Computing Services

The department behind IT services at the University of Bath

Webmail is being retired on 7 October 2016

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📥  Communications & Collaboration, Computing Services

Following on from the migration of email to Exchange, the legacy webmail service ( is being retired on Friday 7 October 2016.

Anyone who requires interim access to legacy IMAP mailboxes can still do so using alternative email client applications such as Mozilla Thunderbird or Microsoft Outlook. If you have any issues surrounding this, please contact the Computing Services IT Service Desk for assistance.

Welcome back and enjoy your year


📥  Computing Services

Welcome back from your summer or from your year's placement.  If (like me) you forget your password when you're away for a while, you can always reset your password.

Here's a quick catch up on some of the IT services you may want to use over the next few days and months.

Extended opening times at the Service Desk in the Library

If you have any IT problems you can get help and support in person, online or over the phone.  We have listened to our students and have extended the opening hours during the first teaching week of this semester.

  • Come and see us at the Service Desk on Level 2 of the Library between 8.30am and 5.30pm from Monday 3 October to Friday 7 October 2016.  Our usual term-time hours are from 9am to 5pm (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) and 10am to 5pm on Wednesdays. We look forward to meeting and helping you.

You can also:

Buy a new laptop, tablet or accessory for the new academic and use our services to study more successfully

Our not-for-profit IT shop sells a range of laptops, tablets and IT accessories.  Come and chat to the team in the Library so you get the best product for you.   To help you get started you can get Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus for free because you are a student here.

Once teaching is under way don't forget to set up and use UniDesk  so you can access your University desktop on your own devices and use files.bath to easily access your 1GB of storage on your H:drive.

Finding out about IT services

We offer many IT services and we want to make it easier for you to find out about them.

Enjoy the next academic year and get in touch if we can help.


Mathematicians use Balena to model global air pollution

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC), Research

Dr Gavin Shaddick, of the University of Bath’s Department of Mathematical Sciences and Deputy Director of the Bath Institute for Mathematical Innovation, has been leading an international research team, which includes the WHO, and have used the University of Bath's High Performance Computing (HPC) system, Balena, to investigate global air pollution.

The results show that nine out of ten people (92 per cent) on Earth live in places where air pollution is higher than acceptable limits – even when they are outside.

For more information visit:



Yahoo user security

📥  Computing Services, Security

As a result of the security incident involving Yahoo that has recently come to light, we are aware that some of you may have used the same security questions for both the Yahoo and University systems.

If this is the case, as well as securing your Yahoo account, we recommend that you change your security questions to protect the integrity of your University account. You can do this by going to



Welcome to all new students for 2016

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📥  IT Literacy


Computing Services might not be the first people you think of when you start at the University of Bath but we provide a lot of the IT services and advice to help you study and socialise during your time with us.

Chances are, if you're reading this blog post you've managed to find the Wi-Fi connection in your student accommodation but if you haven’t yet and are a bit stuck, we’ve got a guide to Wi-Fi  and a guide to setting up wired internet in student accommodation.

Let everyone know you're still alive by using Microsoft Outlook for your E-mails.

Firstly, we give you some great free things to get you started:

Getting IT help

If you do have any IT related problems or would like help and advice during your time here, there are two ways to get help:

1. Visit the Service Desk on Level 2 of the Library. All advice and support is free for our staff and students.  We have listened to our customers and are open Saturday and Sunday of intake weekend, 9am to 5pm.  We will also be open for longer hours during freshers week and the first week of teaching.  We will be open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Our usual term time open hours are from 9am to 5pm (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) and 10am to 5pm on Wednesdays.  We look forward to meeting and helping you.

2. You can log an IT help ticket, using the self-service portal. You’ll need your username and password (found on your library card) to do this.

Need a new laptop, tablet or accessory?

The IT shop sells a range of laptops, tablets and IT accessories. It’s not for profit, so the discounts are passed directly onto you. This often means it’s cheaper than buying from other outlets. Come and chat to the team about our range of products. The IT shop is next to the Service Desk on level 2 of the Library.

We hope you enjoy your first week and look forward meeting many of you in the coming weeks.

Computing Services




Reggie's retirement, September 2016


📥  Computing Services

Martin (Reggie) Stone has been a dear and valued colleague at the University of Bath since 1971, just 5 years after the institution received its Royal Charter.  With a career spanning four and a half decades under his belt, Reggie announced that he was retiring at the beginning of September.  The Department of Computing Services celebrated his 45 years as a computing engineer with a fantastic server-themed cake accompanied by heartfelt and entertaining stories of Reggie’s time here from colleagues at the University, both past and present.  Reggie was very hardworking whilst effortlessly maintaining an easy going attitude and a friendly demeanour.  This work ethic has undoubtedly served Reggie well in coping with the many changes that have occurred in the field of computing since he joined. Back in 1971 the Computer Unit (singular for a reason, as there really was only one) still ran on programming via punch cards.

We will all miss him.  Reggie was an invaluable member of the team and he will be hard to replace.  That being said, his hard work and his longstanding presence at the University will ensure that his legacy and his involvement will be felt for years to come.

Reggie is moving to Wales to begin his next project: engineering the perfect garden and a handmade wood stack for his new wood burner (perhaps accompanied by the occasional sup of single malt with his feet up in the evenings).

