Email messages

email-iconI guess I’m starting to sound cranky, but if I can’t complain to you, who can I complain to?  🙂

Another pet peeve…

If you (the generic ‘you’, not you personally, of course!) send me (or the help desk) an email asking a question or asking me to do something, I would think you would kinda watch your email a tad more closely, to see if I get back to you. I may not get back to you immediately (although I do that a lot), but usually within a couple of hours.

I’m pretty good about answering emails and a lot of time I have an answer for you or, often, another question. Sometimes I have to do the “do you mean…” or “do you want me to do A or B?” sorts of emails back at you. Until I have an answer, I can’t do anything.

When you send an email and then don’t answer my question back for two days, I have to figure it’s not as important as you made it sound in your initial request.

My current example is a student who asked the help desk for something that I need to fix. No problem, but I need to know something from the student first. The original question comes in on Friday morning and by Saturday noontime, there’s no response. Turns out the answer came in Saturday late afternoon. But, on Tuesday morning there’s a follow-up “I haven’t heard from you” not-quite-a-complaint. Sigh.

We all have that happen… the student who calls your office every 15 minutes wondering why you haven’t answered them, when you have like 3 classes back to back and you’ve barely been to the bathroom, much less had a chance to check your phone messages. I get it.

So… if you ask a question, you can usually expect an answer… that’s what I do, after all. Watch for it and make sure I’m not asking you a question back…


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:

IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS: Send an email to — 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 for updates.

Thank you for your patience.

–Mary Jane Heider

System Maintenance – Sunday, September 20 – 8 am to noon

patienceComputer Services will be performing routine system maintenance on Sunday, September 20 between 8:00 am and 12:00 noon.

During this time, ALL systems may be down. This includes and is not limited to:

  • college web site
  • Blackboard
  • faculty/staff email
  • Library
  • Banner / Banner Self Service

If you gain access to any of these systems before noon, you may be cut off without warning.

STUDENTS: Plan ahead! Download / print / organize your study materials before Sunday morning. We’re very aware that there are a number of students who need to accomplish work during this time. There are a lot of things you can do without access to Genesee systems! We’re only shutting down our little corner of the world, not the entire internet!

If you have questions, do ask! I’m willing to listen:

PS: For planning purposes, the remaining maintenance days for the Fall semester are Monday, October 12 and Saturday, November 28. Those will be all day outages, from 7 am to 5 pm.

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: — the template will help you answer all the questions we need to ask
  • Just send an email to
  • 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!

–Mary Jane

System Maintenance – 11 pm Saturday to 3 am Sunday

I have to find more to write about — there are lots cooler things to write about besides maintenance announcements!


If you were around last Sunday at all, you probably noticed that the system maintenance that was supposed to only go from 7 am to 1 pm went all day. And, for some parts of it, like to 10:00 pm all day… sigh… it wasn’t pretty.

A piece of equipment unexpectedly crumbled underneath us and the rest of the day was spent cobbling together a work-around to get things up and running at all.

It’s like that glass you reach for in the cupboard – you’re not even reaching for that glass, you’re reaching for another – but you can only watch helplessly as it tumbles to the floor and shatters into a bazillion little shards. You then get to spend the next hour carefully cleaning up and making sure you have all the pieces before you can do anything else. And you never did get that drink of water you wanted in the first place.

While things are up and running, I think I saw some duct tape back there…. 😉  The replacement equipment has been delivered and it needs to be installed.

From 11:00 pm on Saturday, March 14 to 3:00 am on Sunday, March 15, all systems will be offline as we replace and configure equipment.

All systems will be offline during this time: web, Genesis, Blackboard, faculty/staff email, Banner…. If you gain access during this time, you may be cut off without warning.

Hopefully, this will settle things down as we all march through the second half of the semester! (Pun only half intended!)

Questions? Send me an email! — I won’t be up at 3 am but I’ll look for any questions early Sunday morning!

–Mary Jane

PS – Did you know March 14 is “super” Pi day?  3-14-15…..  3.1415…  😉   Never going to see that again in our lifetimes!

More Computer Maintenance – March 8 – 7 am to 1 pm

springbreakSpring has more ‘sproing’ than ‘sprung’ at this point… and can you believe the time change for Daylight Savings time is *this* weekend…. I’m sleep deprived enough that I can’t afford to lose the hour at this point.

Don’t touch office computers or anything; it’ll all reset itself automagically. If the time is not right on Monday, reboot it once, and if it’s still cranky, send an email to and we’ll find a sun lamp for it. You’re on your own for your personal computers, but they should reset fine!

But our intrepid crew of Computer folk will be forging onward, performing system maintenance on Sunday, March 8 between 7 am and 1 pm.

ALL SYSTEMS WILL BE AFFECTED. Not everything will be offline for the entire time, but if you do connect during this time, you may be disconnected without warning.

FACULTY – please warn your online students. Since it’s the start of Spring break, you probably do not have work due, but some of your students may be looking to catch up on Sunday morning… (okay, we know that’s not really going to happen, but someone has to be an optimist about it!)

Me? I have blackout curtains! I’m going to sleep in on Sunday… I need all the sleep I can get!

Questions? Send me an email:

–Mary Jane