The issues some students were experiencing with using Minecraft on PALCS Windows computers has been resolved. Issues were seen when the program launched. From evaluation of the issues and system administration changes it has been determined that the only version of Minecraft that currently works on school computers is the “Alternate Version” found on Minecraft.net’s download page. Specific directions on the resolution are available on Minecraft on School Computers page.
The image below shows the specific location of this program within our Software Catalog. If you do not see Google Earth available, be sure to refresh your Zenworks profile. Learn how to do this here.
The issue in which students attempting to access their Google Apps accounts from Firefox received a certificate error page has been resolved. Students will need to restart their computer and log in to the computer with their username and password. This will enable a new version of Firefox to be downloaded and installed. The version of Firefox being installed is 43.0.4.
Students attempting to access their Google Apps accounts from Firefox are experiencing difficulty. It is related to browser certificate. The current recommendation is to use either the Google Chrome or Internet Explorer to access Google Apps account including student mail. We will provide an update shortly.
After the winter break it was discovered there were issues with entering Adobe Connect classrooms from the recently updated version of Firefox. These issues were not seen in testing. To remedy the issue we made available an alternate version of Firefox – version 43.0.2 32-bit. It is available from the Software Archive on Windows 7 computers. If a student or staff member is experiencing issues with Firefox, it is recommended they install the 43.0.2 32-bit version from their computer’s Software Archive. The illustration below shows the Software Archive opened and the “Web Browser” area opened.
We have discovered a known issue that has occurred subsequent to our release of an update to Mozilla Firefox and Adobe Flash.
When students and staff on a Windows 7 computer and using Firefox web browser attempt to open a room hosted on a palcs.adobeconnect.com from the Firefox web browser. The recommendation from our Technology Department is to use either Chrome or Internet Explorer to access a virtual classroom held in Connect. (palcs.adobeconnect.com).
- Google Chrome is available for install and download in our Software Archive (learn more.)
- Internet Explorer is installed on all machines.
We have engaged Adobe support on this issue and will be providing updates accordingly.
PALCS IT Department
On December 23, 2015 we updated two important pieces of software on student computers.
Mozilla Firefox was updated from version 40 to version 43.0.2. The new version is a 64-bit version which will make it harder for malicious websites to exploit browser vulnerabilities. Also the 64-bit version should bring better performance. The update from 40 to 43 will also address compatibility issues with systems that we use such as Canvas, iRead, and Achieve3000. Also Mozilla has a new feature called “strict tracking protection.” It is enabled by default.
Adobe Flash was updated from version 18 to version 20. The main areas addressed with this version jump are graphical glitches and security fixes.
Both updates were pushed out via our Windows device manager. All students are recommend to restart their computer to ensure they receive these critical updates.
Restarting (aka Rebooting) is a fundamental action everyone should do. Some benefits of rebooting are:
- Helps Your Computer Run Faster and Efficiently
Routine rebooting will free up resources such as memory and delete temporary files used by various software. These “temp” files and consumption of other resources can cause your computer to slow down and in extreme cases even come to a complete halt. You will often find that simply rebooting your computer can cause it to run faster and with less problems.
- Installs Updates
A reboot will ensure that you get properly connected to PALCS servers to receive the latest updates assigned to your computer user profile. PALCS sends out regular updates. Rebooting helps ensure that students receive those updates.
- Fixes Small Errors
During a reboot, Windows performs various diagnostics and system checks in the background. Sometimes if you feel that your computer is simply “acting strange”, a reboot may solve the problem. In fact, rebooting can pre-emptively fix some problems before they occur.
So how often should you reboot?
Daily. Shutting down your computer at the end of the day and turning on in the morning is a good practice. However be advised that simply shutting the lid to your laptop or allowing your desktop to go to sleep is not the same as rebooting. Shutting down from the Start Menu is the best approach (see picture below).
Answer: It depends.
Since we live in a world with multiple operating systems (Windows, iOS, OS X, etc.), and with multiple browsers (Firefox and Chrome), it is wise to be open to using multiple browsers when the situation fits.
For years, Firefox has been the official browser for everyone to use. However beginning in the Summer of 2014 we made Chrome available to students on school Windows computers.
Below is a rundown of when you should consider using what browser:
- Accessing your Google Apps Account (including Drive & Mail): Chrome
- Accessing Canvas courses: Chrome
- Accessing Moodle courses: Firefox
- Taking a MAP Test: Chrome
Our advice for all students is to have both browsers ready to use at any time. Switching from browser to browser is not uncommon by our staff or by our successful students.
Below is more information on our browser: