CLAS vPC and Thin Clients Devices

CLAS virtualPC (vPC) and Thin Client Devices

The CLAS vPC environment is available to departments and computer labs within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This environment is normally hosted on small computing devices, called thin clients, that rely on a centralized infrastructure to provide an efficient, reliable, and consistent computing environment.

This system is available to all faculty, staff, students, and labs, but offers limited access exclusive to CLAS Computer Support Group supported hardware. This is in contrast to the UConn Anyware Desktop (SkyBox) system, which is available from any computer, personal or university-owned.

The environment is well suited for multi-user computers, computer labs, adjunct faculty, and kiosks, but they are not recommended for heavy usage, permanent staff, or some research faculty. They support most USB peripherals, including native support for the ScanSnap scanners recommended by the CLAS Business Services, and include the full version of Adobe Professional for creating/editing PDFs.


Installed Software

A wide range of software is available in the vPC. Software is updated at least twice per year before a semester begins, but often updates are performed more frequently. If you require a package to be installed then please contact Joe Dowden. Packages that are free and run without administrative privileges are often easy to include in a vPC software update. If the software requires individual licensing then they most likely are not a good fit for the vPC.

 
Software Type
Software Applications
Office Productivity
Adobe Flash
Adobe Professional (Acrobat)
Emacs (text editor)
Google Chrome
GhostScript
GSView
LibreOffice
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher)
MiKTeX
MirrorOp (for use in Hitech classes using WePresent devices)
Mozilla Firefox
Skype & Skype for Business
TeXnicCenter
WebEx (conferencing)
Multimedia
AnyVideoConverter (video format converter)
Audacity (audio editor)
GIMP (graphics editor)
IrfanView (media viewer)
K-Lite Codec Pack
Media Player Classic (video player)
Paint.NET (graphics editor)
Shotcut (video editor)
Windows Media Player (media player)
Statistical Analysis
Amos
ArcGIS
CLAN
Mathematica
Matlab
Minitab
OpenBugs
R3 with RStudio
SAS
SPSS
Spotfire S+
StataSE
Development Tools
7-Zip
Bitvise SSH Client
Cygwin
DOSBox
eMacs
Java 8
Notepad++
PowerShell 2, 3, 4, 5
PuTTY
Python 2 & 3
Strawberry Perl 5
Xming

Thin Client Distribution

Thin clients are significantly cheaper than desktop computers because their upfront cost is less and because their extended life expectancy is much longer than a desktop, although there are many situations where can provide them at no cost to the department.

Unlike a desktop, a thin client should also be expected to increase in performance as the server infrastructure is improved, as opposed to a desktop computer that will become slower over time as the computer ages (speed decreases are mainly from OS and application patching). They also have their software pre-installed so maintenance is less, and they even include some software, such as Adobe Acrobat, that normally a department would have to pay for themselves.

Thin clients can be purchased through Joe Dowden so please email me for a quote. A thin client mounted to a 24″ monitor (Dell P2417H) costs less than $270 at the time of writing this. When requesting a quote please explain the usage of the computer so that I may best recommend if a thin client is suited to the situation.