Category Archives: Software

Items related to software purchases, licensing, etc.

Important Campus Information on Windows 10

Windows 10 is available to users free for one year; this offer expires July 29, 2016.  More information is at: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-faq.

However, there are three issues all home users need to know before upgrading:

  • Windows 10 is NOT COMPATIBLE with our campus F5 VPN Server, i.e., off-campus users will not be able to “Get an MTU Address.” The goal is to have this fixed by late August, but currently there are no workarounds.
  • Microsoft Edge web browser (New Internet Explorer) is not compatible with Banner, Banweb, and possibly other Michigan Tech related sites.  Workaround: You can install Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and get most functionality, however not all.
  • Hundreds of campus applications have not been tested, so we cannot make any guarantees that your software will work.

Starting late fall semester, Information Technology will solicit volunteers from our Faculty/Staff to pilot a deployment of Windows 10.  Volunteers will have their machines upgraded to Windows 10 with our standard faculty/staff image, and we will work to test standard applications.  After the standard applications have been tested, we will work with faculty and staff to test specific departmental software, e.g., Mathematica, Matlab, ImageNow, Sewer/Water/AutoCAD, etc.  If you’re interested in being an early adopter, send an email to it-help@mtu.edu and we will add you to the list of volunteers whom we will contact when testing begins.


Adobe Creative Cloud now only way to purchase Creative Suite

Adobe has announced that effective February 27, Adobe Creative Cloud will be the only option for educational licensing for Creative Suite products.

While current licenses of CS6 (or CS6 products) on campus are perpetual and will not expire, we will not be able to purchase CS6 or any of the CS6 individual products through any educational pricing programs after that date. (Note: At this time this does not affect our campus license for Adobe Acrobat Pro.)

So, what are your Creative Cloud options?

Option 1: Creative Cloud for Education Device License

This license allows for the Creative Suite applications to be installed on a single desktop computer. There is no restriction on the number of distinct users that use that computer (think office computer, lab computer, shared department laptop).

  • The device license can be for the entire Creative Suite, or a single application (see list below).
  • The device license does not include any “cloud features,” i.e., there is no cloud storage or collaborative toolset. The computer must be able to “check-in” to Adobe at least once every 30 days for a license check.

Option 2: Creative Cloud for Education Named User License

This license allows for a single named individual (one single person – not a shared account) to install the software on up to two (2) devices. The installation is done via a Creative Cloud Account which will be assigned to the user’s mtu.edu address. This must be installed on computers that are only used by that single person; this cannot be a shared machine.

  • The named user license can be for the entire Creative Suite, or a single application (see list below).
  • The named user license includes “cloud features.” This includes 100GB of cloud storage when purchasing the entire suite or 20GB for a single app purchase. It also includes the cloud collaboration tools for sharing documents.

Both of these options are a yearly subscription license. Michigan Tech’s “anniversary date” is December 3. Purchases made throughout the year fall under a prorated pricing schedule and expire at the next anniversary. Licenses must be renewed annually on the anniversary date or be removed from the machine.

Unlike previous Adobe installers that used a single license key, orders must now be processed through both our reseller and Adobe before the software can be installed.

Creative Suite Applications

Adobe Photoshop CC*
Adobe Illustrator CC*
Adobe InDesign CC*
Adobe Bridge CC
Adobe InCopy CC*
Adobe Acrobat XI Pro
Adobe Dreamweaver CC*
Adobe Flash Professional CC*
Adobe Flash Builder Premium Edition
Adobe Fireworks
Adobe Premiere Pro CC*
Adobe After Effects CC*
Adobe Audition CC*
Adobe SpeedGrade CC
Adobe Prelude CC
Adobe Encore
Adobe Media Encoder CC
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Adobe Muse CC*
Adobe Edge Tools (Edge Animate CC, Edge Code CC, and Edge Reflow CC)

*Available for purchase as individual applications

Creative Suite Pricing

The annual prices listed below are subject to market fluctuations and change often (and will be prorated at the purchase time).

Device Licenses
Complete Suite $175.79/year
Individual application $95.88/year
Named User Licenses
Complete Suite $251.88/year
Individual application $107.88/year

For more information on Adobe licenses, please contact us at it-help@mtu.edu or call 487-1111. One of our procurement agents will be happy to assist you with any questions you have about pricing and purchasing.


Current Known Mac OS 10.10 Issues

We are currently seeing some issues with Mac machines that have been upgraded to the brand new Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite).

  • Most notably, the new OS seems to completely disable the functionality of the F5 VPN product on most, if not all, systems.  This means that users who need to use the Multidrive or access MTU-only resources from wireless or from off-campus will not be able to do so.
  • Some users have experienced their wireless connection randomly disconnecting since upgrading to OS 10.10.
  • Users  who were previously having no problems mounting network drives from the Multidrive are now seeing the drives not mount or hang while mounting. Some of this may be related to the F5 VPN problem mentioned above, and we are actively working with users who have reported problems.

