IT News - 2015 & 2016

IT News - 2015 & 2016

02/12/2016 - 08:57

Meet the team - who ensure consistent and reliable backups... Klaas Van Dijken, Paul Buys, Gerhard Goossens,  Wayne Cusens, Adriaan Van Graan, Wilna Oosthuizen and Charles Mokwena,

01/12/2016 - 15:55

IT@NWU hosted the first Raspberry Pi Hackathon on 27 and 28 October as part of International Open Access Week 2016.

11/11/2016 - 09:32

CellC, MTN, Vodacom SA and Telkom Mobile have agreed to provide free access to eFundi and the NWU website until 23 December 2016. Access to these sites will not be counted against their users’ data access accounts. This is good news for students who want to access their learning content via these cellular networks when not on campus.

25/10/2016 - 14:22

IT supports the library through the provision, maintenance and set-up of infrastructure...

14/10/2016 - 14:28


Interested in using this tool?

Meet the team - from left to right:  Adelle Lotter, Ciellie Jansen Van Vuuren.
11/10/2016 - 11:48

OpenStack Object storage or “SWIFT” is designed to store : files, videos, analytics data, web content and backups...

(Meet the team - from left to right:  Adelle Lotter, Ciellie Jansen Van Vuuren)

06/09/2016 - 07:39

From 26 - 29 September 2016 the North-West University will host its first Genomics Data Carpentry workshop where researchers and postgraduate students will have an opportunity to sharpen their genomics data analysis skills.

16/08/2016 - 15:24

Dear Colleagues

Please take note that there will be maintenance done on the firewall infrastructure of the NWU on Tuesday, 16 August from 20:00 to 21:30. We don't expect any downtime, but internet related services might be affected during this time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Information Technology
16/08/2016 - 09:13

The first stage of a project to re-look services for students, was changing the email service.

The next stage is to provide cloud storage.

A Google domain for the NWU has been setup and with this in place, new services became available.

Click here for more information on the cloud service ...

Important:  P:-drives to be phased out

As a result of this, network drives for students, known as the P:-drives, become obsolete and will be phased out. 

01/08/2016 - 14:25

On 23 and 24 June 2016 colleagues from the NWU attended a Research Data Management (RDM) workshop held at the Potchefstroom Campus. The 35 participants hailed from Information Technology, the NWU Libraries, the Research Support Office, and from a variety of research areas. All three campuses were well-represented.

26/07/2016 - 14:12

The University of the Future will differentiate itself from the others by the crafty(?) use of Information and Communication Technology for all of its activities. At IT@NWU we proud ourselves to follow a well-informed, structured, but agile process to formulate strategy and to plan the project, product and service portfolio. see diagram

04/07/2016 - 15:33

Neem asseblief kennis dat al hoe meer rekenaars deur die Locky en Zepto virus aangetas word. IT stel alle moontlike maatreëls in plek om die verspreiding van die virus te verhoed. Sien grafiese voorstelling.

04/07/2016 - 15:23

Please take note that an increasing number of computers are being infected by the Locky and Zepto virus. IT is taking all possible measures to prevent the distribution of the virus.

22/06/2016 - 11:36

The quarterly maintenance of the Novell environment will take place this coming Saturday, 25 June 2016, from 09:00.  If all goes according to plan, the process should be completed by 14:00.

The following services will be affected intermittently:

21/06/2016 - 16:29

13/06/2016 - 16:09

Colleagues from the NWU libraries participated in a Short Course on Research Data Management (RDM) offered by the UCT Library and Student Information Centre in March this year.

13/06/2016 - 13:40

The Historical Association of South Africa in collaboration with NWU eResearch would like to invite researchers, postgraduate students, and postdoctoral research fellows to participate in the first Digital Humanities workshop offered in conjunction with their annual conference.

16/05/2016 - 08:34

Have you ever wished you could work uninterrupted for a few days on a project or that you just had a few hours of dedicated time to kick that brilliant research idea of you into action?

On 2 - 3 June 2016 the North-West eResearch Initiative is going to provide you with that opportunity…

11/05/2016 - 10:01

Beste kollegas,

Beste kollegas,

10/05/2016 - 11:15

A summary of opportunities, communities, and events that could change your life

Are you working at a research organisation developing scripts or software to analyse your research group’s data? Or are you developing research software as part of your postgraduate degree?

