Yesterday we experienced disruption to some of our services. This disruption was caused by a temporary fault in some of our hardware. The problems have been resolved and we are working on solutions to stop this happening again.

Thanks to our technical team we were able to restore most our services:

  • ICMA website was back online at 1pm on Monday afternoon
  • Timetables were back online at 7:30pm on Monday evening
  • The Blogs service was brought back online at 10:26pm on Monday evening

We are still waiting on one service to come back up:


We will update this post when this service is back online.

Apologies again for the inconvenience caused by this interruption. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the technical teams for their hard work into the evening/night to restore these services.

We will be continuing to work to migrate all services from the legacy hardware, onto the new, resilient systems to reduce such incidents going forward.



IT is pleased to announce the ‘beta’-launch of its new application deployment service, App-J. App-J allows applications to be streamed and cached without full installation and will transform the way students and staff access University software. We are providing this service as a direct consequence of a request from student representatives.

As a first stage, App-J has been deployed specifically to centrally-booked PC labs and classrooms. This alone will greatly expand access to the key teaching applications by making applications available in all locations, including the Library. Further stages will make eligible software available even wider, including to personal PCs and laptops, on and off campus.

As a beta, we are seeking to ensure the service is robust, highly available and to iron out any last remaining problems. We encourage you to help us by providing feedback, particularly if you experience any problems. We do advise you that during this phase App-J will not necessarily have the warranty we expect of our services. IT continues to assure teaching and learning by using existing deployment methods in parallel.

To access App-J in a centrally-booked lab, please visit the Appstore –

More details and instructions can be found at

Please share this message widely with students and staff. Issues should be reported to the IT Service Desk in the normal way, who are fully briefed on the development. IT Contacts should feel free to discuss this with their IT Business Partner.


Spam Outbreak

The University of Reading has recently been hit with a Spam (also known as Junk Email or Unsolicited Email – see the Background section for more information) outbreak affecting a large number of staff. The spam is of a sexual nature and in some cases has caused a considerable amount of distress due to the quantity of emails and tone of the content. It contains a link embedded within the email – these links should not be clicked.

The Spam has been hard to detect with our automated systems due to the way that it is being distributed, but this is something we are working on. We are continuing to train our Anti-Spam systems to recognise the emails for what they are and to block them or deliver them to the AutoSpam folder.

This problem is now being reported across the UKHE sector and we are not alone in suffering from the effects of this Spam campaign or in finding it hard to tackle.

If you receive a piece of Spam email that has made its way through the Anti-Spam systems, then the easiest way to deal with it is to delete it. If you wish to you can edit your own settings to make your own Spam filtering more sensitive or to block addresses, but bear in mind that this may also filter out legitimate email.

If you receive emails that are causing you distress then please log a support request through the IT Portal where you can report the problem.

Background & Further Information

Spam is unsolicited email, in other words email that you are not expecting, did not ask for and do not want. According to Wikipedia the name comes from:

“Spam is named after Spam luncheon meat by way of a Monty Python sketch in which Spam is depicted as ubiquitous and unavoidable
At the time of writing it makes up a large amount of the total email sent across the world, with some estimates suggesting that 85-97% of all email in circulation is unwanted.”

Over the last week (w/c 31/10/2016) we have seen the following amounts of UK-based staff email go through our email systems and this demonstrates the total amount of unwanted, and in some cases malicious, email we receive and that is dealt with by UoR IT teams and services.


In other words, over the course of that week only about 15% of the total email that was received by the University was legitimate email that made it to Inboxes. The rest is rejected, discarded or filtered as it contains viruses, malware or has been identified as Spam.

If you have any further questions, please contact the IT Service Desk, either via the Self Service Portal (, email (, or phone 0118 378 (6262).



Office 365 is available to all University of Reading Staff and Students for free. Apps include Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneDrive.

Check out our Office 365 hub for full details about what is available to you or simply login to Office 365 here.



The root cause of the email outage has been identified and fixed. Email is back up but running slower than usual while the email queue is cleared. Scan to email is also now back up. No email has been lost during the outage.


We are currently experiencing an interruption to email delivery. Any email sent will be queued and delivered when the service is restored.

We have identified the problem and are now fixing the problem. Check back here for further information soon.


Most IT services were disrupted today between 11:30 and 12:00 but are now coming back online.

The services affected are still considered ‘at risk’ and therefore will be running slower than usual while they come back up.

Normal service should resume shortly.


Some of our services were disrupted last night between the hours of 9 pm and 12 am. The disruption was due to faulty equipment and the problem was promptly identified and fixed.

Thank you to the IT staff involved with fixing the problem at such a late hour.



The new version of macOS 10.12 “Sierra”, released today, introduces changes that impact many non-United States regions and locales. These changes are not currently compatible with any version of MATLAB. We recommend that you learn more on and do not upgrade to macOS 10.12 at this time if you are impacted.

Please contact MathWorks Support with any questions.


Dear staff and students,

IT has updated the information on software provided for staff and students and put this into one place. The Software Store – Here you will find details of all of our site licensed software as well as links to other commercial offerings, such as Microsoft Office 365. Most of these packages can be used for free by staff and students for academic purposes. Please see the store for further details.

Coming soon – these applications and more, on App-J, our Application Jukebox.

If you have any further questions, please contact the IT Service Desk, either via the Self Service Portal (, email (, or phone (6262).



We have been getting reports of phishing calls coming into staff extensions from people claiming falsely to be from ‘Microsoft IT Support’. The person may ask to remotely access your computer to fix a problem. These calls are not genuine and should be ended straight away. If you are unsure about a call coming to you; hang-up and call our service desk directly on 0118 378 6262 or extension 6262.


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