Fall 2021 Technology Announcements

Getting Support
You can request technical assistance for your teaching and research needs at the following:

macOS Big Sur

After extensive testing the CATS group (and ITS) has determined that it is now okay for end-users to update to latest version of Apple’s macOS Big Sur (v11.5.1). So feel free to update if you’d like. Always remember to back up important files on your computer before applying updates. 

Before upgrading though please note the following: One reason for postponing this update is that Big Sur will NOT run older 32-bit software titles (e.g., KaleidaGraph). So you’ll want to check compatibility of any your older custom installed applications but otherwise you should be fine. You’ll also likely need to upgrade printer drivers and such but those are available through the Smith College Self Service.app. If you have any specific questions before upgrading please contact us to review.

Classrooms in the Sciences and other spaces across campus are being upgraded to Big Sur this summer in preparation for Fall 21. 

AppStream 2.0 (AWS)

AppStream is a new tool we live-trialed in spring 21. AppStream is an application virtualization platform that allows end-users to run applications through a web browser. We are continuing our AppStream contract for AY20-21 as an alternative to Splashtop in an effort to give students better remote access to software regardless of computer type. The main applications being streamed are: AutoCAD, Solidworks, ArcGIS, Chemdraw, Kaleidagraph, SPSS, Matlab and Mathematica. Contact CATS if you would like a demo.

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

 Useful Links: 

Access to Software
There are three main ways to access specialized, college-provided software: 

  1. Direct Download
  2. Remote Access via Splashtop
  3. AppStream 2.0 (see above)

Please reference the following links to guide you through what software is available and how to obtain it:

Repl.it (REPL stands for Read-Eval-Print-Loop)
CATS has purchased a 1-year subscription to repl.it Teams for Education (unlimited teams). A repl through Repl.it is an interactive programming environment. This service offers real-time code collaboration with Google-docs like editing for faculty and students. All major languages such as Python, Java, R, etc… are supported. Email CATS if you would like a Team(s) setup in the Smith College REPL.

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

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