Information Technology Services Articles
Accessing the Lite Office Web App
For a lot of people, the modern Outlook Web App is either too slow,
too bloated, or it just simply has too much going on at one time, with
far too many unasked for features. Thankfully, Microsoft still has
the older version of OWA available.
Accessing it is as simple as
"exchange.example.com" with your company's mail domain,
https://outlook.office.com/owa/?layout=light for the cloud
version. From there, you can set this version as your default, by
going to Options > Outlook version, checking the box for
Use the light version and clicking save.
If your organization uses Outlook, encourage your co-workers to make
use of the better and far less distracting interface provided by this
Fixing the Security Warning When Trying to View/Order
There is a good chance that you will see an error message saying
something along the lines of your connection not being secure, and
that "your information will be visible to others."
These are the steps that will need done to work around and eventually
fix the issue. Until fixed on the server, users are able to make the
fix manually on their web browsers with the Inspect Element tool.
After this fix is implemented on the web server, users will no longer
need to make the change manually.
Right-click on a page element such as the "View/Order your
Select the Inspect button.
Find the line that looks like <form name="Sapient"
Change the http:// to https://.
Clicking the link after this change is made should not display any
security-related errors since the connection will be encrypted.
Installing the Adobe Creative Cloud Software
Disclaimer: I personally would not recommend using
Adobe's subscription-based nonfree software.
University of Akron staff and faculty have access to the Adobe
Creative Cloud software. Here is how to install the Creative Cloud
applications on a computer that does not have it installed yet.
Log in at
https://creativecloud.adobe.com/apps and select the install button
for the application that you want to install.
When the file(s) download, open the installer. You may need to sign
in again on the installer window.
Once the installation is done, it will be ready to use. Future
applications may be installed on the Creative Cloud desktop app.
Keeping the Digital Signage PC Up to Date
The walk in room's digital signage is powered by a Microsoft Windows
laptop. Windows will automatically update itself in the background,
so commands do not need to be run here.
Generally, you do not need to reboot the computer unless there is an
update that would modify system files. Services should automatically
restart without rebooting the computer.
Since this computer runs the livestream, it is strongly recommended
that the computer does not get touched unless absolutely necessary.
Keeping the Repair Linux PC Up to Date
The repair room's Linux machine is powered by the Ubuntu Linux distro.
The following steps should be taken to ensure that this computer is
running up-to-date software.
|Update repository cache:
|Install updates (if any):
Generally, you do not need to reboot the computer unless there is a
Linux Kernel update. If programs for running services are updated,
those may be restarted with the command systemctl restart
<service-name(s)> command, to avoid running outdated
binaries on the system. The computer is already configured to notify
you of outdated binaries and old kernels during upgrades.
For more information, you may use the man apt and man
systemctl to read the manual pages on the commands.
Making Labels with the ZDesigner Printers
Open Notepad and use the template.
DO NOT TAB LINES!
Ensure Notepad will print with margins set to 0.1. Set paper size in
printer settings to 3x4in.
Save your template and fill in when needed. Print to ZDesigner.
Make sure to fold a corner when placing on a computer so it can get
Multi-Factor Authentication on Microsoft Accounts
The University of Akron, starting with 2021, has used Microsoft-based
accounts as opposed to Google accounts for students, alumni, and
retirees. This also enabled us to have security features such as
This article assumes you have at least a basic understanding of what
multi-factor authentication does, and does not go into basic details,
but rather the choices you get with Microsoft accounts: calls/texts
and the Microsoft Authenticator App.
Verification Using Phone Calls/Texts
This is the simplest way to verify yourself if you have a cellphone
that can receive either phone calls or text messages, and enables
those without smartphones (or cellphones at all) to be able to verify
who they are. It does have the drawback of being vulnerable
to SIM swap
Verification Using the Microsoft Authenticator App
This is the more secure way to verify yourself, and it can work on any
devices that can run Android or iOS app, including tablets and some
laptops. Despite being immune to SIM swaps, you will need to make
regular backups of your authenticator app data, since replacing or
losing access to your old authentication device for any reason (such
as damage or theft) will make it impossible to log into your account
without a support staff member resetting the multi-factor
authentication on your account.
