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April 5, 2013

FA2013 Lab & Lecture Hall Software Requests Deadline is May 1

In order to load all lab and lecture hall PCs with our standard set of software (known as an "image"), all requests for additions or changes for Fall 2013 must be received by Tuesday, May 1. For Spring 2014, the lab & lecture hall software "image" deadline is Monday, October 1. All software requests must be made each semester (they do not carry over from semester to semester).

* Software currently installed in PC labs
* Software currently installed in Mac labs
* Software currently installed in Linux labs

To be added to the lab & lecture hall image, DoIT must have the following:

* Proof of purchase/licenses

* Media and software installation instructions

Please submit an RT ticket containing the required information or contact 410.455.3838 and a Technology Support Center (TSC) staff member will assist you. If the request is not received by the deadline, there is no guarantee the requested software will be made available.

For an instructor-only demo of software, please use a laptop. If you don't have a laptop, you can reserve and pick up one at AV Services (020 ENGR Bldg).

If you need software installed on the lab image for a one-time purpose (for example, a 2-day workshop in which all users need access to the software), the request should be submitted no less than six (6) weeks prior to the first lab reservation for that class. The software will be removed once you are done.

An e-mail will be sent to the requester once the software is installed, typically 1-2 week(s) before the first use of the software; faculty/instructors need to then test the software to ensure everything is working as expected for class. Support for the software is the responsibility of the instructor or department who requested that the software be installed.

Again, proof of purchase and/or license must be provided for as many copies as will be needed for the students in the class. We cannot install software without appropriate proof of licensing.

Although DoIT will make a reasonable effort to get all software packages to work, we can not guarantee that they will. Some packages may not function because of the network, computer hardware, and lab setup. DoIT cannot be held responsible for software that does not work by class time.

Additional information on this process can be found here.

Please contact the TSC at 410.455.3838 if you have any additional questions.

Posted by jamie at 8:50 AM | TrackBack

July 3, 2012

DoIT News Moving to myUMBC Groups

As of today, the DoIT News will be published through the DoIT Group on myUMBC, which in turn feeds the new DoIT site at doit.umbc.edu. As such, we will no longer be maintaining this Movable Type blog. However, it will remain for archive purposes.

FYI to DoIT Group members:

How do I post a new blog in myUMBC groups?

If you have questions, please contact the Technology Support Center (TSC) located on the first floor of the library next to the RLC or call 410.455.3838.

Posted by fritz at 9:19 AM | TrackBack

April 3, 2012

FA2012 Lab & Lecture Hall Software Requests Deadline is May 1

In order to load all lab and lecture hall PCs with our standard set of software (known as an "image"), all requests for additions or changes for Fall 2012 must be received by Tuesday, May 1. For Spring 2013, the lab & lecture hall software "image" deadline is Monday, October 1. All software requests must be made each semester (they do not carry over from semester to semester).

To be added to the lab & lecture hall image, DoIT must have the following:

* Proof of purchase/licenses
* Media and software installation instructions

Please submit an RT ticket containing the required information or contact 410.455.3838 and a Technology Support Center (TSC) staff member will assist you. If the request is not received by the deadline, there is no guarantee the requested software will be made available.

For an instructor-only demo of software, please use a laptop. If you don't have a laptop, you can reserve and pick up one at AV Services (020 ENGR Bldg).

If you need software installed on the lab image for a one-time purpose (for example, a 2-day workshop in which all users need access to the software), the request should be submitted no less than six (6) weeks prior to the first lab reservation for that class. The software will be removed once you are done.

An e-mail will be sent to the requester once the software is installed, typically 1-2 week(s) before the first use of the software; faculty/instructors need to then test the software to ensure everything is working as expected for class. Support for the software is the responsibility of the instructor or department who requested that the software be installed.

Again, proof of purchase and/or license must be provided for as many copies as will be needed for the students in the class. We cannot install software without appropriate proof of licensing.

Although DoIT will make a reasonable effort to get all software packages to work, we can not guarantee that they will. Some packages may not function because of the network, computer hardware, and lab setup. DoIT cannot be held responsible for software that does not work by class time. Please contact the TSC at 410.455.3838 if you have any additional questions.

