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UH Videoconferencing System Linked To Worldwide Network

The University of Hawaii's H.323 videoconferencing gatekeeper has recently been configured to peer with the North American Root gatekeeper. This means that our local gatekeeper can "talk" to national and international gatekeepers when routing videoconferences among various locations. This lets UH support the Global Dialing Scheme (GDS) so that dialing can be done using unique numerical identifiers instead of IP addresses. More information on GDS can be found at: http://www.vide.net/help/gdsintro.shtml.

Each properly enabled endpoint, like a Polycom Viewstation for example, is assigned a unique GDS address or number. A University of Hawaii GDS number, for example, is a 14-digit string beginning with 0011469. The remaining seven digits are assigned based on a 2-digit island code and unique 5-digit number. Your identifying GDS number stays with the endpoint unit -- even if the IP address changes -- which is especially handy if you're using DHCP or if you move the unit around to different rooms. You should also be able to join many GDS multipoint conferences outside of the UH zone by simply dialing the conference ID. No changing of the gatekeeper address is needed.

Many endpoints in the UH System have been assigned (and are already using) GDS addresses. Polycom owners in the UH System who do not already have a permanent GDS identification number can request one from ITS by visiting http://www.hawaii.edu/dlus/videoconference and filling out the Endpoint Certification Form.


Managing Equipment Using eInventory

With over 52,000 active equipment assets recorded in the university's Fixed Asset system, with a total cost of roughly $360 million, tracking equipment can be a daunting but important task for asset administrators. Over the years many individual departments have developed their own “shadow” systems in attempts to track and manage specific fixed assets. These shadow systems can quickly become out-of-date and possibly introduce data integrity problems.

To improve the efficiency of managing fixed assets or acquiring specific fixed asset data, UH developed the web-based systemwide eInventory application. eInventory provides an easy and efficient means of acquiring specific Financial Management Information System (FMIS) fixed asset data, while also offering updates in selected fields that allows departments to better track and manage assets.

To access eInventory, (www.hawaii.edu/ffx) you will need a valid FMIS RACF (Resource Access Control Facility) ID and your UH Username. Fiscal Officers manage their department's authorized user access to eInventory through the “Maintain Users” section of the UH ePurchasing web page which is maintained by eFMIS.

For questions concerning eInventory contact:
Phylis Nicol (Property and Fund Management Office)
Jaime Yago (ITS MIS)


eTravel Simplifies Paperwork Processing

The new eTravel application (http://www.hawaii.edu/etravel) permits online preparation of Travel Requests, Advances and Completions. The primary purpose of the application is to simplify and streamline paperwork for all University travel processed through UH. eTravel automates 1/4 day calculations, simplifies accounting, and is rules-based, driven largely by the rules in our multiple collective bargaining unit contracts. The application interfaces with the Human Resources Datamart and FMIS (Financial Management Information System) to minimize data entry and validate certain information.

The initial release involved five pilot departments. Extensive training sessions have been conducted resulting in all seven Community Colleges, UH West Oahu, and roughly 60% of UH Manoa being online. Training will commence for UH Hilo and the remaining Manoa departments during the Fall 2005 semester so that all units are online by the end of the year.

Since the initial release, seven code updates have occurred based on user feedback. Additional enhancements are planned, including accommodation of non-PeopleSoft employees, enabling users to generate their own reports, implementing Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for all travel payments and reimbursements, and electronic approvals to eliminate the need for paper forms and signatures.


Access High Performance Computing at MHPCC

Access to supercomputers at the Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC) is available to qualified University of Hawaii faculty, staff, students, and researchers who need to solve complex computational problems. The MHPCC ( http://www.mhpcc.edu/) is an Air Force Research Center managed by UH located in Kihei, Maui. It provides more than 9,000,000 hours of computing time per year to a diverse group of researchers.

Dr. Susan T. Brown, Director of High Performance Computing (HPC) Outreach at UH, notes that establishing a MHPCC account opens the doors for exciting collaborative computing opportunities. “Access to MHPCC resources has enabled UH researchers and their students to produce results that have been published literally worldwide. Some students have displayed their work here on the Manoa campus, in regional forums, while others have traveled as far as Brest, France to present them to international audiences.”

Projects that UH staff work on are not restricted to projects of interest to the Air Force. They can be in any academic area. Users from UH utilize MHPCC resources for problems including locating groups of whales from their singing, designing bridges in Hawaii, modeling meteorology for weather prediction, and profiling plant genomes. Some of the work being done by UH students is highlighted on the UH HPC web site, www.hawaii.edu/hpc

Complete details on applying for MHPCC accounts are listed on the UH HPC web site. At the site you can also read the latest news concerning HPC, sign up to receive online updates, learn of important computing events and dates, and find information about computing opportunities presented by the DoD Programming Environment and Training (PET) program. PET offers Student Internships, Summer Institutes for undergraduates, Visiting Faculty Programs, and they are looking for partners for research projects in specific technical areas.

For answers to questions about setting up a MHPCC account, or about HPC at UH, email Dr. Brown, or call 956-2808.


