June-July Technology Update

On-Campus Changes

We implemented a massive reorganization of our on-campus TCP/IP network. We’ve offloaded some network services onto several different servers/computers and segmented the network to provide stability to the different regions we cover. The changes worked, as we had the highest reported stability of in-classroom Internet access in years! That’s pretty good for two reason: (1) we had an accreditation team on-site, and (2) we were working around a dying central router and wireless access point (we are replacing that one devices with two separate ones which have already been purchased and are awaiting installation).

Sync Service Improvements

Thanks to the folks at Populi, we were able to improve the way all of our web apps and services interact with Populi behind the scenes. The biggest example is our Populi⟼Moodle sync system, which functions noticeably more quickly now, especially on user-login. The technical explanation is that for functions which require administrative access to the Populi API, we are securely caching the credential through an API Access Token. Previously, we sent a username and password several times during the course of your Moodle session (at least three times just to login). Each time, our server had to wait until Populi responded. The initial login screen and the login process should load noticeably faster now.

Website Changes

We tweaked the style of iws.edu just a smidgen by specifying a slightly less bold (font-weight: 600) for certain bold items in the Open Sans font. This didn’t affect very many people, but if you actually had the Open Sans font installed on your computer, things will look a little bit cleaner.

Moodle Anti-Virus

Moodle now scans all uploaded files for viruses. While it’s unlikely that a member of the IWS community would intentionally spread viruses or other malware, we hope this removes the potential for the unintentional spread of such things. Please do not assume that this guarantees the safety of any file found in Moodle–you should of course make appropriate use of security software for your platform. Nonetheless, if we can make a small contribution to the potential safety and security of our online community, we’re happy to do so!