Waisman Computing Services

FAQ 914Keeping Waisman PCs up-to-date

Waisman PCs are configured to automatically apply security patches from Microsoft and Anti-Virus definitions from Symantec. In addition, we regularly update other software for the PCs that are in the building when security vulnerabilities are discovered.
Remote machines present a problem
In order to push an update to a PC, we need to be able to see it on the network, and have administrative rights to that PC.

If a Waisman computer is not physically connected within the building, it becomes problematic for us to find it elsewhere on the internet so that we can keep it up-to-date. For most remote machines or laptops, it is not feasible to set up a fixed internet address where the PC will always be found.

Also, if the computer is one that you own personally, we do not have administrative rights that would allow us to protect it for you.
You can take it with you...
If we are unable to push an update to your PC over the network, another alternative is to have you carry the update to your PC.

To accomplish this, we provide the most current installation kits in a format that allows you to burn a CD-ROM and apply the updates yourself. This requires you to have administrative access to the machine in question. For most of you who have a remote Waisman machine, you also have a local admin account. Certainly for personally owned machines, you have administrative access.
First drag to a folder - Then drag to your burner
Burn your own CD-ROM
Waisman employees can use the following link to get the files needed to burn the current Plugins and Application CD:

https://www.waisman.wisc.edu/private-wc/computing/CD-Plugins.html
327 MB, last updated 3/6/2013

It is a .zip archive that you can either open directly or save to your desktop first. Depending on how you normally burn CD-ROMs, you probably still need to extract the files from the .zip archive to a normal folder before you can then drop them on your CD drive or burner project.

The resulting CD will apply updates for Java6, and Adobe Flash and Reader. There are also installation kits on the disk for Java7 and the Waisman configurations of Firefox and Thunderbird.

If all you need to do is to get safe from the recent "Zero-Day" exploit of the Java Runtime Environment, you may wish to do this smaller download:

https://www.waisman.wisc.edu/private-wc/computing/CD-Java.html
82.0 MB, last updated 4/16/2014
Waisman Laptops are another story
You can follow the CD-ROM procedure for Waisman laptops as well, if you have a local admin account on that machine.

However, since they are so portable, we recommend that you bring Waisman laptops back in to us at the help desk, and leave them with us for a day. This is the most efficient manner for us to provide the best level of service.

Don't forget to bring the power adapter in with the laptop. A laptop that has been in the closet for 6 months or never taken out of its carrying case except in the hotel room can often be so far behind in updates that it takes 4 to 6 hours to bring completely back to a secure condition. It may also have only a weak charge remaining in its battery.

It is unsafe to use an out-of-date laptop on any public network, especially in airports, coffee shops, and hotels. So please, when planning for a trip, schedule a day with Heather in the week prior so that your laptop is ready for the trip too.
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