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Scheduling a meeting in the Outlook Web App

Many students, faculty and staff rely on the Outlook (Exchange) calendar to plan and schedule meetings. This works only if the people attending the meeting keep their calendar up to date.

To assist with scheduling events, a best practice is to enter “Busy” events, when you don’t want meetings scheduled. For example, if I’m taking Friday off, I would create a “Busy” event from 8am to 5pm on Friday.

To schedule a meeting with someone

  1. Visit the Office 365 website and login using SSO.
  2. Click the Applications icon (the 3×3 grid in the upper left) and choose Calendar (may be hidden so choose “All apps.”
  3. In the Calendar app, choose “New event” in the bar, or just click on the time you want and it will open the new event dialog.
  4. The “Add a title” field is the brief summary and will appear as the email subject line.
  5. You should put any people you want to invite in “Invite required attendees,” just start typing their name!
    • You can invite multiple people.
    • If there’s a conflict, a future time may be suggested.
    • If you don’t see any available times that work for you, you can choose “More options” at the bottom, then choose “Scheduling Assistant” in the menu, or move on to the next section to learn how to view the person’s calendar.
  6. Choose a start and end time, and try to keep meetings brief and efficient!
    • You should probably not schedule an event before 8am and after 5pm without checking with the person before…
  7. You can optionally enter a location, typically an office for staff or faculty).
  8. Enter any meeting notes below, such as the agenda. The meeting note will appear in the email body along with the details.
  9. Click “Save” or “Send” (only if you added attendees).

To see another person’s schedule

  1. In Calendar, on the left, scroll down and then hover over “People’s calendars.”
  2. Click the three dots.
  3. Choose “Add calendar” and type the person’s name in.
  4. Their calendar will be added to the “People’s calendars” section
  5. If you want to remove the calendar, click the three dots next to the person’s name.
  6. When you select a person, you will see their calendar and yours, and available times should be quite obvious.

Where can I brush up on my computer skills?

You have enough to worry about as a new student on campus, and using your computer should not be one of them. If you feel that your computer skills are insufficient or you find yourself struggling in your courses to keep up, Lynda online courses are  a great way to build your computer skills.

To access Lynda courses, visit go.miis.edu/lynda and create an account using your Middlebury email address.

General courses

Windows 10

Windows 8

Mac OS X

And if you’re interested in learning the differences between Mac and Windows:

How to Install VirtualBox and Windows on your Mac

Last updated April 29, 2021

If you’re a Mac user, there’s no need to sell your Mac and get a Windows computer. You can use VirtualBox, Parallels or VMWare (links lead to academic versions) to run Windows on your Mac. This tutorial was written for VirtualBox, since it’s free and you don’t have to reboot your computer to access Windows (this is why I don’t recommend Bootcamp, since you lose access to your Mac files and software).

Note, if you have an M1 Mac, you need a special version of Windows that runs on ARM processors! Here’s a link to a tutorial for how install Windows 10 using Parallels on a M1 Mac. You should download the ARM Preview version, and probably not continue with this tutorial as it’s written for Windows 10 for Intel chips using VirtualBox.

If you have Before you do anything else, make sure your Mac is updated to the latest version of OS X your computer supports, and verify it has 8GB or more of RAM.

1) Download Windows 10

You can now download an ISO of the installation disk directly from Microsoft. Most likely, you need the 64-bit version. The file you download will be over 3GB, so get this started and move on!

2) Acquire a Windows License

As a MIIS student, once you have your school account, you can get a Windows 10 license from the network when you’re on campus or connected via the Middlebury VPN. Once Windows is installed, you can go to the Activation screen in settings and change your key. Go to this page and find the “Semi-Annual Channel versions” section and copy the Windows 10 Pro key. This may seem like pirating, but Microsoft gives this key to all enterprise clients and it will only work if you’re on a network that is configured to grant Windows licenses anyway! You’ll probably also need to log into your school account.

