New Software Available – Summer 2015

New and the latest versions of software are now available to the Northeastern community in ITS-managed labs, on Faculty/Staff Northeastern-managed computers and for local install. Software availability is based on the Summer 2015 image.

If you are on a managed computer and are not seeing the latest software in Start or Software Center on Windows, or in Applications or Self Service on Mac, you may want to consider having your machine reimaged. You can do this by contacting the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) or

Also check out the Spring 2015 new software for anything you might have missed, including:

  • Microsoft Project and Visio 2013
  • Palo Alto GlobalProtect VPN
  • Dreamspark
  • New local install options for Northeastern-owned, unmanaged computers

Mathematica 10

The latest version of this program introduces a number of new features, including machine learning, computational geometry, geographic computation, and device connectivity.

  • Windows – Available for all ITS-managed lab and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers through Start > All Programs > Statistical and Computational > Mathematica.
  • Mac – Coming soon to all ITS-managed lab  computers under Applications, and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers in Self-Service. This post will be updated to reflect when the software is available.

Storyline2, Replay and Character Bundles

This software, previously only available in the Digital Scholarship Commons lab, provides a PowerPoint-compatible interface to help create engaging and interactive online course materials that blend instruction, audio, video, and optional assessment.

  • Windows – Available for installation on faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers through Start > All Programs > Microsoft System Center > Software Center. Also available in the Digital Scholarship Commons lab.
  • Mac – Not available.

SketchUp Pro 2015

The architecture and design software latest version provides new capabilities – from faster rendering to entirely new tools.

  • Windows – Available for all ITS-managed lab and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers through Start > All Programs > Design & CAD > SketchUp Pro.
  • Mac – Available for all ITS-managed lab computers under Applications.

FileMaker Pro 13

This new version of this relational database application includes new design, development and security features for all platforms, along with an improved client for both iPhone and iPad.

NOTE: As part of this update, ITS will be retiring FileMaker Pro 12 and 10, removing from all faculty/staff managed computers and ITS-managed lab computers in mid-May 2015. Faculty/staff who need to use the application, please follow the instructions below for how to install a local copy of the new version.

  • Windows – FileMaker Pro 13 is available for installation on faculty/staff managed computers through Start > All Programs > Microsoft System Center > Software Center.
  • Mac – FileMaker Pro 13 is available for installation on faculty/staff managed computers through Self-Service.

Aspen Plus 8.6

This version of the chemical process optimization software includes advances in modeling, analysis and reporting.

  • Windows – Available for all ITS-managed lab and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers through Start > All Programs > AspenTech > Process Modeling V8.6 > Aspen Plus.
  • Mac – Not available.

Stata 13

This version of the data analysis and statistical software provides enhanced capabilities in many areas, from new treatment effects and models to greater options for sample sizes and forecasting.

  • Windows – Available for all faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers through Start > All Programs > Statistical and Computational > Stata.
  • Mac – Stata 13 is available for installation on faculty/staff managed computers through Self-Service (Stat & Comp).

New Outlook For Mac Available To Office 365 Customers – What Mac Owners Need To Know

Microsoft recently released a new Outlook for Mac for Office 365 users – the first major Microsoft release for OS X in years. The software is now available for download to Office 365 subscribers – including Northeastern faculty and staff currently using Office 365 email – through the Office 365 portal.

Installing the new software is more involved than a simple upgrade. The new Outlook is a separate software application, independent of Office 2011 and will install alongside any existing Outlook applications that are already installed on your Mac. Since Outlook for Mac does not upgrade Outlook 2011, and because it requires a manual download and installation, we recommend that you decide on performing this upgrade with due caution and care.

So far in ITS’s testing of this new software, outside of the upgrade process, there have been only a few reported issues. Notably, there are some reports of errors while trying to open Microsoft Office documents by clicking on a link embedded in an e-mail message, possibly due to compatibility issues between Office 2011 and the new Outlook for Mac. Please note that while the ITS Service Desk staff will always try its best to be of assistance with issues that may arise, this software is currently not fully supported by ITS.

