macOS High Sierra Announcement

Apple released macOS High Sierra (10.13) on Monday, September 25th, 2017.  As with most new OS releases, we strongly recommend that you wait and not upgrade your University owned Mac.

Apple released macOS High Sierra (10.13) on Monday, September 25th, 2017.  As with most new OS releases, we strongly recommend that you wait and not upgrade your University owned Mac.  Information Technology Services cannot yet support High Sierra on University owned Macs until it has been sufficiently tested.  Additionally, waiting until the first set of High Sierra updates are released allows Apple to fix initial stability problems and bugs before the OS even makes it to your machine.

Our currently deployed Macs cannot even benefit from the most significant changes in High Sierra – the new Apple file system (AFS).  The enhanced speed, performance, security and reliability that High Sierra advertises is dependent on the new file system, which Apple does not support on our Mac hardware.  In addition to not being able to realize the biggest benefits of the upgrade, the process itself could cause significant issues, making a complete system backup an absolute necessity.  Furthermore, ITS is already aware of a number of issues with network printing and older software programs, including incompatibility with all versions of Microsoft Office released before 2016.  Software compatibility issues resulting from this upgrade are more complex than a basic update can fix.  These compatibility issues are similar to those experienced when Apple moved to Intel processors and Power PC programs no longer worked.  All of this leads us to our recommendation that you wait and not upgrade at this time.

One of the best updates – Safari’s ability to mute autoplayed videos – doesn’t even require High Sierra.  The new “Autoplay Blocking” is part of Safari 11, which is available in the App Store for systems running Sierra (10.12) or El Capitan (10.11).

Once we are confident that High Sierra will work well in our environment, ITS staff will be happy to assist with a safe and coherent upgrade process for our faculty and staff.

John Kitchen assumes new role in ITS

Kitchen is appointed interim director of client success for all three Widener campuses.

kitchenjAs we were starting the new academic year needing full-time leadership for the client success team, we were fortunate that John Kitchen stepped up to help.

The director of client success position is responsible for leading a variety of crucial services at all three campuses: our help desks and student labs, the asset management program, desktop software, and technology training.

John Kitchen has deep experience in all of these areas. He has worked in ITS for a total of 18 years, and has been in charge of supporting law school IT needs since 2006. He’s a recognized leader in his field, currently serving as a vice president for the Philadelphia local chapter of HDI, a professional association for the technical support industry. A Widener alumnus ’97, his dedication to the University and gold-standard service is apparent to everybody he meets.

Outside of Widener, John enjoys spending time with family and friends. He volunteers for Wills For Heroes Delaware Charter by providing technical support. In his leisure time, John enjoys reading, hiking and fishing.

People at the Delaware and Harrisburg campuses know John well already. We’re excited for the Chester campus community to have a chance to work with him more closely.