Reggie cutting his retirement cake

Reggie cutting his celebratory cake.

We would like to offer a huge thank you to Reggie for helping to make the University what it is today and for being our colleague. We wish you all the best and we hope you enjoy your retirement.


Apple Mac & iOS Security - September 2016


📥  Apple, Computing Services, Security

Last week, Apple released urgent security updates for all Mac and iOS products. We advise you to install these as best practice, in order to ensure the security of your devices.

  • iOS 9.3.5
  • OS X 10.11.6  2016 - 001 (El Capitan)
  • OS X 10.10.5 2016 - 005 (Yosemite)

For your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, navigate to Settings > General > Software Update.  If you use a Mac, go to the App Store, and click updates in the top right.

September Security Update

Three previously unknown vulnerabilities were discovered by the Citizen Lab and Lookout Security, which if exploited could seriously compromise the security of the devices concerned.

The security flaw first came to light when an iOS user received a suspicious text message containing a link.  Had the user clicked the link, sophisticated malware (dubbed 'Pegasus') could have been used to remotely control the device, giving the perpetrators access to highly confidential data from all apps and services.

A few days later it was reported that Mac computers were vulnerable to the same attack, leading Apple to issue a patch for OS X Yosemite and El Capitan.

More information can be found here:

Sophisticated, persistent mobile attack against high-value targets on iOS




'It's broken' versus 'I need something', an easier way of getting IT support, September 2016

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📥  Computing Services, Service Desk

We are introducing a cleaner look to the online tool which you use to send and track requests for IT help and support.  You will initially choose between two options. Think, 'it's broken' versus 'I need something'. You will then click through and route your request to the right team.  You will see the new design when you submit your IT enquiry after Wednesday, 7 September 2016.

Submitting an IT support enquiry online after Wednesday, 7 September 2016

We want to make the process of reporting faults or requesting services via the Self-Service Portal as easy as possible for you to use.   First, you make a choice.

Your choice

'Report a fault' - use this when your IT is broken.  You will be able to choose between IT specific faults and teaching room faults.  Examples include a projector not working in a teaching room or a broken printer.

'New Requirement' - use this when you need or want something to help you improve the IT you are using at work.  Examples include booking support with a learning and teaching room, getting more storage or needing new toner.

Additional changes that will help you get the IT support you need

My requests – you can review your open requests and it will eventually include statistics on how we manage tickets.

TOPdesk app - you can download an app to your Android or iOS phone which will allow you to submit IT support requests.

Service Disruptions window - you will be able to view known problems that are affecting customers.  You will be able to add yourself to this if you are being affected by the issue and it will help us and you know the impact of the issue.  This will also help us solve it faster.

Why we are making these changes

We want to make it easier for you to get the IT support you need.  That is why we are introducing a more straightforward choice and additional features like better My requests tracking and a TOPdesk app.

We will continue to improve our support to you with new self-help documentation, a service catalogue to allow you to access the right services and listening to feedback gathered from surveys within TOPdesk and other feedback.

We look forward to hearing from you.


New look to Self Service IT support portal

A representation of the new Self Service IT support portal


Record breaking results from Matt and the team....


📥  Computing Services, SAMIS

It's that time of year again when the A-Level results are in and hopeful applicants find out if they've got a place to study at the University of Bath.

Within the Computing Services department , it falls to the SAMIS team and Systems Developer, Matt Dales to collect all the results and send them to the Admissions team so the all important decisions can be made. Matt was keen to point out that it's very much a departmental effort and involves many teams from Computing Services. He explained that, 'collecting all the data, does take time and this year it took around 2 hours to get everything together'.

This year, Matt collated the results in record time, beating our record from last year and many other universities to get results to the Admissions team so they could make decisions quickly and not keep prospective students waiting.

Although Matt was  reluctant to take any praise for this, Matt's dedication appears to have paid off as the timings for this year's result collection are shown below:

Last year’s times:

CF/CI start time: 19:24    end time: 20:54

This year’s times:

CF/CI start time: 19:07    end time: 20:25


Good luck to everyone today, we really hope you get the results you were wishing for.



Essential security updates for Mac and iOS

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📥  Apple, Computing Services, Security

A critical vulnerability affecting both Apple iOS and OS X has been discovered that could attack a device simply through opening an infected image file.

It is important that you update your Apple hardware as soon as possible so as to protect yourself from being affected by this vulnerability. We'd like to stress that at this stage, this is merely a proof-of-concept and there's no evidence to suggest that this exploit has thus far, been used in the wild, but it's likely to only be a matter of time before this vulnerability is exploited, so get patching today in order to keep your devices and data protected.

It is comparable in terms of its severity and ease-of-infection to last year's Android vulnerability called Stagefright, which was described as "the worst Android vulnerability ever". Apple have released a fix in versions iOS 9.3.3, El Capitan 10.11.6, tvOS 9.2.2 and watchOS 2.2.2 but it is believed to be present in all previous versions, so the number of affected devices is significant.

The vulnerability was discovered by Cisco Talos who released the information to Apple so that they could fix the vulnerability before the information was made public to the world. A potential attacked could use a wide range of routes including iMessages, malicious web pages, MMS messages, or other malicious file attachments opened by any application that makes use of the standard Apple Image rendering library. More details are on this blog post.