Place Phone Calls Over Internet2, SIP.edu

The University of Hawaii is participating in an Internet2 project called SIP.edu (http://www.internet2.edu/sip.edu/#charter). SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is a communications protocol which facilitates real-time communications services such as VoIP (Voice over IP) which enables telephone calls over the Internet.

The SIP.edu project is building a large base of Internet2 users that are reachable from new kinds of SIP-enabled devices. Such devices may be personal computers running SIP software or IP-based phones that look like the telephone set on your desk but plug into a network connection. Presently, there are approximately 180,000 users that are reachable through SIP.edu, representing more than 13 institutions worldwide, and growing. For a graph of SIP-reachable institutions, see http://www.internet2.edu/sip.edu/docs/sip.edu-reachable-users.pdf

At UH, one of the goals of the project is to gain experience with SIP, and VoIP in general so that we can better prepare for the future. A benefit that results from the project is that a phone call can be made to a user halfway around the world, just by using their email address, without incurring toll charges. For example, dialing “some-user@mit.edu” from your User Agent (SIP telephone), you can reach that user's phone at MIT over the existing data network.

We have approximately 4,500 systemwide users at UH that are reachable via the email format (e.g. some-user@hawaii.edu), and over 10,000 UH Manoa users that are reachable via their 5-digit extension format (e.g. 65600@hawaii.edu). For technical details on UH SIP.edu deployment, please see http://thundarr.its.hawaii.edu/advanced/sip


Publish Your Files Directly To WebCT From Microsoft Office Applications For Windows

For the past four years WebCT has supported "WebDAV" (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning). WebDAV allows course designers to quickly upload their content onto the WebCT server by dragging icons onto a window (http://www.hawaii.edu/talent/webctfacultysupport/tutorials_webdav.htm). Microsoft Office applications for Windows all support native WebDAV so they have the option of saving a file directly onto the WebCT server rather than saving it on your local computer then uploading.

You'll need to create a WebDAV "Network Place" to enable this feature (see the "tutorials_webdav.htm" URL mentioned earlier). Once you have it set up it should be available in the window that appears when you select "Save" from the "File" menu. Click on the "Network Place" icon, select the appropriate server/course, and login. You can now name your file and save.

To access your files select your "Network Place" as usual, then double click any of the Microsoft files that you have stored in your "My-Files" for your course. The Microsoft application will prompt you for a username and password. Enter you UH Username and password and you should be ready to edit.


MyUH Provides New Course Consolidation Tool

MyUH was updated this summer. Most of the improvements were “under the hood” and not readily apparent as this upgrade focused on providing performance and stability improvements. However, one new feature in this release is the Course Consolidation Tool. This tool enables an instructor to create a consolidated course so that a single home page can be managed for multiple courses that are designated as members of the consolidated course. Faculty may find this feature by logging into the portal, going to the “Quick Links” drop down menu on the right side of the page, and selecting “My Courses.” There is now a “My Consolidated Courses” link on the right side above the list of courses.


Student Employment & Cooperative Education (SECE) Update

In May 2005, the online SECE Job Board became fully “systemwide”, with Kapiolani and Windward CC being the final two campuses to go online. The application was first released in September 2000 with job posting functions and automated student eligibility checking. The payroll functions, with a direct feed to SCOPIS (Student Casual Overload Payroll Information System), became available to the Manoa campus at the end of 2002. The following year the automated eligibility process was updated to utilize information from Banner. Having one student information system was the catalyst for moving forward with the systemwide SECE implementation. The Manoa SECE office took the lead in coordinating that effort and trained end users at all campuses. The effort spanned over two years resulting in a true paperless system for UH student employment.

Job posting functions are designed for both on- and off-campus employers. Currently, there are 2,700 on-campus and 2,300 off-campus employers registered with the site. Jobs are listed for eligible UH students only and five job types are available: On-campus, Off-campus, Federal Work Study, Cooperative Education and Internships. At any given time there are several hundred student jobs being advertised collectively by all ten campuses.

Payroll functions are for on-campus employers only and include a direct feed to SCOPIS. Currently there are 4,600 active students on the UH payroll and on average, over 100 payroll transactions feed to SCOPIS daily. This includes new hires, appointment period changes, step increases, promotions, account and FICA code changes. The SECE web site is located at: http://www.hawaii.edu/sece


Two New IT Directories Available

ITS Guide to Services DirectoriesITS has published two directories of systemwide IT services that are available to the UH community. Both guides are available in printed and electronic form.

The printed faculty/staff guide is being sent directly to UH mailrooms for distribution. The online version is available at: http://www.hawaii.edu/itsguide

Copies of the student guide can be picked up in several locations on the Manoa campus: CLIC Labs, IT Help Desk in Keller Hall, Campus Center, or Hamilton and Sinclair library Reference Desks. Check with the IT departments on other campuses for distribution locations. The online version can be viewed at: http://www.hawaii.edu/its/studentguide


"Podcasting" Possible with UH Technology

ITS has created a helpful site outlining the simple steps that members of the UH community can use to create their own podcasts and plug into the popularity of podcasting via the Internet and MP3 players. Develop your own podcast voice at: http://www.hawaii.edu/podcast


Information Technology Services
Maintained by: editor@hawaii.edu
ITS Guide to Services
© 2005 University of Hawai'i
Last Updated: October 2005