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Recommended Solutions

Recommended Solutions provides advice to the campus regarding acquisition of hardware and software. Our goals in providing these recommendations are:

Our current levels of support are defined as follows.

Primary Limited
  • Hardware: Current preferred vendor(s). Approved for connection to the University network. Maintenance and local warranty work available.
  • Operating systems (OS): Current approved operating system(s) for Windows and Macintosh workstations. Connects reliably to the University network. Supports primary University business applications and practices.
  • Software: Primary University business applications. Basic features support provided through the Help Desk, ITSS staff and ITSS students, generally at no charge to the customer.
  • Hardware: May or may not connect reliably to the University network. May be additional charges or wait time for replacement parts and service. This may include both newer technologies (touch screens), older technologies (computers out of warranty), or hardware with limited functionality (mobile devices).
  • Operating systems (OS): May not support primary University business applications.
  • Software: Specialized or non-standard software. Basic features support may be provided by ITSS staff, but there may be additional time or charges involved. This may include both developing software (newest version of Microsoft Office), diminishing software (older versions of Office), or specialized software (for example, discipline-specific software such as Mathematica).

Network Solutions

ITSS provides broadband wired connections to most buildings on campus. Wireless access is provided throughout most of the campus as well.

For secure access to University resources from off campus, ITSS provides a VPN service.

Hardware Solutions

Computing Equipment and Maintenance

The University can provide more efficient service and better pricing by limiting the number of vendors we work with. ITSS and the Computer Corner work together to provide workstation configurations that should meet all campus needs. By choosing a supported vendor, the ITSS TechCenter can provide hardware maintenance and warranty work on campus. We will also provide troubleshooting assistance and repair work for non-standard hardware on a time-and-materials basis.

When purchasing a workstation (desktop or laptop), ITSS recommends that our customers use the most current operating system (OS) that is stable for the platform (Windows, Mac, Unix). This may not necessarily be the most current OS. Please note that "home" versions are not engineered for a business environment and are not supported on our network.

Category Primary Limited
Laptops, desktops
  • Apple (warranty work provided on site)
  • Hewlett Packard (warranty work provided on site)
  • Dell (warranty work provided on site)
Operating System
  • Macintosh OS X v10.7 or greater
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Unix Solaris, Linux (specialized)
  • Windows 8 RT (specialized)

Not Supported

  • Windows 7 Home
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
  • Mac OS 10.6 and below

Mobile Devices

New mobile devices - including netbooks, iPads, and smartphones - arrive on the market daily. These devices provide convenience and limited functionality and do not replace standard desktops or laptops for University business computing needs. ITSS does not support a primary mobile device or service, but we can provide basic assistance in setting up UMD email or calendar through Google Apps.

Category Primary Limited
Mobile Devices
  • None at this time
  • Netbooks
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets

Printers, Scanners

Printer and scanner models and features change frequently. The basic requirement is full network capability. Before purchasing a new printer or scanner, we recommend that you contact the ITSS TechCenter for the current specification.

Category Primary Limited
Basic Printers and Scanners
  • HP printer models 4200 or older
  • Non-HP laser printers, inkjet printers, or scanners

Not Supported

  • Wireless printers
Business Class Multi-function Printers (MFP)*
  • Vendors not on the University Wide Contracts

Not Supported

    Wireless printers
* Purchasing starts with consulting department or collegiate IT staff and University Wide Contracts.


For departments considering purchase of servers and expecting ITSS support, we recommend purchase of the same type of systems owned and operated by ITSS. Contact ITSS Help Desk for further information on these servers.

Category Primary Limited
  • UNIX/Linux
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2008
  • VMware
  • Apple XServe (diminishing)

Student Response Systems (SRS)

Student Response Systems (SRS) - also called "clickers" - are small handheld devices coupled with receiving hardware and presentation software. The system allows an instructor to present questions, usually via a computer projector, and collect student answers immediately during the lecture. The results can generally be manipulated and displayed immediately and can be used to change the course of the lecture. For details see: Student Response Systems (SRS)

Category Primary Limited
Student Response Systems
  • Turning Point Technologies (primary)

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is available in a number of locations across campus, including some ITSS student computer labs. For more information, contact Disability Resources.

Category Primary Limited
Assistive Technology

Software Solutions - Desktop

Following is a summary of ITSS recommended desktop software solutions. For an alphabetical listing of software available for use, see: Software.

Category Primary Limited
Assistive technology
Calendar software
  • Access 2007 for Windows (diminishing)
  • FileMaker Pro - all versions (diminishing)
Desktop publishing
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Adobe Creative Suite
File Transfer  
Graphics and Multimedia Tools
  • None
Mathematical and Statistical Tools
  • Prezi
  • Older versions of Powerpoint
  • Older versions of Excel
Virus & Spyware
  • System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) (for University owned)
  • Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows (for personal owned)
  • Sophos for Macs (for personal owned)
  • Symantec Antivirus no longer supported
Word Processing
  • Older versions of Microsoft Word
Web Browsing
  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer
  • Safari
  • Chrome
Web Publishing
  • WordPress (diminishing)
  • Drupal (developing)

Software Solutions - Server

Technology resources for faculty and staff can be found at

Category Primary Limited
Class management tools
Communications Tools
  • Google Hangouts (only for non-HCC)
Databases (server)
  • MySQL
  • Oracle
Network File Access  
Text Editors (Unix)
  • Pico
  • Emacs
  • nedit
  • vi

Rev: 02.14 alj

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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Last modified on 03/04/14 03:49 PM
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