E-mail gets ‘e-fficient’

The return to campus for Spring Semester means many things at Linfield: new classes, new professors, and a long awaited break from the cold weather. One exciting change is a revamped e-mail system designed to help students manage messages more efficiently.

The system is the result of an update on the Microsoft Exchange server. The update spruced up the server from the 2003 version to the 2010 version. In addition to a new interface, the system has twice the previous storage capacity for messages, which allows students, faculty and administers much more space on their individual mailboxes.

“The growth and the use of e-mail since we installed the software has been so great that the old hardware had not been keeping up,” Irv Wiswall, chief technology officer for Integrated Technology Services, said. “We needed to put it on newer, faster hardware.”

Notable aspects of the new system include a “Search All Messages” feature and more calendar options. The server also groups conversations as one e-mail so they are easier and faster to delete.

Wiswall said the previous system performed at its best only when used with a Windows-enabled computer and an Internet Explorer browser, limiting some features for Macintosh users. The new system has increased compatibility with Macintosh computers, and Wiswall said he believes using browsers such as Firefox and Safari will not affect its capabilities or features.

Overall, students have found the change to be a beneficial one, and they note that the new conversation-grouping component is one of the most highly lauded features of the new system.

“The new e-mail is really helpful in tracking un-opened e-mails and conversations with people,” junior Andrew Carpenter said. “The only drawback I have found is that sometimes e-mails can get buried in a conversation if it is between multiple people.”

The new interface has also received positive feedback.

“I think the new e-mail looks more professional,” sophomore Patrick Depetula said.

Most students have found that their biggest problem with the new interface is figuring out how to navigate it.

“Some of the changes, which seem like an effort to increase organization, only seem to confuse me,” senior Quinn Murphy said. “The new system lacks the simplicity of the old system.”

Students who use a smartphone or other mobile device to check their e-mail will also have to reconfigure settings to accommodate the new server.

“I found that the new e-mail is much easier to use and is also much easier to use on my smartphone,” freshman Emma Galdeira said.

ITS offers several resources to students and faculty who experience problems with the system, including a link to a video which provides an overview of some of the differences (see the Wildcat’s tips below for the link).

The Support Desk in Mac Hall is open during the common lunch hour to assist anyone experiencing problems with the new system.

Wildcat’s tips for e-mail navigation
• ITS has provided a video which gives a brief overview of the changes to the system. Enter search “Introduction to Outlook Web App 2010” on Youtube.com, or go to http://ow.ly/3YOPd

• Any students needing assistance with reconfiguring phone settings to read their e-mails can go to http://ow.ly/3YJXZ on The ITS Help Desk website for more information.

• Students with questions are encouraged to stop by the ITS Support Desk in Mac Hall if they are in need of further assistance.

Brittany Baker/Staff reporter
Brittany Baker can be reached at linfieldreviewfeatures@gmail.com.

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