Computing Services

The department behind IT services at the University of Bath

Topic: Software Delivery

Good things come to those who wait...

  

📥  Apple, Software Delivery

OS updates are big and exciting events these days (we look forward to them too!). Unlike years gone by, where you'd be sporting the same OS for 3-5 years, software manufacturers have become increasingly agile (and competitive), resulting in a flurry of annual releases.

This year alone we've seen Windows 10 Anniversary Update, macOS Sierra, iOS 10 and Android Nougat. I'm not going to lie, I installed every one of these on the day they came out on my personally-owned devices and with some of them, I went as far as to install the preview builds; because with my personally-owned technology, if I can't print my train ticket, edit my photos or watch Netflix then it's not a big issue; I can wait until a fix is released as none of these activities are mission-critical.

But when it comes to university-owned devices it's a different story. We're an organisation that aims to provide security and stability. This extends into each and everyone's software and hardware requirements and a small, innocuous update can cause havoc; resulting in devices being unable to interact or connect to essential university services and leaving you unable to work effectively.

An example of this is our Managed Print Service. The recent macOS Sierra update was incompatible with the drivers needed for print and it took a couple of weeks following release until updated drivers were available. During this time, Macs running macOS Sierra were unable to install the drivers required to print at the University. Another issue we recently saw was with MATLAB. Mathworks made us aware of an issue which caused the corruption of documents which made use of a foreign character set.

Now you might not make heavy-use of the Managed Print Service or use MATLAB and be thinking "why can't I update?". These are only the issues we're currently aware of. There are bound to be many more issues lurking, more incompatibilities to be found. Indeed, every week, on my home computer, I'm still getting updates to software that "improves compatibility with macOS Sierra".

We think it's great that people want to be early adopters and we want to embrace that desire for the latest version but we also want our colleagues to be able to work effectively. For that reason, university-owned Macs may currently not be upgraded to macOS Sierra.

We're not quite there yet but we will soon be accepting sign-ups from Mac users into our Previewers group, giving you the opportunity to download and install new versions of macOS and other software, prior to them being made available for general release. Please get in touch if you would like to sign up.

 

 

Choosing your software for the academic year 2016-17

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📥  Computing Services, Software Delivery

As this academic year draws to a close, it is time to start thinking about the software that would benefit you and your students in the academic year 2016-2017.  Below is a list of the software that will be available to you on one or more of our platforms (General Teaching Labs (GTAs), public access computers (PACs), UniDesk etc).

List of software A – Z – check to see that what you will need is listed.  (the version will be the most up to date on general release).

A – Amos, Ansys, Arduino, Autograph, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Adobe Shockwave Player, Apple QuickTime
B – BlueJ
C – CambridgeSoft ChemDraw, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, Corel PDF Fusion, CRAN R for Windows, Cygwin, Chrome
E – Eclipse, EndNote X7 from Thomson Reuters, EViews from QMS
F – FileZilla FTP client, Firefox
I – Intercooled STATA
J – JAGS
K – 9bis KiTTY
M – Maple, MatLab, Microsoft Office, Miktex, MindGenius, Minitab
N – Nvivo
O – Oracle Java(TM) JRE
P - Paint.Net, PymOL, Python
S – Systat Sigmaplot, Sima Pro, Softalnd doPDF, SPSS, SyntEvo SmartSVN
T – TeXnicCeter, Thunderbird, Turning Point
V – Visual Studio, VLC Player
X – Xming
Please note: we can only deploy software for the next academic year that is on general release from the supplier by the 1st July 2016.

If you need to check that the above software is available on the platforms you need please refer to our Software 2016 – 2017 wiki page.  The page has much greater detail about versions, platforms and the timetable of rolling out the software across campus.

Requesting something different

Let us know at gta-software-requests@bath.ac.uk.  We will need the following information from you.

  • Academic course code(s) for the course(s) you need the software for
  • An approximate number of students that will attend the course
  • Is it taught, semester 1, 2 or both
  • Are there interdependencies with other software eg. is it a plug in for MS Word or Internet Explorer
  • Your faculty or department
  • Please provide licensing details
  • Which platforms do you need the software available on? Eg PACs, GTAs, UniDesk, AdminDesk, LCPU

 

OS X El Capitan & Office for Mac 2016

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📥  Computing Services, Software Delivery

Update on 08/02/2016: Thomson Reuters have now released Endnote X7.5, which adds "Cite While You Write" support to Word 2016. If you are an Endnote user then details on updating can be found at endnote.com

Last month saw the release of OS X El Capitan 10.11.2 and with it came another round of bug fixes, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth improvements as well as fixing bugs with Exchange in Apple Mail. In addition to this, Office 2016 has seen rapid and effective updates and the stability of the product has improved vastly.

The feedback that we have received from those who have installed these updates has been positive and our own testing has proved successful, we are therefore now happy to recommend updating to both OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) and Office for Mac 2016 on supported Macs.

If you have an administrator account on your machine then you can update to El Capitan through the Mac App Store. For installation of Office for Mac 2016 or if you do not have admin access on your machine then please contact the Help Desk or your local IT Supporter.

 

 

Choosing software for the new academic year

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📥  Computing Services, Software Delivery

As this academic year draws to a close, it is time to start thinking about the software that would benefit you and your students in the academic year 2015-2016.  Below is a list of the software that will be available to you on one or more of our platforms (General Teaching Labs (GTAs), public access computers (PACs), UniDesk etc).

List of software A – Z – check to see that what you will need is listed.  (the version will be the most up to date on general release).

  • A – Amos, Ansys, Arduino, Autograph, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Adobe Shockwave Player, Apple QuickTime
  •  B – BlueJ
  • C – CambridgeSoft ChemDraw, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, Corel PDF Fusion, CRAN R for Windows, Cygwin, Chrome
  • E – Eclipse, EndNote X7 from Thomson Reuters, EViews from QMS
  • F – FileZilla FTP client, Firefox
  • I – Intercooled STATA
  • J – JAGS
  • K – 9bis KiTTY
  • M – Maple, MatLab, Microsoft Office, Miktex, MindGenius, Minitab
  • N – Nvivo
  • O – Oracle Java(TM) JRE
  • P - Paint.Net, PymOL, Python
  • S – Systat Sigmaplot, Sima Pro, Softalnd doPDF, SPSS, SyntEvo SmartSVN
  • T – TeXnicCeter, Thunderbird, Turning Point
  • V – Visual Studio, VLC Player
  • X – Xming

Please note: we can only deploy software for the next academic year that is on general release from the supplier by the 1st July 2015.

If you need to check that the above software is available on the platforms you need please refer to our Software 2015 – 2016 wiki page.   The page has much greater detail about versions, platforms and the timetable of rolling out the software across campus.

Requesting something different

Let us know at windows-info@bath.ac.uk.  We will need the following information from you.

  • Academic course code(s) for the course(s) you need the software for
  • An approximate number of students that will attend the course
  • Is it taught, semester 1, 2 or both
  • Are there interdependencies with other software eg. is it a plug in for MS Word or Internet Explorer
  • Your faculty or department
  • Please provide licensing details
  • Which platforms do you need the software available on? Eg PACs, GTAs, UniDesk, AdminDesk, LCPU