 3 tsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1/3 cup Crushed Candy Cane Pieces

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×9 square baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles.
  2. Melt the white chocolate and 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Immediately pour HALF of the melted chocolate into the prepared pan and tilt it so the chocolate makes an even layer. Place in the refridgerator for about 20 min., or until the chocolate sets.
  3. Melt the milk chocolate and 1 tsp of vegetable oil in the same manner as before and pour the melted chocolate into the pan and tilt it so the chocolate makes an even layer over the white chocolate. Refrigerate again for 20 min., or until the chocolate sets.
  4. Repeat with a final layer of the remaining white chocolate and sprinkle the crushed candy canes evenly over the top. Refrigerate for 30 min., or until the chocolate sets.
  5. Remove the Peppermint Bark from the pan by lifting the edges of aluminum foil. Peel back the foil and break the bark into small, irregular pieces.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Thanks, Chris K.!