The 2018 IT Division Almanac is here

2018 IT Division Almanac front page

The 2017-2018 edition of our Division of Information Technology Almanac is online!

The Almanac is packed with stories about the work the division does to make Texas State University great, such as the our website rodeos that helped make better websites across Texas State, opening of the new IT Assistance Center help desk at the Round Rock Campus, and creation of the new Texas Music pillar at The Wittliff Collections.

The people in our division work extremely hard to provide the university community with effective, reliable, and secure technology and library services, and we wanted to share these successes with you. Read the new Almanac today!

DoIT Oculus Go VR Giveaway Rules

The Division of Information Technology will be in Alkek Library today, Dec. 5, from 2:30 to 5 p.m., giving students a chance to take a break from studying and experiment with virtual reality. Join us and try out the Oculus Go!

We will also be giving away one 64GB Oculus Go VR headset to a student at Texas State University. All students, except those employed by the Division of Information Technology (DOIT), are eligible to enter, assuming the requirements for a valid entry are met.

In order to constitute a valid entry, all entrants must:

  • Be a current student of Texas State University
  • Must follow at least one of the TXST DOIT social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram)
  • Must take one action on any of the following:
    • Twitter: Retweet the pinned contest entry post on Dec. 5, which says if you wish to enter via Twitter to give @txst_doit a follow and retweet the post
    • Facebook: Like the pinned contest entry post on Dec. 5, which says if you wish to enter via Facebook to give the “TXST Division of I.T.” page a like and like the post
    • Instagram: Like the contest entry post on Dec. 5, which says if you wish to enter via Instagram to give @txst_doit a follow and like the post
  • Must be a follower of our social media channel on the platform you choose to take action on the contest entry post.
  • Must enter no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018.

 

Winner selection

The winner of the giveaway will be selected by a random drawing which will be completed electronically. Winner will be notified by an announcement on the DOIT social media Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram channels on Friday, Dec. 7. The announcement will specifically mention the username associated with the winning account. It is the responsibility of the winner to contact DOIT within 48 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen. Winners will be required to accept their prize in person and take a photo with the DOIT team to be used on the division’s social media channels.

Additional giveaway notes

  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook.

 

Top 3 tips to using your smartphone to create content

Hi there, it’s Luis. As a techie, I make it a priority to highlight some of the greatest things that technology can do. In 2018, most people are carrying smartphones in their pockets, and these devices are becoming more powerful and capable of creating very high-quality content. Here are the best ways to create your own content with your smartphones:

  1. Video
    Did you ever want to be a director or just want to make goofy videos to share with the world? Now you can with just your smartphone! Devices like the iPhone Xs or Xs Max are capable of recording 4K at 60 frames per second. This buttery smooth video is something that only DSLR’s used to be capable of. With tools like YouTube, you can upload your content and share your talents with the world in a matter of minutes. You can also download apps such as Adobe Rush CC to edit video directly from your phone.
  2. Photo
    Smartphone companies are constantly battling to take the throne for “best smartphone camera of the year.” Apple and Google are most notable for the cameras in the iPhone and Pixel. With cameras ranging from 12-15+ megapixels, there is no doubt that smartphones are taking over photography.Here are some test shots from YouTube tech star, MKBHD, from the Pixel 3.https://twitter.com/MKBHD/status/1062753415133048833Try using apps like Adobe Lightroom CC to make your pictures looks even better!
  3. Voice Recording
    Here’s a great tip if you aren’t a great writer. Most phones have a standard voice recording app installed on them and they work great for reporters and journalists. So why not use it to express yourself verbally? With the proper environment, you can even start your own podcast by yourself or with friends. If you’re feeling a moment of inspiration, just hit record and let the words flow. After you’re done, use apps like SoundCloud to upload your own creation.

The world is your playground, Bobcats. Use the tools that are at your disposal to create content that you are passionate about and share it with the world!

Top 5 tech under $100

Hey Bobcats, Luis here. We’re coming up on the home stretch of the semester, and the holidays are right around the corner.

If you’re looking for some great tech to get you through the rest of the semester, here is a list of my top 5 items under $100.

