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I got pretty excited about YouTube’s closed captioning feature today. Well, it went like this… I uploaded a new version of a student testimonial video of students in the SUNY Delhi online RN to BSN degree program, and I wanted it to be closed captioned. So in YouTube, I went to the “Captions and Subtitles” tab, where there was an already existing “Machine Transcription” which I downloaded out of curiosity. Wow. It was scary what I found in it! At first I thought it was uploaded by another user. Then I realized it was just something similar to the voicemail text transcription in GoogleVoice, which can be pretty far off…

YouTube Captions tab

YouTube Captions Made Easy

But then I noticed I could upload my own file – so I just copied and pasted the plain text transcript, with line breaks between lines into a plain text .txt file, and uploaded it to see how it worked… It was simple and painless and WORKS GREAT! It actually seemed to match up when people spoke to the words. The one issue I had was where there was a pause with music and text and nobody speaking, but the captions moved ahead anyway. At any rate, this is great news for ADA and UDL people looking for easy and cheap (free) ways to caption videos. Just type out the text transcript, save to a .txt file and upload to your videos!

Check it out!

SUNY Delhi Biggest Loser

Many thanks to the SUNY Delhi community who participated in our “Biggest Loser” campaign and all of your efforts in reducing the size of your email accounts. By reducing the size of each email account, CIS has been able to increase the pace of our migration significantly.

In total, before the migration, SUNY Delhi’s 740 email accounts required just over 200 Gigabytes (GB) of storage. After the Biggest Loser contest, that was reduced to 164 GB. Winners of the Biggest Loser contest were determined by measuring the reduction of each user’s email account  (in bytes) from the beginning of the contest (Dec. 28th) to the end (Jan 25th). Winners were determined based on the total number of bytes deleted, and the percentage of bytes between the start and end dates of the contests.

So who are our Biggest Losers?

Greatest reduction in memory size:

  1. Brian Hutzley – 1,173,737,472*
  2. Nancy Hughes – 1,158,676,480, $25 Signatures Gift Certificate
  3. Patrick Flynn – 1,097,334,784,  $10 Signatures Gift Certificate
  4. Joel Smith – 1,035,206,656, Confluence T-Shirt
  5. Mary Pat Lewis – 965,476,452
  6. Dennis Callas – 887,619,564
  7. Patti Hoyt – 835,715,072
  8. Bret Meckel – 826,028,032
  9. Lori Osterhoudt – 787,873,792
  10. Ruth Hughes – 786,432,000
  11. Barb Kaplan – 744,111,232

* Brian Hutzley is not eligible due to his association with CIS.

Greatest reduction by percentage:

  1. Lorna Herman – 95.35%, $25 Signatures Gift Certificate
  2. Peter Paluch – 94.90%,  $10 Signatures Gift Certificate
  3. Chris Harper – 91.52%, Confluence T-Shirt
  4. Patti Hoyt – 90.39%
  5. Patrick Flynn – 87.21%
  6. Amy Ruchar-Smith – 86.95%
  7. Aliza Rutledge – 86.75%
  8. Penny Pardoe – 85.95%
  9. Lynda Preiser – 84.53%
  10. Tim Camann – 83.01%

Winners can pick up their prizes from the CIS Service Center in 315 Bush Hall.

For those interested in an update regarding the email migration and other CIS activities…

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MS Word, OpenOffice Writer or Google Apps?l

MS Word? OpenOffice Writer? Google Apps? Can you tell?

Over the summer SUNY Delhi’s Edward Stammel, Adjunct Instructor, Business & Hospitality Division, contacted his department dean and CIS to discuss creating a new section for CITA 110, Introduction to Software Applications. Professor Stammel wrote:

The nature of Information Technology is undergoing a major revolution. The old way of doing things with corporate controlled networks running standardized (generally Microsoft based) servers, operating systems, and applications is being (and to a great extent has been) replaced by open source and server based technologies on the Internet. Consumers use whatever system they have at hand to access services provided on the web. Such technologies as google apps, open office, and android allow users to manage data through wifi and 3G networks wherever they may be.

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Summer Reading List

As mentioned before in “As much by writing,” CIS staff are constantly discovering interesting articles as they keep up-to-date on current operations and research the various technology-related discussions underway at SUNY Delhi. Here’s a list of what CIS found of interest over the summer…

  • Adoption of Enterprise 2.0 in business
  • What’s the Point of Desktop Virtualization?
  • Why Consumers won’t buy tablets
  • Computer Repair with Diagnostic Flowcharts
  • Hackers expose weakness in visiting trusted sites
  • Top-Ten IT Issues, 2009
  • The Internet Devalues Everything it Touches
  • Moodle Links with Live@EDU
  • UN announces launch of world’s first tuition-free, online university
  • Ghost’s operating system comes alive
  • Windows 7 is the same as Ubuntu
  • Microsoft weighs next-phase in open-source support
  • Sloan-C International Emerging Technologies Symposium Video Archives
  • Google Wave

For links and access to the complete list see the CIS Interesting Articles page in Confleunce.

