Author Archive: Michael Vogt

Gmail is Here to Stay – Top 3 Tips to Make Your Transition Easier

2016-02-19_0901

Well it’s official, everyone has moved onto the Gmail train. For some of you, this may be welcome news. However, for those of you who had grown rather comfortable with the Outlook Exchange system, we’ve put together a few tips and settings that will help ease your transition.

First, login to Gmail through Wavenet. You can also go to Gmail.com, enter your Pepperdine Gmail address, and it will re-direct you to the Pepperdine authentication system.

  1. Start Using Chrome as Your Primary Browser – Gmail is a Google product and Chrome is a Google product, so it should come as no surprise they work much better together than non-Google browsers such as Firefox or Safari. If you aren’t on Chrome already, we recommend switching to Chrome before you switch to Gmail.
  2. Turn off “Conversation View”

Some people love this setting that groups all emails with the same topic title into one conversation view, so it looks like one email instead of the 20 it actually contains. This is a great way to keep track of all emails from one conversation especially when there are multiple people on an email and some “reply all” while others only reply. However, considering the conversation is also kept in a thread if you scroll down inside your email, it’s not entirely necessary. Plus it can get very confusing for people who are used to the Outlook format where each email is separate. To turn it off, click on 2016-02-19_1303the “Settings” button in the upper-right corner of your webpage inbox, (it looks like a tiny gear icon) and then choose “Conversation View Off” 2016-02-19_1304

 

1.a) While you’re there, you might want to also select the check-box for “Enable Undo Send”, it’s 2 rows down from Conversation View. The Undo Send feature allows you to recall a message up to 30 seconds after you’ve sent it, just in case you realize right after hitting the send button that oops, you forgot to include that spreadsheet that was the entire point of the email. Whatever the reason, you can pull it right back and fix the error.

3. Turn on Desktop Notifications

While you’re in the Settings, go ahead and turn on Desktop Notifications by selecting the radial button next to “New mail notifications on”. It’s only 3 rows down from Undo Send and this will give you that nice little popup email alert you are used to from Outlook.

2016-02-19_1320

4. Enable some Labs

While still in settings, scroll up to the top of the page where all the blue lettered tabs are and select the “Labs” tab. From here you can browse and enable a variety of Labs. Google has put together a list of particularly helpful labs you can choose from. These are essentially add-on features designed to make your experience more customizable and hopefully more enjoyable. You can browse and select which ones are right for you. We highly recommend enabling the 3 labs listed below.

  1. Google Calendar Gadget: allows you to view all the upcoming appointments on your calendar, right from within your Inbox. You can click on any calendar item to open up your Google Calendar and see further details for the appointment.
  2. Preview Pane: This gives you that nice Vertical Split and preview pane you are so used to from Outlook. You can now scroll through and preview emails without actually having to open them, just like you did in Outlook (or maybe you didn’t use that in Outlook, in which case you won’t need this feature).
  3. Right Side Chat: This allows all your chat contacts to show up on the right side so they don’t compete for space with your Calendar gadget you just enabled. If you don’t like chat, you can turn off chat completely by selecting the “Chat” tab next to the “Labs” tab and then choose, “Chat Off”.

Personally, I love chat. This feature allows you to open up quick, live chat, voice, or video conversation with anyone at your organization.

Additionally, Gmail’s impressive search capabilities make it much easier to find emails than it was in Outlook.

Although not everything will work the same way in Gmail as it did in Outlook, you can customize a variety of things to be similar to features you are familiar with from Outlook. The above settings should make your move to Gmail a little easier.

As for frequently asked questions, the answer is usually, YES, Gmail can do almost everything you did in Outlook, it just might look a little different.

There are ways to enable delegates to access your account or calendar under the Accounts tab. Plus, now you can share documents via Drive which has LIMITLESS storage capacity! You can create a Signature for your emails under the General Settings tab, as well as turn on an automatic Vacation Responder, just like in Outlook.

Labels are the equivalent of Outlook Folders and Stars are Gmail’s version of Outlook’s Flagging system. If you have any questions, you can either Google the answer on Google Search, or contact us at support@law.pepperdine.edu.

Finally, all of the Google Suite (and sweet) tools are available by clicking the small tile icon in the upper right corner of your inbox. 2016-02-19_1351

Welcome to your new Google experience and enjoy using Gmail’s unlimited storage!

