January 5, 2012
The Computing Services Helpdesk gets quite a few calls each day. We are always looking for ways to reduce your need to call us. Along those lines, one of the most common questions we get is, “Is the email server down?” More generally, “is <insert service here> down?” There’s an easy way for you to get notified of when we have scheduled maintenance before it happens and even when unscheduled technology problems crop up on campus. That way is our “outages” email list.
The outages list is primarily intended for technology-savvy folks, it is often filled jargon and other technical terms and computer system names that may not always make sense to someone outside Information and Technology. But, if you are brave enough to use the delete key liberally (about once or twice a week) you can fill your email box with dates, times, and durations of the updates we make the problems we fix, mostly behind the scenes.
We also re-post messages from the University System’s Information and Technology Services that affect USM. Those messages include MaineStreet, Balckboard, connectivity between other Universities, and the Internet at large. These tend to get sent directly to specific areas (Human Resources, or Finance and Administration) by the system office, but the outages list is a method to get the message to everyone who wants to know.
To subscribe to the outages list, surf over to lists.usm.maine.edu and fill out the form there. In a few minutes, you will receive confirmation instructions via email and begin receiving messages.