Important Retirements: 32-bit Windows image, myApps, older versions of OS X

32-bit Northeastern-managed Windows computers

Retiring June 30, 2016
Following the trend of the tech industry, ITS has been moving towards a 64-bit-only environment for desktops and laptops. Starting this semester, ITS will only offer a 64-bit version of the Windows image. As a whole, the industry has been shifting to 64-bit as it pushes the boundaries of new technologies, allowing consumers to have a better experience with faster computers. (NOTE: Operating systems can come in two different versions: 32-bit or 64-bit. Digital Trends provides good background information in the article “The differences between 32-bit v. 62-bit operating systems explained.”)

The first step at Northeastern was to release over the last few semesters certain software applications as available for 64-bit systems only. This has included Creative Cloud, AutoCAD, Revit, AutoCAD Civil 3D, SOLIDWORKS, and others that require large amounts of processing power. Over the next few months, we will work with faculty and staff to migrate all remaining Northeastern-managed 32-bit Windows computers over to 64-bit.

More details about this project will be announced in October.


Retiring December 20, 2015
ITS is replacing myApps, the virtual Windows desktop environment that provides students, faculty and staff with access to certain software applications, with a new remote application service called RemoteApp. There will be a transition period of one semester, where the two systems will overlap, before myApps is officially retired. Since myApps will be retiring no new applications will be added. Learn more about RemoteApp in the newsletter article entitled Introducing RemoteApp – A New Way To Use Applications.

Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 or 10.8

Upgrade as soon as possible
As previously written in the January 2015 newsletter, anyone currently running Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 or 10.8 should upgrade to a more current operating system. Typically Apple only supports its latest two releases. Apple no longer supports:

With the impending release of OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) in Fall 2015, support for OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), released in 2012, will soon end. Unsupported operating systems no longer receive updates, which makes them a security risk in the Northeastern environment.

How do I upgrade?

  • Students/non Northeastern-owned computer: If you are running OS X 10.6 through 10.9, you can upgrade to OS X Yosemite (10.10) for free. Details on how to upgrade can be found on the Apple website.
  • Faculty/staff on a Northeastern-managed Mac: ITS has a OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) image available. Please call the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) to make a desktop appointment, and learn the necessary steps involved in upgrading, including backing up your computer.
  • Faculty/staff on an unmanaged computer: If you are a Northeastern-owned computer that is unmanaged, we strongly encouraged to upgrade your system to the standard Northeastern-managed Mac configuration. This configuration offers the latest Northeastern software including Microsoft Office 2011, Adobe Acrobat Pro, and through the Self-Service application, there are even more applications you can download and install.
    • If you choose not to have the standard Northeastern-managed Mac configuration installed on your computer, you may update to Yosemite directly through Apple. Details on how to upgrade can be found on the Apple website. If you are on an older computer, be sure to see if your system is compatible.

MacApps (Keyserver)

Retiring October 1, 2015
Starting this October, all Northeastern Mac users will only be able to install Adobe Creative Suite products through the means outlined in the Adobe Acrobat Pro and Adobe Creative Cloud Featured Software pages.

Over the past few years, some Northeastern Mac users have utilized MacApps for access to university licensed applications, predominately Adobe Creative Suite products. ITS closed MacApps access in 2014, and has provided updates on the pending retirement in notices, including an article in the January 2015 newsletter. There are now less than 300 total users who will be impacted by the retirement. ITS is unable to contact these users directly, as MacApps only identifies users by the name of the computer being used and the majority of users are not using an ITS-managed Mac with an ITS-defined name. In some cases, the computer may be a generic machine used by a department or a student group.

If you are still using MacApps, please visit the Featured Software pages for full details about the different ways the Northeastern community can access these software applications once the service is retired.