Posted by readel at 4:35 PM | TrackBack

April 29, 2011

UMBC Blackboard Update: SU2011

UMBC Blackboard update is provided by the Division of Information Technology for students, faculty and staff using Blackboard at UMBC. If you have questions or need help, please consult the Blackboard Help tab inside Blackboard or directly at http://www.umbc.edu/blackboard/help. You can also contact the DoIT Help Desk at 410.455.3838, ENGR Room 020, or submit an RT ticket via the myUMBC Help menu or directly at http://rt.umbc.edu.

HEADLINES

1. Summer Course Shells Created on 4/19
2. End of 24/7 Bb Support for Students / DoIT Help Desk Moving to RLC
3. End of LO Building Block (Blogs/ Wikis/ Journals)
4. Hybrid Faculty Workshop June 9
5. Call for Software for Lecture Halls/ Lab Images & Preliminary Lab Reservations
6. Bb Courses Older than Fall 2005 Will Be Deleted August 25

Posted by readel at 1:12 PM | TrackBack

April 25, 2011

FA2011 Lab & Lecture Hall Software Requests Deadline is June 1

In order to load all lab and lecture hall PCs with our standard set of software (known as an "image"), all requests for additions or changes for Fall 2011 must be received by Wednesday, June 1. For Spring 2012, the lab & lecture hall software "image" deadline is Tuesday, November 1.
To be added to the lab & lecture hall image, DoIT must have the following:

* Proof of purchase/licenses
* Media and software installation instructions

Contact 410.455.3838 and a Help Desk staff member will enter a ticket.
If the request is not received by the deadline, there is no guarantee the requested software will be made available.

For an instructor-only demo of software, please use a laptop. If you don't have a laptop, you can reserve and pick up one at AV Services (204 ACIV Bldg).

If you need software installed on the lab image for a one-time purpose (for example, a 2-day workshop in which all users need access to the software), the request should be submitted no less than six (6) weeks prior to the first lab reservation for that class. The software will be removed once you are done.

An e-mail will be sent to the requester once the software is installed, typically 1-2 week(s) before the first use of the software; faculty/instructors need to then test the software to ensure everything is working as expected for class. Support for the software is the responsibility of the instructor or department who requested that the software be installed.

Again, proof of purchase and/or license must be provided for as many copies as will be needed for the students in the class. We cannot install software without appropriate proof of licensing.

Although DoIT will make a reasonable effort to get all software packages to work, we can not guarantee that they will. Some packages may not function because of the network, computer hardware, and lab setup. DoIT cannot be held responsible for software that does not work by class time. Please contact the Help Desk at 410.455.3838 if you have any additional questions.

Posted by readel at 3:23 PM | TrackBack

April 29, 2010

FA2010 Lab & Lecture Hall Software Requests Deadline is July 1

In order to load all lab and lecture hall PCs with our standard set of software (known as an "image"), all requests for additions or changes for Fall 2010 must be received by Thursday, July 1. For Spring 2011, the lab & lecture hall software "image" deadline is Wednesday, December 1.

To be added to the lab & lecture hall image, DoIT must have the following:


  • Proof of purchase/licenses
  • Media and software installation instructions

Contact 410.455.3838 and a Help Desk staff member will enter a ticket.
If the request is not received by the deadline, there is no guarantee the requested software will be made available.

For an instructor-only demo of software, please use a laptop. If you don't have a laptop, you can reserve and pick up one at AV Services (204 ACIV Bldg).

If you need software installed on the lab image for a one-time purpose (for example, a 2-day workshop in which all users need access to the software), the request should be submitted no less than six (6) weeks prior to the first lab reservation for that class. The software will be removed once you are done.

An e-mail will be sent to the requester once the software is installed, typically 1-2 week(s) before the first use of the software; faculty/instructors need to then test the software to ensure everything is working as expected for class. Support for the software is the responsibility of the instructor or department who requested that the software be installed.

Again, proof of purchase and/or license must be provided for as many copies as will be needed for the students in the class. We cannot install software without appropriate proof of licensing.

Although DoIT will make a reasonable effort to get all software packages to work, we can not guarantee that they will. Some packages may not function because of the network, computer hardware, and lab setup. DoIT cannot be held responsible for software that does not work by class time. Please contact the Help Desk at 410.455.3838 if you have any additional questions.

