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LATIS System Maintenance Window on 5/23



May 23, 2015

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Services Affected (avoid these during the window)

  • Research and compute servers (e.g. BLiSS)

  • Unix-based file servers (clio and thalia)

  • Database servers

  • Web servers

Services Not Affected (common services that users often ask about)

  • Google Apps (Gmail, Doc, Sites)

  • Active Directory File storage (Home, Shared, Project folders)

  • CLA Windows Terminal Server (WTS, also known as cla-ts and freya)

Specific Details:

  • Security Patching:

    • perform routine maintenance tasks which will require rebooting most servers.

  • Software Updates:

    • Deploy environment modules and make additional software available.

  • Storage Upgrades:

    • UNIX home directories will be migrated to different storage (  No user-visible change expected other than performance and capacity improvements, and users will not need to change how they access and use the storage.

    • Some other shared areas will be moved to as well.  No user-visible changes are expected.


What is a "system maintenance window"?

In order to correct a technical issue, install a security patch, or upgrade server hardware, LATIS must occasionally disrupt normal networked services. Whenever possible, we plan such service outages in advance during times that minimize the disruption to our users.

Can I work during the maintenance window?

In general, LATIS recommends that you avoid using the affected services during the maintenance window. Systems may be available during the maintenance window, but they can and will be shut down without warning and may be unavailable for hours at a time. So, use only at your own risk.

Can't this be done without disrupting service?

Certain tasks require server reboots and/or physically unplugging electricity. We do our best to group these tasks together to minimize the number of outages we schedule each year--which is generally less than five.

Can you reschedule this window to a more convenient time?

LATIS strives to select times that minimize disruption. It isn't possible to pick a time that will not affect somebody. We also have to consider the availability of our staff and central OIT staff who run the data centers and networks. We try to soften the impact by announcing maintenance windows well in advance.

How do I find out more?

If you have any questions or concerns contact us at 612-301-4357 (1-HELP) or

What is LATIS?

Starting May 8th, 2015, CLA-OIT will be known as Liberal Arts Technologies and Innovation Services or LATIS, for short. The new name more accurately describes the group's continued and purposeful expansion into the College-specific services that are central to achieving the CLA Roadmap, including supporting all aspects of the CLA student experience and the pursuit of research excellence and creative production.

Get to know LATIS: Alison Link

Alison Link.jpg

Name: Alison Link

When did you start working at the U? 2013

Current position? Educational Technologies Consultant, Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team

Where can we find you online? @linkalis

What excites you about working at the U/LATIS? I have an undergraduate background in liberal arts, so I'm excited to work in a college that is committed to providing a solid liberal arts experience within the University. I believe a liberal arts education gives students incredibly practical skills for global citizenship, critical- and constructive thinking. These skills are highly nuanced, and aren't easy to reduce to metrics or summarize in news headlines, which is why they sometimes fall out of favor in popular culture. But they are deep, subtle, and support life-long growth. I'm excited to work in a space where we encourage students to grow their respect for diverse ways of knowing--from qualitative to quantitative, artistic to prosaic, observational to abstract, and everything in between!

What do you consider to be a best kept secret about the U? The UMN Department of Food Science and Nutrition runs a Dairy Salesroom on the St. Paul Campus that is open on Wednesday afternoons from 2-5pm.  Or, just head to the St. Paul Gopher Spot (in the basement of the St. Paul Student Center) to get a scoop of campus-made ice cream anytime. The corn flavored ice cream is my personal favorite. Try it with a dash of salt and it tastes just like corn on the cob!

Is there a technology trend that you think constituents should embrace? What is it and how could it be used to make their work/person lives easier? Can you help? I was the lucky winner of a Pebble smart watch at a local tech event a few years back. While I inititally started out as a "smart" device critic, my Pebble watch and I have grown into a pretty good partnership at this point. I started by turning off all of its e-mail notifications to quiet it down a bit. Now, my watch just alerts me to incoming calls and breaking global news events. And one of the coolest things about Pebble watches is that they let you write your own apps to use!

For example, I recently wrote an app that lets me keep track of my congressional representatives and see how they've been voting on current bills going through Congress. So now, I can give myself my own mini legislative briefing every morning right from my watch. And if anyone out there in the CLA community has some other ideas for watch apps, I'd love to hear them and brainstorm new ideas together!

What is your dream job? Back in middle school, we took a career profile quiz that suggested I should be a civil engineer. I had no idea what a "civil engineer" was at the time, so I didn't take it too seriously. Now, I realize that my middle school self probably had some good character insights...