  1. Bose MicroLink Speaker- $99
    This is a great speaker for any listener. The Bose Microlink is built for the rugged life, featuring a strap for easy mobility and a waterproof body. Whether you’re sitting at Sewell Park or in your room, this Bose packs a punch in a compact body.
    Bose MicroLink speaker in 3 colors- red, blue and black
  2. Google Home Mini- $49
    Have you been hearing the acronym ‘AI’ a lot lately? Artificial Intelligence is the future of tech, and it’s ramping up quickly. With Google Home Mini, you have a personal assistant just a breath away in your home. You can do routine tasks around your house without having to go to your computer for searches, just say, “Hey Google,” and you’re seconds away from being more data. It also doubles as a speaker that will playback your music and phone calls.
    Google Home Mini in 3 colors- White, Red and Charcoal
  3. OlloClip smartphone lens kit- $99
    Smartphones cameras have evolved very quickly over the last few years. Nowadays, smartphones are capable of shooting and recording pictures or video at the same level of entry-level DSLR cameras. If you want to take your pictures up a notch, check out the OlloClip mobile photography kit. It offers a Fisheye, Super-Wide and Macro Lens for any of your scenarios.
    Ollo Clip smartphone lens kit
  4. Wireless charging pad- $15-70
    A great convenient tool for anyone looking to clean up their chargers sitting at their desk, wireless charging pads do just that. Set this pad on your desk and you won’t have to worry about finding the end of the cable after it falls off your desk. These wireless chargers can be found anywhere from $15 to $70 on websites like Amazon.
    Wireless Charging pad
  5. Google Chromecast- $45
    Sometimes you just want to unwind at the end (or the middle) of your week. Why not sit back and relax and watch some popular shows or movies? Google Chromecast is a great tool to stream content to your TV without the hassle of buying extra cables. For just $45, plug in the Chromecast’s HDMI cable and you’re on your way. Stream music, movies, TV shows and mirror your other devices to a bigger screen.

Google Chromecast streaming device

If you want to see more tech deals, let us know on social media!

 

 

Top 5 tools to develop coding skills

How’s it going, Bobcats? Luis here. It’s over halfway through the semester now, and our tech team is excited to continue sharing with you great tools we have found to improve your skills.

Learning how to code is becoming a vital skill these days. Whether you’re developing products for a hobby or for your career, it never hurts to learn another language, especially one that powers tools we use every day.

Learning how to code (HTML, CSS, Python etc.) is becoming a great skill to add to your résumé. Here are our Top 5 free, online resources that you can start using right away to help you develop your coding skills.

  1. Code.orgCode.org LogoCode.org is a great starter website for people of all ages. From grade school to beyond the 12th grade, this website helps people start from the ground up. Educators can utilize this website to encourage students to learn the language of technology. Learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript to develop all sorts of websites and games.
  2. Sublime TextSublime Text logoSublime is a text editor to build your code on. The great thing about Sublime is it will color code your work so you can see what’s working and what isn’t. This is a free app to download on both Mac and PC.
  3. HTML Cheat SheetHTML 5 logo
    Learning a new language isn’t easy, but with practice comes development of skills. Using resources like this HTML Cheat Sheet gives you a tool to keep easily accessible. Look up tags, attributes, and all things HTML5 with this cheat sheet.
  4. ScratchPadScratchPad welcome ScratchPad is my favorite practice tool. It is a web-based instant HTML and CSS editor. That means that as you edit the code, the page you are on changes with the code changes. You really get to mess around with this sandbox editing tool.
  5. Lyndalynda logoDOIT provides Texas State with over 150 tech services. One of them, Lynda.com includes all sorts of tutorials. The tutorials are created by professionals and certified by Lynda. With thousands of courses, you have many new skills you could be learning.

I encourage all Bobcats to try and learn some code! Show us what you can create!

Top 5 DOIT services for students

Hey, Bobcats! I hope you are finished settling into your new dorms and apartments. The first step to a successful semester is making your new home as comfortable as you can make it.

The next step? Getting the tools you need to work efficiently throughout the semester. I’ve compiled a list of the best tools provided by the Division of Information Technology (DOIT).

Microsoft Office 365

One Drive Logo

You’ll inevitably need to write a paper for a class. With Microsoft Office 365, you gain access to a plethora of Microsoft software that will help you produce high-quality work. Nearly 20 apps are available, like PowerPoint, OneDrive, Word, Excel, and OneNote. You can collaborate across apps and even access them anywhere you go through the Office 365 web client. Best of all, as a Texas State student, you have FREE access to the entire Office 365 suite!

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud Logo

Are you into creating or editing, or do you want to learn how? Texas State offers the Adobe Creative suite to students at computer labs throughout campus. You get access to Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator and much more. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the creative tools that professional around the world use on a day-to-day basis. If you want to work off campus, Adobe offers its tools to students via the Creative Cloud for only $20 a month for one year. What’s best is that with the Creative Cloud, you can save projects on one computer and access them on another.

Texas State Mobile App

Texas State Mobile Ad

What better way to stay up to date with everything Texas State then the app that’s all about it? With txstMobile, the Texas State mobile app, you can get live bus routes, catch up with athletics, pay off student holds and check up on your courses! This personal companion will be sure to maximize your Texas State experience!

