About Belinda Perkinson

Belinda works with the ITCS Training and Communications team at East Carolina University. She trains new CommonSpot users, maintains the ITCS website and creates both online and print IT materials for faculty, staff and students.

May 2012 – Technology Digest

Lync 2010 Launches for Faculty and Staff May 7

Now that our communications tools – email, voicemail and instant message – are conveniently integrated for ECU users, it’s time to introduce the successor to MS Communicator:  Lync 2010.

With all the messaging and conferencing features of its predecessor, Communicator 2007, Lync’s social media-like interface adds a few snazzy, updated options to boot!

ECU faculty and staff will be able to

• Send an instant message
• Forward documents through an IM
• Determine a colleague’s presence (available, away, busy, do not disturb, etc.)
• Request an impromptu online meeting through the Meet Now command
• Schedule an online video or audio meeting through Outlook
• Invite non-ECU users for a chat or to a meeting
• Share a desktop, a program or a PowerPoint presentation
• Brainstorm on the whiteboard
• Record a meeting
• Available for both Mac and Windows

Visit the Lync 2010 website for an introduction video and quick-start guides.

Default Passphrase Passé

Effective May 7, Self-Activation System Goes Live

New faculty, staff and students hired or admitted after May 7, 2012, will activate their Pirate ID and create a unique passphrase through the updated Passphrase Maintenance system.  This process allows for improved security and quicker, easier access to ECU’s online systems. 

The Default Passphrase is a Thing of the Past

The previous system, which included multiple mailings and a default passphrase, will no longer be used.  New pirates will receive one communication with both their PirateID username and ECU ID number.  Once received, new users log in to the Passphrase Maintenance system and follow the step-by-step screens to activate their PirateID account, create a unique passphrase and set up their authentication questions in one, easy session. 

Once activated, users will be able to check their ECU e-mail and access OneStop, Blackboad and other online systems.  They will also access this same system to update their passphrase (still every 90 days) or if their account is locked.

Those users who need help need only call the IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866/1.800.340.7081.  For more information and to see the step-by-step process, visit the PirateID website.

Are You a CommonSpot Author in Need of Resources?

CommonSpot is the Web content management system (WCMS) used to maintain official ECU Web pates.  If you or a student requires access to edit your department’s pages, follow these steps and then visit the resources below for just-in-time training, tips, tricks and page examples.


1. Navigate to http://training.ecu.edu and register for the CommonSpot Beginning Training class

2. Attend the training to learn how to log in, create pages and templates and add content

3. Log in to the IT Help Desk, http://ithelp.ecu.edu, and complete the “CommonSpot Website (Departmental)” form located in the lower left of the screen. Students will need to have their supervisor request their access

4. Check your access and contact the IT Help Desk (252.328.9866) with problems


Once you have access to the CommonSpot server, see these resources for further help.

1. CommonSpot Blog.  Find posts on custom elements and how-to articles

2. ITCS Web Publishing Website.  Read accessibility guidelines, Web policies and more

3. CommonSpot User Yammer Group.  Like Twitter, Yammer is a microblogging site for users to post comments, questions and find out the latest CS news

4. 960 Theme Gallery.  See examples of the ten new themes

5 960 Image Gallery.  ECU related images sized at 960 pixels wide

One-on-one training.  Contact Belinda Perkinson, 252.328.9190

Wait a Sec…You Want to Store ECU Information Where…?
Consider the security of your information before deciding where to store it

Nothing is more convenient than an online storage area to save and share information accessible to whomever you choose anytime, anywhere.  Services such as DropBox, Google Apps, iCloud, etc. offer convenience—especially when you travel or collaborate with colleagues.  Many of those services are often “free” or very low cost.  But the fact that your information is now in someone else’s hands has all sorts of implications, not all of them to your advantage, when there is no contract or agreement between the university and the service provider offering the service.