Posted by fritz at 9:12 PM | TrackBack

March 24, 2010

Oracle Calendar Outlook Connector Update

Many of you are aware that Oracle has provided a connector tool that allows users to manage their calendar entries through Microsoft Outlook. This was very useful to those who did not want to use the Oracle Calendar desktop client or the web based version (calendar.umbc.edu). Over the last few years, however, Oracle has failed to maintain this connector tool; instead, they have been encouraging businesses to move towards their comprehensive collaboration suite. Oracle has also largely failed to integrate mobile device support into their calendar product.

In recent months we have begun to see more failures of the Oracle Calendar Outlook Connector. The most common symptoms are general machine slowness and occasional freezing, which effectively locks up the machines. Unfortunately, Oracle provides no support for the connector nor are they providing new updates. Still, there are some machines that seem to work with the connector, but this is sporadic and unpredictable. Additionally, when the connector does break, the symptoms can be very non-specific, and it is not always apparent that the connector is the root cause.

Taking all of this into consideration, DoIT is no longer recommending, installing or supporting the connector. Those that already have the connector tool may continue to use it. However, if it fails, we will not attempt to fix it. Instead, we will provide the far more reliable Oracle desktop client in its place.

Connector users should also be aware that the connector tool integrates itself into Microsoft Outlook and effectively takes over its profile management. This means that in order to remove the connector tool, the machine must be cleanly formatted and reinstalled, minus the connector, and Outlook set up with standard IMAP and SMTP settings.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Michael Carlin, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President
Infrastructure and Support
Division of Information Technology
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Posted by jamie at 4:22 PM | TrackBack

August 20, 2009

FYI: Blackboard Synch for iPhone Now Installed

The Blackboard Synch for iPhone has been tested and installed on UMBC's Blackboard production system. Used primarily to stay current on recent announcements, document uploads and discussion postings, instructions for downloading and installing the iPhone app are available on the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) Knowledge Base.

Posted by fritz at 5:27 PM | TrackBack

September 24, 2008

SPSS Contract Update

Over the past few months UMBC has been in negotiation with SPSS over our annual support contract. In past years this renewal has been uneventful. Unfortunately, this year we were assigned a new account representative and there was a new system wide consortium license. The introduction of a new contract complicated matters as it required UMBC’s procurement department to review and edit the terms. This is an iterative process that took a significant amount of time.

Permanent Codes Now Available
The modified consortium contract was approved and signed by UMBC procurement on September 17, 2008. UMBC received the new license codes for SPSS 15, 16 and 17 on September 22, 2008. The new codes have been posted to myUMBC under the 'Services' tab.

Supported SPSS Versions
SPSS officially supports the newest version and the previous verions (i.e. 16 and 17). They did provide UMBC with license codes for version 15 but SPSS reserves the right to decline support for this older version.

SPSS 17
SPSS version 17 was just released. The media for this version has not yet shipped to UMBC. We expect to receive the media in approximately 2 weeks. Once it arrives we will make it available for distrobution from myUMBC and copies will be made available for loan from the DoIT Help Desk. We expect to have this completed by October 17, 2008.

SPSS 17 Modules Included With Site License
- SPSS® Conjoint
- SPSS® Forecasting
- SPSS® Regression
- SPSS® Custom Tables
- SPSS® Advanced Statistics
- SPSS® Categories™
- SPSS® Statistics

Posted by mikec at 3:31 PM | TrackBack

May 2, 2008

OIT to Upgrade Labs to MS Office 2007 (PC) & 2008 (Mac)

OIT PC LabsThis summer, OIT will be upgrading the Microsoft Office suite in all labs for the start of the Fall 2008 semester. Windows XP machines will be upgraded to Office 2007, and Apple machines will be upgraded to Office 2008.

Microsoft Vista is tentatively scheduled to be installed in the OIT labs beginning in Fall 2009.

Currently, OIT is working with UMBC Training Centers to offer "bridge" training for users accustomed earlier versions of MS Office as they make the transition to Office 2007 (PC) or Office 2008 (Mac). Details will be announced on the OIT News site at a later date.