Having Trouble Opening a SofTest Final on a PC? We Have the Solution!

For anyone who has sat, waiting and watching the little spin wheel, spin on and on endlessly after attempting to launch an exam in SofTest, your wait is over!

We’ve outlined a few simple steps below to prevent this from happening when trying to open your next exam. Also, if you’ve ever exited SofTest but found your 2016-04-28_1148desktop background was stuck on the Examsoft background, this should prevent that from happening as well.

  1. Open your computer’s Task Manager. In Windows 10 you can access your task manager by pressing [CTRL + ALT + DEL], and select the Task Manager. If the Startup tab is not visible in Task Manager, click on the “More Details” arrow.  On pre-Windows 10 OS, you can access the task manager by pressing the Windows key and the (r) key simultaneously. In the window that appears, type “msconfig” without the quotes and press enter. Then select the “Startup” tab from the popup window, and follow the next steps.
  2. Under the Startup tab, a list of applications will be present. It is advised that all third party or “after market” applications on this list be disabled to ensure they do not cause a conflict with SofTest, e.g. Spotify, Google Drive, etc. Select each application in the list that is currently enabled and press the “disable” button in the bottom right of the task manager window.
  3. Once all the identified applications have been disabled, restart the computer. 
  4. After restarting, try taking a mock exam again in SofTest v11. SofTest should no longer experience any hanging or freezing before entering the exam.
  5. All other recommendations regarding minimum system requirements for SofTest v11 should still be followed to avoid issues when using SofTest v11. These include temporarily deactivating your any third party Antivirus installed on the device, and only using a user account with administrative privileges on the computer.

You should re-enable all desired startup programs after finals are over, especially your antivirus!

If you have any difficulties following the above directions, please stop by our IS Support desk in the Library for assistance with disabling your startup programs. We hope this helps and best of luck on finals!

Law Student Mental Health Day

lawstudent-vert-blackDo you know what doctors, lawyers, and CEO’s all have in common? These professions have the highest levels of stress among all occupations. Similar stress rates are also true of students in these professions.

However, not to fear… help is here! Take a deep breath, relax, and check out these helpful resources available from the ABA Law Student Division and the Dave Nee Foundation. Together, these sites are dedicated to raising awareness and providing support to law students under stress… so that means they are devoted to pretty much all law students.

March 27th is Law Student Mental Health Day! But in case you missed it, don’t worry, you can still take time to relax and unwind today!

Finals can be a particularly stressful time, so you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself first and foremost. Take a break from studying and devote a few moments to checking out the above resources. Remember to take time to decompress a bit, spend a few minutes on some relaxing breathing exercises from one of the plethora of breathing apps available on your phone, or go for a walk outside. Speaking of checking things out that help you unwind, check out one of the movies from the library while you’re at it! We hope you enjoy your time here in Malibu. Just don’t enjoy it too much… so after you’ve done the above, get back to studying!

Helpful Tips for Your Next Exam – #1 Close Spotify before Opening SofTest!

We wanted to make all users aware of a few tips for taking exams with Examsoft’s SofTest.

download (10)

1. Be sure to Close Spotify Before Taking an Exam – Students at other law schools have reported Examsoft issues caused by having Spotify open on their laptop when they opened SofTest. The SofTest program attempts to lock your computer into the exam environment. However, SofTest sometimes cannot properly lock down the Spotify program which can cause your computer to bog down or freeze in the middle of an exam… so for the sake of your own sanity, please make sure you quit the Spotify program before you open SofTest.

2. Restart your Computer BEFORE Finals – Sometimes we fail to realize how long it has been since the last time we restarted our laptops. Restarting your laptop will help speed up the performance of your computer, as well as install critical updates. This will help your machine operate faster during finals, especially when working within a program like SofTest. Restarting will also close installers and other programs that may be running in the background and slowing down your laptop’s performance. There is nothing quite as maddening as having your machine take forever to load your exam when you are already in a hurry, or delay uploading your answers once you have completed the test.

3. Turn off your Antivirus – I know, I know… you should never turn off your antivirus, except when it comes to SofTest. Antivirus has been known to cause a whole host of issues with SofTest, from black screens, to screen freezes, it’s all antivirus fault. Any antivirus can trigger this and it can even be intermittent, so even if it worked fine during a mock exam, it might not work in the real final. So just to be safe, disable it for the exam, but then re-enable it afterwards.

