Friday, August 31, 2007

If it's September, the topic must be: Passwords!

Welcome, newcomers, and welcome back, everyone else! It's the beginning of the academic year, so it's time for a reiteration of the Password Post.

We are down to 1 username, 1 ID number, and 4 passwords.

Your SCSU username is your last name, first initial, and a number. Mine is hedreenr1 (I'm the first R. Hedreen on campus). If you have a more common last name-first initial combination, the number may get quite a bit higher. There is a limit on the length, so if you have a long last name, your username may be truncated. You can look up your (or other people's) usernames in the MySCSU email search. The username is used as the beginning of your SCSU email address (, and for logging into campus computers, MySCSU (email, calendar, course sites, etc.), and the WebCT/Vista courseware.

Your SCSU ID number is 8 digits, starting with a 7, and is on your HootLoot ID card, plus most of the registration materials. Your ID number is used for logging into Banner (registration, grades, etc.) and the Library.

Your MySCSU password is used, with your username, to log into the MySCSU "portal", which contains your email, calendar, course sites, campus news and announcements, etc. You also use this username/password combination to log into the WebCT/Vista courseware. Your MySCSU password must be at least 8 characters long and contain numbers, letters (lower and upper case), and "special" characters like * or ! You will be prompted to choose a new password on a regular basis, but it doesn't expire if you don't log in for a while. Your MySCSU password can only be changed with the assistance of IT staff, preferably by visiting a campus computer lab. (FYI: It is possible to forward your campus mail to an outside email address. Only email is forwarded, not announcements or news.)

Your Windows or Network password is used, with your username, to log into the campus computer network, either via on-campus computers (such as the ones in the computer labs or the library), the wireless network accessible in most of the buildings on campus, or through the ResNet system in the dorms. You can also use it to access your network file space via the site. Like the MySCSU password, your network password must be at least 8 characters long and contain numbers, letters (lower and upper case), and "special" characters. While the requirements are not exactly the same, you can usually use the same password for your MySCSU and network accounts. However, the network password does expire, so you may need to reset the password at the Windows Password Reset form available from the Helpdesk webpage.

Your Banner password is used, with your ID number, only for accessing the BannerWeb system for registration and grades. You can reset it on the Helpdesk webpage. You can also access Banner through the MySCSU portal, without having to log in separately.

The Library PIN/password is the last one. This is used, with your ID number, for accessing the library online systems and subscriptions, including the library databases from off campus, electronic reserves, and for requesting books from the other CSU campus libraries in the CONSULS library catalog. The Library PIN/password must be at least 6 characters long and can use numbers, letters (it's not case sensitive), or both. You cannot use "special" characters. You can set your PIN/password for the first time at the My Record screen in the CONSULS catalog. My Record is available on the right hand side of any CONSULS webpage. Your password will never expire, but you can change it after logging into the catalog, or by calling or visiting the Circulation desk in the library (203-392-5756). We can delete your password, allowing you to set a new one.

There are a few other passwords/usernames you may need to deal with. Refworks, the library's citation management software, requires you to set up an account, but you get to choose your username and password. Your SCSU username would be an obvious choice, but you will not have to change your Refworks password, so you may want something easier to remember than your MySCSU or network password (which you will have to change). Refworks uses a Group Code for off campus access (as well as your personal username and password). Your initial email confirmation will have the SCSU Group Code, or you can contact the Reference Desk (203-392-5732 or

A few of our databases have separate usernames and passwords. Contact the Reference Desk if you need access to one of these as indicated on the database list.

One final word on passwords: the Southern email system will be changing sometime in the next year. Your email address should not change, but it is possible that a new password will be required or that the requirements (length, etc.) will be different.

Enjoy the semester!

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Outages for Saturday, Aug 4.

From the IT Office (with my additions in italics):

The Chancellor's Office has informed us that work on one of the power panels in the system office data center will begin at 7 A.M. on Saturday 8/4 in. As a result, the telephone system and wide area network in Hartford will be powered down at 6:30 a.m. and will be unavailable for a minimum of one and on-half hours.

As a consequence of this planned activity, specific to SCSU the following services will not be available:

1) Password Reset for Luminis Portal (MySCSU)
2) Password Reset for Network Access (campus computers)
3) Bannerweb self Service (student Banner use)
4) Internet Native Banner (INB) for Administrators (Banner Admin)
5) Consuls Library System (this would include logging into the databases)
6) 5 digit phone dialing between CSU campus locations (campus phone service only)

(So that's down at 6:30 AM Eastern (Saturday morning) until 8:00 AM minimum--it might be longer. So get off the computer and go treat yourself to a good breakfast.)

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