Dreading Error 404

Thursday, May 12, 2016

I still can’t attach a document to my UCSF email. Still.

I don’t know how long it’s been since the majority of the U.S. population has switched over to Google Chrome, but I am still required to open that ancient relic, Internet Explorer, every time I need to attach anything to my email.

For a school that has been bombarding us with distress signals on phishing and technology management for the last year, they need some healthy bombarding about their own systems.

Thanks to some school policy, we all get constant notifications about the IT difficulties the school has been having. It seems I can always count on a daily email from the UCSF IT Service Desk informing me about what crucial services are malfunctioning that day. It strikes me as a friendly tap on the shoulder from anonymous workers in some dystopian society reminding us that they’re really in charge of the inner workings. “Today there will be no emergency shutdown of the Internet, but no one will have access to VPN and Lecture Capture will not work.”

The slew of emails we all receive doesn’t even begin to cover all the daily issues with technology we experience. Here’s a list to name a few:

  1. Many Mission Bay Campus Housing members have complained that the UCSF WPA does not work so they use the unprotected UCSF Guest wifi because it works so consistently.

  2. Printing at the library can be a gamble because more often than not the “printer network” goes down even when the person right before you printed so seamlessly.

  3. The Lecture Capture system is down so students have no way to watch lectures if they missed class or want to re-watch lectures.

  4. The wifi at the gym is so spotty that students trying to check in to their daily Andronicos Fitness challenge can never get credit for their workouts.

  5. Every iOS system update comes with a large cautionary warning that ‘this update may lead to the school program’s inability to work for the next month.’

  6. The FAST PAY card is sometimes the SLOWER PAY card when the cashier is forced to disconnect and reconnect the actual payment machine every time someone wants to Fast Pay.

The larger issue behind these problems is that they still exist. The failure of the school to fix simple nuisances, like being able to attach emails in a commonly used web browser, speaks poorly to the IT services at UCSF. In an increasingly technological world we depend on these services to help us learn, do research, and communicate, and so it’s clear that the school should invest more in this area.

On the brighter side…

We have this great opportunity to publicize to the school that we have these issues.

Oh, but wait. The Synapse Article Submission system is down too…