Newsletter - Volume 5, Issue 1 - Summer 2012

From the Director

The Usual Suspects at UCCSC 2012 (L to R): Dan Freeman, Chris Orsine, Tim Greer, Erik Wieland

Welcome to the DOM IT Services Summer 2012 newsletter.

Each quarter we put together this newsletter to keep the Department of Medicine informed about the latest in IT policy, projects, security, and more. We have a lot of fun writing these articles, and we hope you get something out of them, too. We get most of the ideas from you, so please let us know if there's something you'd like to see. You can also see past issues of our newsletters, in case you enjoy this one so much that you want more!

OE Update

So far there have been six separate OE IT working group reports submitted to and approved by the OE Coordinating Committee: Email, Network, Service Desk, IT Procurement, Desktop Suport, and Data Centers. We've already seen great improvements in IT service as a result of these initiatives. The email consolidation is nearly complete, and email quotas were recently doubled to 4GB. The UCSF wireless network is available in more buildings than it's not, and capacity is being increased where needed. IT Procurement has spawned the JACS program, which is already saving both UCSF and UC Berkeley lots of money. The Service Desk's hold times are down, and they are working with desktop support groups to do cross-training so they can resolve more issues on the first call.

Speaking of desktop support, many of you know that I was deeply involved in the hiring of the Director of Customer and Field Services. I helped write the job description and recruit the candidate who got the job. Sian Shumway, who came from UC Berkeley, is an exceptional manager and leader, and she is busy creating the new desktop support service that we will begin using in the next 2 years. Sian has gathered a team of really smart people (plus me) to help her. Look for more information about the desktop support service this Fall.

Survey Results

This Summer we brought back the DOM IT Services Survey, an annual survey we put out to make sure we're keeping track of what's important to you, our customers. This is the first year we used Qualtrics, which is a fabulous survey tool that UCSF has licensed for the entire campus. You can try Qualtrics yourself by logging in to MyAccess. But enough about cool technologies, let's talk about cool technologists! Here are some of the survey's highlights.

  • Kenton Chee (46%) is the best-known person on our team, followed closely by Edel Alon (45%).
  • Kenton is the highest-rated desktop support staff member, and Ed Chen is the highest-rated application/web development staff member. This is personally reassuring, as they are the managers for their areas!
  • 80% of respondents have used the DOM Helpdesk in the last year, while 55% have used DOM IT desktop support in the last year.
  • The Helpdesk rates highest on "knowledge and professionalism" and "overall quality."
  • Desktop Support also rates highest on "knowledge and professionalism" and "overall quality."
  • Server Support rated high in almost all areas, with "overall quality," "knowledge and professionalism," "ability to address your issues," and "time to resolve your issue" tying for highest score.
  • Web and Application Development also rated high in most areas, but "knowledge and professionalism" was their biggest strength.
  • ½ of respondents read our newsletters. Hi! We also learned that most people skip right over any section named "Security & Policy," so we might rename that section to "Rainbows & Kittens." Sorry, but you have to eat your vegetables.
  • People are very uncertain about moving to OE consolidated services for Helpdesk, Desktop Support, and Server Support. Most people seem to be willing to give the Service Desk and Server Support a try, but most people reacted negatively to the idea of giving up your local desktop support staff. Rest assured that we are working hard to make the transition to OE services as smooth as possible. You'll see a lot more about the desktop support service in particular in our Fall newsletter.
  • 78% of respondents felt that DOM IT Services understands the support needs of your organization, and only 4% disagreed.
  • 69% of respondents felt that our prices were fair or better, and only 5% felt our prices were poor.
  • 72% of respondents were satisfied with the amount of contact they had with DOM IT Services management. I will make myself more available to the 4% who disagreed.
  • 75% would recommend DOM IT Services to colleagues, and 6% would not.
  • To answer the person who asked about encryption and backups: no, encryption doesn't affect backups, and no, you can't use an unencrypted laptop.

10 lucky respondents won $10 Bear Hugs, which will be going out in campus mail soon. We are sharing our survey results with the teams creating and running the new OE IT services, so they can incorporate your feedback and make all IT services at UCSF better. Thanks again to all of our respondents!

