Blackboard Back Online!

Thanks to everyone for your patience.

Now. Let’s see if that’s fixed the problem.

First of all, clear cache. Yes, again. If you don’t know how, this is a good resource: https://kb.iu.edu/d/ahic

IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS: Send an email to helpdesk@genesee.edu — tell us what course, what you had problems doing, what test or assignment… details are helpful…

Calling the help desk won’t get any faster results… just send that email so we know what’s going on.

Hang in there… we’ll keep poking at it!

Blackboard Maintenance – Monday, October 5 – 5:00 pm

There have been known problems with Blackboard this past weekend into today. The most often reported problem has been about slow or no access to tests and assignments.

We are aware of the problem and are working on it. Those of you who reported problems were helpful to us in clearly communicating the problems to Blackboard technical support.

Blackboard technical support has recommended some changes be made to our system. We will spend the rest of the afternoon preparing to make those changes.

Blackboard will be unavailable TODAY (Monday) starting 5:00 pm for about an hour for maintenance.

Instructors have been informed about this work and the scope of the problem. Contact your instructor about what to do next.

Check the “Blackboard Tip of the Week” box on the My Courses page for updates. If Genesis is not available, check https://maryjane47.wordpress.com for updates.

Thank you for your patience.

–Mary Jane Heider

If you need Technical Help, give this a try!

TiredThe week before and the week of the start of classes are the busiest times at the central help desk number! Save yourself the aggravation of being on hold or being asked to authenticate yourself, just to report a broken printer!

Try one of the following options:

  • Use the ticket system found here: http://www.genesee.edu/gcc/helpdesk/tickets/ — the template will help you answer all the questions we need to ask
  • Just send an email to helpdesk@genesee.edu
  • Problems logging in? Folk in Batavia are welcome to come to T212 (Computer Services office suite), especially for non-Banner login problems. We will reset non-Banner passwords on the spot!

Remember, the Central Help Desk phone really can’t help with the following, at any time, so calling will only get you a ticket, which you could have done yourself with any of the options above:

  • Banner INB passwords
  • Blackboard questions
  • Smart Classroom problems
  • Problems with office telephones
  • Questions about wireless access or wireless problems
  • Office computer hardware or software

Huh. Quite the list…

The Central Help Desk is good with student username and password issues. Let them do what they do best!

Questions? You know where I live! mjheider@genesee.edu

–Mary Jane

When in doubt – clear cache!

… and reboot!

Now… for some context.

bb-logo2The Blackboard update we did in July has fixed some things and broken others. That’s always a given, when you do a software update.

We’re keeping an eye on the servers and find we need to reboot the servers a tad more often than we like. We’re working on fixing that but, in the meantime, you can do some basic troubleshooting by clearing the cache in your browser when you encounter Blackboard issues.

Here’s how: https://help.yahoo.com/kb/web-browsers-cache-cookies-sln4525.html

Additionally, when given a time frame for the clearing (for example, Firefox default is only for the last hour), make the time “Everything” or “Forever” (or whatever really long time period is available) to make sure you clear out all of the cache.

And then, because if you’re anything like me, you really never do this, reboot your computer.

If nothing else, it may speed up your computer in general.

Couple other things you should be aware of:

Make an exception for GCC in your pop-up blocker. Here’s how: https://kb.indwes.edu/Apps/Blackboard/Getting_Started/02._Preparing_for_Online_Courses/Pop_Up_Blocker_Exceptions  (Replace “*.indwes.edu” with “*.genesee.edu” and “blackboard.indwes.edu” with “learn.genesee.edu”)

Make sure your operating system and browser combination is compatible with Blackboard. Find compatible configurations here: http://help.blackboard.com/en-us/Learn/9.1_2014_04/Administrator/010_Release_Notes/Supported_Technologies_for_End_Users

That should help keep your system and your Blackboard interactions working more smoothly.