What was your worst or most unusual job? I was a camp counselor for two summers at an English immersion camp in a tiny town in Switzerland. (And when I say "tiny", we're talking a population of about 500 people.) I later found out that that tiny town was in the same valley where my great-great grandpa grew up. I looked out across the valley at his family's farmhouse every morning without even realizing it!

Pet peeves: I'm not a big fan of acronyms, and the University of Minnesota is full of them! It's a losing battle.

Motto or personal mantra: "It's better to be half-baked than burnt."

Your favorites:

  • Favorite book/author: I remember reading "Babbit" back in high school and loving Sinclair Lewis's snarkily elegant prose. (And he's a fellow Minnesotan!)

  • Favorite website? I love for fun tutorials that are accessible to geeks of all ilks and experience levels!

  • Favorite brand? Trader Joe's makes the most amazing frozen foods. I don't know how they do it, but it's wonderful for someone like me who doesn't have a lot of confidence in the kitchen.

  • Favorite food and drink? The Germans have a breakfast spread that involves what they call "Weisswurst" (white sausages) and a half-liter of hefeweizen beer.  It. Is. Miraculous.

  • Favorite TV show and movie? I love The Mindy Project and pretty much any musical film out there.

  • Favorite musician or band? I spent some time in Montreal, where I got really into Quebecois folk music.  Lots of cool drum beats and down-to-earth fiddle sounds.

  • Favorite place on Earth? Budapest and Montreal are two cities that have really stuck out for me on my travels.  They both share a kind of "European humble chic" feeling that I love.

Please share with faculty and teaching staff.

Do you work with digitized collections of text or images that require human eyes to process? Would your research benefit from many eyes to help transcribe or annotate your collections?

Come learn about the Zooniverse platform, the Zooniverse@UMN initiative, and the new Zoomanities initiative to crowdsource text-based research using digitized collections.

Monday, May 11, 10:00 to 11:30 am

101 Walter Library

RSVP by Thursday, May 7

Zooniverse is home to some of the Internet's largest citizen science projects. The U of M is fortunate to have Zooniverse co-founder Lucy Fortson on our faculty. As a member of the Zooniverse team, she helps identify the research projects that stand to benefit from the visual processing capabilities of over a million volunteers worldwide.

Professor Fortson, associate head of the School of Physics and Astronomy, will give an overview of how Zooniverse works and what resources it offers to researchers, and will explain the project selection and application process. Three U of M teams in the humanities, social sciences, and biological sciences will present the projects they are leading using the Zooniverse platform.

  • Resurrecting Early Christian Lives: Digging in Papyri in a Digital Age

  • Measuring the ANZACs: Height, weight, and health in turn of the century New Zealand

  • The Biodiversity Edge: Charting Change Where Biomes Meet

A Q&A session with all the presenters and Lucy Fortson will follow.

Sponsored by the C3 (Curiosity, Community, Collaboration) initiative of the Colleges of Science and Engineering and Liberal Arts, the DASH (Digital Arts, Sciences + Humanities Project, and Zooniverse@UMN

During the week of 4/27, the following buildings will have a printer outage of several hours as technicians secure ports to better protect data.

The confirmed buildings are:

  • Andersen Library

  • Anderson Hall

  • Blegen

  • Jones

  • STSS

The specific day and time of outages will be shared directly with affected units. The goal is for no printer to be down for more than four hours.

UMN's 1-Help and CLA's relationship managers will assist those with any questions.

Thank you for your understanding as we work to keep data safe.

Moving forward with the printer security transition, we will now categorize buildings for the following week as "confirmed" or "tentative." This change gives technicians the appropriate time to address issues that arise while managing expectations of those affected by the transition.

During the week of 3/30, the following buildings will have a printer outage of several hours as technicians secure ports to better protect data.

The confirmed buildings are:

  • Jones

  • Regis (East and West)

  • Rarig

  • STSS

The tentative buildings are:

  • Andersen Library

  • Anderson Hall

  • Blegen

If technicians do not complete transitions for "tentative" buildings within the week, they will be rescheduled. The specific day and time of outages will be shared directly with affected units. The goal is for no printer to be down for more than four hours.

UMN's 1-Help and CLA's relationship managers will assist those with any questions.

Thank you for your understanding as we work to keep data safe.

The printer security transition is underway. During the week of 3/23, the following buildings will have a printer outage of several hours as technicians secure ports to better protect data.

