Fall 2023 Technology Announcements

macOS Sonoma – Green Light!

Faculty, staff, and students who wish to upgrade their Smith-assigned computers to Apple’s latest macOS, Sonoma, may do so. No incompatibilities between macOS v14.31 and Smith systems have been found. Classroom/lab, and library computers will remain on macOS Ventura through Spring/Summer 2024. Before applying any updates, always remember to back up important files and allocate adequate time for the updates to complete. Also, be sure to first check compatibility for any custom installed applications (non-smith provided) that you may use. Contact ithelp@smith.edu if you need assistance.

NOTE: A hot-fix is needed for SPSS if you upgrade to macOS Sonoma. Contact CATS if SPSS quits working for you. 

Below we are highlighting some of the services, provided by the CATS group, for your use this semester:

RStudio Server — now posit Workbench
We are currently running Posit Workbench 4.3.1 at https://rstudio.smith.edu. If you wish to use the server for your classes, email a list of students that need accounts to CATS. We only need their Smith email addresses; if you have Five College students they will receive a Smith username (but not an email) from the registrar, and when they have that, we can also create an account for them.

A list of currently installed packages is kept here. If you need additional packages, let us know and we will install them for you.

JupyterHub Server (https://jupyterhub.smith.edu/)
A multi-user web-based server that provides single-user “notebooks” where students can author code, text, and visualizations inside their own dedication virtual environment

AppStream 2.0 (AWS)
AppStream is a cloud-hosted application virtualization platform that allows end-users to run Windows-based applications through a web browser. Examples of software currently available through AppStream include: AutoCAD, Solidworks, ArcGIS, Matlab, SPSS, Stata, Chemdraw, Starry Night, and Kaleidagraph.  If you have software that you would like to be made available to your students remotely or you would just like to try it out and see how AppStream works please contact CATS.

Replit (Teams for Education)
Replit is a simple yet powerful online IDE, Editor, Compiler, Interpreter, and REPL. Code, compile, run, and host in 50+ programming languages. Replit Teams for Education offers real-time code collaboration with Google-docs like editing for faculty and students. Email CATS if you would like a Team setup. Follow this link for more info: Smith College REPL.

Git Services

  1. Github Classroom
    https://github.com/SmithCollege — contact CATS if you would like a course repo created. 
  2. Gitlab
    gitlab.smith.edu — our on premise Gitlab Enterprise Edition server is ready to store and sync your course and research project(s) git repositories. Log in with you Smith credentials. 

An Overleaf Professional subscription (collaborative, online LaTeX editor) is available to all Smith students, faculty and staff. Signup through the Smith College Overleaf Portal 

CrashPlan – Client Backup
We have seats available if you would like to backup your office and research computers. If interested, instructions can be found at: http://www.science.smith.edu/cats/CrashPlan

Make a Reservation on Research Equipment – Periodic Scheduling System
Use scheduling.smith.edu to reserve time on various research equipment throughout the sciences. Additionally, the system has been updated with new 5-min availability windows — meaning we can now set reservation slots to match Smith course blocks.

Faculty can also now create, share, and use a personal “bookable,” (connected to your google calendar) allowing students to schedule advising appointments, office hour and research meetings during the availability windows you set. Schedule a meeting for a demo. 

Since we are back to in-person learning this fall, and the computer classrooms/labs will be open, we are discontinuing the use of Splashtop for course-related work. If remote access to software for your fall course(s) is a concern we recommend using AppStream instead (see above). Email CATS to learn more. 

We will continue to use Splashtop to access research workstations. If you have a research machine that you or your students would like to access remotely please fill out the Remote Access Request Form  and we will add you to the system. 

WebWorK (an open-source online homework system for math courses)
The new webwork2 server is integrated with Moodle. Request the addition of the Moodle-to-WeBWorK LTI for your Moodle course using the Digital Support Intake Form.

Other Useful Links: 

How to use the Wacom Tablet 
Zoom Tips and Tricks

If you do not already have VPN, here are the current links on how to get started: