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School of Medicine Technology Services

SOMTech, Administrative and Academic Systems,
and Educational Technologies

SOMTech, Administrative and Academic Systems, and Educational Technologies

News and updates

Mac OS X Yosemite

Apple has released a few updates since the initial release of the new operating system. We have noted several issues:

  • Lotus Notes client needed for the VCU instance does not work
  • Wireless (bluetooth and wifi) can be inconsistent
  • Updating can cause boot issues on the device

We have strongly suggested that this operating system not be used until these issues have been addressed by Apple. Apple has tried to do this with 10.10.2 update. This update has not provided consistency across the board. Another update 10.10.3 is being beta tested which may address these issues. Those that deem it necessary to purchase a new device will receive limited support due to the issues listed above.

Mac OS X Mavericks 9.2 Update

Apple released Mavericks 9.2 (2/25/2014). This update addresses some issues with the operating system especially the SSL connection verification issue. Mavericks is supported as of version 9.1.

Windows XP support

Microsoft will discontinue support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. How does this affect computers with Windows XP once Microsoft discontinues support after April 8th, 2014?

  • Operating system(OS) patches which are used to fix functionality or security related issues will no longer be released by Microsoft
  • Compatibility issues- drivers for newer hardware (printers, scanners, lab equipment, etc.) will no longer be developed for windows XP
  • Complying with VCU’s standard computing policy, SOMTech will no longer provide IT support for non-vendor supported operating systems. Department Administrators will be notified about computers in their areas that are affected. SOMTech will furnish a detailed list of computers that can be upgraded (e.g. additional RAM, Windows 7) or replaced (unable to be upgraded due to hardware specifications).
  • Lab equipment that must run on Windows XP due to software limitations or requirements will be disconnected from network and the network card removed. This will ensure un-patched operating systems that may become infected do not connect to the network and infect other computers. Alternatives and exceptions can be addressed with the SOM’s information security team.
  • Please submit a ticket to SOMTech if you have a Windows XP machine so that the device can be evaluated and upgraded to remain on the network. This can be done by calling 828-2227 or submitting through http://go.vcu.edu/SOMTicket.

Windows 8 support

Microsoft has released Windows 8.1. Currently, the School of Medicine Technology Services does not recommend or support Windows 8.1.

Mobile Device Management

AirWatch, a mobile device management system has been implemented at the School of Medicine. Individuals approved for the cellular device allowance plan along with all departmentally-purchased mobile devices (smartphones, Apple and Android tablets) will need to have Airwatch installed. Please submit a Service Desk request to initiate this process.

Laptop Encryption

All School of Medicine laptops are required to be encrypted. If your laptop is not encrypted, please submit a Service Desk request to initiate this process.

Windows 7 support

School of Medicine Technology Services now fully supports Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate on new computers. The Home Edition of Windows 7 is not supported.

Faculty and staff may submit a request for upgrading existing computers to Windows 7. The department has the responsibility to acquire the necessary license for upgrade. Contact your ISA to request a quote. Please note that not all computers can be upgraded to Windows 7 due to hardware compatibility issues.

IronKey USB flash drive

SOMTech has 4 GB IronKey encrypted USB flash drives available for distribution. These drives will be distributed to faculty and staff who have a documented business need and justification to copy confidential and protected data to removable media. Please contact your ISA or visit the forms and templates page to request an IronKey flash drive.

Other VCU IT news and alerts