Laptop Computer Policy FAQ

Will the School expect all undergraduate students to have personal laptop computers?
The School's Information Technology Committee will annually review hardware and software standards and publish them in the late Spring of each semester for application in the following Fall semester. Students are responsible for meeting the standards that were in effect in the semester in which the laptop policy first applied to them. In general, most laptops capable of playing commercial video games will likely meet the required performance specifications.
No, you are expected to meet the current standards only in the first year and assuming that you progress through the curriculum on a regular schedule. However, software does change and updates to the latest versions may be required during the course of your studies.

Yes. The university bookstore on-campus sells academically priced software. Any currently enrolled student is qualified to purchase discounted academic versions of Microsoft Office 2016, as well as Microsoft Windows 10 Operating System upgrades. If you purchase a Windows 10 operating system upgrade, be sure to follow any and all instructions regarding its installation on your laptop provided by the bookstore salesperson. If your enrollment is current, regular software updates will be available to you for purchase provided that you have carefully maintained a continuous "paper trail" dating from your original purchase, because at some point during the process of installing updated software you may be required to provide the original product key code as well as all other update product key codes. You are advised that failure to maintain these records may be very expensive. The on-campus bookstore also carries other academic priced software titles.

Click for list and pricing:

Software

There are numerous academic and software vendors and although the School of Architecture does not recommend anyone source over any other, issues like ease of maintenance, security, and price are all important considerations.
Assuming that your laptop conforms to the specification and/or your installed software is configured correctly, connectivity depends on the university Pharos Print Management System. Compatibility issues resulting from upgrades to the UTA Pharos Print Management software installed at the time you elect to print may affect connectivity. From time to time OIT upgrades PHAROS. If you have a problem connecting, go to the OIT Helpdesk located on the ground floor of the Central Library or visit the following Office of Information Technology web page for instructions and file downloads for direct or wireless connections:

Software to protect your laptop from malware, spyware, and virus attacks is available free as a download to enrolled students (see: OIT link below), or you may elect to purchase and install your own antivirus software. The safest and best practice is to set your virus program to download updates daily. Failure to do so may lead to irreversible damage and corruption to your files and/or computer? If you haven't heard the phrase Blue Screen Of Death you risk having it if you fail to update your virus protection daily.

Personal Encryption

Some students purchase riders to their Home Owner's/ Renter's insurance policy, and/or purchase products such as “LoJack” for laptops. You may also find other security products for laptops by searching the web.

How can I protect my laptop from shock and/or breakage?

Carrying cases provide a measure of protection for your laptop. These cases come in a variety of colors, sizes, styles, and capacities. Since the screen is the most vulnerable part of your laptop, consideration should be given to protecting it well. Reviews of laptop bags/ cases may be found at sites like:

Cases

With very few exceptions computer software belongs to the original manufacturer. Typically, it is copyrighted and sold to you under license for your use. Usually, the software may not be copied for any reason but to make a backup. Please review the licensing agreement that comes as part of your software installation carefully. The reproduction of the software to sell or give to someone else is piracy and is a violation of the copyright law as is the use of software for any use other than its intended use. It is also illegal to use software purchased at educational discounts for commercial purposes. The University of Texas System Computer and Information Technology Use Policy and Guidelines offers useful direction on the issues of software ownership, transfer, and much more.

The University of Texas System Computer and Information Technology Use Policy and Guidelines offer useful direction on the issues of software ownership, transfer, and much more.

 

Effective 4/24/2020