Friday, December 19, 2014

I/T Definition: Re-cloning a Device

Re-cloning a Device – Computers are re-imaged when they cannot be cleaned by anti-virus software.  The computer is completely erased and the standard state software is reinstalled onto its hard drive.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BIT Employee Achieves Executive Master Degree

In 2010, Kari Stulken was among fifteen other executive staff selected to participate in the State of South Dakota’s Leadership Development Program Cohort #6.  Throughout each leadership program cohort, participants complete five graduate level courses to earn the South Dakota Government Leadership certificate through the University of South Dakota.  After earning her leadership certificate in 2011, Kari chose to continue on the path for a master’s degree.  This goal required an additional seven graduate level courses, lots of studying in the evenings, and several term papers.  The courses she took on her own were offered online through USD’s graduate school.  Others from BIT that have completed the program in the past include Tony Rae and Deanne Booth.

Kari obtained the Executive Master in Public Administration degree this month during the University of South Dakota’s winter commencement exercises.  Kari greatly appreciates all the support and encouragement her coworkers, family, and friends provided her during her journey to accomplish her goal.

Kari is the manager of the Project Management Office in Pierre. Her main duties include supervising the diverse staff assigned to the PMO team as well as managing select technology projects.

Additional Information:
Capital University Center has recently begun offering hybrid courses in Pierre for both the Executive Master in Public Administration and Master in Science Administrative Studies degrees.  Please contact the CUC at 773-2160 for more information.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New BIT Employee: Wayne Wayt

Wayne Wayt is a new member of the Telecommunications Network Technologies division as a Technology Engineer II. Wayne will be working on a variety of network tasks, starting in the K12 and wireless infrastructure.

He has his Master’s degree in Computer Information Security as well as CCNA and CCNA Security certifications and has been working in the I/T field for the past five years. Helping other individuals is the main reason he got into the Networking field in the first place. Wayne enjoys finding solutions to technical problems and projects that expand his knowledge for troubleshooting and solving network issues. Outside of work he likes to spend time with friends playing video games and watching movies. Wayne’s overall philosophy is that life should be fun and enjoyed!

Welcome to the BIT team, Wayne!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Life Outside BIT: Dawson Lewis

Dawson Lewis, a member of Development Team 6 and the point of contact to DOT, likes to make money the old fashioned way on weekends. The REALLY old fashioned way. As in hand striking coins the way it was done 1000 years ago in Saxon England.

Dawson is a member of the local chapter of Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA). The SCA is a living history group with 30,000 members around the world. The focus of the SCA is to allow members to recreate aspects of life in the Middle Ages. Whether armored combat; spinning yarn (and yarns!); dyeing cloth, recreating  historic clothes; calligraphy; casting pewter; bread, cheese or wine making; blacksmithing or (in Dawson’s case) making coin dies and striking coins: if it was done in the Middle ages there is probably someone doing it in the SCA.  

Dawson got involved in the SCA a little over seven years ago because of his interest in collecting coins and wanting to show his son’s history classes how coins were made. “A friend said, ‘you need to come meet this guy over in Minnesota who is making his own coins,’” Dawson relates. “Soon I found myself at an event with two or three hundred other people dressed in a variety of styles covering hundreds if not 1000’s of years.  There were warriors in Japanese samurai armor, knights in mail and plate armor, and men dressed as Roman senators or traveling Troubadours. Women were dressed as Viking ladies; members of Queen Elizabeth’s court (the 1st Elizabeth!), ladies who would have been at home in Renaissance Florence or Venice, and women dressed in armor fighting with the men!  It was really cool and I was hooked right away.”

“My particular craft, die making, involves first making the tools to make the coin dies. Small punches that are just the parts of letters. So for example, a straight line and a large crescent combine to make a letter D.  The dies themselves are made from round steel bars about 1” in diameter and 4” long.”

Coin Die

“Of course there are two dies for each coin, a ‘heads’ and a ‘tails’ die. One is held in a 40 pound block of metal. A coin blank - aluminum, copper, pewter or even Sterling silver - is put on the bottom die, the top die held in place by hand and then hit with a 4lb hammer to stamp the die image onto the coin.”