We are recommending that users wait to upgrade to Mac OS 10.10 for now.  As with most brand new OS releases, it sometimes takes a bit of time to work out the bugs; Michigan Tech IT then needs time to test our systems with the new OS so that we can support campus users. At this point, none of the campus’ major applications have been tested for compatibility with Mac OS 10.10.

If you have already installed Mac OS 10.10 and are having problems, please contact IT User Services at it-help@mtu.edu or 487-1111, and we will do our best to provide support. We appreciate your patience while we work through these technical issues.


July 2014 Wireless Service Improvements

IT is making changes to the campus wireless network including: the Bradford Persistent agent is going away, MichiganTechSecure is going away, and the wireless bandwidth cap is being removed.

Based on specific campus wireless issues, IT is making the following service improvements, effective Monday, July 21 at 6:00am.

Specific Changes:

  • Wireless security will be through a “dissolvable” agent instead of requiring the Bradford persistent agent. Users with Windows and Mac laptops had previously been required to download and install the Bradford Agent software. Beginning Monday, IT will use a “dissolvable” agent, which will run once but not permanently install on your device. Since the Bradford Persistent Agent will no longer be needed, you will be able to permanently uninstall the Bradford client from your device. Uninstall instructions are located at: http://www.it.mtu.edu/bradford-agent/.
  • The MichiganTechSecure wireless network will be decommissioned. This network was never intended for use beyond a few machines and has caused issues with disconnecting hosts. Users should instead connect to the MichiganTech wireless network for a more reliable experience; this network is no less secure than the MichiganTechSecure network.
  • The bandwidth cap on wireless access has been removed. Last year, wireless usage was limited to 5 Mbps (Megabits per second) per device; this was updated to 15 Mbps in April. Beginning Monday, the cap will be removed completely. This does not mean unlimited data on wireless – as wireless capacity depends on your distance from an access point and its current traffic – but we will continue to monitor the wireless service and appreciate your feedback if you have any issues.

Which actions are required?

  • When connecting to the wireless network, please use MichiganTech instead of MichiganTechSecure.
  • Remove the Bradford Agent from your machine (if applicable) using the instructions located at http://www.it.mtu.edu/bradford-agent/.

These changes are planned to improve wireless service and stability. As always, if you have concerns or issues please let us know by contacting IT Help at 906-487-1111 or it-help@mtu.edu. If you need assistance joining your device to the MichiganTech wireless network, you can also stop by with your device at the IT and Library Service Center.


Michigan Tech Software Distribution Center Launched

Michigan Tech IT has launched a new site for students, faculty and staff to download software packages available to them for installation on their personal computers. Software includes Matlab, AutoCad, ChemBioDraw, EndNote, Microsoft Office, and more.

To see a list of available software, please login to www.it.mtu.edu/downloads, utilizing your Michigan Tech ISO username and password.

Software provided through this site is either:

  • Licensed by Michigan Tech and provided at no cost to you
  • Available for purchase at a discount under a contract with the vendor
  • Provided at no cost by the vendor to all academics
  • Freely available software that is commonly used

Your customized software list is based on your status (student, faculty or staff) and program; certain software packages are major-specific, e.g., College of Engineering.

If you have any questions or issues with the site or any software packages, please contact IT User Services at it-help@mtu.edu or 906-487-1111.


Microsoft Security Essentials/System Center Endpoint Protection as new University anti-virus solution

In recent years McAfee, the current anti-virus solution for campus, has been falling behind its competitors. Starting in 2012, IT began looking at alternative solutions for both University-owned computers and for home users. After comparing the available products, we have decided to implement Microsoft’s security solution for both groups of machines. The existing agreement with McAfee will end on December 13th, at which point current installations will cease to update.

For University-managed machines – those that use MTU ISO logins – IT will be making the transition in the near future. We will also be posting instructions for users of University-owned equipment that is not managed by IT so that they can transition their system.

For home users, whether they are students, faculty, or staff, Microsoft Security Essentials is free and readily available for download on Windows computers. A link for downloading the software is listed at the end of this post. If you currently have an alternative anti-virus solution installed such as McAfee, you will need to uninstall it prior to installing Security Essentials. IT will be posting more detailed instructions for this in the near future.

Download Microsoft Security Essentials for home users:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security-essentials-download


What’s new on remote.mtu.edu?

If you haven’t logged into remote.mtu.edu yet you should.

You may know that all faculty, staff, and students can log on to remote.mtu.edu using a Microsoft Remote Desktop compatible client for your general purpose computing needs, 24/7, from your office, dorm, or home.  What you may not have known is IT has taken the extra step of offering special purpose software beyond the basic productivity suite to help you, the campus community, do your work and complete classroom assignments.

Here’s a highlight of the additional software we’ve made available.

ChemBioOffice Ultra

This software provides biologists and chemists with an up-to-date suite of scientifically intelligent applications for increased personal productivity and
enhanced decision-making. For more information, visit: http://www.cambridgesoft.com/Ensemble_for_Chemistry/ChemBioOffice/ChemBioOfficeUltra13.0Suite/.