10/05/2016 - 08:14

As technology and connectivity improve, researchers are able to access or generate bigger and bigger datasets…

18/04/2016 - 09:33

The SMS Impi service expires on 30 April 2016. AmiCell is the new product that can be used for sending bulk sms's.

Click here to

14/04/2016 - 11:13

Do not open unknown emails, click here to read more about Locky Virus with sorts of attachments.

Update your antivirus in 4 easy steps!
30/03/2016 - 11:12
Email attachment
17/03/2016 - 15:57

INTERNET PEOPLE should be alert to the threat of Locky, a new malware strain that wants to part you from your hard-earned.

Software and Data Carpentry
14/03/2016 - 08:34

The NWU eResearch Initiative, Talarify, and UCT eResearch are pleased to host the first South African-based Software/Data Carpentry Instructor Training workshop on 17 - 20 April 2016 at the Potchefstroom Campus of North-West University.

09/03/2016 - 15:02

In order to answer this question the NWU, for the first time in history, will participate in the EDUCAUSE Centre for Analysis and Research (ECAR) Students and Information Technology Study of 2016.

This study is based on an annual survey that helps higher education institutions assess student’s expectations and experiences of technology. Any higher education institution may participate, and there is no fee.

The 2015 ECAR Student Study collaborated with 161 institutions to collect responses from 50,274 undergraduate students across 11 countries about their technology experiences.

09/03/2016 - 09:32

One of the biggest challenges in research these days is to ensure that our students and researchers are equipped with skills to handle the ever increasing size of their datasets and use technology efficiently to perform reproducible analysis.

23/02/2016 - 11:17

On Tuesday, 2 February 2016, IT@NWU held its first departmental meeting of the year. The IT Department consists of various teams and sections located on the various campuses.

Connect@NWU (powered by Adobe Connect) was used to connect the campuses by means of video link. This enabled all IT staff to participate in the meeting. Although this was not the first time that Connect@NWU was used for the IT departmental meeting across campuses, the following is important to note about the most recent meeting:

23/02/2016 - 08:03

As from 11 January 2016 qualifying students can pay for various services offered at the Institute for Biokinetics by using their NWU-Vending “wallets”.  If the student has sufficient vending funds at his / her disposal they can use their NWU student cards when making a payment for one of the service offerings provided.

The associated functionality has brought numerous benefits to the Institute for Biokinetics including but not limited to:

23/02/2016 - 08:01

Gone are the days when you had to wait for your payslip to arrive via snail mail.  As from October 2015 the NWU are sending payslips electronically.

In the “snail days” payslips were printed by Nashua, folded by Finance Payroll and then sent to the postal division for distribution.  Today payslips are sent by the click of a few buttons.

23/02/2016 - 07:59

Buying airtime through the NWU mobile app Buy Tool is not new.  The service was established in 2014.

Students can buy airtime from Vodacom, MTN and Cell-C through the app by loading money beforehand onto their NWU-Vending “wallet”.  On entering the app a student is informed of the amount of money that is available on his/her vending wallet.  The student can then continue with the purchase process.

A new service provider, SMS Cellular, was recently procured.  This enabled broadening the product offering with data and SMS bundles as well as airtime amounts as specified by the purchaser.

22/02/2016 - 09:32

The increase in demand for meeting and managing big data requirements poses big challenges with regard to ICT resources. This is especially true for big data projects such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and the MeerKAT radio telescope.

19/02/2016 - 10:03

Most researchers venturing into the daunting world of genomics research these days find themselves overwhelmed by new terminology, computational skills required for data analysis, and complex study design considerations.

18/02/2016 - 12:02

Python, R, command-line interface, shell, terminal, function, package. These are a few examples of the vocabulary researchers and students were recently exposed to during a two-day Software Carpentry workshop at the NWU.

04/02/2016 - 11:19

Will you be traveling soon, possibly to a participating eduroam institution? 

“eduroam (education roaming) is the secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community. eduroam allows the user from participating institutions to obtain Internet connectivity when visiting other participating institutions by signing on with their institutions credentials.” source:

Watch the video that explains how eduroam works.

