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Aug
25

Microsoft Student Advantage Program

Missouri State University is happy to announce the new Microsoft Student Advantage program. Because of the University’s enterprise agreement with Microsoft, students are able to download and install Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus desktop applications at no additional cost. This gives students the latest version of Office.

Where can I download Office 365 ProPlus?

Instructions for installing the software and managing licenses are available on the Experts Wiki page Office 365 ProPlus for Students Download Instructions. You can use Office 365 ProPlus on up to 5 devices. Downloads are available for the following operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Apple OS X
  • Mobile devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone

Students can find download instructions for Office 365 ProPlus at:
https://experts.missouristate.edu/display/csvhelpdesk/Office+365+ProPlus+for+Students+Download+Instructions

Who is eligible?

Any student who is currently enrolled in classes at Missouri State University. Faculty, staff, and alumni are not eligible for this program.

What benefits does Office 365 ProPlus provide?

  • A digital download of Office 365 ProPlus to install on PC/Mac for up to 5 devices
  • Office 365 ProPlus stays up to date with the latest releases from Microsoft (currently Office Professional Plus 2013 for Windows and 2011 for Mac)
  • Office Mobile access for iOS and Android devices
  • Create and store documents locally on your computer
  • Connect your student email account to the Outlook desktop client, opening more features to use with your email and calendars

What software can I download?

ProPlus Applications

For Microsoft Windows, you can download the full suite of applications. This includes Microsoft Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, and Lync.

For Apple OS X, you can download Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac, which includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.

Mobile Office 365 for iPhone, iPads, Android, and Windows phone devices can be used to perform limited editing of Microsoft Word and Excel documents and can view documents.

What happens when I graduate or leave Missouri State University?

Once you have left the University, your Microsoft Office ProPlus subscription will end and the software will no longer be usable.

Resources to learn Office products

Microsoft IT Academy

Missouri State University full-time staff, faculty, students, and alumni can access free online training through Microsoft’s IT Academy. See the Microsoft IT Academy page for information and to request access to Microsoft IT Academy.

Microsoft Online Tutorials

Training for the 2013 applications can be found at Microsoft Office Training site.

Questions? Contact the Lybyer Help Desk

May
24

How to make your device water resistant!

What it is.

Lots of people in this new day and age seems to have a smartphone of some sort. These phones can vary in many ways, such as better hardware or arguably better software. A few companies such as Nokia even boast the toughness of their products. But no phone can say that it survives water exposure easily. This is where liquipel comes into play. Liquipel is an agent that creates an invisible layer of protection that repels water on both the outside of the device and on the inside.

How it is done.

To make your phone water resistant, you can send your phone or other desired electronic device to the Liquipel headquarters in Santa Anta, California. From there, the phone is placed in a chamber that has all the air sucked out of it to create a vacuum in the chamber. Once there is no air left in the chamber, the phone is coated with the water resistant material.

How much is it?

The treatment currently costs $60 and only covers a select few models. It covers almost all iPhones, a few of the newer Samsung Galaxy models, lots of HTC models and only a few Motorola smartphones. The company also offers treatments for tablets, headsets and computers. For a more comprehensive list of supported models and devices follow the link to the Liquipel site and it will take you to the pricing and the lists of supported devices.

May
24

Tiny Suicidal Drones

Hello To All,

Aerial drones have become a household name in the past few years. I would like to express my views on this new technology. I liken it to the new technology that started with the Wright Brothers first flight in 1903. Orville Wright piloted the first powered airplane 20 feet above a beach in North Carolina. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet. We have come a long way, since that day, with aviation technology. Airplanes have benefitted humanity in many ways. We are able to reach all over the globe in mere hours instead of months. Nations with superior air power generally win whatever wars in which they may be involved.

Unfortunately, there are downsides to aviation. We have seen this with the Kamikaze pilots of WWII and the September 11th atrocities in New York City, not to mention the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended WWII and the lives of several hundred thousand people in one bombing run. I have personally read testimonies of some pilots that flew bombing missions in wars of past. They said they would drink alcohol to help them try and forget the lives of the innocent people they were taking.

We now have this new technology that enables an aircraft to fly without a pilot in the cockpit. This is a great technology and will save the lives of many pilots. These unmanned aircraft still need a pilot, though. It is more like playing a video game than piloting an aircraft. These ariel drones have become small enough to where anyone can build one in their home or garage fairly cheap. The army is working on a “Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System, LMAMS for short. This aircraft is designed for one reason, to kill. This is a one-time suicidal drone. It will be piloted either by human means or by a computer using GPS technology. It is designed for quick missions to take out specific targets. The Army needs it to stay aloft for a half hour at most and fly up to six miles. They want to be able to destroy the intended target without taking out unintended targets. But, like their larger brothers, these tiny aircraft may be used to kill innocent lives.

051130-F-2828D-022

May
24

Welcome to the Future…Google Glass

The title says it all. Google Glass is the future!