When asked what type of person would fit in with the SCA, Dawson responded, “I would say the SCA is for anyone who is interested in history before 1600 (The SCA endpoint) AND who wants to try doing history. The SCA is really about being hands-on. Whether learning to fight like one of the three Musketeers with blunted swords or using rattan poles to fight like Crusader knights or learning a hand craft like making beer or your own paper or creating iron starting with raw ore and a pile of charcoal.” 

If anyone is interested in knowing more they can contact Dawson or go on line at

Dawson Lewis striking coins with a very young assistant!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Security Tip: Connect with Care

It’s easy to see and open Wi-Fi hotspots and connect to them, but BIT urges you to use common sense when you connect. If you’re online through an unsecured or unprotected network, be cautious about the sites you visit and information you release.
STOP. THINK. CONNECT., the global cybersecurity awareness campaign, gives us the below tips to assist us all to connect with care by exercising caution and using common sense when connecting –helping all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online.
  • Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your phone.
  • Protect your $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the sites is security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://”, which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.
  • When in doubt, don’t respond. Fraudulent texting, calling and voicemails are on the rise. Just like email, requests for personal information or to immediate action are almost always a scam.
  • Be cautious about “scareware:” Cyber criminals have used fear to compromise your computer and to steal your personal information, which may include credit card information and banking login credentials. If you get security notices saying you are infected and need to purchase software, these could very well be attempts to compromise your device.

Monday, December 8, 2014

What's New in Standards

In the past 3 months there have been many updates to the standard hardware list for State government!  We have added a 4th model of desktop computer (the HP 800 G1 MiniDesktop), replaced the 840 G1 portable with the 9480 G1, and transitioned to the Elitepad 1000 G2 for the cellular-capable tablet computer.  Here is a quick overview of our new items.

HP 800 G1 MiniDesktop is small - really small.  6.9" x 1.3" x 7" to be exact!  Small does not mean slow either - BIT has configured this unit with a i5-4590T 2GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD hard drive.  There are 6 USB ports with 2 of these ports on the front of this unit.  There are also integrated CAT5 and wireless network cards in the system as well dual-monitor support.  Small does mean one sacrifice - there is not an internal CDROM drive in this system.

The new low-end portable is the Elitebook 9480M.  This unit with a 14" screen has an i5-4310U 2GHz processor, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD hard drive, and an Intel integrated HD graphics card.  Again, a sleek design comes with a sacrifice - no internal CDROM drive.

The Elitepad 1000 G2 is the new version of the Elitepad 900.  Visually, the new unit appears identical to the old model.  The 1000 G2 uses an updated Atom mobile processor, has 4GB of RAM, and has 64GB of internal storage.  As with the 900 model, you can purchase this unit with either a battery jacket or a keyboard jacket.

In addition to new hardware, BIT has instituted a mandatory etching for all portable computers.  This etching is $10 per unit and will provide an extra level of security for the state's portables in case of loss or theft.

If there are any questions on any of these new products or services, please contact Shellie Patterson in Standards.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Outlook Feature to Save You Time: Insert Screenshot

Outlook has a cool feature that can save you some time. The Screenshot feature lets you quickly create a screen grab and insert it into the body of your email.

It seems that everyone knows about using Alt-Print Screen to capture the screen. And many folks use the popular Snipping Tool to grab part of the screen. However, we would like to share with you a feature that not many folks know about—the “Screenshot” tool that can be accessed from within Outlook!
Instead of having to search for the Snipping Tool or first taking the screenshot, saving it to disk, then insert it as an attachment in your email, you can just use Outlook's Insert menu:
  • Create a new email message and click in the body of the message. Make sure the cursor is where you want to insert your screen clip.
  • Make sure the item you want to capture is visible OR at most only has the current document over it.
  • Under the Insert tab, click Screenshot. Depending on your ribbon menu setup, this might be a tiny icon—specifically, a little camera icon with a dotted rectangle.
  • From the Screenshot dropdown, click on one of the available windows to insert it. If you don't see a window you want to insert, make sure the program isn't minimized to the taskbar.
  • Alternatively, if you want just a portion of the screen, click on the Screen Clipping button at the bottom of the Screenshot dropdown. This will bring up a crosshair cursor for you to drag around the area of the screen you want to select.
Your selection should then be inserted into your email. There you have it!