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- Importance and Satisfaction of Essential IT Services
- About Email Services
- About Network Services
- About Server Computers
- About PC Security
- About PC Laboratories, Centrally Administered Lecture Theatres and Classrooms
- About HKU Portal
- About WebCT Electronic Course System
- About User Support Services
- Overall Remarks about the Survey
Computer Centre has conducted a web-based user survey from January to March 2007 to obtain users' feedback on the services provided by Computer Centre . The results and findings of the user survey is reported in this article.
A total of 709 valid respondents participated in this survey. They include academic, non-academic and technical staff members, postgraduate and undergraduate students. The respondents are grouped into staff and students for comparison of responses between these two groups. Table 1 shows the count in each group and the percentage of total respondents in each group.
Table 1: Status of Respondents
Status of Respondents Count in Group % of Total Respondents Staff Teaching and research 105 240 33.9% Administrative 84 Technical 51 Students Postgraduate 132 469 66.1% Undergraduate 337
Users were asked to rate the importance and their satisfaction of the essential IT services. The rating scale used was from 1 to 5, with 5=most important/satisfied, 1=least important/satisfied.
Table 2 lists the essential IT services and their importance to our users. First, the total number of respondents for each service is listed. Then, the percentages of each rating is listed. The percentages of ratings 3 to 5 are added together to reflect the overall importance. Then they are presented separately for staff and students to reflect the difference in requirements for staff and students. The significant differences between staff and student responses are in the importance of PC laboratories (for students) and in training courses (for staff).
Table 2: Importance of the IT Services to Staff Members and Students
Importance of IT Services Total Rating=1 Rating=2 Rating=3 Rating=4 Rating=5 Rating=
Email service 697 0.1% 0.9% 2.7% 13.3% 82.9% 98.9% 100% 98.5% The HKU Portal 696 0.7% 1.6% 10.5% 24.1% 63.1% 97.7% 97.0% 98.1% Network from campus 679 0.9% 1.9% 5.9% 13.0% 78.4% 97.3% 98.3% 96.6% Network from home 658 2.1% 3.6% 14.0% 19.0% 61.1% 94.2% 92.3% 95.3% Using server computers 452 7.7% 10.6% 26.8% 25.0% 29.9% 81.7% 86.8% 79.3% Using PC laboratories 488 8.8% 6.8% 21.5% 25.6% 37.3% 84.4% 64.4% 89.4% User support services 527 5.3% 5.7% 24.1% 33.4% 31.5% 89.0% 93.1% 87.0% User training courses 465 13.3% 15.7% 30.1% 22.2% 18.7% 71.0% 80.6% 66.4%
Table 3 lists the satisfaction levels of the IT services. The numbers and percentages are presented in the same way as in Table 2.
Satisfaction of IT Services Total Rating=1 Rating=2 Rating=3 Rating=4 Rating=5 Rating=
Email service 690 2.3% 11.9% 24.2% 44.5% 17.1% 85.8% 86.3% 85.5% The HKU Portal 689 2.2% 6.8% 28.2% 42.8% 19.9% 90.9% 88.1% 92.5% Network from campus 666 2.3% 9.5% 21.6% 39.0% 27.6% 88.2% 91.1% 86.9% Network from home 638 6.9% 9.1% 32.4% 35.9% 15.7% 84.0% 81.8% 85.2% Using server computers 410 2.7% 6.3% 41.2% 38.5% 11.2% 91.0% 89.9% 91.5% Using PC laboratories 451 6.7% 11.3% 38.6% 33.7% 9.8% 82.1% 85.9% 81.2% User support services 487 7.6% 11.3% 36.8% 31.4% 12.9% 81.1% 75.2% 84.1% User training courses 391 7.2% 15.3% 39.4% 27.9% 10.2% 77.5% 80.0% 76.2%
The above tables show that the email and network services are the foremost important to our users and that users are mostly satisfied. In comparing importance and satisfaction of these services in Table 2 and 3 respectively, we can identify areas for improvement for better user satisfaction. In the following sections, we shall report on the survey results of each service in detail.
