Computing Policy Information

Computing Guidelines

Software Policy

Background: For legal reasons, any software on CLASSE computers needs to be installed and tracked by the Computer Group. We meter some application usage for license compliance, so it is imperative that the Computer Group be involved in the installation of any software. The use of any peer to peer file sharing program is prohibited. All software on lab computers should be for lab related business only.

Obtaining Additional Software: If you need additional software, you should first receive approval from your direct supervisor. Any associated expenses also must be approved by the appropriate Cost Account Manager. Your request will then be forwarded to the Computer Group for review, and final approval by the CLASSE IT Director.

Software Installations: All software applications should be installed or approved by Computer Group members only. Although your account is set up so that you may be able to download software or files, in most cases you will not have privileges to successfully install and run the software. We have had users in the past who have downloaded software, attempted to run it, and then corrupted their entire system. The Computer Group does not have the resources to recover systems that have been corrupted due to user abuse.

Suggestions: Due to the ever increasing number of viruses and security attacks, we strongly discourage downloading files from the Internet to CLASSE-owned PCs unless it is for Lab usage. You are also discouraged from using floppy disks or USB "Thumb Drives" which originate outside the lab.

Software Development: Any software developed to run on CLASSE systems must be developed on the CLASSE system the software will ultimately run on. For more information on developing software for CLASSE Linux systems, please see LinuxSupport.

Software on Linux: For an explanation of our software policy on Linux, please see LinuxSupport

Hardware Policy

Background: For maintenance and warranty reasons the Computer Group is responsible for installing and tracking hardware installations.

Getting Additional Hardware: As with software, if you need additional hardware, you will need the approval of your direct supervisor, and the CLASSE IT Director. Any associated expenses also must be approved by the appropriate Cost Account Manager. The Computer Group will need to review the hardware selection before it is purchased, since not all hardware will work with our setup! All new computer deployments require a minimum of one week of notice to allow time to provision, purchase, test and deploy stable and supported hardware and software configurations. Please read RequestingNewComputers to get a feel for the cost and time to deployment on a new request.

Hardware Assignments: When computers are deployed they are assigned to a "responsible user". This person is "on record" as taking responsibility for the computer, data, task and other users of the entire computing environment on that computer. In practice, this is the person contacted for upgrades, virus detections, software or policy changes and any planned change for that computer. The "responsible user" will usually be the primary and only user of the computer, but in multi-user lab or workstation situations, it is usually the supervisor for the task the computer is serving. Every hardware device must have a "responsible user". Inability to identify a "responsible user" will trigger a "Computer Status Change" which requires "Hardware maintenance and recovery" procedures to happen.

Hardware maintenance and recovery: A computer must be returned to the computer group for review whenever its status changes. If the computer is determined to require maintenance, the computer will be
  • Evaluated to see if it meets the current task needs and appropriate steps will be taken to insure it does.
  • Verify base image operation
  • Certify hardware functionality

Computer Status Changes: A computer changes status in the following instances:
  • The "responsible user" changes.
  • The primary task of the computer changes.
  • Desktops: The location of the computer changes.

Hardware Installations: All installation operations must be done by authorized Computer Group members. For example, you do not have the privileges to install device drivers on your desktop system.

Hardware Development Systems: Computers for hardware development are a special case. Please see HardwareDevelopment.

Data Policy (Where do my files go?)

Background: For many reasons it is important to store your files appropriately. It is also important that you know where your files are. Several University and CLASSE policies address file storage:

For more information about where you should be keeping your files, see CLASSE's Data Stewardship information.

End users are responsible for making sure all appropriate users can access lab data and that the data is protected appropriately from unauthorized access and hardware failures. This means making sure you save your files in appropriate locations and that you know where those files are. Linux and Windows computers provide specific temporary local storage - this storage is not backed up and could be deleted or lost at any time.

General user specific files: Windows and Linux users have several network spaces that are protected - \\samba\home\username (the Unix Home disk, /home/username) with a 500MB quota and \\samba\user\username (The Windows user space, /nfs/user/username) with a 2GB quota. Files that do not fit in these locations should be evaluated to determine which project they are for, and the appropriate project space determined.

Project space: Most projects have network storage available from appropriate computers. The project supervisor will be able to allocate you space and inform you how to access it.

Web pages

The use of CLASSE WebPages is subject to the general ComputerUseGuidelines. CLASSE web pages are provided for lab-related purposes; please keep any personal material (including teaching material) to a minimum. Offensive and inappropriate material will not be tolerated.
Topic revision: r24 - 03 Feb 2023, WernerSun
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