3.1 Turn off Automatic Updating – If you are using a PC, turn off the automatic updates feature, as it could trigger an update or even an update warning window during your exam, which could cause SofTest to crash mid-exam.

4. Spell-Check – This is a very handy tool during exams. However, the spell-check in SofTest doesn’t work quite the same way as spell-check in Word. First, it will not automatically visually indicate spelling errors so you won’t see the little red squiggle line under misspelled words like you would in MS Word. Second, you must actually open the spell-checker tool for it to find misspelled words. You must then go through each misspelled word, one-by-one, to find and fix each error. You can however, “change all” if you have misspelled the same word multiple times, so that could save you a few clicks. The spell-checker will also offer recommended words that you can select to replace the misspelled word with. This can be a tedious process, especially when you are pressed for time, so be sure to save several minutes at the end of your exam to go through the Spell-Check process.

spell1The tool is located in different places on PCs and Macs. On PCs the spell-checker is available by simply clicking the small “abc” icon in the toolbar above your essay. On Macs, the spell-checker is available by clicking on the “Spell” tab on the right-hand navigation menu.  For a full list of directions on how to use the spell-checker tool, please visit the Examsoft Spell Check Directions site for PC and Mac. If you don’t see the tabs or icons mentioned above, spell-check might have been disabled for your exam by the instructor.

5. Word Count – Word count is a helpful feature in SofTest and is absolutely necessary for certain exams. However, it can be tricky to use sometimes. First, it’s not automatically available. You must locate the tool by clicking on the “Stats” tab located on the right side of the screen in SofTest. If you have used it once already during this portion of the exam, you will need to select the “Recount Essay Statistics” button to update the word count. This tool will help you keep your essays within your instructor’s specified parameters for the exam.

For additional helpful tips from Examsoft, please visit the Exam Taker Tips page.

Good Luck on Finals!

 

Examsoft Now Compatible with Windows 10! You are now free to upgrade.

download (3)

Microsoft officially released its newest operating system, Windows 10, on July 29. This is a free upgrade for existing Windows users. Until recently, we advised against upgrading as it was not compatible with the current version of Examsoft’s SofTest product, which you will use for your exams at Pepperdine Law School. However, Examsoft has released an update to their software that makes it compatible with Windows 10. So if you feel like upgrading, you are now free to do so.

Please note that in order for Examsoft to work on your computer, you must download the most recent update of SofTest from the Examsoft website. For more information on how to update to the latest version of SofTest, please visit our SofTest update page.

If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact our Exam Taker Support Team.

Still Need Access to Lexis Over Your Summer Break? You Got it!

Summer Access

Nothing is changing this summer!

You’ll have the same access to Lexis Advance whether you’re working or taking classes. Your law school ID lets you access Lexis Advance all summer for:

  • Academic, professional, and non-profit research
  • All the legal content and news you have as a law student
  • Unlimited hours per week

You don’t have to register for summer access. Your law school ID will remain active all summer for the above purposes. Summer access is available from the date your spring classes end through the date your fall classes begin. Normal law school terms of service apply outside of these dates.

PLUS, for the first time Daily Research Points are available in the summer—10 points per day. But you must be opted in to LexisNexis Rewards and Daily Research Points to earn them.

Have a great summer!

Don’t Wait for Exam Day. Take a Mock Exam Today!

2014-12-04_1021We highly recommend taking a Mock Exam with SofTest to verify the software is working properly on your laptop. Although SofTest should run fine on any computer you have taken an exam with before, it is always wise to test the SofTest software once again prior to exam day. You don’t want to run into any issues during the exam that you could have discovered if you had only taken a mock exam. It only takes a few minutes and its well worth the time to double check your system before it’s too late.

So why wait? Test out your SofTest environment TODAY!

For directions on how to take a Mock Exam, please visit the below ExamSoft tutorials:

How to Download a Mock Exam

How to Take a Mock Exam

Upgrading SofTest for Finals

Where has the time gone? Final examinations are HERE!!! Make sure you have version 11 of SofTest installed on your computer. To verify you have the most recent version of SofTest installed on your computer, please visit the ExamSoft website.

I used SofTest for midterm examinations. Do I need to download a new version?

Possibly. If you completed midterm examinations using SofTest, your computer should be ready for final examinations. However, if you have recently upgraded your laptop’s operating system, then you should update to the latest version of SofTest before attempting to download your final exam. As always, you should try a Mock Exam in order to verify SofTest is working properly.