The bar chart diagrams below show the users' responses to the questions on email. The questions are printed in the chart titles. In the annotation, the "n=..." is the number of respondents to this question. Each bar is also labeled with the frequency count. In the charts of comparisons between staff and students (bar charts of two colours), the responses are reported as percentages in the respective groups.
From Chart 1, we see that reading email via HKU Portal is by far the most popular. From Chart 2, we can see that MyEmail via HKU Portal is used by 88% of the students but only by 50% of the staff who also use Webmail directly and client programs such as Outlook or Eudora.
Chart 3-6 show that our users in general find a high satisfaction level of the most popular email software Webmail, either through MyEmail of the HKU Portal or access it directly. Also the virus-filtering and spam-filter of the central email servers are at a high satisfaction level.
Some users responded that they use other email programs or forward their HKU email to another email provider. Other email programs used were: Thunderbird/Netscape Mail, Apple Mail, UNIX mail, or email forwarded to other email services at Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc.
This section reports on the results for network services which include the office/laboratory network, the hall network, the network in centrally administered classrooms, the ACEnet and the wireless networks.
The overall response is shown in the Chart 7 below. Staff and student groups were compared in their use of the network in Chart 8. 92% of staff members use the network in their offices while students use the network in PC laboratories, residential halls, as well as the roaming networks. The satisfactory level of the users in using these networks is high as shown in Chart 10-14.
4.1 About Network Services from Home
The network services from home were assessed and the ratings of the HKUPPP and HKUVPN services are shown below. The overall responses are shown in frequencies in Chart 15, and percentages of staff/student groups are shown in Chart 16. We can see that most users are connected from home directly via ISP broadband. The satisfaction level of the HKUPPP and HKUVPN services are in general high.
Server computers refer to the University's web server WWW.HKU.HK, the Unix servers HKUCC and HKUSUA for general-purpose computing, the HPCPOWER and HKUHPCC servers for high-performance computing, and the Unix server BIOINFO for bioinformatics research. The satisfaction level of using the servers are high in general.
The section focuses on PC security and network abuse due to disseminating computer viruses or trojan horses (spyware), and how the users manage to clean up their infected computers. While Computer Centre has been emphasizing on PC and network security in orientation seminars, in our web site, in our documents, and in email alerts, the importance of Windows Updates (which include Windows Firewall) and installation of anti-spyware on our users' PCs are not satisfactory. In the future, getting the responses in the past year will give us more insight into how users understand the importance of PC and network security.
How do you protect your PC against computer viruses?
% Total Respondents
Install anti-virus program 80.0% Install anti-spyware program 34.4% Perform Windows updates 54.4% Install Firewall 40.0%
Chart 29-30 show that the majority of the respondents use the PC laboratories quite often. The PC laboratories at Run Run Shaw Building and at the Library Building Old Wing are equally popular. The respondents find the laser printing services, the hardware and the software facilities satisfactory.
PC in Centrally Administered Lecture Theatres and Classrooms
Chart 35-36 show that among the respondents, frequent users of PC in classrooms are staff as expected. The respondents find the hardware and the software facilities satisfactory.
Chart 35-36 show that most of the respondents at least access the HKU Portal a few times a week. More students access it daily. The respondents find the ease of use, response time and richness in functionalities satisfactory.
The students and instructors were asked different questions for their feedback on the use of the WebCT system. Their responses to the questions are displayed separately in the charts below.
About half of the respondents has 1-3 WebCT courses and 1/3 has 4 or more WebCT courses. Most of them access the courses several times weekly or monthly.
Instructor Responses: Only 34 instructors actually have one or more WebCT courses. Therefore only their responses are used in the analysis of the remaining questions on WebCT for instructors. The respondents find that the support is very important while the user training is satisfactory. Some find that the user training is insufficient.