Changes to the Newsletter

You may notice some changes in this newsletter. First, we are converting our Profiles section into an occasional feature. We're doing this because we get many more requests for information about what's going on across campus, and since we've all been here so long I think you know us pretty well by now. In place of Profiles we're introducing a new section called Campus View. This is where we'll discuss the goings-on in IT around campus as we collaborate and consolidate with other groups over the next few years. And, as discussed above, look for our new Rainbows & Kittens (or maybe Delicious Bacon!) section in our next issue.

Security That's Useful, and Not At All Annoying!

In our final attempt to get you to eat your vegetables read our Security & Policy section, Andrew gives you practical advice on How to Secure Your Home Computing Environment in Ten Easy Steps. Make sure you read to the end where he tells you about unicorns and puppies! Would I lie to you?

Web and Application Developments

As part of our current initiative to relaunch all of the department's division websites as combined specialty sites, Ed and Erin have been creating tools to help you manage your web content. One of the best tools we're using was actually created by CTSI: Profiles. With Profiles faculty can manage all the public-facing information about themselves, their careers, their publications, and most other things people are already searching our sites for. We pull our faculty profile information from Profiles in real time, so your edits show up immediately. Ed and Erin have now implemented Profiles feeds on half a dozen sites now, so they wanted to give you an update about how Profiles is being used and improved.

Sharecase: Showcasing the Best of IT@UCSF

Kristan is part of a small, dedicated team developing this Fall's Sharecase event. This event will bring together the best IT teams and projects across UCSF in a one-day conference and expo with talks, consulting booths, and demonstrations, with a keynote address by the Chancellor herself! I'm particularly looking forward to hearing from the winners of the IT Innovation Contest. Take it away, Kristan!

Supporting a Mobile Campus: the UCSF Mobile App

Want to know where you are, when the shuttle gets here, what your spinning partner's phone number is, and when your fitness class starts? Have a smartphone? Well you're in luck! The UCSF Mobile App for iOS and Android will help you answer all of these questions, and the UCSF mobile web site will help everyone else. Edel gives us a detailed review of the features of this indispensable app.


You have a lot of email, don't you? Now that our email quotas have been doubled to 4GB we can keep it all on the server, right? Wrong. We back up email archives over 10GB every day, and they're just getting bigger. Marlon has a solution for you: use your email client to archive your mail to keep your inbox nice and clean.

Mountain Lion: Apple's Newest Big Cat

UCSF will soon start supporting Mac OS X 10.8, "Mountain Lion." We've been testing Mountain Lion since it was in early Developer Previews, and we're really excited to start using it in production. For users of Apple's iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) you'll find a lot of familiar functionality in the new desktop OS. Abby is here with the lowdown on Mountain Lion's new features and tricks.

Finding Life's Little Shortcuts

Where Did They Hide That Command!? I Wish There was a keyboard shortcut for that! We regularly hear these questions from our customers, and as geeks and nerds we love to find cool little tricks for working faster. Kenton does us all a huge favor and give us a useful list of common keyboard shortcuts for both Windows and Mac (suitable for printing or bookmarking).

Thanks for taking the time to read this far. Your reward is our service calendar for the next three and a half months. Enjoy!

— Erik, on behalf of the DOM IT Services team


Mon 09/03 Labor Day Holiday - DOM Helpdesk closed
Thu 09/13 Programmer Day
Thu 09/13 UCSF IT Forum meeting
Wed 09/19 Talk Like a Pirate Day
Thu 09/27 1:30-3 PM, room M1179 (Parnassus) and SC242 (Mission Bay): UCSF Mac OS X Interest Group meeting
Thu 10/11 UCSF IT Forum meeting
Fri 10/12 Sharecase
Thu 10/25 1:30-3 PM, room M1179 (Parnassus) and SC242 (Mission Bay): UCSF Mac OS X Interest Group meeting
Thu 11/08 UCSF IT Forum meeting
Mon 11/12 Veterans Day Holiday - DOM Helpdesk closed
Mon 11/19 DOM IT Services Fall 2012 newsletter released
Thu 11/22
- Fri 11/23
Thanksgiving Holiday - DOM Helpdesk closed
Fri 11/30 Computer Security Day

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Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. — Pablo Picasso