What is Google Glass?

According to http://www.techradar.com, “Google Glass is an attempt to free data from desktop computers and portable devices like phones and tablets, and place it right in front of your eyes.” It’s a camera, display, touch pad, battery and microphone built into spectacle frames so that you can perch a display in your field of vision, film, take pictures, search and translate on the go.

What can Google Glass do?

Google Glass has it all! Google went above and beyond with the features that Google Glass offers. Here are just a few of those features:

  • You can use the Google hangout software to video conference with your friends and show them where you’re looking.
  • You’ll also be able to use Google Maps to get directions, although with GPS absent from the spec list, you’ll need to tether Glass to your phone. To do that, Google offers the MyGlass app. This pairs your headset with an Android phone. As well as sharing GPS data, this means messages can be received, viewed on the display and answered using the microphone and Google’s voice-to-text functionality.
  • Google Glass gives you another reason not to miss your flight. Glass will include and air carrier’s suggestion that you could have flight details beamed to you while you are waiting at the airport. Basically, the sky’s the limit.

So, When is the Google Glass release date?

A final release date has not been announced, but sources say that the original suggestion of 2014 was actually overly pessimistic and we could see Google Glass arrive in time for the end of 2013. Make sure Google Glass is on your wish list for Santa.

Finally, the moment for which you’ve all been waiting.

How much will Google Glass cost?

The Google Glass Explorer (the developer version being sent out now) costs $1,500. The consumer versions, which are expected to arrive by the end of 2013, are expected to be a little cheaper, although any actual prices remain speculative. They are unlikely to be super-cheap- but Google’s success with the Nexus 7 tablet may prompt the company to subsidize some of the cost.

It’s amazing that technology has come as far as it has. Good job to the boys and girls at Google! I’m pretty sure they have hit the mother load.

I can’t wait to own my pair!

google_glass_grab-580-90

May
17

Computer Graphics and Programming Degree (CGP)

So, you want to learn to create video games? Within the Computer Graphics and Programming (CGP)–Game Development emphasis Associates of Applied Science degree you have the opportunity to use several really awesome programs. For example we learn to use Autodesk®’s 3DS Max® to model and animate anything you could ever imagine. In addition, we learn to use Adobe® Photoshop® to create realistic looking textures that are applied to the models.

In the CGP Game Development degree one of the hardest things for people to understand or realize is that we don’t just play games. We joke about that being our research! There is a lot more to making a good game than just writing a few lines of code and a creating good model. Sometimes creating the model that sells well or satisfies your employer takes hours to create and you may even have to restart several times. For example, it takes patience when learning to unwrap 3D models so that the texture we created fits it perfectly. When it comes to the unwrapping process it may seem like you are not getting anywhere but if you spend the time in this stage you can come up with a really great looking product.

Creating the assets, the 3D models and textures, is just part of the fun! Bringing the assets into the Unity3D® game engine is awesome and where the fun really begins. I have spent a little over two years learning to use it and it is the most flexible engine I have ever used. You can quickly and easily create folders to organize your work with a few click of the mouse; design your own particle effects for fire, smoke, stars and much more. The game engine allows you to import Filmbox® (FBX) format models easily and then dynamically drag items around the scene to position them in your game scene with ease.

One of the strengths of the Unity3D® game engine is the asset store where you can buy or sell models. The asset store contains all sorts of models, coding and extensions imaginable. FireBallGameStudio.com, a small independent game studio my dad and I created, has started to sell assets on the asset store and we are doing quite well so far. It even helps pay our gas bill for our 100-mile commute to and from college!

With the CGP degree you learn what you need to know to be able to start your own studio or go out and find a job in the industry. The game market is always changing so there is always a need to take what you have learned and expand upon it. The teachers cannot teach you all you will ever need to know. As new technology comes out games evolve in their detail and capabilities. I have spent countless hours outside class researching new programs and easier ways of doing what I have learned. I have also done a lot of exploring of new technology that has come out recently and find the change exciting! So while playing games does help you get ideas of what to put in your games, the CGP degree is far from just playing games!

May
16

Position-Based Fluids

Realistic liquid simulation has always been the hardest part for a computer graphics producer and game developer.

Introducing the new Position-Based Fluids technology.

Position-Based Fluids is a way of simulating liquids using Position-Based Dynamics (PBD), the same framework that is utilized for cloth and deformables simulation in PhysX SDK (software development kit).

Because PBD uses an iterative solver which is different from the traditional SPH (Smoothed-particle hydrodynamics) fluid solvers, it can maintain incompressibility more efficiently. It also has an artificial pressure term which improves particle distribution and creates nice surface tension-like effects (note the filaments in the splashes). Finally, vorticity confinement is used to allow the user to inject energy back to the fluid.

Click for more information on this technology.

May
03

How to invest in ‘Smartstocks’

Ever wanted to invest in stocks, but didn’t know which stocks to choose? Which stocks were good? Which ones were bad? There is a handy-dandy site to help you figure all that out before investing in something that could potentially “Lose it all” for you.