The affected buildings are as follows:

  • Appleby

  • Barbara Barker Center for Dance

  • Jones

  • Nicholson

  • Rarig

  • Regis (East and West)

  • Ted Mann

The specific day and time of outage will be shared directly with affected units. The goal is for no printer to be down for more than four hours.

UMN's 1-Help and CLA's relationship managers will assist those with any questions.

Thank you for your understanding as we work to keep data safe.

Upgrade Go-Live Date: April 20. CLA Fair Planned.

During the first week of February, the central Upgrade team announced the revised timeline for transition and what processes will be affected.

The systems interruption, or cutover period, when PeopleSoft and related systems are unavailable or view-only, is expected to begin on April 10th and last approximately 10 days with the system going live Monday, April 20.

Here are ways to get ready:    

In addition to the central Upgrade Fair, CLA will have its own hands-on workshop to address college-specific changes. More details to come later this month.

Security Upgrade Plan Affects ALL CLA Printers

In UMN's continuing effort to protect private data, all printers on campus are undergoing a security review and update. As part of the project, each of the 400 printers in CLA will rotate going offline for an anticipated 2 hr window by the end of February so that the ports can be secured by technicians. Departments will be notified of their scheduled offline time at least three days in advance.

To create a consistent and easy-to-inventory database, each printer will also be given a new naming convention with the following components: college, building, room, printer model. For example, a CLA-OIT printer in Anderson Hall will now be CLA-AndH-110-HP4700c.

In cases where there are more than one printer in a room, they will be designated "a" or "b" at the end of the name.

Printers must be reconnected once the update is complete. Directions on how to reconnect printers will be included in future communications as well as a list of old and new printer names to ease the transition. UMN's 1-Help and CLA's relationship managers will assist those who do not feel comfortable reconnecting their printers following the guide.

All communications will be shared with both department admins and chairs to distribute to faculty and staff as they deem necessary.

Thank you for your understanding as we work to keep data safe.

Get to know CLA-OIT: Sean Burns

Sean Burns_Cropped.jpg

Name: Sean Burns

When did you start working at the U? MLK Day, 1992

Current position? Relationship Manager for CLA-OIT

What advice do you have for CLA-OIT constituents who are intimidated by technology? With the timid I've found that their most common concern is they will break the software or hardware. If I can help allay those fears then they usually make progress using their technology.

What do you do for fun? I ride my bicycle. I've been riding year-round since March of 1996--I very rarely get cold for cycling generates a lot of heat. Since September of 1996 I've ridden more than 73,000 miles. Among my cycling peers this is a relatively low figure.

What was your worst or most unusual job? I cleaned my uncle's calf barn using a small Ford tractor and a blade. It hadn't been mucked out in three years so the manure was 5-feet deep at its deepest. It took about 45 hours. The ammonia smell was nearly over-powering.


Favorite book/author and do you prefer paper or e-book? Currently, Catch-22, but it changes. As for books/e-books, sadly, I prefer my second generation Kindle. I have an attachment to books but the Kindle is a lot easier on my eyes. I've rid myself of most of my standard-sized books by placing them on the ground-floor of Johnston Hall with a post-it attached reading "free to good home". I've kept the large-format ones with lots of illustrations.

Favorite word and word that annoys you? Onomatopoeia is my favorite. I am going to remain reticent about my annoying word--trust me, we are all better off.

Favorite brand? Ibex. If you want to make Minnesota winters easier then buy some. To avoid sticker shock I suggest checking out their closeouts and sales. Wool is expensive.

Favorite food and drink? I don't eat Pho often enough. I like most Belgian beers I've sampled.

Favorite TV show and movie? Favorite movie is The Belly of an Architect. It's a typically uplifting Greenaway flick. Despite all the wonderful television currently available I'm sticking with old reliable Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Favorite musician or band? Hüsker Dü. What can I say, looking at this along with my movie and TV series it is clear, I'm a dinosaur.

Finish the sentence:

People may be surprised to know: I was a national merit scholar.

If I could do it all over again, I would: have done study abroad.

Before I die, I would like to: go to Belgium for the post-Christmas cyclocross races.

Now Free for UMN Departments: Acrobat Pro 11

Adobe's Acrobat Pro 11 is now available at no cost to UMN departments. Acrobat is used to convert any document to a PDF or convert a PDF into other formats, edit PDFs, merge multiple documents in a single PDF, and create fillable and web forms.

Available for installation on University-owned computers, the change provides significant savings for the University since Acrobat currently costs $61-$75 for a single license purchased through Technology Products vendors, and $450 for a full license if ordered directly from Adobe.
Installation questions can be directed to

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