How do I update SofTest to the latest version?

Even though you may be on version 11, you will want to verify that you have the most recent update to version 11. To trigger the SofTest update, first open the application on your laptop. The instructions are slightly different for users on different operating systems.

  • For Windows OS users, press the CTRL button and the letters ‘A’ and ‘U’ simultaneously (CTRL+AU).
  • For Mac OSX users, once SofTest is open, press the Command key plus the letters ‘A’ and ‘U’ simultaneously (CMND+AU).

For more information on this, visit the Update SofTest page on the ExamSoft website.

I downloaded the new version of SofTest, but now my exam is missing?

If you downloaded your exam prior to completing the upgrade to SofTest version 11 you MUST Reverse Download the exam.  There are separate instructions for Windows users and Mac Users.

I used SofTest for examinations last semester. Do I need to download a new version?

Possibly. If you used SofTest last semester, you should already have version 11. For information on verifying which version you have, see above. However, you must re-register SofTest every academic year with Pepperdine and accept the annual user agreement.

If you need additional support please visit www.examsoft.com/support or call 866-429-8889.

 

Don’t Let Phishing Emails Catch You Off Guard

2015-02-13_1435We’ve all heard the news about the computer hacking incidents at Sony, Anthem, and even the Department of Defense. What you may not know is that hackers often take advantage of the heightened fear over protecting sensitive information that follows these types of incidents by soliciting victims’ passwords and other account info via phising emails.

Many of you have seen these types of emails before. Some are easy to spot, such as those promising millions of dollars from a long-lost relative if you simply supply your bank account information for the wire transfer. (Trust me, if I had a rich relative, I’d know about them already.) Or how about the one requesting that you wire money immediately to help one of your friends who was mugged while traveling abroad? (Were we really that good of friends anyway?)

On the other hand, some of these emails may appear very legitimate. They usually arrive in your inbox with an alarming subject line warning that your password has expired or is not strong enough to protect your account. These emails encourage victims to click on a link to update their password immediately. However, victims who fall prey to this scheme are actually providing hackers access to their login info.

Many victims often remark how convincing the emails were (some emails, like the one above even contain official company branding). Most victims say they merely trying to protect their account and follow instructions. After all isn’t that what us IT guys always say? “Update your passwords often!” However, if you follow the following 2 rules, you should be able to avoid getting hooked in a phishing scam.

1. If in doubt, DELETE it! – If something looks suspicious, just throw it away. It is always best to play it safe and err on the side of caution. If you think it might be real, check the sender’s address. If you don’t recognize the sender, delete the email or contact the sender to verify the validity of their request.

2. Check Before Entering Your Password – Don’t ever enter your password, unless the website has the following:

  • Encryption – the web address must show https or the lock icon
  • Matching Domain – the web address should match the organization

While it is perhaps best to simply never supply sensitive information over email, we are fortunate enough to belong to a small community here at Pepperdine where it is easy to verify if someone legitimately needs your personal info. I personally abide by the old adage “if someone really needs my information, they’ll call (or write) back.” So please help protect yourself and Pepperdine’s network by following the above guidelines to avoid phishing scams.download (9)

If you would like more information on how to recognize and eliminate phising email, please visit Pepperdine Univeristy’s Phishing Information Page, check out the phishing FAQ, or view Examples of Phishing and suspicious emails.

TIP: Remember, you can always view the full address of a hyperlink by simply hovering over the link without clicking on it. If the address isn’t linking to a trusted site, DON’T CLICK!

SofTest Now Supports Mavericks

download (6)

Are you planning on using ExamSoft’s SofTest exam taking software for final exams this Fall 2014 term? Did you recently upgrade to Mac OS X 10.10, Yosemite? If you read our last post, you were hopefully waiting to install Yosemite until it is supported by ExamSoft. Remember, DO NOT download any new version of Mac OS until you have verified that it is supported by ExamSoft.

Good News, your wait is over! Yosemite is now supported by ExamSoft. You can upgrade to the newest Mac OS Yosemite starting and the new OS will be compatible with the latest version of SofTest.

Before attempting to take any exams, please verify that you have the latest SofTest version, and as always, work through a Mock Exam to ensure proper use of the software before your exams.

For more information, and to see what others are saying about this and other exciting ExamSoft announcements, please visit the ExamSoft Community.