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OIT uploads new installer

Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, September 30, 2009

­The latest version of the Print@ND installer, released Sept. 17, should help printing problems for students running Windows Vista, Brian Burchett, Notre Dame’s Office of Information and Technology (OIT) Manager of Learning Spaces, said.

Students voiced printing problems starting last year with the 64-bit version of Windows Vista, Burchett said. Windows Vista comes in a 32-bit and 64-bit edition.

“We had the ability last year to set up the few 64-bit computers, but it was labor intensive,” Burchett said. This year, there are more students with the 64-bit version of Vista.

“By the end of the first week of classes, we could tell numbers were large [for 64-bit users] and doing printing installs manually was not efficient,” Burchett said.

One benefit from the large number of students with problems was enough problem reports to diagnose the problem, Burchett said.

“In the past, there were very few problem reports,” Burchett said. “It’s difficult to troubleshoot if you don’t know the problem.”

The printing problem was determined to be a printer driver mismatch, which means the communication between the computer and printer was blocked, Burchett said. OIT decided to release a new version of the installer for Print@ND – a version that removed much of the headache for 64-bit users.

The new driver solves many problems, Burchett said. One of the major problems was changing computer log-ins on computers to match a student’s netID name. With Print@ND 2.0, the print driver available at the beginning of the year, this problem was solved. Print@ND 2.1 helped correct problems of print jobs disappearing in transit from computer to printer.

“If students are having problems with printing, we want them to download the new [Print@ND] utility,” Burchett said.

OIT has not, however, limited its focus just to PC users. Mac users now have a new utility that has been available since the start of the school year, Burchett said.

Prior to this year, Mac users had to manually set up any printer connection – OIT only had instructions, no printer driver to download, Burchett said. This year, OIT made some large changes. A driver is now available for OS X software.

“Mac users still have to change the short name [screen name to log into a computer], but OIT can help with that,” Burchett said.

OIT hopes to have an update available between fall break and the start of second semester so the students aren’t required to change the short name, Burchett said.

Both drivers are available at www.oit.nd.edu/print. Also included are simple instructions.

Burchett said there may still be some glitches to work out.

“If there’s someone who can confirm running the latest utility and still having problems, contact OIT,” Burchett said. “There may still be a PDF file printing problem. Anything students can do to help OIT duplicate the problem will help troubleshoot the problem.”