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This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

Cloud Computing at VCSU
Switching to Apple?
New Projectors Coming ... Get Training Now!
VCSU Planetarium Offers Free Show
BCHS Lecture January 20
ND Featured, Patricia Fisher Quoted in American Way Magazine
"Lincoln Legacy" on Exhibit at BCHS Museum
Teaching Tip of the Week
Building a Better VCSU!
Energy Conservation: Energy Eye Openers
Winter Safety and Tips - Frostbite
Viking Athletic Update
This Week at VCSU and in Valley City
January Birthdays

Cloud Computing at VCSU

By Joe Tykwinski, Chief Information Officer

Valley City State University has two projects underway that will advance "private cloud computing" as a significant component of the University information technology infrastructure. This will allow increasingly mobile and diverse users to have convenient access to the computing resources they need.

As a basic definition, cloud computing is a bunch of servers on the internet providing resources, software applications, and data to end user computing devices. The "cloud" is a metaphor for the internet. The two projects at VCSU will rely on local campus data center and network infrastructure to provide the primary computation power. This locally owned and controlled environment is referred to as a "private cloud." In contrast, the web conferencing software used by many NDUS users called Wimba relies on cloud computing infrastructure hosted by a company outside of North Dakota. Some software applications are available in the cloud (on the internet) for free, some involve a fee-based service, such as Wimba, and some are not available, unless you have a private cloud computing infrastructure.

The end user sees and manipulates software on the monitor of their computing device as if the software resided on their device; in reality the software is on a server out there in the cloud (on the internet). Users must have a broadband internet connection to effectively manipulate software applications via the cloud. Users control the software from the device in their hands and the primary computation is done by the server. This technology is put into context by explaining the two VCSU projects.

The primary focus of the first project is to deliver selected software applications to laptop computers and other end user handheld devices. For nearly 15 years, VCSU has provided laptop computers to all faculty and full-time students. Over the years there has been an increasing number of specialty software applications related to specific courses and majors are loaded as needed on each laptop. The University also has a growing number of online students and nearly all of these are part-time students that do not have a VCSU laptop. Providing software to students in the current environment and helping them load it on their computers is a challenge for students, faculty and IT staff. In the new cloud computing environment, users will access their course-specific software by logging on to a secured web site and clicking on an icon. Nearly any device with a broadband internet connection and a modern web browser will be able to access the software. The process of providing rights to the software will be automated with the class registration process.

VCSU will continue to issue laptops to full-time students, but these computers will not have as much software pre-loaded. For example, a VCSU laptop might have Microsoft Office loaded locally and will access the cloud computing infrastructure for a special software application used in a specific course, such as Finale (software for music students) or Solid Works (software for technology education students). If a student does not have a VCSU laptop or they want to use a mobile device, they can access more of the VCSU applications via the cloud infrastructure.

The second project will deliver the entire desktop, including operating system and all software applications normally associated with a desktop computer to a "thin client device." This environment will replace desktop computers to achieve a lower total cost of ownership and to provide more timely and consistent software upgrades. The thin client device serves as a connection box for peripherals. It is not a complete computer and it is dependent on the servers associated with the private cloud computing infrastructure at all times. It does not have a fan or disk drives and it has limited computing capacity. It is quiet, extremely energy efficient and it is small enough to mount under a work surface or on the back of a monitor.

Delivering the entire (virtual) desktop to end users provides a familiar windows experience and it is almost indiscernible from operating a desktop computer. Users can add programs, save files, and save personal preferences, however all these actions actually occur on servers in the data center. When the user is away from their thin client, the entire desktop environment is available securely from any computer and many handheld devices.

Switching to Apple?

Are there sufficient educational objectives that could be met by issuing MacBook laptops to some or all faculty and students? After an initial discussion with Academic Policy & Affairs Council on this topic, it was determined that an expanded discussion with faculty is appropriate. Joe Tykwinski will begin the discussion and answer questions. Join in on the discussion and help provide feedback!

When: Wednesday, January 19 , Noon - 12:50 pm
Where: Student Center Norway and Presidents Room

Enjoy a boxed lunch and beverage for just $5. Please RSVP Shannon VanHorn by 8:00 am Wednesday morning.

New Projectors Coming.. Get Training Now!

VCSU is the process of installing new projection equipment that offers an exciting new capability: instructors can use these interactive projectors and pens and the Promethean ActivInspire software to show interactive whiteboard functionality using standard dry-erase whiteboards. By next fall, most VCSU classrooms will be converted to these new Epson 450Wi projectors.

