Students will not receive messages from the VT Desktop Alerts software until they download a new version, following the discovery of a software bug in the existing version.
Because it receives many messages per day, the software must sift through them to decide which are valid and which are coming from someone who may be trying to trick the system.
“The Desktop Alerts software works by constantly receiving messages through the central alerts system,” said Carl Harris of Tech’s Communications Network Services. “When it receives these messages, it validates them to make sure the messages are legitimate.”
However, one of the ways in which the application does so is to verify the date header. “When the calendar rolled over to Dec. 1, it triggered a bug that made the system think that every message was invalid,” Harris said.
The update was developed by the morning of Dec. 1 and is now available for students, said Director of Web Communications John Jackson.
Though students without the new update cannot receive desktop alerts, other alerts systems are still working properly.
“Almost everyone gets alerts through the multiple avenues,” Harris said. “At least some of them are going to work.”