Unsupported Software

Dozens of licensed and freeware software applications are available for installation upon request to ECN-supported Windows-based PCs which are maintained by ECN's User and Desktop Services group.

But what if you want an application which isn't on ECN's list of supported software? Or what if you want a newer version of software than that which is already installed on your ECN-supported Windows PC?

There is no one answer which fits every request, so we encourage you to please contact us to discuss your specific needs. Our reply might follow one of the following trains of thought.

1. I'd like a copy of an application which isn't free. Does Purdue or ECN have it?

We will be glad to check the list and other campus sources. If it is not licensed, we might be able to help you determine where to buy it and how much it costs. ECN can place orders on your behalf for some titles when you provide the Purdue account number to be charged. We will let you know when your business office (rather than ECN) needs to place a software order.

2. I would like to install a shareware program.

Shareware is treated exactly like other purchase-required software described above: A license must be purchased with Purdue funds before ECN will install it. (See question #5, below, for more info.)

3. My computer already has software for a specific function (e.g. web browsers, PDF readers, media players), but I would prefer to use an alternate program which is free. Would you please install it?

In many cases, ECN will not install alternate programs when existing applications already serve that function. ECN's supported Windows environment is complex; we must carefully choose which software to support, as each title requires many hours of work to "package" (prepare for remote installation), tweak, test, and maintain for full compatibility and proper security in our network-centric environment.

When you multiply ECN's time investment to cover hundreds of programs and thousands of computers, you might understand that we simply don't have the resources to support every application. ECN must also carefully balance the desire to make available the latest features of the newest versions with the need to maintain stability and full compatibility with other Purdue servers and sites.

Web browsers are one popular example. ECN supports Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and (as of Spring 2013) Google Chrome. We devote considerable resources to keeping each as up-to-date as possible -- especially given how frequently the vendors release security updates for them! We must carefully choose when and how many resources to make available to maintain alternate programs.

4. Would you please update my computer's copy of a specific ECN-supported program? I see that a newer version is available.

Yes, we will be glad to -- if ECN has already packaged the updated version.

ECN automatically updates some applications on ECN-supported PCs in the days or weeks after we package new releases. For others, we wait for you to ask us for the update, and then we "push" it to your PC upon request.

Some software vendors release updates more frequently than enterprise IT organizations like ECN can keep up with; the process of packaging, tweaking, testing for compatibility, and installing to all supported PCs takes more time than they provide us between software releases. Web browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox), e-mail clients (Mozilla Thunderbird), and media players (Adobe Flash) are examples.

In those situations, a "hand-install" of the newer version would be necessary ... but we are reluctant to do "hand-installs" of supported applications on ECN-supported PCs.  When we do a hand-install (as opposed to our preferred "package" installations), we lose the ability to automatically update the software for you -- which means we lose the ability to remotely push the most important security updates which vendors make available.

Please be assured that preparing updated software versions of the most frequently-used applications is always on ECN's to-do list. If we respond to your request that the updated version is not yet available for ECN-supported PCs, we will be grateful for your patience.

5. I would like to install software which comes as "trialware" -- it is free to download, but it expires after a certain number of days.

Please first install this on a self-supported computer such as a laptop or home PC. On that computer, evaluate whether the software meets your needs and would therefore be worthy of being purchased with Purdue funds for installation on your ECN-supported Windows PC.

We also suggest that you test using the software under a "limited" user account on your laptop or home PC. For compatibility with ECN-supported PCs, the software must function properly as a "limited" user.

6. There isn't any ECN-supported software which does a particular thing I need, but I have found a freeware program which does. Will you install it?

Yes, we will be glad to. When you contact us with your request, would you please provide a link to the web page where the software can be downloaded? ECN will need to verify that the software license allows for free installation, and then we will work with you to get it installed.

Please note that ECN can not provide support for using such software. If we discover that the software is incompatible with ECN's Windows environment, we reserve the right to uninstall it. Thank you for your understanding.

 

Last modified: 2013/05/08 16:37:37.889327 GMT-4 by john.a.omalley.1
Created: 2011/10/25 14:21:56.537000 GMT-4 by john.a.omalley.1.

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