29/01/2016 - 12:58

Wishes come true… Staff will be happy to know that their GroupWise mailboxes will increase to 1GB as from 1 February 2016.

The change will be seen when signing into GroupWise on that day.

29/01/2016 - 12:58

Due to the Rand/Dollar exchange rate it is not possible to renew the NWU license for 2016.

29/01/2016 - 12:58

Due to the Rand/Dollar exchange rate it is not possible to renew the NWU's Gartner subscription for 2016.

22/01/2016 - 12:42

A break in the Seacom cable at 16:00, Thursday, 21 January 2016 made it impossible for many South Africans to browse the Internet.

The Internet service was however restored at 18:46 on the same day.

14/01/2016 - 09:13

Finally... one less username and password to enter!

08/01/2016 - 15:06

From 2016 all other registered students of the NWU are assigned a NWU Gmail email address.

01/12/2015 - 11:05

IT @ NWU has a new vision for the relationship between IT and the University’s researchers. IT wants to help accelerate research discovery through provisioning of relevant technology, infrastructure, and support. Boeta Pretorius, Chief IT Director says: “Research has been mentioned in the IT strategy for many years, but in 2015 we’re actually going to do something about the way we support our researcher”. So moving from words to action, in the past three months IT has done the following:

01/12/2015 - 10:14

In July 2015 the NWU officially commenced with an eResearch drive that will ultimately help to align research support units and researchers across all disciplines to embrace the power of the digital world in the 21st century.

11/11/2015 - 16:14

Institutional Management requested an alignment of access control across NWU campuses to permit electronic access to all open access areas

28/10/2015 - 12:44

Starting October 2015, students of the NWU are eligible to download Office 365 ProPlus for free. Read more...

19/10/2015 - 16:12

North-West University's eResearch Initiative is proud to present our first local Software Carpentry workshop in collaboration with IT@NWU and NWU Faculty of Engineering.

12/10/2015 - 07:43

Since 2012 students have the opportunity to vote for their top lecturers via a link provided in eFundi.

02/10/2015 - 10:17

To take advantage of the automated NWUWIFI setup compatible for Windows 7, 8/8.1 and 10, click hereThe .exe file will help you setup your NWUWIFI profile.

23/09/2015 - 11:59

Welcome to IT’s project site* ( where anyone can access the current IT project portfolio.

18/09/2015 - 11:28

For the past few weeks we have seen congestion on the NWU’s International bandwidth.

18/09/2015 - 11:11

Watch this space and see how the North-West University (NWU) is boldly taking data science in South Africa to the next level. Through a new partnership with two other universities, the NWU will help bolster the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project and strengthen inter-university cooperation.

11/09/2015 - 12:01

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

This service enables the user who is not on campus to work on the NWU network as if being on campus.

04/09/2015 - 11:05

In the “old days” when you wanted to talk to IT, you would phone or visit ITB (Inligtingstegnologie en Bestuur).  A lot has changed since then… for ITB no longer exists in name.

28/08/2015 - 16:02

(This article only applies to the GroupWise client and not to Webmail or GroupWise Mobile.)

Are you frustrated with the size of your GroupWise mailbox?  Create a GroupWise archive…

A GroupWise archive is an extension of your mailbox where you can transfer emails to in order to manage the size of your mailbox. 

20/08/2015 - 15:22

Research support at the NWU experienced a boost in the form of a new staff member, Anelda van der Walt. A researcher in own right, with the IT knowledge and enthusiasm needed, Anelda's services has been contracted until July 2016.

13/08/2015 - 13:14

Today, higher education is in a unique and unprecedented position. The challenges we face, will not be met by efficiency alone. It also demands innovation.

13/08/2015 - 10:47

IT has launched a webpage from which to download legal software available to all staff.  The software webpage is available on the University’s intranet through a browser.

07/08/2015 - 14:26

Hackers Sending Fake Windows 10 Upgrade Ransomware Email, Encrypts Every File

It has not been a week, yet hackers have begun to exploit existing Windows users’ computer by sending them a ransomware, via spoofed email, which instantly encrypts each and every file that exists on the computer.

