Use Command-F1 to quickly switch between mirrored and non-mirrored displays

posted May 25, 2011, 10:03 AM by Shanon Doah

Looking for a really fast way to switch between mirroring (same on both screens) and extended desktop (one screen becomes an extension of the other, when mirroring is off) modes when using more than one display with your Mac?  Simply use Command-F1 keyboard shortcut.

How to do this:
  • Hold down the Command key
  • While holding Command, press F1
  • Let go of F1
  • Then, let go of the Command key.
This instantly switches mirroring on/off.  This is useful if, for example, you've connected your MacBook to an external display (like a projector, monitor, or TV) and you want to see the same thing on both screens, but after connecting the Mac to the projector/TV/monitor, you only see a desktop background image (like this) on one of the screens.

You can also turn mirroring on and off in System Preferences, or, you can add a Displays menu to your menu bar and turn mirroring on/off from the menu (click here to see how), but Command-F1 is the quickest way.

Death by PowerPoint

posted Apr 5, 2011, 9:11 AM by David Chavez

About a milling presentation are going on right now around the world; 50% of them are unbearable [unscientific estimate, but probably true].

Learn how to not bore your audience to death.  Check out one of the most famous slideshows on the internet: Death by PowerPoint [ironically, the information is delivered as a PowerPoint presentation].

Written version of the video tutorial on screen recording with voice narration

posted Mar 9, 2011, 1:28 PM by David Chavez   [ updated Mar 9, 2011, 1:32 PM ]

How to rip DVDs with Handbrake

posted Mar 2, 2011, 8:06 PM by David Chavez

So, you've got a whole shelf of home movies, field research video, or other precious video recordings on DVD, and you want to save them to your computer for watching, editing, backup, etc.  Handbrake, the fantastic and completely-free DVD ripping software, has you covered.  But, maybe you've been hesitant to try Handbrake because you're not sure which options to use.  Click here to read an excellent post (including text instructions and video instructions) from Lifehacker walking you through ripping a DVD in Handbrake step-by-step.

New Polycom portable video teleconferencing system debuts on main campus

posted Feb 18, 2011, 11:21 AM by Shanon Doah   [ updated Feb 22, 2011, 2:24 PM by David Chavez ]

A new Polycom HDX 6000 video teleconferencing (aka "VTC" or "videoconferencing") system was used for the first time on main campus last week.  The new HDX 6000—together with VTC equipment at NVC and (thanks to Institutional Computing staff) a vastly improved high-speed network connection at NVC—allowed faculty from the Northern Virginia and Winchester campuses to converse and participate simultaneously in a Lunch and Learn faculty development session.  The HDX 6000 codec (main unit), EagleEye camera, and microphone are mounted together with a beautiful 46" NEC professional LCD display on a heavy-duty portable cart for use throughout main campus.  If your department would like to hold a simultaneous meeting with groups of people at both main campus and NVC (or main campus and HPB, or main campus and another location) in which personal-computer-based video chat solutions like Skype/iChat/Google-Voice-and-Video-Chat might not be sufficient, visit and click on "Equipment and Help Request."  If you're interested in holding a videoconference between SU campus locations, submit the request at least 1-2 weeks ahead of time and email for recommended rooms before you book a room.  If you're interested in holding a videoconference between SU's main campus and a non-SU location, submit your request at least two weeks ahead and email so that Media Services can work with you on additional details.

Bowman 212 projector upgraded

posted Feb 15, 2011, 7:44 AM by David Chavez   [ updated Feb 15, 2011, 7:48 AM ]

The old ceiling-mounted multimedia projector in room 212 Bowman Building has been replaced with a newer, better model which we recovered from a location in which it was no longer being used.  Users will probably notice right away that the projected image in 212 is brighter and easier to see, even when there is some ambient light from the windows or light fixtures in the room.

Projector screen broken in Ruebush 148; temporary replacement in place; permanent replacement coming soon

posted Feb 8, 2011, 1:20 PM by Shanon Doah   [ updated Feb 8, 2011, 1:23 PM ]

Thanks to everyone who promptly reported the projector screen breaking in room 148 Ruebush Hall.  Your prompt reports help us serve you better and ensure classes are able to keep running smoothly.  To report an issue with audio-visual equipment or services any time, visit and click on "Report an Issue."  Media Services installed a temporary replacement screen in Ruebush 148 on Tuesday afternoon; we hope to have a permanent replacement in place within the next few days.

New help resources for equipment in Henkel 207

posted Feb 4, 2011, 9:19 AM by Shanon Doah

We've released a new set of quick-start instructions for the audio-visual equipment in room 207 Henkel Hall.  These instructions include a new video showing exactly how to set your MacBook's display preferences to optimal settings for that room's flat panel display screen.  For information on what equipment is available in which rooms and to view our growing library of quick-start instructions, visit and click on "Classrooms."

iTunes U issue resolved

posted Feb 3, 2011, 12:19 PM by Shanon Doah

We have done further testing and have been been unable to reproduce the "Error: upload failed" message again.  We have also received communication from Apple that they have found no issues on their end.  It appears the issue was probably a temporary glitch which is resolved.  We will continue to monitor and provide updates if the problem reappears, however, users should be able to upload files to iTunes U normally now.

iTunes U "Error: Upload Failed" Issue

posted Jan 31, 2011, 1:56 PM by Shanon Doah

Some faculty who use iTunes U have been seeing an "Error: Upload Failed" message appear after attempting to upload files to iTunes U.  In addition, sometimes when you begin the file upload, it may say "In Queue" but never change to "1.0 of 20.0 mb," "3.4 of 20.0 mb," etc.  According to a thread on the iTunes U support discussion board, at least one another school (UCF) is seeing the same issue; the issue has been acknowledged by Apple's iTunes U support personnel and they are working on finding a solution.  We will post an update when we have more information.  In the meantime, it looks like sometimes simply trying the upload again works.  If not, click here and scroll to the bottom for some suggested other methods of sharing files (especially videos) too big to attach to an email.

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