Table 5 lists the features of the WebCT system which the instructors find most useful, the number of respondents, and then the percentage of the total WebCT instructors (34) in descending order of usefulness.
Table 5: Useful features of WebCT
Which features of WebCT do you find most useful? Respondents % WebCT Instructors Posting course notes 29 85.0% Sending email to class 27 77.0% Automatic account creation 22 65.0% Assignments 15 44.1% Discussion forums 11 32.3% Group projects 7 20.6% Student grades 6 17.6% Others 2 6.0%
Table 6 shows where users go for help for IT problems. The channels for help are: the Help Desk at room RRS-104, the CCBOX (via email), the enquiry hotlines (Help Desk 2859-2480) and (Computer Room 2859-2496), FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions posted on the web), and Computer Centre Office at room RRS-223. Respondents may choose more than one channel. Responses are analysed separately for staff and students and reported as percentages within the respective groups in the table below to reflect the different preferences for help between staff and students. More staff makes call to the Help Desk and email to CCBOX while more students visit the Help Desk in person. The FAQ is a popular channel.
Table 6: Where users go for help for IT problems
Where do you go for help for IT problems? Help Desk
CCBox Call Help Desk
Call Computer Room
see FAQ CC Office RRS-223 Staff 7.5% 34.1% 49.1% 17.9% 39.5% 7.5% Student 28.3% 15.1% 11.7% 5.1% 48.4% 12.7%
The quality of our user support services are rated by the respondents and are depicted in the following bar charts: The satisfaction level of the various channels are in general high.
This user survey has provided us with useful information about our users requirements and their satisfaction of the current IT services. As in user surveys done in the past, the recent survey revealed that email and network services remain to be the foremost important IT services to our users. While we are pleased to see that most users are very satisfied in these two areas, we will continue to improve these two services with new technologies and enhanced functionalities, e.g. an enhanced webmail version which handles multi-lingual email better. Spam filtering continues to be a challenge as spammers are finding new ways to spam everyday. We will continue to improve our PC laboratories, user support services and other aspects. Owing to limited space, the crowdiness of PC laboratories is often a problem and we request our users to cooperate to work tidily so that all users can have a good working environment. The opening hours of the Help Desk at Room RRS-104 has been extended and it is now open during lunch time. Users can also leave phone messages at the Help Desk phone 24 hours a day after office hours, and the calls will be followed up the next working day.
The free-text comments and suggestions made by our respondents are consolidated and edited for brevity and consistency of style. Please click the following links to see the users' comments. Some of these comments are actually enquiries or questions for the Help Desk. If you had submitted an enquiry which you had not found the answer yet, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of Computer Centre , I would like to thank all those who have participated in this survey which enables us to work together in bringing about more enhanced computer services to make the best use of IT technologies to support the teaching, learning and research activities of the University.
Email Accounts for Graduating Students of 2007
All degree graduates of the University can enjoy the use of a free email account in the HKU graduate email system. This graduate email account is intended to facilitate the communications between the University and her alumni and for personal and non-commercial use. This account is automatically created for graduating students and no account application is needed. Computer Centre will notify all graduating students by email of the termination of their student accounts and the creation of their graduate accounts when they have completed their graduation requirements.
The new graduate email accounts on the graduate.hku.hk system have the same account names and passwords as those on the hkusua.hku.hk system. For example, for a student whose account is UID@hkusua.hku.hk, his new email address on the graduate server will be UID@graduate.hku.hk. Note that the email on the hkusua.hku.hk system will not be ported or forwarded to the graduate.hku.hk system. Graduating students are advised to save email messages which they want and notify their correspondents of the new email address.
Graduates can access their email accounts from the Internet via IMP webmail at http://webmail.hku.hk and choose the email server graduate.hku.hk.
