Please load the Virtual Computing Lab client on all the library laptops and computer. It’s much more stable than the web login. I have to use STATA for a stats class and I would really appreciate the flexibility of being able to work reliably in the library rather than the CTRL lab.
Also, can you make sure that routine software updates are taken care of in a timely fashion? I feel like every time I open a library laptop, I’m prompted to do an Adobe update…which I believe students can’t do because we don’t have the admin passwords.
We have an excellent reply for you from our excellent IT guy:
1) The virtual computing lab only has a total of 75 desktops. That pool is meant to support all faculty, staff and students both in class and at home. Until we can increase that number (which is scheduled for the middle of the spring 2014 semester), we’re trying to keep the client installs to a minimum. We don’t want people to get crowded out or bumped if there aren’t enough desktops to support the need. Every student, faculty and staff member has the ability to download the client to their personal computers for use 24/7, so that should be the main way they’re accessing the system. We can investigate adding the client to rental laptops, but I don’t think we’re going to be putting it on the library lab PCs just yet. Information about installing clients can be found on the VCL website: http://www.american.edu/vcl/
2) Since those laptops are almost constantly in use, it’s quite difficult to update them throughout the semester. We try to update all software two or three times a year, but we have a limited number of times in which they’re free and updating them can take a few days. The Windows laptop users can most definitely install the updates themselves, as the local account is an administrator and has full rights to install any software they need. However, once the laptop is rebooted, DeepFreeze will eradicate any changes. The Mac laptops will prompt for a password but it can be cancelled. We’ve purposefully turned off the auto-updates for any program that allows it (Firefox, Windows, Chrome, etc.) but unfortunately Adobe Flash and Acrobat Reader don’t have a similar setting … and they update every 3 – 4 days it seems like. They will prompt to install the update if they find one on the network, but the user can cancel it without consequence.