Posted by fritz at 9:50 AM | TrackBack

August 6, 2007

Linux Changes/Updates for Fall 2007

OIT plans to upgrade both the Linux GL servers (Linux1-3) and the OIT Linux Lab Image before the Fall Semester. Currently Linux GL is running Redhat Enterprise 3 (RHEL3) and the Linux Labs are running RHEL4. The goal of the upgrade is to have both sets of systems running the same OS and setup so that users can transition seamlessly between them. The current plan is to take these systems to RHEL5.

In an effort to provide a more robust useful image, we will be involving a number of Faculty members during the testing phase who use OIT Linux Labs. We currently plan to get testers onto the image somewhere in the Aug 6th through 8th timeframe. We anticipate approximately a week for testers, and we will work with them to correct problems. The final image has to be released to Desktop Support by August 20th at the latest.

If you are a Faculty member who plans to use OIT’s Linux Labs for the Fall semester and are interested in participating in the testing of the OIT RHEL5 Lab image, please send an email to oit-linux-lab@umbc.edu. Please include in your email which packages you are planning to use/test. This address is only for testers wanting to participate. Reserving labs for your classes or submitting software requests should still be done as they have previously. Please keep in mind that all specialty software addition requests need to be in no later than 4 weeks before the semester starts in order to get them built and part of the image.

Posted by mikec at 11:52 AM | TrackBack

May 11, 2007

Microsoft Vista Update

UMBC is site licensed for Microsoft Vista Business and Vista Enterprise on UMBC owned faculty and staff machines. All other versions of Vista (i.e. Ultimate, Home Premium and Home Basic Editions) are not included as part of the campus site license.

UMBC Site License Includes (UMBC Owned Machines)
Vista Enterprise (UMBC Licensed and Recommended)
Vista Business (UMBC Licensed, Not Recommended)

Vista Operating Systems Not Included in Site License
Vista Ultimate (Purchase at Local Retailer)
Vista Home Premium (Purchase at Local Retailer)
Vista Home Basic (Purchase at Local Retailer)

Vista Operating System Upgrades Available at Bookstore
Vista Business Upgrade

Currently our recommendation is that Vista not be installed or ordered on new machines. At this time there are numerous bugs and third party software support problems being reported. OIT is unable to provide support or debug machines that were upgraded or purchased with Vista.

However, those interested in testing and supporting Vista can receive a licensed copy of the Vista Enterprise Edition. Unlike Vista Enterprise, Vista Business does not include features such as BitLocker Drive Encryption. Therefore, OIT will only distribute the Vista Enterprise version to the campus.

Microsoft has implemented a new license management feature, called the Key Management Server(KMS), for large volume sites like UMBC. In order for UMBC’s Vista Enterprise media to work, a work station with Vista Enterprise installed will need to contact the UMBC KMS once a week. If after 180 consecutive days the Vista machine is unable to contact the KMS then it will fall into “Reduced Functionality Mode”, effectively rendering the machine useless after five minutes from boot up.

Timeline:
May 25 – Key Management Server (KMS) will be in production and ready for campus use
May 21 – OIT will have copies of the DVD Windows Vista Enterprise media available at the help desk to be borrowed and copied.

FAQ

Can I Install Windows Vista on Faculty and Staff Machines?
OIT strongly discourages the installation of Vista on any campus machines that need to be reliable and are used for day-to-day business. OIT will not support any machine running Vista. However, if a departmental IT staff member is willing to provide support then Vista may be installed.

Where Can I Purchase Vista Ultimate or Vista Home Edition?
At this time Vista Ultimate and Vista Home Edition can only be purchased at local retail stores. We are hopeful that by mid summer Microsoft will allow Vista Ultimate to be sold via the UMBC bookstore at a reduced cost. If this option becomes available we will post a notification.

Can My UMBC Work From Home With Vista and the KMS?
At this time OIT does not have an effective way to allow connections to the KMS from off campus. If you are using a laptop which will physically be back on the UMBC campus network within 180 days then you will be fine. However, if your UMBC home machine can not reach the KMS for over 180 days then your machine will cease to work and will fall into reduced functionality mode. OIT is working to develop a solution to this problem.