Internet Outage / Funkiness — January 18-20

Cole’s Notes Version:

Internet access to college resources may be intermittent and unreliable from 5 pm, Friday, January 18 through 12:00 noon, Sunday, January 20. Some users will see absolutely no problems, other users may have little or no access. And no predicting who or how long.

(PS: Anyone know who “Cole” is?)

Bottom line:

Yes, instructors have been warned. If you have assignments due this weekend, double check with your instructor about what to do if you have problems. As always, call the Help Desk (1-866-614-5004) for updates.

The Unabridged Version:

The college is moving to a new Internet Service Provider (lower cost and more bandwidth!) and we have to do the cutover to the new ISP. Which means new IP addresses for servers on campus and for the college in general.

The best analogy is when you move to a new home, it takes a while for some of your mail to catch up to you. Even when you notify the post office, most of your mail comes through but then there are the folk who only send you mail a couple of times a year who may miss the window during which the post office does that automatic forwarding. Or you have a new mailperson who misses that the mail should be forwarded and your handful of letters goes to your old address and the new folk throw it back in the mail (if you’re lucky) and then the next mail person realizes the problem and forwards it to you.

Gonna be like that. Some folk will get the ‘message’ that GCC has moved to a new IP address and have no problems. Other folk won’t have the message anywhere and it will take time to get to them. There won’t be any rhyme or reason to explain why some folk can get in and others cannot.

And there will be some (brief) outages while we first do the cut-over, mostly on Friday night. That’s like the night you spent in a hotel while moving because the moving truck needed 2 days to get to the new house and you don’t have any furniture anywhere….

The Library and the Computer Lab (T207) should be fine on Saturday, but it’s the first Saturday of the semester, so we’re not expecting huge crowds. But you’re welcome to come to campus to do work on the weekend.

Questions? Ask! You know where I live!

Phone Issues – Sat, Aug 13

Whenever it rains, it pours.

Now that the electrical work is done and the system outage is (mostly) over, the phones go down.

If you call the primary college phone number, 1-585-343-0055, it will do nothing but ring and no one will answer. Since it’s now Saturday night and we have new equipment being delivered tomorrow (Sunday!), that’s not quite a disaster.

However. This is when disasters occur.

If there is an emergency, you can call 1-585-345-6996 to reach Public Safety. This is a relay from the office to a cell phone so you may have to let it ring 4-5 times but someone will answer that number.

Cross your fingers no one needs that number tonight!

System Outage! Saturday, August 13

The ‘official’ story is that the Buildings and Ground folk are doing much needed electrical work on the data center of the Batavia Campus on Saturday, August 13. As a result, they are making us turn off all the equipment in the data center about 6:00 AM which means:

  • no web site (well, there’s 1 page, which is probably how you got here)
  • no Genesis (so no registration, no schedules, no drop add, no tuition payment)
  • no Banner
  • no Blackboard
  • no access to P drives
  • no library or library databases
  • the primary college phone number (585-343-0055) is also affected by this work; it may ring but it will not be answered

Nada. Nothing.

Work is scheduled to be completeabout 5:00 PM on Saturday but we need time to turn everything on and check it all. So figure after 7 PM on Saturday before you can access anything.

Now. The real story. If you’ve been on the Batavia Campus at all this summer, you’ve seen the construction work that’s been going on.

Well, the workers dug just a tad too deep and broke into a snark burrow, scattering the snarks across the squircle. With their burrow gone, the snarks moved into the first space they could, the campus building, of course. If you didn’t know, snarks love to be warm and what’s warmer than a cozy server on a cool summer night? Well, now we have an infestation.

So we’re shutting down the servers for the day to let them cool off and turning down the thermostat to further cool the room.

I’ve been tasked with getting a case of peanut butter from BJs to help draw them out of the servers so we can capture them (humanely, of course) and release them in a field a long way from Genesee. The only thing a snark likes more than a warm server is crunchy peanut butter.

Wish us luck!