The default disk quota allocation for graduate email accounts is 10MB. Graduate users can also subscribe for more disk space at a charge of HK$160 per 20MB per annum. Click here for details on subscribing for more disk space.
Graduates are reminded to always check their disk quota usage to avoid exceeding disk quota.
Do not exceed your disk quota because when your disk quota is exceeded, you cannot login successfully or delete mail because the trash folder cannot be updated. You must get some temporary disk space and then delete unwanted mail. Click here to see a solution of this problem.
Graduates can forward email to their graduate email accounts to other email accounts by setting up email forwarding at http://webmail.hku.hk => choose the link "Set/Unset E-mail Forwarding " at the top of the page.
Computer Centre has also implemented the anti-spam facility on the graduate server. For details on spam control, see our FAQ's.
All graduating students graduating in June and July 2007 will be notified by email that their HKUSUA accounts will expire on 31 August 2007. If you are a student graduating this summer and receive such an email notification, you should:
- copy and save all your files, emails and address books that are on the HKUSUA server onto your PC or own storage media, e.g. CD-R disc or USB thumb drive, before your HKUSUA account expires.
- notify your email correspondents of the change of email address before your HKUSUA account expires.
- cancel all mailing list subscriptions before your HKUSUA account expires.
- be aware that the email forwarding function of your HKUSUA account will not work after the account expires on 31 August 2007 because the HKUSUA account will be closed and deleted.
- be aware that the disk quota limit on the graduate server is 10MB. Please remember to delete unwanted mail.
- manage your graduate email using IMP webmail at http://webmail.hku.hk.
The web site for managing your graduate email account (change password, change account name (allowed change ONCE ONLY), set mail alias, set forwarding, etc.) is at http://www.hku.hk/convocat/gradmail.htm
Note: University alumni who graduated before 2001 can apply for their graduate email accounts on-line at the above site by clicking the link "Apply Now".
To gain access to the the graduate email accounts through Internet using the IMP webmail as described above, graduates must arrange for their own Internet access by themselves, say by subscribing to a commercial service from an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Web-based System for Supporting Performance Review and Staff Development (PRSD)
The University has started the Performance Review and Staff Development (PRSD) exercise for 2007 for all non-academic staff members and the exercise is to be completed by
June 30, 2007. The driving principles of the PRSD are the development of staff potential, enhancement of performance, and strengthening of communication between supervisor and supervisee.
To facilitate the completion of the PRSD, Computer Centre has worked together with the Human Resources Section of the Registry to provide a web-based PRSD system. Heads of department can choose to complete the PRSD using the paper form, the web-based system or a combination of both.
To make use of the web-based PRSD system, heads of department must first of all nominate reviewer(s) for each non-academic staff of their department before the review can commence. The web-based PRSD system would generate automatic email to guide through each step of the review.
The head of department, reviewee and reviewer can also check the progress of the review and print the completed PRSD through the web-based system. On completion of all web-based PRSD, the head of department can inform the HRS through the system.
The web-based PRSD can be reached under the HKU Portal (click the tab "MyUIS", and then click the link "Performance Review and Staff Development" under "Staff").
To facilitate departments considering the use of the web-based PRSD system, briefing sessions on the use of the system will be conducted on the following dates. Interested users please register through the HKU Event Management System.
Date: April 27, 2007 (Friday)
Time: 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Venue: A207, Run Run Shaw Building (conducted in Cantonese)
Date: May 2, 2007 (Wednesday)
Time: 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Venue: A207, Run Run Shaw Building (conducted in Cantonese)
Date: May 3, 2007 (Thursday)
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Venue: S322, Meng Wah Complex (conducted in English)
Date: May 4, 2007 (Friday)
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Venue: KKLG 102, K.K. Leung Building (conducted in Cantonese)
If you have any question on the web-based PRSD system, please contact the undersigned.