Posted by mikec at 3:32 PM | TrackBack

March 7, 2007

COMSOL Package Updated

COMSOL Multiphysics, formerly FEMLAB, has been updated on the OIT servers. Version 3.3 has been installed in the OIT AFS system for Linux and Solaris. Linux 32 and 64bit, as well as Solaris SPARC 32 and 64bit versions have been installed. The COMSOL executable will choose and run the appropriate version based on the platform you execute it on.

The MATLAB integration module has also been installed

You may use it on any OIT-maintained Linux or Solaris machine by
executing the command
/usr/local/bin/comsol

or by specifying the full path

/afs/umbc.edu/software/femlab/33/bin/comsol

Please note that due to licensing issues we do not have the COMSOL classroom kit. Presently we have four floating licenses.

Further information can be found at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COMSOL_Multiphysics

Posted by jack at 7:20 AM

February 9, 2007

OIT Plans for Vista and Office 2007

On January 31st, Microsoft will release their new operating system named Vista to consumers. This message will explain OIT's support plan for the campus and give departments and members of the campus community guidance in making plans.

OIT has been evaluating the beta version of Vista for a few months, our plans are to begin to provide official campus support for Vista in the summer 2007.

With regards to Office 2007, Office 2007 has introduced substantial changes in both the user interface and default file format of documents. OIT is not recommending this upgrade at this point in time and will announce plans for this later in the semester after we have evaluated this further.

Guidance for New Computer Purchases:

If departments are purchasing a new computer and want OIT to support the computer on our campus network they should order this computer with Windows XP. Our campus license with Microsoft allows us to upgrade the system to Vista at a later date at no cost to the department once OIT is ready to support Vista.

If departments are purchasing this for an individual in their department to use OIT still recommends XP at this point in time; however if OIT will not be supporting the computer and the computer will not be using the campus file and print services then the department can make the choice of Vista or XP. Please be aware that there is no mechanism, short of reformatting the hard disk, to move from Vista back to Windows XP if there are problems. If a problem does occur that requires a format OIT can not promise that staff will be available to quickly assist you.

Guidance on Migrating Existing Machines to Vista:

Vista is designed for a system with a powerful CPU, fast graphics card, and at least 1-gigabyte of ram. Machines that were purchased in the last year should meet the requirements to run Vista.

Presently, OIT is testing and configuring a Windows key management server (KMS). This server will manage all of the licensing for UMBC"s enterprise site license of Vista. We anticipate having this server ready for a limited deployment in late Spring 2007. If departments want to migrate a machine to Vista in the summer OIT will work with them to schedule this.

Guidance on Running Vista on Your Home Computer:

The campus bookstore will have special pricing for upgrades available for personal home machines. The price is still being determined but it should be much less than what you can get elsewhere. Before upgrading, please visit the Microsoft Vista Upgrade Advisor to have your system evaluated. The upgrade advisor can alert you of potential problems before you purchase the CD's.

Guidance on Utilizing Office 2007 on Campus:

Office 2007 has an entirely new user interface and a new default file format for saving documents (documents can be saved in a format compatible with Office 2003 but this is not the default). Microsoft will be releasing updates to the existing office products that will allow them to read documents in the new format. Until these are broadly released for Macintosh and Windows OIT does not recommend using Office 2007 at this point in time.

Posted by jack at 12:46 PM

February 8, 2007

Matlab Site License Update

OIT is pleased to announce that UMBC has completed the procurement of a new campus site license with Mathworks, the developer of Matlab. The new site license allows UMBC to use Matlab on an unlimited number of processors. UMBC is among a handful of universities that has moved to the new Matlab site license program. This message will explain the planning and timing issues associated with the new site license.

Matlab Site License Benefits:

There are a number of benefits to this site license for faculty. The major benefits to are these:
1) An unlimited number of processors can use Matlab on campus across all computing platforms supported by the Mathworks (Windows, Unix, Mac)
2) Faculty can get a standalone copy of matlab for use on their computer when working at home or traveling; and the version of matlab is consistent across instructional and research.