If you do not have a computer that you can use for the MFA setup, you
will want to select the "Sign in" option rather than the scan QR code
option. You will also want to make sure you could use your phone's
web browser (assuming there is one) in order to finish the setup.
Using Wi-Fi at the University of Akron: Eduroam vs Roo-Guest
The difference between the Roo-Guest and Eduroam networks remains a
very frequent question from students, faculty, and staff. There are
also many people who connect to Roo-Guest, and then wonder why things
are not working correctly. This document aims to explain that both of
these networks are, and which one you should use in different
scenarios, and give a quick guide on how to connect to either network.
The roo-guest network is a public Wi-Fi network, hence you do
not need to enter a username or password to use it. While it may feel
convenient, this network is slow, and is a security risk. It is
intended for people who are visiting any of Akron's campuses, and are
not from a Eduroam-connected university.
Suffering from the same problem as many other public Wi-Fi networks
you may find in stores and restaurants, Roo-Guest is not encrypted,
which makes it possible for third-parties to snoop through the data
being sent and received over that connection -- which may include your
usernames and passwords if you are connecting to servers or services
that are not secured properly.
Unlike Eduroam, Roo-Guest is separate from the University of Akron's
network-based services, so all Intranet-based services (for example,
things on 10.X.X.X) will not work for you on this network.
The Eduroam network is an international Wi-Fi network that
replaced both Roo-Secure, and the even older Rootown.
This network is faster and safer to use, being that it is actually an
encrypted connection. The encrypted connection still would not make
encrypted or non-encrypted connections to servers or services any
safer, but it still eliminates a large risk point for many people.
Since it requires a username to log in, it also has the drawback of
requiring the user to identify perself before having network access.
When to use either network at the University of Akron:
You are not a part of the University of Akron or another
You do not need (or want) access to University resources.
You are unable to log in to your @email@example.com account, or
account for other institutions, depending on where you may be a part
You like slow speeds and non-encrypted connections.
You are a part of the University of Akron or another Eduroam-connected
You have traveled for some amount of time to any university or
institution worldwide, where Eduroam is available at.
Safety (and security) is number one priority.
Connecting to either network, when appropriate
Select Roo-Guest from the Wi-Fi list, and click Connect.
Your web browser will open with a page on clearpasscc.uanet.edu.
Click the Log In button.
It will then redirect you to securelogin.uanet.edu, and will notify
you that you are authenticated, and it will automatically take you to
uakron.edu in 10 seconds. Your computer should now be connected to
Select eduroam from the Wi-Fi list, and click Connect.
When prompted, enter your institution-provided username and
password. At the University of Akron, this will be the same as
your @uakron.edu e-mail address.
If prompted for settings,
ensure the following are set:
Wi-Fi security: WPA & WPA2 Enterprise
Anonymous identity: [Leave blank]
Domain: [Leave blank]
CA certificate: [Leave blank]
CA certificate password: [Leave blank]
No CA certificate is required: Checked
Inner authentication: MSCHAPv2
Username: Your UAnet username with @uakron.edu.
Password: Your UAnet password.
You will not see any web browser windows connecting to this network.
Your computer should now be connected to the Internet.
Use Eduroam if you are a University of Akron faculty, staff, or
student, or a part of an Eduroam-connected institution. Use Roo-Guest
if you are none of those.
University-owned Mac users: the Wi-Fi certificate expires every year.
You should use the UA Self Service utility to "check in" (using
the setting found under "Maintenance") every year while either
connected to the local Ethernet/Wi-Fi or the VPN if you are either not
going to be on campus with you University mac frequently, or if you
are not going to have the computer on when the certificate would get
updated. Either solution should reduce the chance of
certificate-based connectivity issues from happening.
Windows vs. Windows S Mode
Microsoft's decision for Windows S Mode has lead to some confusion
with people unsure what exactly they had bought.
