Operating System Upgrade Recommendations

So you’ve seen update notifications or heard about a new version of your computer operating system for Mac or Windows and would like to know when to update.  Here is what we recommend:

  • For any major Windows or Mac update, such as Windows 10 Fall Creators Update or Mac High Sierra, it is advisable to wait between one to four weeks before you install the update, to allow for initial release and download slowness issues to resolve.
  • Updates can provide beneficial new features and security enhancements; in some cases, you may need to install updates as soon as possible, to repair or remove security vulnerabilities.
  • Updates may require more system resources, meaning older computers could see a degradation of performance, if updated. Review the system requirements of the update and compare with your computer hardware, or contact OET to have us check for you.
  • Apple, University IT and CEHD only support computers on the last three major releases. For Mac OS, this means 10.11 El Capitan, 10.12 Sierra, and 10.13 High Sierra. For Windows systems, Windows 7, 8 and 10 are supported. We recommend upgrading to the latest operating system on Windows and Mac.
  • If you want to update a UD-owned machine, OET will do this for you. Before you update your system, OET will back up any of your local files and make sure your H drive files are up to date, if any problems arise.
  • A major update typically takes several hours to download, install, and restart. You should not start the update process when you will need to work on the computer—even the download process in the background can slow your system.
  • When you perform updates to your laptop computer, you should connect it to a power source. If the battery runs low while the update is in process, it could force a shutdown at a problematic time and may cause the system not to respond or other problems.

 

Contact OET if you have questions, to discuss a specific update, or for assistance.

Zoom Makes Web Conferencing Easy

Zoom offers an easy and affordable way to host web conferences or webinars for 100 participants or less. As a host, Zoom allows you to log into your local computer or web browser to set the time and date for the web conference.  Zoom then generates a link that you send to your participants who click on it to download the Zoom plugin and join the meeting.

Zoom’s features include chat, whiteboard tools, and group video and audio calls to allow sharing a web cam and voice at the same time.  A comparison chart that highlights features among Google Hangouts, Skype, Canvas, and Zoom is available from Academic Technology Services (ATS).

If you record your video conference, Zoom saves it to the cloud or your local computer as an MP4, along with the audio transcript, chat transcript, and any closed captions. Zoom Pro is available from ATS and is free to faculty who use it for numbered and lettered courses.  For others, an annual license is $60. In addition, a free basic account is available from Zoom

Adobe Acrobat and Reader Updates Pushed

We recently began pushing the latest version of Adobe Acrobat—Adobe Acrobat Pro 2017—to Windows machines running any unsupported versions.  Adobe announced the end of support for Adobe Acrobat XI earlier this year, leaving Adobe Acrobat 2017 and Adobe Acrobat DC as the only versions that are supported with software updates.  Any Windows computer running Adobe Acrobat XI or earlier will have its installation of Acrobat automatically upgraded to the newest version through KACE, our software management and inventory tool.

Similarly, Adobe only supports Adobe Acrobat Reader DC with software updates.  For this reason, we are upgrading installations of previous versions of Adobe Reader on Windows to this supported version using KACE.

We are working on uninstalling previous versions of Acrobat Pro and Reader from Macintosh computers.

Mark Your Calendars to Learn Layouts!

Calling all WordPress editors! Mark your calendars for our next WordPress meetings on January 24, March 21, and May 23, from 12-1 p.m. in 205 WHL.  At our next meetings, we will offer a series of informal workshops on the Layouts plugin by Toolset. Layouts is a drag and drop editor that is installed on many OET-hosted WordPress sites.  With Layouts, you can create responsive designs that display on phones, tablets, and desktops. Bring your computers, questions and your lunch! 

WordPress Sites Updated

We are updating OET-hosted WordPress websites to WordPress 4.9.1, along with the websites’ associated plugins.  We verify compatibility with the updates, as the updates are applied.  If you have any questions about the updates, contact OET.

Registration Open for Week of Code and New Arc Academy

Registration is now open for OET’s Week of Code and New Arc Academy summer camps.   From July 16-20, Week of Code will offer 5th-8th students a deep dive into programming with Processing, a Java-based, object-oriented language. Students will work toward producing their own Android app and interact with robots and microcontrollers.  From July 23-August 3, 4th-7th grade students will explore biochemistry in their daily lives, create interactive animations with Scratch programming, and unleash their creative powers with LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics in the New Arc Academy.  Both camps run from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.

We encourage interested students to apply early, as these camps have filled quickly in previous years.