McAfee Antivirus or Windows Anti-Virus

Mcafee Antivirus logo

Technology is constantly evolving, so it’s important to keep yourself protected. October is Cybersecurity Awareness month, and McAfee Antivirus software is provided for free to students and faculty using MacOS at Texas State. For Windows users, you can download the Windows Anti-Virus software to keep your hardware protected. To check out more information on McAfee, click here.

ITAC

itac logo

If you find yourself needing help with your tech, the folks over at ITAC are your source for help. Visit their office in the MCS building or give them a call for software, hardware or even mobile device issues that you may be experiencing. To learn more, click here.

Remember, DOIT offers students and faculty at Texas State over 150 different tech services. For a full list of our other services, check out the DOIT service website.

Innovation Week 2018 at TXST

This year’s innovation week was a huge success. Across campus Bobcats connected with exciting new technology, expert guest speakers, and exciting workshops at Alkek Technology Day. We want to say thank you for connecting with the Division of Information Technology!

 

DOIT at Texas State Innovation Week

Innovation Week Banner

It is officially the start of Innovation Week here at Texas State, Bobcats! We’ve partnered with Common Experience to do some exciting workshops this week, and we’re excited to see you all out there. Here’s a rundown of where you can find us and what to expect.

September 24, 2018 : Dave Eagleman & Anthony Brandt: The Runaway Species

The Runaway Species book cover
From 6-8:30 PM, join us outside the Evans auditorium to check out a virtual reality experience on an Oculus Go. We will have giveaway items, information about tech services on campus and news about future events.

September 25, 2018 : José Hernández | LBJ Distinguished Lecture

Jose Hernandez, NASA Astronaut

Join us in from 6 to 8:30 PM in Evans auditorium as we gather for the LBJ Distinguished Lecture from former NASA astronaut, José Hernández. We will be giving away Texas State DOIT gear as well as familiarizing you with the tech services offered on campus and VR experiences.

September 26, 2018 : Roundtable: Innovation Leadership – On Wednesday, we will be shifting over to the Alkek Teaching Theater to join trendsetting business leaders and vision-forward municipal governments as they discuss innovations happening in the ‘Innovation Corridor’. Find us in the lobby to try out some VR experiences and collect some DOIT gear.

September 27, 2018 : Alkek Technology Day
Alkek Techonology Day 2018 Banner

For our final day, find us on the first floor of Albert B. Alkek Library to be a part of Technology Day! Beginning at noon, come try out some of the best VR experiences with the HTC Vive or learn how to use a 3D printer. Stick around for a chance to win your very own Oculus Go!

We can’t wait to see you guys out there! Check out our post for full rules on how to win your Oculus Go headset!

DoIT Oculus Go VR Giveaway Rules

As part of the promotion of Innovation Week and Alkek Technology Day, the Division of Information Technology will be giving away one 64GB Oculus Go VR headset to a student at Texas State University.

Oculus Go VR Headset

All students, except those employed by the Division of I.T. are eligible to enter, assuming the requirements for a valid entry are met.

In order to constitute a valid entry, all entrants must:

  • Be a current student of Texas State University
  • Must follow at least one of the TXST DoIT social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube)
  • Must enter no later than 5 PM, Thursday, September 27, 2018.

The winner of the giveaway will be selected by a random drawing which will be completed electronically. Winner will be notified by an announcement on the DoIT social media Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram channels on Monday, October 1. This announcement will specifically mention the username associated with the winning account and it is the responsibility of the winner to contact DoIT within 48 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen. Winners will be required to accept their prize in person and take a photo with the DoIT team to be used on the Division’s social media channels.

How to scan QR codes on your iPhone

Bobcats who stopped by our tent on the quad during the first week of school got some great DOIT gear and learned about the many tech services available. They also noticed that all of our signs had QR codes. If you’re like many of the Bobcats we talked to, you may not know about QR codes or how easy it is to use them.

DoIT Booth Outside

Quick Response codes, AKA QR codes, are a great way of directly linking to information on people, places, events, and more on the internet. In fact, with recent iOS and Android updates (on some models), you simply point at them and click the link that automatically pops up on your phone.

There’s even a QR code in the DOIT Tech Star on the posters we have put up around campus.

DoIT Poster

Here are the steps to scan a QR code on an iPhone.

Steps to scanning a QR Code

  1. Open the camera app on your iPhone
  2. Point your camera at QR code and hover over it
  3. Once the link appears, tap it and you’re done!

iPhone Camera Screenshot QR Code

Just three steps, and in less than one minute, you are accessing information!  Keep an eye out for more posters and other media with our QR codes around campus this semester.

Want more tips and tricks? Let us know what you’d like to see. You can find us on Twitter @TXST_DOIT.