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Desktop Refresh FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What departments are up for Refresh this year?
A: See the complete list of FY2013 Refresh departments.  All FY2013 Refresh deployments are complete, and preparations have begun for FY2014 Refresh in fall 2013.

Q: When is my department next scheduled for Refresh?
A: Entire departments receive new Refresh computers once every four years.  To find out when your department is next scheduled for Refresh, see the list of departments with Refresh year.

Q: When can I expect to hear from LTS about my department's upcoming computer Refresh?
A: LTS reaches out to departments beginning in January prior to the next fiscal year.  (So, for FY2014 which begins July 1 2013, LTS would begin conversations with departments in January of 2013.)  LTS schedules a meeting with department chairs or administrators to explain the Refresh process and request help gathering information about departmental computer needs.  Faculty and staff are also informed of this process by email.  LTS gets in touch with departments again in April to confirm computer requests and make any necessary adjustments.  Finally, LTS schedules a deployment day or days, and a make-up day, for delivery and setup of the new computers.  A detailed Refresh timeline is available with more information.

Q: Do I get to choose my computer, or does LTS choose for me?
A: Budget permitting, faculty and staff are offered four choices:  Windows or Macintosh computer, and desktop or laptop.  Within each of these four choices, LTS issues two configurations: regular ("blue") and enhanced ("green"), based on a faculty or staff member's typical work tasks.  A fuller explanation of blue/green configurations is available here.

Q: What is the difference between the "blue" and "green" configurations?  Can I find out the exact technical specifications, in order to help me choose?
A: Unfortunately, computer manufacturers don't announce their new models until late spring, so LTS won't know exact technical specifications until after that.  It is best to choose based on typical work tasks, rather than to worry too much about exact technical specifications, which change from year to year as computers become more powerful.  However, LTS has a good record of choosing appropriate models that will deliver good service and stand the test of time for the full four years.

Q: Do I have to be present when my new computer is delivered and set up?
A: Yes. You'll need to log in to your computer in order to set up certain features, such as the ability to map departmental shares or print to a departmental printer, so your presence is highly recommended for a smooth transition.

Q: How should I prepare for delivery of my new computer?
A: You'll need to collect your files into a folder labeled "Transfer" and be present for the delivery.  Specifics are available here.

Q: My department is buying some new computers separate from the Refresh program.  What should we buy?  Can LTS help set them up?
A: LTS strongly recommends that departments buy Brandeis standard models from Dell or Apple, available on the Dell instutitional purchases site or the Apple institutional purchases site.  Brandeis standard models receive the most comprehensive setup assistance and ongoing support from the Help Desk according to the Help Desk SLA. (Non-standard models receive only best effort support, time permitting.) Also, LTS is glad to help set up computers purchased by departments; see our guidelines and tips for a smooth deployment experience.

Q: My department just hired a new faculty or staff member.  Are they eligible for a Refresh computer?
A: Yes.  Because it takes a few weeks for computer orders to arrive from Dell and Apple, it's helpful to alert LTS of new hires as soon as possible.  For details, see computers for new hires.