If you’re not a MIIS student, you’ll need to purchase a Windows 10 Home (64-bit) license, which is available new on Amazon (search for “Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit OEM”) or a second-hand license available on eBay. What you really need is the activation key, since DVD drives are very uncommon these days.

Either way, you can install Windows without a license key, but you’ll get a nasty reminder if you don’t activate after a few weeks.

3) Download and Install VirtualBox

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

Save the DMG to a location on your computer where you will be able to find it (Downloads, Desktop, etc.). If you are on a Mac, you need the version for “OS X hosts.” VirtualBox must be installed before it can be used. When you mount the DMG, you must then run the VirtualBox installer, which will place VirtualBox into your Applications folder.

Installataion screen

4) Create your Virtual Machine (VM)

  1. When you run VirtualBox for the first time, there will be no virtual machines (VMs) installed.
    Initial run
  2. Click New in the toolbar, which will launch the New Virtual Machine Wizard.
    1. Give your VM a name such as “Windows 10”.
    2. Select “Windows” as the operating system, and “Windows 10 (64 bit)” as the version.
    3. Go with the recommended memory (2048 MB, or 2 GB).
    4. Leave the default “Create a virtual hard disk now” selected.
    5. Choose “Create.”
  3. Next you must configure the hard disk for your VM to use. The default settings should be fine (the drive is dynamic, so will only use the least amount of space on your host computer). Choose “Create.”
  4. You will now be taken back to the Virtual Machine Manager, which will no longer be empty. You should see the VM you created, and it should be “Powered Off”. Your VM is a computer within a computer, which means it must be started and shut down like a normal computer (it also means it can get viruses so be careful).
    VM is created

5) Install Windows

  1. Select the new VM you created and choose Settings (gear icon).
  2. Scroll down to the “Storage” section
  3. Select “[Optical Drive] Empty” and choose “Choose/Create a disk image…” A dialog will open.
  4. Choose “Add,” select the ISO you download earlier, and select “Choose”
  5. Click the green “Start” arrow to start your VM.
    Click "Start"
    You may see a warning that “Auto capture keyboard” is turned on. What is important to note on this screen is the host key, which is set to Left Command key. Use this key to “release” the mouse and keyboard from the VM to switch back to your Mac. You will need to do this if your mouse and keyboard appear to be “stuck” in the VM, meaning you can’t move the mouse out of the VM. Normally after Windows installed, you can simply move your mouse out of the VM window and it will be back on your Mac side.
  6. Your VM should start for the first time. It will boot like a normal computer, but in a window on your Mac. You may get the Virtual Machine host key warning again, select “Do not show this message again” and then “Capture”. You must remember your host key, which defaults to the left Command key.
    Windows 7 Installer
  7. Now you’re in the Windows installer. Follow the on-screen instructions, the default settings should be fine. One screen that is a little confusing is the “Upgrade” or “Custom” installation. Since this is a new VM, there is nothing to upgrade, so Custom would be the most logical choice.

Your VM may reboot a few times as Windows in installed, but most of your time will be spent watching your screen, so this would be a good time to get up and walk around.

6) Configure a Shared Folder

Before you can actually use your new VM, you will need to enable a shared folder. This folder is used to access files on your Mac from your VM. If you don’t have a shared folder, then your VM will be landlocked, meaning you won’t be able to get files on or off (you could theoretically use a USB key). To configure a shared folder, your VM must be powered off.

  1. In your VM configuration window, scroll down to the Shared Folders section. Clicking this heading will open the shared folders Window.
    Shared Folders
  2. Click the “Add a new shared folder definition” button Button to add a share.
  3. Click the down arrow in the folder path box and select “Other…”. Navigate to a folder on your Mac, such as your Desktop or your Documents folder. Once you have chosen your folder, click “Choose”.
  4. The folder name will automatically populate the “Folder Name” box, but you can change it should you wish. Make sure “Read-only” is not checked, and that “Auto-mount” is checked.
    Add Share

7) Guest Additions

Start up your VM, when it is finished booting and you have added a user account, your final step is to install some software that VirtualBox will use to make using your VM perform a little better. From the “Devices” menu, select “Install Guest Additions”.