EndNote

EndNote enables you to move seamlessly through your research process with flexible tools for searching, organizing and sharing your research, creating your bibliography and writing your paper. You can sync your EndNote library across your desktop, online, and iPad so all your references, attachments, and groups can be accessed from anywhere. EndNote also has a Microsoft Word plug-in for ease of use. For more information, visit: http://libguides.lib.mtu.edu/endnote.

Matlab

MATLAB is a high-level language and interactive environment for numerical computation, visualization, and programming. Using MATLAB, you can analyze data, develop algorithms, and create models and applications.  You can use MATLAB for a range of applications, including signal processing and communications, image and video processing, control systems, test and measurement, computational finance, and computational biology.  For more information, visit: http://www.mathworks.com/products/matlab/.

MestReNova Lite

MestReNova (Mnova) is the state-of-the-art analytical chemistry software suite for NMR & LC GC MS. For more information, visit: http://mestrelab.com/.

Pearson Crystal Data

This tool is a crystallographic database published by ASM International. It has its roots in the well-known PAULING FILE project and contains crystal structures of a large variety of inorganic materials and compounds. The “PCD” (as it is typically abbreviated) is a collaboration between ASM International and Material Phases Data System, Vitznau, Switzerland (MPDS), aiming to create and maintain the world’s largest critically evaluated “Non-organic database”. For more information, visit: http://www.crystalimpact.com/.

SigmaPlot

SigmaPlot helps you quickly create exact graphs, provides easy data visualization, and assists in data analysis. For more information, visit: http://www.sigmaplot.com/products/sigmaplot/sigmaplot-details.php.

What else is new?

Besides the new software available,  remote.mtu.edu has replaced many aging physical servers that were difficult to maintain and keep running. It is now  run on modern server hardware that is clustered and highly available.  Computing capacity is monitored and if needed, remote.mtu.edu can be expanded to include additional servers with no negative impact to current users.

So,  if you haven’t tried it yet, I encourage you to RDP to remote.mtu.edu and give it a spin.  As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns please email it-help@mtu.edu or call 487-1111.


Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive Use Changes

Information Technology has been working to find ways to decrease login and logout times for our students, faculty, and staff. We have found that many cloud storage programs store data in a location that can drastically affect login/logout times.

IT will be disabling the synchronization programs for Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft SkyDrive in all campus computer labs. You will still be able to use the web-based versions of these services but will not be able to install programs that automatically download data from them.

For customers who already use these services, we will be moving the data folders to new locations.

  • H:\Dropbox Data
  • H:\Google Drive Data
  • H:\SkyDrive Data

Once these folders are moved, they will not be downloaded and uploaded as a part of the login/logout process.

Faculty and staff who need to use these programs to sync to network drives (including H: drives) should contact User Services to make sure the programs are configured correctly.

If you have any questions, please contact User Services at it-help@mtu.edu or 906-487-1111.


New Learning Management System

Dear Colleagues,

After two years of investigation and the generous involvement of many faculty, staff and students, Canvas has been selected as the Learning Management System replacement for Blackboard/WebCT, which will no longer be supported by Blackboard after 2013. A summary of our selection process is available here.

Instructure’s Canvas is recognized as easier to use and more flexible for your needs; notably, most students and faculty like Canvas appreciably more than the others the faculty selection group examined: Moodle, Blackboard Learn and Sakai.

After consultation with the deans, key faculty and the support units we hope to begin sole use of Canvas for Summer term, 2012 (May 9). Should unanticipated technical difficulties arise, we will revisit this target date.

All courses and sections for Spring semester 2012 will be available with students enrolled in both Canvas and Blackboard/WebCT. You can elect to teach a course in either WebCT or Canvas. We are committed to letting you know the exact dates of the following essential information as soon as it is known:

• Your old courses from Web CT will be migrated automatically to Canvas

• Electronic grade submission will be available in Canvas

We will also provide you with complete support through the combined efforts of IT and eLearning @ Michigan Tech, which has a comprehensive plan for faculty support.

Faculty who wish to familiarize themselves with Canvas may do so by visiting mtu.instructure.com. Log in with your Michigan Tech userid and password. You can easily create test courses now and import your content from Blackboard if you prefer not to wait for the ‘bulk course migration.’

Project updates and status will be posted on the elearning blog.

Thank you for your continued support of the technology and learning advancements at Michigan Tech.

Walt Milligan
Ellen Marks
Tom Freeman


Windows software image lab beta testing

The beta image of our windows software is ready to be tested by the Michigan Tech community. The test lab, located in EERC 134, contains the lab image to be spread throughout all the general computing windows labs. We highly encourage faculty and staff to test software pertinent to instruction and research, in order to make sure that this Fall goes smoothly for our students. Staff will be on location at EERC 134, for the rest of the week,  to assist testers and receive feedback. The testing form we use to keep track of defects with the image can be found here: ITSS Fall 2011 Lab Image Test Sheet