07/08/2015 - 14:19

The old Tandberg video conference system has successfully been replaced with the Connect@NWU service.

In 2014, as part of the eCommunication project, a total of five meeting venues were equipped with modern video conference facilities across campuses. Since the start of 2015 another five meeting venues have been equipped.  

31/07/2015 - 13:54

Microsoft released its latest version of the Windows operating system on July 29th, 2015. This edition runs on desktops, notebooks and Intel-based tablets, with the mobile version following later. IT has been testing several development releases as part of Microsoft's preview programme.  We share the following things with our NWU community.

31/07/2015 - 13:53

eFundi MOVE is an app being developed for eFundi. The MOVE part of the name is an acronym for Mobile Offline VErsion. The first version of eFundi MOVE is currently in pilot phase. 

24/07/2015 - 10:02

The central High Performance Computer (HPC) Cluster, which provides researchers with an extremely powerful processing platform, has undergone several upgrades. The 2014 upgrade brought much needed features, improved parallel processing capabilities, and enhanced support for the latest and fastest hardware.

24/07/2015 - 10:00

The more than 100 qualifications offered at the NWU comprises of 5,890 modules that require constant change to keep them relevant and up to date with new developments. The modules, as well as the changes must conform to several stringent quality and legal standards, set by a number of internal and external certification bodies. To manage the average of more than 20 change proposals per month with the traditional paper-based process, became a major challenge.

17/07/2015 - 10:40

In close collaboration with our colleagues from the Finance department, the NWU became the first South-African University to successfully implement the Kuali Financial System (KFS), to replace our previous vended system from Oracle.

17/07/2015 - 10:36

The word “kuali” is of Malaysian origin, and signifies a humble kitchen wok that plays an important role in any successful kitchen. The popular slogan is “Keep your money in your Mission”.

Photo of Chief IT Director Boeta Pretorius
10/07/2015 - 11:43

Mr. Boeta Pretorius, newly appointed Director of IT remembers his career journey as one where he had started off as a junior lecturer at Computer Science. He confesses, that it led him to this very challenging position where he, his team of managers and everyone in IT will strive towards excellence. 

10/07/2015 - 11:33

All staff now have access to, an online subscription library that teaches the latest software tools and skills through high-quality instructional videos taught by recognized industry experts.

03/07/2015 - 11:19

Adware infections can compromise both the usability of your computer and network usage.

Many people might ask if adware is a virus?  Does it delete my files? What do I do now that I have it?... Let’s break it down.

02/07/2015 - 15:12

In any modern university, it has become a core capability for lecturers to record their lectures, and use the recordings in a number of ways to enhance the teaching and learning processes. To this end, we have launched a lecture capture pilot project in 2013, specifically aimed at sustainability and affordability.

25/05/2015 - 12:57

The NWU Internet

Over the last few months the NWU has experienced more than its fair share of Internet outages, or more correctly, Internet slow-downs. This has led to many questions as to why?
The major reasons are: 1) Cable theft/damage and 2) Loadshedding

25/05/2015 - 12:42

IT goes green with PaperCut print management system

PaperCut is a print management system which saves paper and therefore reduces costs by enabling users to release their own print jobs. At the NWU this is done by swiping the user’s NWU card.

Moving forward with Efundi
24/04/2015 - 16:29

Moving forward!

The NWU implemented eFundi (powered by Sakai) as a learning management system at the end of 2006. Since then the number of simultaneous users grew from a maximum of 3000 in 2013 to a maximum of 8000 in 2015. This makes eFundi the most used mission critical system at the university. eFundi is mostly used as a content sharing and collaborative tool.

Email freedom of choice for students
24/04/2015 - 16:11

Email freedom of choice for students

Providing an email service to students have been part of the IT department's operations for more than 15 years. The time has come to wave the old student Groupwise goodbye, with the service ending at the end of April 2015.

Don't react on Scam E-mails
23/04/2015 - 12:33

Don't react on Scam E-mails

We would like to draw your attention again to the spam email messages that have been surfacing. These messages replicate a fax message and are sent from different email addresses. They usually have a .ZIP, .EXE, .SCR or .CAB file as an attachment.