Guest Additions

8) Use your VM!

You have now successfully installed VirtualBox and Windows. You may now install other software that you will need for courses. If you attached a USB key (or insert a CD or DVD into your computer), you may use it in your VM. You can also install software you download from the internet. Usually installation software ends with the extension .exe. These files can safely be downloaded on your Mac to be used in your VM. Your Mac will ignore them since .exe files are not compatible.

You will need to have Office on either your Mac or PC. Some software may require Office to be installed on Windows.

If you have any questions, please refer to the VirtualBox user manual.
If you need assistance installing VirtualBox, please reach out to Prof. Troyer.
If you need help using Windows, the Help Desk may be able to assist.

What are the minimum laptop system specifications?

When is the best time to get a new computer? A few months before you start at MIIS—enough time to get to know your new computer. The worst time is early in (or during) the semester—this is a great way to needlessly stress yourself out.

Laptop Specifications

In the past, it was simple to give a list of specifications, but today things are moving quickly and it’s not always obvious what to recommend. For example, multicore processors have taken off, processor speed is less relevant (with more cores computers are more efficient and clock speed can be lowered a little to save battery usage). How much memory and hard drive space should you get? Really as much as you can afford. For memory, most laptops are not user upgradable, so consider 8GB a minimum. Mac users who might run Windows would be much better off with 16GB. As for hard drive space, if you can afford a computer with an SSD, you won’t regret the decision. SSD hard drives have made computers much more efficient, but they add cost and you generally don’t get as much storage. The fastest SSDs are Windows computers are using SATA 3, but Mac laptops are using PCI Express, a relatively new bus that blows SATA 3 out of the water. As for your OS, at a minimum you need Windows 7 (64-bit preferred) or Mac OS X.

Windows or Mac?

This question is most relevant to T&I and TLM students. Windows-using faculty will tell you that you should just get a Windows computer. All major translation software runs on Windows, and why make life complicated by attempting to run two operating systems? Windows computers are reliable and are much more affordable than Macs.

Mac-using faculty will point out that Macs are beautiful computers, hold their resale value and are more reliable than Windows-based computers. In addition, you can easily run Windows on your Mac using VirtualBox, Parallels or vmware. To be honest though, you need to be pretty savvy to be able to comfortably run Windows on your Mac, and you’ll need a powerful machine.

Some specialized software for T&I and TLM courses require Windows to operate. Students who bring a Windows PC or laptop to campus should be able to install the necessary software. If you plan to bring a Mac with you to school for these programs you will be required to purchase and install a copy of Windows on your Mac. Students are solely responsible for the additional cost of purchasing a Windows license. Windows can be installed on a Mac using the built-in Bootcamp feature, or by first installing virtualization software such as VirtualBox. We recommend that you install Windows on your Mac prior to coming to campus if possible. Virtualization is a great way to run Windows and also have access to your Mac programs at the same time. Instructions for using the freely available VirtualBox can be found here: Installing Windows on your Mac using VirtualBox.

Additional Checklist

In addition to laptop computers, here are some related items we recommend bringing with you to campus:

  • Laptop Lock if your computer supports it
  • Plug adapter for laptops purchased outside the US (if your charger says “100-240V, 50/60 Hz” then it will work pretty much anywhere in the world)
  • USB flash drive for quick file exchange
  • USB external hard drive for backup
  • Computer Warranty Information, user guide, manual, and other documents that came with your computer
  • Power strip or surge protector with 6 ft. cable (not all classrooms have power outlets at each desk)
  • An optional 10 ft. ethernet cable for when you need the fastest connection possible

Important note: make sure you have valid antivirus software installed on your computer. Updated antivirus software is required for any computer that connects to the school network!

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