Download and Installation

The new Outlook for Mac is only available for computers running OS X Yosemite (10.0) – Apple’s latest operating system, and the software must be manually downloaded and installed. Microsoft is continuing its “cloud first” strategy so the new Outlook for Mac is only available for download from the Office 365 portal. Once you are signed in to the Office 365 portal access the Software page by selecting the Gear icon > Office 365 Settings > Software > Outlook for Mac icon. Unfortunately, due to Microsoft limitations, the new Outlook for Mac cannot be made available via Self-Service on ITS-managed Macs. Both Microsoft and ITS highly recommend that you first back up your computer, and then install the new Outlook for Mac, before removing Outlook 2011. Microsoft has provided detailed instructions on how to uninstall Outlook 2011.

The new Outlook for Mac for Office 365 includes noticeably better performance and reliability than Outlook 2011, due to the use of a new mailbox database structure and a new threading model. ITS tests have shown that it is faster and more agile when switching between tabs, with improved scrolling, and provides improved synchronization with Office 365’s Exchange Web Services. The new Outlook also sports a new modern user interface that is aligned with the Outlook 2013 for Windows look and feel, and supports online archiving. For more information, please visit Microsoft’s blog post New Outlook for Mac available to Office 365 customers.

Coming Soon – New Office Suite for Mac

The new Outlook for Mac is the first of the next release of Office products for Mac: Word for Mac, Excel for Mac, PowerPoint for Mac and OneNote for Mac. Microsoft will release a public beta of the new Office suite during the first half of this year, with the final release planned for late 2015. This time frame will allow software providers, such as ITS, to prepare for the new software, and for ITS to test it out on the different environments used throughout the university.

Questions or concerns? Please contact the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) or

Hey, Mac Users…

Mac user

There are several things Mac users at Northeastern need to look out for – right now and in the coming months.

NOTE: Students – Are you a member of a student group that uses Mac? The information below for faculty and staff may also apply to your student group’s computer.

Running on 10.6, 10.7 or 10.8? – Upgrade now!

Typically Apple only supports its latest two releases. Back in February 2014, Apple stopped supporting OS X Snow Leopard (10.6), which it originally released back in 2009. With the release of OS X Yosemite (10.10) this last October, support for the other two older operating systems – OS X Lion (10.7, released in 2011) and OS X Mountain Lion (10.8, released in 2012) – will soon end. It is time to upgrade!

Why should I upgrade?

  • No support: Apple support has already ended for OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) and, as a result, ITS will not be able to support this operating system. Apple will soon end support for OS X Lion (10.7) and OS X Mountain Lion (10.8). Click here for a list of ITS supported computers and operating systems on the Hardware and Software – FAQ page. OS X Mavericks (10.9) is the current ITS standard image for managed computers.
  • Security risks: Once an operating system is no longer supported, critical security updates stop. This makes computers much more vulnerable to viruses, as hackers are waiting to take advantage of this insecurity. If your computer gets a virus, it will not perform properly, it may shut down entirely, and you are at risk for losing files and having your personal information stolen. Newer Mac operating systems offer much better security. If your computer represents a security threat to Northeastern’s networks, your network access will be revoked.
  • Software issues: Many vendors do not support products that are running on older, unsupported operating systems. Additionally, ITS will no longer develop and test applications for OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) and OS X Lion (10.7).
  • Old technology: Snow Leopard (10.6) was released four years ago, and has since been replaced by three newer operating systems.

How can I tell which Mac operating system I am running?

In the top left of the menu bar, click the Apple icon and select “About This Mac.” The version will be listed, and the first two numbers indicate the main operating system. For example, if it lists Version 10.8.5, the machine is running OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) with a few updates (the .5 at the end signifies a point release). It is best if you are at least on OS X Mavericks (10.9).

If you are on a ITS-managed Mac and are impacted, you will see several notification pop-ups over the coming months.

How do I upgrade?

  • Students/non Northeastern-owned computer: For those on a personal computer running 10.6 through 10.9, Apple is offering the upgrade to OS X Yosemite (10.10) for free. 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.
  • Faculty/staff on a managed computer: For those on a Northeastern-managed Mac, please call the 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. It is best if you are running at least OS X Mavericks (10.9). ITS will be releasing a new OS X Yosemite image during Spring 2015.
  • 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 offers all of 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, including Creative Cloud.
    • 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.

On the horizon – An OS X Yosemite image

Now that Apple has released OS X Yosemite (10.10), ITS is working on developing a new standard Mac image for Northeastern-managed computers. The benefit of a standard image is that ITS tests out the operating system with software used at Northeastern to ensure everything works properly with our systems. We anticipate releasing this new image during the Spring 2015 semester.

