User Services

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User Services, a unit of the Consulting & Support Services, Information Technology Services, provides the following support services to faculty, staff, and students at Penn State:

  • Consultation on software, applications, and hardware configurations.
  • Acquisition, installation, and maintenance of software and databases.
  • Development and publication of electronic and printed news and information.

Following are examples of specific tasks and projects undertaken by the staff of User Services in our continuing effort to make it easier for you to use computers at Penn State.

Consulting

Graduate Assistants and undergraduate students provide the User Service's front-line support at two ITS Help Desks and many lab locations, including 24-hour consulting services at Pollock Lab. In addition to walk-in service, the Help Desk provides support by phone and e-mail, with full-time consultants providing backup, expertise and training. Staff provide specialized consulting in areas such as modem connections, use of Internet resources, MS Word macros, Windows operating systems, the production of camera-ready copy for book publishing, and ANGEL (A New Global Environment for Learning).

Over seventy lab consultants provide assistance in a number of ITS student computer labs. Student consultants can help with general questions about Penn State Access Accounts, lab equipment, software, and printing. However, they are not permitted to help students with course assignments.

News

User Services provides news to Penn State faculty, staff, and students through several channels.

Our newsletter, The ITS Academic Computing Newsletter, features articles on technology use around the University as well as current computing updates and learning opportunities. The newsletter is available both on-line and in hard copy. Paper versions of Newsletter can be obtained through the ITS Help Desks or in the ITS Student Computing Labs.

The ITS Computing Service Alerts Web page provides users with current information about changes to computing services that affect the Penn State community.

Additionally, the Consulting and Support Services News & Information Web page features articles about new and innovative computing use on campus, general alerts and bulletins, and links to other news sources at Penn State.

ITS also offers a LISTSERV called "ITS Lion Link" that e-mails subscribers a bulletin of current news and information about ITS resources and services. Lion Link is typically sent out once a month.  New subscribers can join by sending mail to Lion-Link-subscribe-request@lists.psu.edu.  No subject or message text is required. The system picks up the name and address from the e-mail headers.

Penn State Calendars

A Web link to the calendars can be selected on Penn State's home page. The Web version provides general information on events and links to details at sponsor sites.

Publications

User Services staff produce electronic and printed publications for computer users at Penn State. In addition to printed information, many Web pages are developed and maintained to help computer users.

Server Status Web Site

Computer users can check the Web for the status of the ITS servers that handle Internet services such as e-mail and Netnews. A Network News Transport Protocol (NNTP) posting test has been added to verify posting ability to the news server.

Software

At the ITS Help Desks, the following software is provided at no cost to students, faculty, and staff:

  • Symantec Anti-Virus Software: A leading anti-virus software is now available to to Penn State students, faculty, and staff. This software is also included on the PAC-ITS CD.
  • PSUthesi: a software package for Microsoft Word users that helps writers format their theses according to Graduate School guidelines.

Thesis Publishing Support

Consulting and Support Services (CSS) is one of several University departments collaborating on the Electronic Theses and Dissertations (eTD) initiative at Penn State for the electronic submission of dissertations. Penn State is actually part of a larger project known as the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, NDLTD. A software package that helps writers format their theses according to Graduate School guidelines was developed and is available through the Computer Building Help Desk. See the eTD Web site for additional information.

World Wide Web Support

Staff support the provision of the ITS's news and information on the Web. Staff also provide assistance to the Office of University Relations for development and maintenance of the Penn State home page and gateway pages to colleges, departments, and organizations within the university. In addition, staff maintain the Consulting and Support Services site, which guides visitors to information pertaining to the use of computers, information systems, networks, and telecommunications services. This site also provides pointers to the appropriate contacts for learning opportunities, help desk staff, and information technology service providers.

User Services offers Web services for the Penn State community. All students, faculty, and staff are eligible for a limited amount of free Web space, with the option to purchase more space through student bursar accounts or departmental accounts. Departments are also invited to purchase space at a low cost. The ITS Help Desk and staff provide assistance and maintain on-line information to support Web publishers.

Following are some of the Web pages the staff of User Services maintain to help you with computer use at Penn State. We welcome your suggestions and comments.

User Services Web Site