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You should also read the Computer Use and Laptop policies.

Computer Purchasing & Networking Requirements

  1. All computer purchases in the department, both desktop and laptop machines, must go through the Physics Computing Support Center (PCSC).
  2. In almost all cases, PCSC will be able to order a machine on state contract (HP or Dell) that meets your needs at a good price and that automatically meets the more detailed requirements listed below.
  3. In the rare event that you demand a particular machine that is not on state contract, PCSC still needs to make the purchase, but they can charge it to your grant (all purchases not on grant money, such as those using startup money, are required by the state to use the state contract). They will verify that no sales tax is charged and that all other purchasing requirements are met. If they have to spend extra time insuring that your non-contract machine works with the departmental software image and networking requirements, you will be charged for their time.
  4. If state money is used for the purchase, a three year warranty is required on the computer. On state contract, this is an on-site warranty, which makes it possible for PCSC to support so many machines, since for the first three years HP handles all support. If you insist on a non-state contract machine without the longer warranty, be aware that you will be charged for any repairs that are needed within that extra two year window.
  5. The university requires an inventory of all computer equipment on campus. PCSC has been charged with maintaining that inventory for Physics, so they have to see your machine to record its serial number and specifications.
  6. In order to be a part of our domain, Microsoft networking has to be enabled, which requires a certain minimum level of operating system. PCSC needs to verify this before the machine is purchased. (There are some possible exceptions for research computers that are not part of the network or that are running Linux).
  7. For security purposes, each machine must be up-to-date on its security patches and antivirus software. Again, PCSC needs to check that, regardless of the operating system.
  8. PCSC supports mainly Windows machines with some Linux support. They do not support Macintosh (OS X). This is because they use a standard disk image to install software on new machines, allowing them to support a large number (over 400 at last count) of PCs with a small staff. They are simply not set up for Mac support. That doesnít mean you canít buy one, just that they canít support it. Just like with Windows machines, the purchase must still be made through PCSC.
  9. These purchasing rules also apply to used computers. PCSC frequently has used machines available, so ask them first before pursuing used machines from elsewhere on campus.
  10. No purchases made on a personal credit card will be reimbursed. This is a longstanding policy within the department, and violates the requirement that PCSC make all computer purchases.
  11. Any machine that will be hooked up via wire to the Physics network needs to first be brought to PCSC. New computers are automatically taken care of via the PCSC purchasing requirement, but printers or used computers still need to be brought in. This requirement is enforced by the fact that our DHCP internet protocol wonít give out an IP address to any machine that doesnít have its ethernet hardware address registered with PCSC.