A new way to access myApps on a Mac

ITS has ended support for the application CORD which was used on Macs trying to gain virtual access to Windows applications. through myApps. The new supported application is Microsoft Remote Desktop, which is available on Northeastern-managed Macs under Self-Service. Personal computers may access the application through Apple’s App Store. Instruction on how to configure Microsoft Remote Desktop for myApps can be found here.

MacApps (Keyserver) Retirement – New ways to get Adobe software

Over the last few years, Northeastern Mac users have utilized MacApps for access to university-licensed applications. This service has primarily provided access to Adobe Creative Suite products. Now that Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro are accessible in many different ways, ITS will be retiring MacApps. Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud at Northeastern.

How do I get the software I need?

  • Faculty and staff: Faculty and staff on Northeastern-managed Macs are strongly encouraged to upgrade to a standard Northeastern Mac configuration. The current image offers all of the latest Northeastern software, including Microsoft Office 2011, Adobe Acrobat Pro and, through the Self Service application, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and more. For faculty and staff on a Northeastern-owned, unmanaged Mac, you can submit a Locally Installed Software Request through the myHelp Service Catalog, under Software Services. After selecting Mac, the list will populate with all the software available to you for local install, including Adobe Acrobat Pro and different Creative Cloud software bundles.
    • PRO TIP: On a Northeastern-managed Mac, Self Service is a source for all different types of new software – not just Adobe applications.
  • Personal use – students, faculty and staff: Students, faculty and staff have access to Adobe Creative Cloud for personal use at a significantly discounted rate through the Free and Discounted Software section of myNEU. Please note that unlike Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud is a subscription based licensing model, so you are paying for access on a monthly or annual basis.
  • ITS managed labs: Adobe Creative Cloud is available in all ITS managed labs for all of your designing needs. Remember the InfoCommons and DMC are open 24/7, as long as Snell Library is open.

Apple OS X Yosemite Released -­ What Mac Owners Need To Know

Last week Apple released its latest desktop operating system – OS X Yosemite (10.10). Like its predecessor Mavericks, this new operating system is available for free when downloaded from Mac App Store.

What is different?
OS X Yosemite is the first Mac operating system that allows for the seamless integration between Mac computers and iOS devices – specifically those using iOS 8.1. Transitioning from one device to the next is made possible with iCloud Drive, which leverages the new feature Handoff and the improvements to AirDrop, SMS and Messages. Handoff allows you to use Mail, Safari, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Keynote, Numbers, and Pages interchangeably between Mac and iOS. The enhanced AirDrop allows you to easily share files with iOS devices, and it will automatically download files shared between two devices with the same Apple ID.  Please note that ITS has not yet completed a formal investigation of security and privacy on iCloud Drive, but at this time we would advise users to not store any potentially sensitive information, including any work data, on this cloud.

Yosemite is intended to pair with iPhones and other Apple products, and many features may only work with devices capable of running iOS 8.1. You can now receive SMS messages and even phone calls on your computer that were originally sent to your iPhone. Group messaging has also been improved, allowing you to name, mute or even leave group conversations in Messages. It is also possible to turn your iPhone into a Personal Hotspot for your Mac.

Should I upgrade now? The ITS perspective
Since OS X Yosemite has just been released, ITS has not yet had the opportunity to test its compatibility with all of Northeastern’s networks, applications and systems. Currently ITS cannot guarantee that those who upgrade will have a seamless transition. ITS is testing and analyzing our various applications and services on this new operating system, and we will provide further information once our testing and analysis is complete.

  • Faculty and staff on Northeastern-managed Macs – We caution against upgrading to OS X Yosemite at this time. We are working on testing the operating system with all of our systems and applications. The new operating system will be included in a future ITS Mac image configuration, to be released early 2015.
  • Unmanaged Northeastern-owned Macs and personal Macs – As with any new software release, there will likely be issues identified and addressed by Apple over the coming weeks. It is always a good idea to weigh being an early adopter of a new technology with the risk inherent in any software upgrade.

If you do choose to upgrade, please note while the Service Desk staff will always try its best to be of assistance with issues that may arise, this operating system is not currently supported by ITS.

Learn more
For more information about OS X Yosemite, please visit

Related articles:
Wall Street Journal – OS X Yosemite Review: The Mac Cozies Up to the iPhone
Gizmodo – 17 Things You Can Do in OS X Yosemite That You Couldn’t Do in Mavericks
MacWorld – How to prepare for OS X Yosemite: Get your Mac ready to download & install OS X 10.10