Computing

CAS Operations helps to coordinate desktop computer support for CAS departments and programs. If you have a computer problem or need assistance with software installation, please contact Client Support Services (tel: 29800), part of DoIT, the Division of Information Technology, which obtains, supports University site licenses for, and provides training for software such as anti-virus protection, email, office packages, and courseware (support is near zero for Unix/Linux and only moderate for MACs). It is strongest for PCs using Windows. Full support is available for Win XP (the Professional version is preferred) and Win 2000; support for Win 98 is still available but winding down. Win 95 is no longer supported. Be aware that your request for support will be put into a queue. The response time depends on the backlog, which varies during the academic and calendar year. Setups for (new or hand-me-down or repaired or reinstalled) computers should be scheduled well in advance, NOT at the last moment. Expect a turnaround of 1-2 weeks. Smaller problems may be handled more rapidly (1-3 day turnaround) or over the phone. If you suffer an unanticipated real emergency, you may try to negotiate for rapid response. However, a problem that is allowed to fester and worsen until it becomes a catastrophe should not be called an emergency.

Please be aware that computers are available for use in the University’s SINC sites. These can be a lifesaver during an emergency. For locations and hours of operation contact Instructional Computing.

Subject to available funds, the CAS Dean’s office supplies standard desktop computers (on rare occasions, laptops) to faculty and academic staff on an as-needed/as-available basis. CAS Operations is the final arbiter of whether the request merits a new computer or could be filled by a reinstalled hand-me-down. Purchase is usually made with Academic Equipment Replacement funds (AER) and can be part of a Department’s or Program’s AER proposal. However, requests for new computers are not limited to the AER process and can be made throughout the academic year. Note that ALL requests for computers MUST be routed through the appropriate departmental Chair or program Director; otherwise, they will not be considered. CAS Operations prefers that computer requests be made by May 15 for the academic year beginning in the fall semester. Doing so will increase the probability of (but not guarantee) receiving a new computer.

The CAS Dean’s office and Client Support Services/DoIT have jointly worked out the following policy for set up and support of desktop computers. It will be fine-tuned as experience and changing circumstances warrant.

Client Support endeavors to set up computers in a way that minimizes the occurrence of future problems. This includes their installing legal copies of the current versions of "normal" software packages that we all use and their reserving administrative rights to the machine. This means that they have the administrative password needed to access the rights to add/delete software on the machine. The end user "out in the field" does not have this password and, therefore, is unable to add/delete software packages. For the typical user, this causes no or few problems because (s)he uses just the normal software packages that get installed. The set up of the machine is thereby "standardized" and makes it easier for Client Support to service when problems occur.

For the atypical user who anticipates adding and deleting special software packages or even hardware in laboratory situations, this procedure causes problems: without the administrative password (s)he cannot make such changes to the machine. Client Support must be involved, which necessarily involves a time delay.

We recognize that some CAS faculty or staff will want and need administrative rights to their machines. This requires that they be sufficiently technically savvy to add/delete software packages legally and correctly. As is explained next, it also means that they accept the responsibility to maintain and service their own computer. This includes installation and maintenance of anti-virus software and proper use of the University network.

For computer(s) that require both individualized/specialized setups and prompt changes or maintenance, an end user needs to have administrative rights. To gain such administrative rights the end user must agree that these computers will then fall outside the normal, routine support offered by Client Support. Having administrative rights means that the end user accepts the responsibility and necessity for "local" support of these computers, i.e., from within his/her own department or program. Normal, routine support of such specially set up computers will no longer vest in Client Support or the CAS Dean's office. If in such a specially set up machine a problem occurs that requires technical experience/ability beyond that of the local support person, Client Support will do what they can to help, but this will be outside their normal support function, at a lower priority, and will likely involve significant time delays. Their finite resources -- time and personnel -- demands focusing their support on machines that they set up and for which they reserve administrative rights.

If you have difficulty getting your computer fixed or software installed, please contact the Asst. Dean for Operations, Edward J. McFadden.

The College of Arts and Sciences • E3320 Frank Melville Memorial Library • Stony Brook, NY 11794-3391 • Phone: 631-632-6999 • Fax: 631-632-6900