Freezing Podium Computers

In an ongoing attempt to provide classroom and podium computers that are both state-of-the-art and running at peak efficiency all the time, we will be making a change to the podium computers beginning with the Fall 2009 semester.
As many of you know, the public lab computers (both Mac and Windows) in classrooms and places like the library, are re-imaged and frozen every semester. We do this so that faculty and students have computers with consistent software. Freezing the computers allows us to keep them in their “original” state. (Restarting them restores the software to its original condition.)
In the past, faculty members have been able to install whatever they wanted on podium computers and it would not get erased. It has not been a big problem until this past semester. During the last few weeks of the spring semester several of the podium computers were infected with a variety of malware, which impacted the operation of the computers and interrupted classes during a critical time. In the hopes of minimizing this sort of impact in the future, we will be freezing all podium Windows computers.
What does this mean for the faculty? If you want to install a piece of software for one particular class, you’ll still be able to do so, provided it doesn’t require a restart of the computer. If, however, you wish to have software installed on a particular podium computer for the entire semester, you’ll need to notify IT in advance in order to have the software permanently installed on a particular podium computer for that semester.
We apologize in advance for any inconvenience caused by the implementation of these controls. Please know it is not our intent to prevent or restrict faculty from using technology in the classroom. Our goal is to ensure you have computers that run consistently throughout the entire semester and especially during the critical last few weeks.

- Tom Marcotte, Director, User Services

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