Before deciding where to store your information, it is essential to consider the following:

If you accept an online Click-to-Agree to store ECU’s information, you are entering into a contractual agreement with that service provider. When you agree to the terms and conditions of that service provider, they may not meet the requirements or comply with the terms and conditions of the university.  Per ECU regulation, “Delegation of Authority to Sign Contracts” http://www.ecu.edu/PRR/01/10/01 , only those individuals with delegated authority can enter into contractual agreement on behalf of the university.  

• Once you agree to the terms and conditions of the agreement, you may no longer “own” your information.
• Hosted services may introduce security risks that compromise the confidentially, integrity and availability of your information, make it publically available (advertently or inadvertently), and/or place the university at risk.
• Sensitive or confidential information (patient, student, credit card, Personally Identifiable Confidential  Information) must never be stored external to ECU without appropriate university approval and information security assessment.
• The university cannot protect the privacy and security of your information stored with these service providers, as it has no control over what occurs with them.
• These service providers may place ECU information outside the U.S. under foreign jurisdiction.
• You may not be informed if a subpoena or search warrant is served on the service provider to obtain additional information about you.
• There may be no legal recourse against the service provider in the event of security breach, loss of information or other problems.
• Companies change hands, go out of business, and change privacy policies which may not be in your best interest.

Privacy, Security and Availability—No Worries with ECU Storage

ECU protects the privacy of your information when you choose to store your information using Piratedrive, Privateer or ECU Outside.

Following state, federal and university regulations and policies, your information is protected using checkpoint snapshots, encryption, data replication and backups.

For more information on using the ECU “cloud,” visit the Network Storage website or request a storage consult @ 328-9866.

December 2011 – Technology Digest


File sharing – know the rules!

Illegally downloading music, movies, and other copyrighted material via file-sharing programs can cost you your network access. You may even be subject to civil and criminal penalties ranging from $750 to $200,000 and up to 10 years of imprisonment. University employees who violate university computer-use policies will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Student violations are misconduct under the applicable student disciplinary code. Sanctions may include revocation of access privileges in addition to other sanctions available under the regular disciplinary procedures.Legal alternatives: Pandora, Spotify, eMusic, and iTunes.Follow ECU’s Student Code of Conduct, computing-use policies, copyright policies, and federal copyright laws.

University Attorney Statement on Copyright: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/policies/copyright.cfm.

*Beginning January 1, 2012, all ECU faculty, staff, and students will be asked to submit an electronic university technology use agreement each semester after logging into OneStop.*

Visit www.ecu.edu/itcs/itsecurity/filesharing.cfm for more information and recommended reading, or contact the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, 364 Wright Building, 252.328.6824 with any questions.

Holiday shutdown schedule

The ECU IT Help Desk will be open on December 26 – 30 from 8:00am – 5:00pm with limited staff to assist with technology issues. After 5:00pm, you may contact the Help Desk and select the appropriate menu option to report an emergency or system outage.
More information: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/campus_operations/sustainability/Holiday-Shutdown.cfm

Wireless device best practices

Disable WIFI on your smartphone, tablet, and eReader OR disable the wireless adapter on your laptop if you’re not actively using the service.  If left enabled, it will:
1. Attempt to connect to every access point in your vicinity2. Cause unnecessary traffic on the network

3. Diminish your battery life

4. Act as a portal for hackers to access your device

Disable the Background Data functionality on your mobile devices to save battery life. Background Data enables your mobile device to sync/receive/send data automatically. This is a helpful tool; however, if battery life is a concern, disabling this function will help. Instead of automatically getting/sending data, you’ll have to initiate the process manually. For example, to get new e-mail messages on an HTC Android, open the mail application, hit Menu and Refresh. This is referred to as “pulling data” as opposed to it being “pushed” to your device.
Disable Bluetooth on your phone if you’re not actively using the service. If left enabled, it can be used to hack your phone.
For instructions on how to perform these and other tasks on your mobile device(s), please refer to the User Manual provided by the device manufacturer or your wireless carrier. The User Manual may also be available on your carrier’s web site.

