Bell Centrex system to be replaced by VoIP

The University is moving from the current Bell Centrex system for telephones to a new VoIP (Voice over IP; essentially using computer networks to replace telephone networks) system.  The change will provide enhanced communication features and significant cost savings.

The main University website for this changeover is VoIP at U of T.

Currently the Faculty of Arts and Science is in discussions about this changeover with the central people and the departments within the faculty.

More updates will be posted on this blog as the project progresses.

University Campus Agreement for Microsoft Software

The University has an agreement with Microsoft to provide software for equipment which is owned by the University of Toronto.  Please see:

for more information (you will need your UTORid and password to access that site).  Here is a paragraph from that page:

The Campus Agreement provides CORE CAL licenses, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Forefront Endpoint protection (for Windows), System Center Endpoint Protection 2012 (Windows, Linux amd Mac) and Microsoft Office Professional for Windows or Macintosh for installation on University of Toronto owned equipment only.

For personally-owned machines, the website mentioned above has a link to the Home Use Program where you can purchase an inexpensive Microsoft Office Professional license if you wish.

Do not use Outlook to access departmental mail

We are investigating reported issues with Microsoft Outlook having problems handling mail from our IMAP server.  The issue can result in failures to update folders and even the deletion of some email.

Until the issue is resolved, please use a different email client (Thunderbird or Apple Mail or pine, for example) or our webmail client (SquirrelMail).  There is a second, unsupported, webmail client, roundcube, which some people prefer (especially on mobile devices).

sphere update on 2017oct11 was completed early; coxeter should be done by 4:45pm

sphere has already been updated.

coxeter will be updated starting at 4:15pm and should be back up by 4:45pm.

coxeter and sphere updates on Wednesday October 11, 2017

The departmental servers coxeter and sphere will have software updates applied on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017 which will require rebooting (the servers will be unavailable starting at 4:15pm). Since some updates will be applied while the servers are still up there may be some temporary issues with some software. We hope that any such issues will be minor and by doing most of the upgrading before bringing systems down the shorter downtime will be worth the potential minor problems. Please restart any programs if you observe problems during the upgrades (and please let us know at, so we can investigate). We expect the systems to be back up by 4:45pm.

UTSend service for transferring/sharing large files

The University now has a UTSend service for sharing files between users.  This can be used to share files with users at UofT and also with outside users.

Important things to know:

  1. You should encrypt all files that you upload to this service.
  2. Files will be deleted after 14 days.  The files uploaded to this service are not backed up.

For more information see their help page.

We are planning to retire our server now that there is a University-supported service.

Useful information about phishing

The UofT website has more information about phishing as well as general data/email security suggestions.  Please see what they have to say about phishing.

Email Fraud and Phishing

This is a reminder to be very careful to avoid email fraud, in particular phishing attacks.  These days spammers can target individuals much more easily and deliver emails which seem to come from trusted sources and may use your personal name (including nicknames).  They usually send you to a webpage that asks for passwords for email and/or bank accounts.

Please see the UofT webpage about this at Avoiding Email Fraud.

As usual, if you have any questions please send email to

coxeter and sphere updates on 2017sep27 were successful

coxeter and sphere appear to be working fine after the updates this afternoon.

Networking issues in 215 Huron

We have been told that some people are experiencing connection problems in 215 Huron. Please send detailed email to:

if you are having such problems. A problem description which is specific and reproducible, such as:

Whenever I use Firefox and I visit the site it takes at least 5 seconds to load.

is necessary for us to track down any issues.