Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

DCO > Policies > Entitlements

Last revised August 24, 2016

1. DCO's Responsibilities

This page describes the services that EECS department faculty, staff, and students can expect from the Departmental Computing Organization. This is a work in progress; feedback from the EECS community will be accepted on an ongoing basis and revisions will be made when necessary. DCO may be able to assist with other issues on a case by case basis.

1.1 Machine Registration

The new support and infrastructure fee is a $400 one-time fee for each new desktop, laptop, or server computer purchased new with university funds. A reduced fee of $104 will apply to other departmentally funded computing equipment, including iPads and similar devices, smartphones, networked printers, etc. Equipment purchased used (such as through a CAEN sale) or used equipment brought into EECS from another department or institution will also qualify for the $104 fee. Due to many changes to the campus network funding models and the widespread use of wireless networking, these fees are no longer connected in any way to the network; they apply to all desktop, laptop, and server computers regardless of whether they have network connections.

1.2. Network Infrastructure

1.2.1. Ethernet Backbone

DCO manages the connection of systems in EECS to the College of Engineering wired network. A machine cannot be connected to the wired network until it is registered with DCO. This includes university owned machines, which are charged a $400 fee for registration, as well as personal machines, which are not charged a fee.

To ensure the integrity of the network, and to allow DCO to respond appropriately in emergency situations, DCO requires that its staff have the location, make, model and serial numbers (as well as MAC address) of all systems connected to the network backbone. This applies for both DCO administered and self-administered systems of all types.

1.2.2. Internet Access

Access to standard internet services (email, web) will be provided.

1.2.3. World Wide Web Support

DCO will operate a departmental WWW server and provide basic technical consulting and assistance. However, individual users and labs are responsible for their own HTML document preparation; unfortunately, DCO does not have the resources to provide technical typing services. DCO runs the HTML server for the department's home page and handles technical issues concerning the server. The content of the departmental home page is determined by the faculty members of the DCO Executive Committee.

1.3. Linux systems services

1.3.1. Linux accounts

A Linux account with access to Internet services will be available for each employee (faculty or staff) and each graduate student in the department.

1.3.2. Linux disk storage

A reasonable amount of disk storage will be provided to each user on network storage servers. DCO may choose to apply storage quota restrictions on individuals who are deemed to be using an unreasonable amount of storage space. Research groups that need additional storage should purchase dedicated disk drives to attach directly to their private workstations.

1.3.3. Linux Software Environment

Departmental Linux accounts will have access to standard programs, including file manipulation utilities, text editors, and programming utilities. If you need access to a specific program that is not installed, please contact DCO and we may be able to install it for you.

1.3.4. Software Consulting Support

DCO staff will provide basic support for the Linux operating system and most common software packages. This support will include:

  • Assisting new users in getting started
  • Providing lists of recommended documentation such as books, manuals, quick reference guides, "Frequently Asked Questions" lists, etc.
  • Assistance with commonly encountered problems
  • Providing access to the source code of these packages for advanced users

Persons who need to use advanced features or do extensive customization of these packages are generally expected to consult the documentation and develop their own expertise as needed. Departmental faculty and staff are welcome to ask the DCO staff about advanced features of the supported packages and about packages not listed above, but DCO cannot guarantee an answer to all questions; DCO does not have sufficient staff resources to have an internal expert for all of these packages.

1.3.5. Supported Hardware

DCO will make available a list of Linux workstations and operating system software versions that are known to operate well within the EECS networked computing environment. Significant compatibility and reliability problems have been encountered on frequent occasions with unfamiliar equipment. DCO can make absolutely no guarantees of any kind with regards to non-recommended hardware; the purchaser must assume all risks.

1.3.6. Backup Services

All EECS faculty and staff will be entitled to 100 GB of backed up data for registered machines at no additional charge. People who need more than 100 GB backed up may purchase additional backup capacity at a rate of $100 per additional 100 GB, billed one time only.

Backup services on individual machines are not provided automatically-- they must be explictly requested.

1.4. Individual Computer Systems Services

1.4.1 Software Support

DCO staff will provide basic support for the Linux, Mac, and Windows environments including:

  • Assisting new users in getting started
  • Providing lists of recommended documentation such as books, manuals, quick reference guides, "Frequently Asked Questions" lists, etc.
  • Assistance with commonly encountered problems

DCO is unable to expend significant resources addressing problems on obsolete operating system environments. If support from the system's distributor or developer has ended for that particular release (e.g. Ubuntu LTS releases older than 5 years, Windows 7 or lower), DCO may not be able to dedicate significant resources for your issue.

1.5. Printing services

DCO will attempt to support all printers in the department, including support in locating the appropriate driver for a particular printer or troubleshooting issues. DCO is not able to significantly troubleshoot printing issues that arise as a result of using uncommon or niche software.

1.6. Classroom video services

DCO can provide a limited amount of video equipment for classroom use. Equipment is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and a minimum of one full working day advanced notice is required when requesting equipment. Please contact DCO for more information.

2. Items DCO is NOT responsible for

Unfortunately, DCO does not have the resources to do everything. To ensure that the DCO staff can give sufficiently high priority to the essential tasks listed above, we must leave it to our computer users to handle some other issues themselves. While we would like to be as helpful as possible, sometimes we must say "no".

Specifically, the following items are all DCO users' own responsibilities:

2.1. Commercial software packages

  • Funding and purchasing
  • Obtaining software licensing keys
  • Resolving problems with the vendor

2.2. Persons not directly affiliated with the department

  • Providing consulting for family and friends of faculty and staff
  • Fixing hardware or software damaged by family and friends of faculty and staff

2.3. Equipment off campus

DCO does not have sufficient staff resources to provide on-site support for off-campus equipment. Faculty and staff who wish to remove their computer equipment from campus for home use or use while traveling are expected to take direct responsibility for the safe transportation and the maintenance of the equipment while it is off campus.

2.4. Obsolete hardware and software

Computer hardware and software depreciates extremely rapidly. It is generally out of date within three years and hopelessly obsolete within five. It is not reasonable to expect DCO to expend scarce staff resources to provide support and maintenance for obsolete equipment.