Charity Nix, EduTech Trainer, will be leading a "boot camp" on the new system. Attendees will learn how to open the software and use the pen, then learn different ways to use this technology in courses. As projectors will be in all classrooms by fall 2011, all faculty should attend the training.

When? Friday, January 21, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where? McCarthy 263

VCSU Planetarium Offers Free Show

Valley City State University Planetarium will present "The Zodiac" on Saturday, January 22, 2011, at 1:00 pm. The Planetarium is located in Room 310 of Rhoades Science Center (elevator available).

"The Zodiac" is a fun look at the stories surrounding the twelve zodiacal constellations that fall along the ecliptic plane over the course of the year. These ancient signs have been associated with astrology and are directly related to the early astronomy. This 30 minute program, suitable for all ages, examines these constellations and the stories of ancient gods and heroes associated with them.

There will be no charge for the shows, but donations are welcome.

For more information contact Alice Beauchman at 845-7452 or Wes Anderson at 845-0966.

BCHS Lecture January 20

The Barnes County Historical Society Lecture Series Season 13 presents Dr. Tom Isern and Suzzanne Kelley "Memory Work: Doing History in Grassy Places." 7:00 pm, Thursday, January 20, 2011.

Historian Carl Becker famously defined History in these simple terms, "The memory of things said and done." In a presentation combining story, reflection, image, and song, Tom Isern and Suzzanne Kelley recount their adventures and discoveries in pursuit of things said and done on the Great Plains of North America. They find the memory of great plains history living in the art of memory painters, in the songs of balladeers, in the writings of children, and in the reminiscences of elders. "There's a story up every section road," they say. What are our stories, they ask? What is our collective memory of the Great Plains experience?

Tom Isern and Suzzanne Kelley are partners in History and in life--historical researchers and writers who happen to be married to one another. Isern is Professor of History and University Distinguished Professor at North Dakota State University. He is the author or co-author of six books about history and life on the Great Plains and of the weekly Prairie Public Radio feature, Plains Folk. Kelley, who holds a PhD in History from NDSU, is Managing Editor of New Rivers Press, a teaching and literary press affiliated with Minnesota State University-Moorhead. The two share research interests in prairie history and active interests in historic preservation.

All Lectures are at the Barnes County Historical Society Museum and held in conjunction with Valley City State University. They are free and open to the public.

For more information contact Wes Anderson at 701-845-0966

ND Featured, Fisher Quoted in American Way Magazine

ND Featured, Fisher Quoted in <em>American Way</em> Magazine
The booming economy in North Dakota has once again been featured in a prominent travel magazine, and this time, VCSU got a mention. The December 1 issue of American Way magazine included an article "The Dakota Spirit," and the article included a quote from VCSU's own Patricia Fisher, Acquisitions & Serials Librarian at the Allen Memorial Library.

The full article is available at THE DAKOTA SPIRIT and Patricia's quote is near the end.

"Lincoln Legacy" on Display at BCHS Museum

The Barnes County Historical Society is hosting the State Historical Society of North Dakota's traveling exhibit "Lincoln Legacy" now through March 15, 2011. This exhibit was developed with Lincoln Legacy Funding for the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial. The same-titled exhibit originally presented in the ND Heritage Center is now at the Pembina State Museum. Since January 2009 this exhibit has been presented in North Dakota at Icelandic State Park, High Prairie Arts, and Meadowlark Arts Council.

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led the country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserved the Union, and ended slavery. Though he never set foot in what was to become North Dakota, there are strong ties between the state and our 16th president. This 24 panel exhibit demonstrates and explains the connections that remain to this day as a permanent link to Lincoln.

For more information contact Wes Anderson at 845-0966.

Teaching Tip of the Week

Do you notice students missing from your classes? Have you contacted them to let them know they are missing important information?

Students value immediacy with their teachers. When a teacher makes the personal effort to let them know they are missed, they notice and value this contact. E-mail them. Encourage them to attend class and let them know you care. Sometimes all it takes is that extra push to make a difference in a student's life!

Building a Better VCSU!

Check the "VCSU Projects" website (link below) later this week for a Snoeyenbos Renovation update as well as pictures of the completed McFarland 424 Classroom Remodel!