It looks just like the normal Windows desktop, and as far as many
people are concerned, it is just normal Windows, except it doesn't
work exactly like they hoped it would.
Two Versions of Windows?
Designed for small devices, Microsoft released a version of Windows
called Windows S Mode: which is a special secure mode of
Windows that is frequently used in companies/corporations and
Windows S Mode is very similar to Microsoft's
RT, since both operating systems limited what the user is able to
run to things on the app store. This can be helpful for some people
and companies looking to prevent software downloaded from random web
sites from getting installed on their computer(s), but it comes at the
cost of some user computing freedoms.
Unlike Windows RT, which took a jailbreak, Windows S mode has a way to
opt out of the restrictions. The process is one-way, and can come
This document will look at several common questions:
Will my software work on it?
Are there benefits to keeping it?
What do I have to gain from it?
Reasons for Windows S Mode
There are multiple reasons people may want to consider Windows S Mode.
These include faster boot times on account of the OS not including the
many potentially unnecessary (and more than likely unused) features,
DLL files, and so on. It also has longer battery life due to not
running as many background programs.
Additionally, there are security benefits that can be very helpful to
users that are not tech savvy on Windows since software cannot get
installed from just anywhere, whether you know about that program
being installed or not.
Reasons Not to Use Windows S Mode
Despite the benefits, as with everything, there are still drawbacks.
Not being able to install software from outside of the Windows Store
may affect you if your university, workplace, or school requires
software that is only available from 3rd party sources. For example,
if you use Google Chrome instead of Microsoft Edge (even though Edge
is practically Chrome nowadays), you will be unable to install the
other browser. If you use Firefox or any browser other than Microsoft
Edge, Internet Explorer, or Google Chrome, consider GNU/Linux as well.
If you have old printers or other hardware, it may not work on your
device since Windows S Mode is as small as it is due to older drivers
and firmware not being bundled with the OS, causing incompatibilities
with those devices.
It is also not possible to customize a ton of aspects of the computer
as some people love to do, since it is designed for those who want a
system that just works for what they need it to do.
Things to Consider...
Windows S Mode can get converted to a normal version of Windows, but
Microsoft has warned that the
be undone. Technically, you can put it back, but the
computer will need a full re-image, which deletes everything on it.
You also cannot buy a copy of Windows S mode to install on the device,
since it is only sold pre-installed by manufacturers, much like how
Windows RT worked.
Windows S Mode is also more secure, but that does not mean that it is
immune to viruses and malware. Like the rest of Windows 10 and 11,
Windows S Mode comes with the Windows Defender Security Center
utility, a quality security suite, which should help keep your
Windows S Mode at the University of Akron
At the University of Akron, there are thousands of software
applications to do an extremely wide variety of tasks -- many of which
will not work with Windows S Mode.
A lot of classes are still requiring
LockDown Browser for online tests, which will not work on Windows
S Mode, among many other common software applications at universities
If you do not want to modify your computer (or have technicians modify
it), you have a few options, such
Library that you can use. This option lets your computer stay as
it is, you can get your work done, and there is no reason to install
software yourself, since the laptops have common software installed
already. However, you will need to remember to carry the computer
with you, and you will be financially liable for any damages to the
There is also the option
of using a virtual
lab, which runs remotely on the University of Akron's computing
infrastructure. Like borrowing, your computer stays as-is and your
work gets done, but you can access the virtual machine from anywhere,
anytime, without needing to carry separate physical devices, so long
as you can access the Internet. However, the labs are programmed to
fully wipe themselves shortly after you log out from them, so you
should NOT save anything to the labs unless you're using Microsoft
OneDrive for storage.
Windows S Mode is meant to be a more secure, streamlined, and
restricted version of Microsoft Windows for an improved user
experience, but some course or work required programs may not work on
it. If you need software that won't run on S Mode, consider borrowing
a laptop or using a virtual machine, unless you are sure you want to
make the one-way move away from S Mode.
Anton McClure /
Last modified: Wed Nov 15 13:00:06 EST 2023