Accessing the corporate directory on your VoIP phone

Did you know you can use the corporate directory on your VoIP phone to search for numbers of other East Carolina University employees who have a VoIP phone?To use the directory on your phone: Press the ‘Directories’ key.  Select option 5 by pressing the digit on the keypad or by using the toggle key to scroll and the softkey to select.  You can search for people by their first name, last name, or phone number. You do not have to know a person’s full name to search for them, all you need to type is at least one letter.The corporate directory can be accessed while you are on a phone call, and you can place calls from your corporate directory by selecting the person you want to call and pressing the ‘Dial’ softkey. Calls can also be made by highlighting the person you want to dial with the toggle key and picking up the handset of your phone.

Reminder to graduating seniors about ECU alumni e-mail

ECU student e-mail accounts are deactivated approximately 3 months following graduation. So you don’t miss important correspondence, be sure to use an alternative e-mail address (such as Yahoo! or Gmail) on any resumes you distribute, and upon graduation, register for an ECU alumni account.
If you haven’t already heard about ECU alumni e-mail, it’s an e-mail service provided by Windows Live Mail that currently offers:
1. A lifelong e-mail account that proudly connects ECU graduates to their alma mater
2. An e-mail address ending in “@alumni.ecu.edu” — you get to choose your own username!
3. Two gigabytes of free storage
4. A customized ECU look with the university name prominently displayed at the top of your mailbox
5. Built in “ECU Favorites” links that direct graduates to: the ECU homepage, East Carolina Alumni Association, ECU Athletics, ECU Graduate School, and ECU News Bureau
6. The option of personalizing a Live.com home page within your account with news, photos, weather, and more!
Alumni can visit http://www.piratealumni.com and click the Alumni E-mail link in the top right corner to register.

Saving space on Piratedrive

In the near future, ITCS will begin compressing files on Piratedrive and network area storage virtual servers. File compression will allow the university to save file storage space and maximize resources. The only difference that faculty, staff, and students on Windows-based computers may notice is that compressed file names will be blue rather than the standard black. Macintosh computers do not show compressed files in blue.

Affordable plans for subscribing to Adobe Creative Suite

Subscription editions of Adobe Creative Suite software are just like regular Creative Suite products — they are installed on your computer and provide all the same features and functionality. Choose a one-year plan for lower payments or a flexible month-to-month plan you can stop and restart as needed. Either way, you’ll have ongoing access to the latest version of your software at no extra charge as long as your subscription remains active.
More information: http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/cssubscription.html
View UNC Adobe Pricing through CIA: http://www.ciacentral.com/ncadobe/interact3.htm

STUDENTS: Don’t forget your FREE Microsoft products!

All enrolled ECU students are eligible for FREE Microsoft products!*
Through a special license agreement, students can get one of each of the following:
Microsoft Office Professional Academic. Perpetual license** includes Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher and Word.

Microsoft Office for Mac Academic. Perpetual license** includes Mac versions of Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word.

Microsoft Office Language Pack

Microsoft Windows Professional Upgrade (Operating System). This is an upgrade version; students must already be a licensed user of Windows Vista, Windows XP or Mac OS X.
Go to www.ecu.edu/microsoft4students for instructions and to order the products!
*The software is free to download; however, once you checkout, you will only have 31 days from the date of your order to access your software and license code. After the 31st day, the software will no longer be available for you to download, and you will have to pay a small fee to access your license code again.
We encourage you to IMMEDIATELY download and save to DVD or USB thumb drive the products you’ve purchased. Make a note of your license code(s) (also known as product key) and keep it in a safe place. Doing this will ensure that you do not have to pay any fees to obtain your license code again should you misplace it.
If you have any questions or experience difficulties saving your products, please contact the ECU IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866 or 800.340.7081 (toll free) or http://help.ecu.edu.
**A perpetual license allows users to keep the software even after gradua­tion.