Back in July I posted to the “As Much By Writing” blog a screenshot captured from my computer when Google was down. By posting this, I was trying to highlight even technology giants–those universally accepted as leaders and innovators, and who have relatively unlimited resources compared to SUNY Delhi (technical, financial and staff)–can run into issues that cause service interruptions. However, rather than elevating CIS’ status by promoting Google’s failings (sort of the “Ha! See they mess up too!” argument), I was hoping to foster some consideration about how we define acceptable service levels. That is, is there a difference in the users’ willingness to accept Google’s service interruptions and what those same users would be willing to accept with locally managed services and systems?  Essentially is satisfaction based on evidence (actual business needs for capacity, availability, performance, etc. ) or perceptions (personal preferences, or relative resourcing, or prestige of the organization, or something else) ? If it is the former, than service quality (and thus satisfaction) should be measured against how disruptions have impacted the business processes and objectives of the functional or business unit that relies on the service or system. If it is the latter, I do not believe there is any way to measure the quality of service offered by a support unit, as the metrics (and thus satisfaction) will always be subjective.

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An issue that has fostered much discussion in and around the hallways of the CIS offices lately is the client’s perception of response and resolution.  I often think that clients feel that they are one in the same however those of us in the technology support field know they differ greatly.  Client Support Services defines response as the amount of time (how long) it takes to receive and perform initial triage or replication of an issue or request, documenting findings into a ticket(work order) and forwarding to the correct staff member.  CSS defines resolution as the time it takes the assigned technician to solve an issue or complete the request.  So we can say that response time or Service Level can be relatively quick or in some cases instantaneous.  Now there will be times when requests are received outside of our service hours and those will have to be addressed the next business day.  However resolution usually cannot be guaranteed, and only sometimes can be accurately estimated.

Sure there are times when we can guarantee how long it will take to complete a task.  For example, a call comes into the service center help desk and the client states that their monitor isn’t working. It’s got power, and it is on the correct input however there is no image.  The monitor is an older model so when the technician get’s the ticket they decide to just replace it.  They call the client and tell them that they will be there with a replacement in five minutes.  So that’s it, done deal right?  The technician was able to tell the client that the issue would be resolved (Resolution) in five minutes.  Not so fast, let’s take it a little further.  The technician puts the new monitor in and it’s acting the same way, getting power set to the correct input but no image.  The technician had forgotten to bring a new video cable, so figuring it must be the cable they run back to their office for another one.  The new cable doesn’t work either so the technician decides to connect their notebook pc to the external monitor to see just what the issue is.   Both monitors display beautifully with either cable.  The technician is left with only one point of failure, the pc itself.  So now after 40 minutes the technician has to cart the client’s pc off to the repair center.

On our campus many staff PC’s are no longer under warranty and most of them have integrated video cards so now we’re talking about installing another machine moving files and installing software and OS patches.  This could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on what needs to be installed, and if there is a machine on the shelf ready to go.  So our 5 minute fix has turned out to be a 2 or 3 hour deployment.  This is no fault of the technician, that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

Now at SUNY Delhi, we are much more efficient at swapping out machine and it’s doubtful it would take our technicians that long to diagnose a bad video card.  I’ve probably over simplified but I wanted to try and make clear that resolutions are almost never instantaneous situations.  I could have used a network connectivity outage as an example as well.  The same principals apply: Is the outage localized, is it the PC, the cable to the wall, the cable in the building, the switch, the router or any number of other things.  None of these issues can be resolved without a systematic troubleshooting approach and that will take time.

So if you call our helpdesk be certain that we’re asking all of those questions to better serve the client and improve our response, and all of the pertinent information that we receive will assist the technician with finding a resolution.


Within the IT department just who is the Customer? And who is customer service?

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I was leaving yesterday and got caught up in a good ol’ fashioned round of office banter about another department on campus. After a few comments, which may have been at best poor humor and at worst poor judgment, one of our colleagues offered, “How can we expect other departments to respect what we do, if we don’t respect what they do?”

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Even the Giants…


I just got back from the Atlassian Summit. In addition to learning about the latest functionality available in Confluence, I was able to check out some of the incredible examples of Confluence deployments that other organizations have developed. SUNY Delhi is in great company with its deployment of an enterprise wiki, with other attendees from higher education including Brown University, Duke University, MIT, Stanford University, Tufts University (nice custom skin), UC Davis (my alma mater-Go Ags!), UCLA and our SUNY sister organizations, Cornell University, SUNY Geneseo, ITEC, SUNY Learning Network and many of Delhi’s commercial partners like, Adobe, Autodesk, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, Symantec, Verisign, VMware… …well it’s a big list.

I had been taking notes to share the campus, but as Atlassian videoed each session, I thought I would simply provide the sessions here. To start with, here is the Keynote by co-founder Mike Connon-Brooks (if you look closely you can see me in the audience from behind–I am losing my hair?).

I’ll post more videos over the coming months just to keep you coming back. Enjoy-I sure did!

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