For descriptions, pictures and updates of all projects, please visit the Facilities Services Web Page and click on any of the VCSU project links near the bottom of the page.

Energy Conservation: Energy Eye Openers

Energy Eye-Opener: Wasting water needlessly uses electricity. In large cities, the biggest draw on electricity is supplying water to residents and cleaning up the water after it has been used.

Energy Eye-Opener: Refrigerators and freezers consume about a sixth of all electricity in a typical American home, using more electricity than any other single household appliance.

Energy Eye-Opener: A six-inch pan on an eight-inch burner will waste more than 40 percent of the stove's energy.

Energy Eye-Opener: About 90 percent of the electricity used by everyday incandescent bulbs is lost as heat.

Energy Eye-Opener: Laptop computers draw 15 to 25 Watts of electricity during regular use, compared to 150 Watts for a conventional desktop computer and monitor.

Winter Safety and Tips - Frostbite

Winter Safety and Tips - Frostbite
Frostbite occurs when skin and other tissues are exposed to very cold temperatures. It can occur within minutes following exposure to extreme temperatures, or even in above-freezing temperatures if there is a strong wind (wind chill) or if the person is at high altitude or wet. Frostbite usually affects the hands, feet, nose, cheeks, and ears.

Signs and Symptoms:

Pain or prickling progressing to numbness
Pale, hard, and cold skin with waxy appearance
Flushing from blood rushing to area after it's rewarmed
Burning sensation and swelling from collected fluid that may last for weeks


If you are going to be outside in cold temperatures, it's essential to prevent frostbite. Take these steps to keep warm:

Wear several layers of warm clothing that allow you to move while providing protection from wind and water.
Wear dry, warm gloves, socks, and insulated boots. Replace any wet clothes.
Cover your head, preferably with earflaps in extreme conditions.
Drink plenty of fluids and eat plenty of food during lengthy outings.
Watch for the development of white patches on the face and ears.

(Facts and Information taken from FROSTBITE website)

Viking Athletic Update

Viking Athletic Update
The Women's basketball team traveled to Jamestown last Thursday and lost a hard fought 75-67 contest. The Lady Vikings now stand at 12-7 and 2-3 in DAC conference play.

The Viking Men also lost a tough contest to the Jimmies by a score of 86-76. They currently stand at 7-12 and 1-4 in conference play.

Upcoming Home Events

The Viking Women & Men basketball teams host Mayville State University on Friday, January 21, with games at 5:30 and 7:30 pm. On Saturday, January 22, both teams will take on Dakota State University with play beginning @ 4:00 and 6:00 pm.

Booster Luncheon – Mark your Calendar
Friday, January 21, at the Valley City Country Club starting at noon. Coach Kaminsky and Coach Devries along with some of their players will be giving updates on the season.

Wild Game Feed

Valley City State University Booster Club will host a Wild Game Feed scholarship fundraiser on Wednesday, January 26, at the VFW.

This Week at VCSU and in Valley City ...

Tuesday, January 18

5:15 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds 1 mile & Hand Weights, St. Catherine Gym

Wednesday, January 19

9:00 am ON THE MOVE activity, Strong People & Walk Away the Pounds 1 Mile, Hi-Liner Activity Center
12:00-12:50 pm "Switching to Apple?" Brown Bag Discussion, Norway/Presidents Room of the Student Center
12:10 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds & Hand Weights, Hi-Liner Activity Center
5:30 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Zumba, Studio 29

Thursday, January 20

4:00-6:00 pm Business After Hours wine & cheese tasting, Rosebud Visitor Center
7:00 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Total Body Toning, Studio 29
7:00 pm "Making Memory: Doing History in Grassy Places II," Barnes County Historical Society Lecture

Friday, January 21

10:00 am - 12:00 pm Epson Training, McCarthy Hall Room 263
12:00 pm Viking Luncheon, VC Country Club
12:10 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds & Hand Weights, Open Door Center
5:30 pm Viking Women's Basketball vs Mayville State University, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse
7:30 pm Viking Men's Basketball vs Mayville State University, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse

Saturday, January 22

9:00 am Viking Visit Day
9:00-11:00 am District 24 Legislative Forum, Lisbon, Ransom County Court House
Music Scholarship Auditions
1:00 pm "The Zodiac" Plantarium Show
4:00 pm Viking Women's Basketball vs Dakota State University, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse
6:00 pm Viking Men's Basketball vs Dakota State University, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse

Sunday, January 23