Deadline for Placing Orders to Computer Centre for 2006/2007To meet the deadline set by the University's Finance and Enterprises Office for placing purchase orders by departments before the end of 2006/2007 financial year, departments who wish to purchase computer related items from Computer Centre using their 2006/2007 budget accounts are required to submit their orders to the Centre on or before June 7, 2007 (Thursday). For late orders received, Computer Centre will charge against departments' 2007/2008 budget accounts.
Departments can submit purchase orders conveniently by using the CC Ordering System via the HKU Portal at http://hkuportal.hku.hk/ (select the tab "Services" => "Computer Centre Services", then click "Order License and Goods") or return the completed CC Order Form (CF-36) available at http://www.its.hku.hk/home/services/forms.htm.
HKU Joins eduroam for WiFi Access in Other Universities
Connecting to the Internet through WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) connection is becoming more and more popular nowadays, as we see that all notebook computers and increasingly-more handheld devices, such as PDAs and smart phones, are now equipped with WiFi wireless networking capability. To facilitate our students and staff to enjoy wireless access while visiting other universities, Computer Centre has joined the eduroam initiative in April this year.
eduroam, or Education Roaming, is a WiFi mutual access initiative among member universities around the world. Our participation in eduroam will enable cross-institutional WiFi access for our staff and students in local and overseas universities that are eduroam members. On a reciprocal basis, staff and students of other eduroam institutions will be able to gain access to Internet through the WiFi coverage in our University.
Wireless network access via eduroam by our staff and students will be managed and regulated by means of user authentication using their email accounts associated with their HKU Portal UID and PIN based on the IEEE802.1x protocol standard.
Visit http://www.eduroam.hk for more information on eduroam and its member list.
Our users would be able to use eduroam at other eduroam institutions by following the procedure described below. We are making the final testing of letting eduroam user gaining access on our campus WiFi network. After ironing out any teething problem, the eduroam service is expected to be running normally by end of May 2007.
the email address and the HKU Portal UID and PIN will be cached in weakly encrypted format in Windows XP so that the UID/PIN are not required for sequential connection to eduroam. While it is convenient, however, this can also be a security threat; for example, any transfer of a user’s PC to another person without clearing the cached password would potentially expose his HKU Portal UID/PIN to other people. For security sake, Computer Centre is providing a program to remove the cached password. You can download the program file and execute the file to delete the cached password every time after connect to eduroam or whenever necessary.
In order to have Wi-Fi access while you are visiting an eduroam member institution, you must do the following installation in your notebook computer:
- Install HKUCA Root Certificate (issue date: August 1, 2005) in your notebook computer following the procedure given at http://www.hkuca.hku.hk/repository/index.html
- Configure your PC beforehand for connecting to eduroam. Currently, we can support HKU users using Windows XP and Windows Vista to connect in other eduroam institutions.
- Register to enable eduroam access by login HKU portal => "Services" tab => under 'Computer Centre Services', click "Registration for Enabling eduroam Access"
The above steps need only be done once. After you finished the above steps, you will be able to access the WiFi network in other member institutions of eduroam.
When you wish to connect to the WiFi network in other eduroam institutions, do the following:
Switch on your notebook computer.
Choose the WiFi network named "eduroam" (i.e. SSID="eduroam") detected by your notebook computer.
Wait for a while and when prompted, input your email address (yourUID@hku.hk) and HKU Portal PIN.
If the login authentication is successful, you will be able to access the WiFi network.
For Windows XP user, after using the WiFi network, follow the recommendation below in section 3 to remove the cached HKU Portal PIN on the notebook computer.
In Windows Vista, there is an option to choose NOT to cache the PIN or password in the preparation steps. This is the recommended setting.
As another security measure, once you have registered to enable eduroam access, you would be requested to change your HKU Portal PIN if you have not change it for six months.
