PSU Alerts, Messages and Settings

PSU Alerts, Messages and Settings (PSUAlerts for short) is an application written by CLC that:

  • sets logon options for Windows 7 lab and classroom workstations, particularly your Home Folder and libraries;
  • connects to file servers and printers at logon;
  • maintains and displays messages from print servers;
  • shows news and alerts;
  • other miscellaneous settings and functions.

You can open it by clicking the paw print icon in the notification area on the bottom-right of the screen and picking one of the menu items depending on what you want to do.

Preferences

Pick "Preferences" from the pop-up menu to change the following settings:

Home Folder

When you first log onto a lab computer you'll be assigned PASS space as your Home Folder, but you can change it to UDrive here.  The home folder is where your My Documents folder and several other folders are "redirected" to.   Most users should store documents and other files in their My Documents folder and sub-folders on one of the file servers, but there is no requirement to do so.  Your server choice may be changed any time, but note that if you change the Home Folder location from one file service to another, no files are moved or copied automatically.

Internet Explorer Cookies

Because of prolems in making IE run very slow at times, Cookies for this browser are not saved across logon sessions.  If you find you really want to use IE and have cookies saved between logons, check the option to keep IE cookies in your roaming profile.

Library Settings

Windows 7 adds a thing called "libraries", which are collections of folders.  You can add folders to the various pre-defined libraries by picking the library from the drop-down list.  Reset the libraries to a default configuration by clicking the button "Reset Libraries".

Restore Bookmarks

Chrome and Firefox bookmarks are backed up to your UDrive folder daily.  If you clear your roaming profile use these buttons to restore the bookmarks.  See the profile page for more information.

Connecting To File Servers

At log on, PSUAlerts will automatically "map" file server "shares" to these standard drive letters:

  • U: -- UDrive all users root folder
  • V: -- UDrive your home folder
  • W: -- PASS all users root folder
  • X: -- PASS your home folder.

Your campus or department may define additional driver letters that connect to local resources.  If there are any network problems and the connection fails, the program will keep trying to connect to the servers.

Connecting To Printers

Also at log on, PSUAlerts will connect to one or more print queues that are defined for the computer you are on.  Again, if there are any problems doing that, the program will keep retrying.   It will also set the default printer, but if there is more than one print queue defined (perhaps one for a color printer), then you should be able to select that via the the application you are printing from.

Messages and Alerts Window

A single window has multiple tabs for Printing messages, news, alerts and help.   Access the window by selecting any of those items from the pop-up menu displayed when you click the paw icon in the notification tray.  The list of printing messages is updated when you print and a message is received from a print server.  The News and Alerts lists are updated automatically or when you select those tabs.

Printing Messages

In addition to any messages from print servers, the Printing tab also has buttons to "Buy Additional Sheets" which will open web page to the Printing Management system.  The Update button will query the system to show your current limits and totals. 

News

Some time after you log on, the program checks one or more "RSS feeds" for any news items applicable to your location.  It remembers those you have looked at and will pop-up a notification balloon only of there are new items.  Click the "+" button to expand an item to see the body of the posting.   That will mark it as "read".  There is also a "Mark All Read' to mark all items as read.

Alerts

Alerts work the same way as news, but the feed(s) are checked more often after you log on.

Help

The help tab has some links for help and some information about the computer you are using.   There will also be a support link to the unit that support that computer, which may not be CLC.

Problems

PSUAlerts reports many problems to a central server, but also keeps an extensive log of all actions that can be seen by selecting "Show Debug Window" from the pop-up menu.   This is mostly for technical support staff, but advanced users can peruse that for error message when there are problems.   There are also numerous menu items used for debugging and problem detection; these too are for technical support staff and end users are not advised to experiment with them (although none should hurt you except, perhaps, Reboot).

Upload Log File

You may be requested to upload PSUAler's log file.  To do that:

  • Click the white paw icon on the bottom right of your display.
  • Select "Show Debug Window" from the pop-up menu.
  • Click "Reporting" then "Upload log" on the debug window's menu.
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Last Updated March 30, 2015