Toolboxes Available as Part of the Site License:

As part of the site license program the following toolboxes are provided for unlimited usage:

Simulink
Control System Toolbox
Data Acquisition Toolbox
Imaging Processing Toolbox
Instrument Control Toolbox
Optimization Toolbox
Signal Processing Blockset
Signal Processing Toolbox
Statistics Toolbox
Curve Fitting Toolbox (New)
Stateflow (New)
SimMechanics (New)
Bioinformatics Toolbox (New)


Toolboxes Not Included/Supported Under the Site License:

Communications Toolbox
Matlab Compiler
Mapping Toolbox
Neural Network Toolbox
Partial Diff Equation Toolbox
Robust Control Toolbox
Spline Toolbox
Symbolic Math Toolbox
Wavelet Toolbox

Many of these toolboxes are no longer supported by the Mathworks and we are not sure if the others are actively in use.

Purchasing Additional Toolboxes:

Additional toolboxes can be purchased in one of two ways

1) Part of the Site License - If purchased as part of the site license the cost is approximately $700 per year for unlimited usage. Please contact OIT to purchase unlimited seats for additional toolboxes.

2) Standalone - If purchased as a standalone the faculty member deals directly with the Mathworks and purchases a single processor license. The cost is $200-$500 per depending on the toolbox chosen. Faculty and Staff should contact Mathworks directly to purchase standalone licenses for additional toolboxes.

OIT has tripled our costs to support the base site license and OIT will NOT cost share any additional toolboxes. Departments will be responsible for the cost of all additional toolboxes.

Timeline for Moving to the Site License:

OIT would like to move to the new site license by the end of March 2007. Once we convert to the new site license faculty will not be able to access the toolboxes not supported under the site license. As such, we need to know if there are critical missing toolboxes. OIT will work with faculty to acquire these toolboxes if we get notification by March 16, 2007. Please contact mikec@umbc.edu

Posted by jack at 1:14 PM

January 27, 2005

Tip: Desktop - How do I clean it up?

Before you can alleviate your clutter problem, you need to determine which Desktop elements you want to keep and which you no longer need. You can then dispatch them to their proper places—or throw them away.


Windows XP users have the Desktop Cleanup Wizard, which can help with this cleanup task. The Desktop Cleanup Wizard is easy to use, but you’ll gain more control if you manage your Desktop manually. The wizard works only with shortcuts and not original programs, files, or folders. Additionally, it doesn’t delete or relocate unwanted shortcuts. Rather, it moves them to a folder on your Desktop, which you can do yourself just as easily. If you want to follow the manual method we recommend, or if you are not using WinXP on your computer, read on.

You can deal with Desktop items on a case-by-case basis, but it’s just as easy, and it is safer, to create two temporary folders on your Desktop and then move all the Desktop elements into one or the other folder. (Exclude the Recycle Bin and My Computer icons, which should remain on your Desktop.) That way, you won’t accidentally delete an important element or move it into the recesses of your hard drive. To create each folder, right-click an empty area on your Desktop, select New, and click Folder. Name this first folder “Keep.” Repeat the steps to create a second folder, and then name it “Toss” (or something similar). Now, drag all your Desktop elements, one by one, into one folder or the other.

Once you determine a fate for each element, double-click the Toss folder and confirm that everything in it is destined for the trash. If the items you are throwing away are shortcuts (look for a small arrow in the lower-left corner of the icon), make a note to also remove or uninstall the originals if you no longer want the items on your system.

Items without a shortcut arrow are actual originals of programs, folders, or files. If you do not have copies of these stored elsewhere on your hard drive, you will be discarding your only copy if you throw them away. Make copies, if necessary, store them elsewhere, and then drag the items to the Recycle Bin.

If you are eliminating original programs, you should uninstall rather than delete them by using each program’s uninstall utility (check the program’s documentation) or letting Windows remove them. To have Windows remove unwanted programs, open the Start menu, select Settings, click Control Panel, and double-click Add/Remove Programs. (In WinXP open the Start menu, select Control Panel, and double-click Add Or Remove Programs.) Locate and delete the programs, one by one. When you are finished, check to see if the program icon is still present in your Desktop folder. If the icon still exists, you can delete it.

If there is no uninstall utility for a program and one is not present in your Add/Remove Programs list, you can contact the program’s manufacturer for removal instructions (if any are available). Otherwise, you can delete the icon.

Posted by OIT at 1:09 PM