PC Station Dedicated for Printing PDF Files
Computer Centre is pleased to make available an additional PC connected to a black and white laser printer in Room 104, Run Run Shaw Building, right next to the Help Desk. The PC is installed with Adobe Acrobat Reader 7 and is intended to let users print PDF documents and immediately pick up the print-out at the printer next to it. This set up is intended to facilitate the printing of PDF documents with sensitive data, without the risk of losing the document or being picked up by other users when the documents are printed through the high-speed printers in the PC laboratories.
The printer is a HP LaserJet 8150DN duplex-printing printer. The default mode is single-sided printing, but the user can select to print on double-side through the Acrobat Reader interface. The user is required to login the PC with HKU Portal UID and PIN and the printing charge will be the same according to the charging scheme for laser printing in PC laboratories.
Since this set up of PC and printer is intended for supporting file printing only, no editing software (e.g. Microsoft Office) is installed in the PC. Users who intend to print from this set up should bring their PDF documents in a USB thumb drive or CD.
If your document is not in PDF format, you should first use a PC located in the PC laboratories to convert the document into PDF format before bringing the document to this set up to do the printing. (See FAQ on how to convert a Microsoft Office file to a PDF file instead of to a printer.)
Finally, please remember to remove your portable storage media from the PC immediately after use, take it away with you, and shut down the PC properly (click Windows Start button => "Shut Down" and wait till it is shut down) to avoid leaving your documents with sensitive data on the PC or your printing budget being used by others mistakenly.
Figure 1. Location of the PC Station
Figure 2. PC Station Dedicated for Printing PDF Files
Site License Arrangement on SAS
Computer Centre coordinates various site licensing programs for departments to acquire software at educational and discounted prices through bulk purchase arrangement. Most of these software products are subject to annual renewal for continuing the right to use in the ensuring year or staying on the latest versions.
The renewal period for the site licensing program on SAS is due to expire by end of June 2007. Departments participating in this program should have already received our notice on renewing their current SAS for Windows licenses covering the period from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008. The SAS for Windows software available for acquisition through Computer Centre include:
Departments interested in acquiring any of the above SAS products through Computer Centre can submit a CC Order Form to us through the HKU Portal (http://hkuportal.hku.hk/ => click the tab "Services" => click the link "Order License and Goods" under "Computer Centre Services" and complete the transaction using the HKU digital certificate (HKU-Cert)).
Or you can complete and return the paper version of the CC Order Form (CF-36) available at http://www.its.hku.hk/home/services/forms.htm. The renewal and initial license fees for the SAS products can also be found under the HKU Portal (click the tab "Services", and then click the link "Tender Prices" under "Computer Centre Services").
For any question regarding the above site licensing programs, please feel free to contact our Ms Sarah Li or Ms Kitty Ng at 2859 2491.
We bade farewell to Mr Jack Lee Ka Chun who supported the Payroll Services Team has left Computer Centre in early April 2007. Besides, Mr Henry Ho Wai Kei, who works for the Financial Services Team and Mr Bryan Wong Tak Ming, who supports the Payroll Services Team will be leaving shortly. We wish them every success in their future endeavours.
The following are the training courses arranged by the Computer Center till June, 2007 to help our staff and students learn how to use the various software and services. Most courses are open to HKU staff and students free of charge. Some courses are provided by a course vendor and a fee is charged for these courses (e.g. the Microsoft Office series and other PC software). Click on the course title to see the description of each course.
Courses on Web Page
Browsing and Authoring
Courses on Statistics Software
Courses on Scientific Computation & Visualization
Courses provided by course vendors on PC software
Courses on Statistics Software
provided by course vendors on PC software course (fee
Computer Centre runs courses in the following areas throughout the year to assist staff and students in using the Centre's facilities:
Computer News No. 126 Mar.-Apr. 2007
Channels and Telephone Numbers for Seeking HelpDial-up Services
56Kbps HKUPPP Dial-up modem lines and numbersOperations Schedule
Opening Hours for Computer Laboratories
Holiday Schedule for Computer Laboratories