Smartstocks.com provides a live stock game using real stock quotes. Learn how to trade online and invest in the stock market without risking your hard-earned money. Test your new investment strategy before trying it out for real. Track the return of multiple online accounts in one place. Best of all, Smartstocks.com‘s fantasy stock market game is absolutely free. You will receive $1 million of virtual money to invest as you see fit and you may trade any of the more than 75,000 stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) AND mutual funds listed in our database. So stop wasting your hard-earned money and start living the “easy (virtual) life.”

smartstocks

Apr
01

My class is full – can I get on a waitlist?

Have you ever wanted to register for a class only to find that it is full already?

Missouri State University-West Plains has a new service that may help you solve this problem.  We now allow waitlisting for closed courses. This means that when you go to My Grizzly Den to register and find that your class is closed, you can add yourself to a waitlist for that course. If a seat opens up in that course, you will be in line to take that seat. There is a limit of five (5) people per waitlist.

If you get on the waitlist, when (or if) a seat opens up an automatic email will be sent to your Missouri State email account. You will have 24 hours to go into My Grizzly Den and change your schedule around so that you can register yourself for the class you waitlisted. If you don’t do anything to your schedule, after the 24 hour waiting period, the next person on the waitlist will be notified and you will be removed from the waitlist.

You can also register for a section of a course and put yourself on the waitlist for another section of the same course. For example: You need ENG 110: the 10:00 AM section is full – the 8:00 AM section is open. You can register for the 8:00 AM section and put yourself on the waitlist for the 10:00 AM section. If you are notified that a seat is open in the 10:00 AM section, you will need to drop the 8:00 am section first and then register for the 10:00 AM section. The system will not allow you to be actually registered in a duplicate course.

So, how does it work?

Go to the Add Classes page and enter the CRN of the course. You will see a message that the course is closed but a waitlist exists and you can add yourself to the waitlist. The drop-down box under the Action header shows Waitlist as your option. Choose this option and click Submit.  Now, your registration will show the classes for which you are registered and the courses for which you are waitlisted.

Screenshot of My Grizzly Den displaying the waitlist screen

If you want to check your waitlist status (see where you are on the waitlist) then go to the Schedule Detail page and check your position and also when your notification expires.

Screenshot of My Grizzly Den displaying the waitlist details

That’s all there is to it. You can be in control of your own schedule. No need to call the office of registration and records or your instructor – they see exactly what you see, so they won’t have any new or different information on your position on the waitlist.

Remember to check your email often if you are on a waitlist. If you miss the 24 hour notification period, you are dropped from the waitlist.

Remember the staff here at Missouri State University-West Plains is always willing to help you through the steps if you get stuck!

Mar
14

Use the Grizzly Den to Grant Registration Overrides

When a student comes to you and asks for special permission to register for your class, there is no longer any need for emails or paper forms.  If you follow the instructions outlined here the process is complete and the student can seemlessly register for your class.

You can grant permission for the following conditions:

  • Student Attribute Required
  • Capacity of course
  • Duplicate course entered
  • Instructor Permission required
  • Prerequisite
  • Repeat limit or repeat hours
  • Time conflicts

Here’s how to do it!

1.  Log into the Grizzly Den and click on the My Teaching/Advising tab.

2.  Click on Registration Overrides on the right hand side of the screen.

3. Select the Term for which you are granting the override.

4. Enter either the student’s ID number (M#) for his/her name and click the Submit button.

5. The system will display the student’s name and ask you to verify that this is the student you asked for.  Click the Submit button once more.

6. Under the Override column, click the down arrow to get the list of choices for whatever particular override you are working on. For example “Prerequisite”.

 

Override Screen 1

7.  Then under the Courses column, click the down arrow to get a list of courses for which you are the primary instructor. Choose the course for which you need to grant permission for the

override and click the Submit button.

8. You are then returned to this screen where you can see that your override has been successfully saved. (Note: you can see any activity from previous instructors and override conditions for

this student.

Override Screen 3

9. You may now click Exit if you are finished granting overrides or you may use the Return to Menu link to return to the screen to choose another student.

 

That’s all there is to it!  Once you have completed this process, your student is able to register for the class, either in person or via the web, without any further intervention from you or the

Records and Registration office.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb
27

Virtual Desktop Workspaces For Windows Users

If you guys don’t know what virtual desktop workspaces are, virtual desktop workspaces are supplemental workspaces that allow you to have more than one desktop on your computer.

That way you can organize your applications the way you want them.

View the demo video by Dexpot.

There are a lot Windows-based virtual desktop clients available.

Why I chose Dexpot? There are few reasons

  • Easy to use
  • Highly customizable
  • And the most important one, it is free

Can’t wait to get it?

Then download the application and Quick Start Guide

Not a Windows User? Linux and Mac already have this feature built into their systems.

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