About Browser History and Caching

A cache is a temporary storage area where frequently accessed data can be retained for rapid loading. A web browser cache holds copies of pages that pass through it - all items you have accessed or downloaded from the Internet, including images, sounds, Web pages, and cookies. These items are stored on your computer, usually in the Temporary Internet Files folder.

Why clear your cache?
You may occasionally encounter an error message, a "Page Not Found" display, a "Momentarily Unavailable Message" etc. This could be due to a problem with the system, maintenance, or a number of other reasons. If you decide to go back to this url later, you may see this same message even though the problem is corrected because your browser has pulled the page from your cache.

How to clear your cache:

  1. In Internet Explorer:
    1. Click on the Tools menu, click Internet Options. The Internet Options box should open to the General tab.
    2. On the General tab, in the Browsing the Internet section, click the Delete button. This will delete all the files that are currently stored in your cache.
  2. In Firefox:
    1. Click on Tools, Options, then select the Advanced panel. In the Offline Storage section, click Clear Now.
  3. In Safari (Mac OS X):
    1. Click on the Safari menu, select Reset Safari. Select the items that you want to reset, then click Reset.

You can set your browser to automatically clear cache, and you can re-size your cache storage to maintain more cached files to speed up performance; this, however, increases the likelihood that you will access stale content.

How to set your browser to automatically clear cache:

Internet Explorer

  1. Click on the Tools menu, click Internet Options. The Internet Options box should open to the General tab.
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 11:30

Best Practices - Checking Your Browser

Checking Your Browser

Browsers change, web content changes, and frequently pages don’t render exactly the way a developer wants them to in different browsers or browser versions.
Blackboard maintains a list of browsers that are supported, compatible and certified.
Here’s how to check your browser version:

1. Open your browser:
2. Click on the following:

  • Explorer:
    • Click Help, then About Internet Explorer, the version number that you are using (e.g. Internet Explorer8) appears in the dialog box
  • Firefox:
    • Click Help, then About Mozilla Firefox, the version number that you are using (e.g. Firefox version 3.6.13) appears in the dialog box.
  • Safari:
    • Click on Safari in the Safari menu
    • Select About Safari from the drop-down menu, the version number (e.g. Safari 5.0.3) appears in the dialog box.

UAB IT Announces VMWare Academic Program Access for UAB STEM Programs

The VMware Academic Program, provided as a service to the UAB STEM Community through UAB IT, accelerates instruction and research in the rapidly expanding area of virtualized infrastructure by providing faculty and students involved with science, technology, engineering, and math courses (STEM) with access to the virtualization technologies most widely used in commercial production environments. Access to the VMWare Academic Program is through an external webportal managed by UAB IT.  

For more information about the program guidelines/licensing and logon instructions click here.

Published in Announcements
Thursday, 21 February 2013 09:36

Student Quicklinks


2015-2016 Academic Year

 UAB Information Technology strives to provide consistent, accessible, personalized and collaborative environments to enhance the student experience. The quicklinks below provide a ‘get-started’ list of the most common services students ask about. For even more information and resources available to the student community visit uab.edu/it/home/students.

BlazerID and Password

Most of UAB’s secured online resources require you to log in using your BlazerID and password. Get a BlazerID or change your password at BlazerID Central at uab.edu/blazerid. Student passwords will expire every 180 days; you will receive notices when it is time to change it. To change or reset a forgotten password, visit BlazerID Central.


Using your BlazerID and password, log into BlazerNet, UAB’s student portal - uab.edu/blazernet. From there you will be able to link to class registration, grades, financial aid and other academic resources.

Free software

Your Office 365 account gives you access to free Microsoft Office software, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, along with 1 TB of storage in a OneDrive account. Other software is also available for free or at a discount.

Free software includes Office 365, Mathematica, Matlab, Endnote, DreamSpark, Antivirus software and Gartner research.

Discounted software includes Adobe Creative Cloud and Dell products.


Quicklinks EmailEvery student has access to a free 50 GB e-mail account through Office 365. Your UAB e-mail address
(BlazerID@uab.edu) is the place to look for all official correspondence from UAB. To check or update your e-mail preferences, visit BlazerID Central at uab.edu/blazerid. To register a UAB account, click “Get A UAB Email Account” on the left side of the web page.

Get help

For support with all things IT contact AskIT, UAB’s IT help desk. Many self-help articles and FAQs are available on the AskIT website.  To access the FAQs, open a ticket or chat with an agent, visit uab.edu/askit, or call AskIT at 205-996-5555. Walk-in help is also available at the Center for Teaching and Learning. Hours of operation vary and are posted on the AskIT website.

File Size & UAB Dropbox

Your Office 365 mailbox has 50 GB of space, and the size limit for attachments is 30MB. Large attachments should be sent via the UAB Drop Box at uab.edu/dropbox.

Wireless Networks

Stay connected on campus by accessing the UAB WiFi network using your BlazerID and password: uab.edu/it/wifi. For information about Apogee ResNet in the dorms, click here.

Mobile Users

Have an Apple or Android mobile device? Download the free UAB Mobile app which provides access to class schedules, maps, Campus Directory, news and athletics, and Canvas Mobile:  uab.edu/app.

Online Classroom/Canvas

Online courses are available via Canvas (log in with your BlazerID and password at uab.edu/canvas). Training and support opportunities are available at the site. 

Recommended System Specifications & Computer Setup

UAB IT provides recommendations on computer specifications for Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows PC laptop and desktop systems, and guidance on how to prepare your computer for use at UAB (before you arrive on campus). Visit uab.edu/it/students and select from the available resources for more detail.

Software & Computers

UAB IT offers an extensive library of software for free or at discounted pricing, including antivirus software, Microsoft Office products and more. Microsoft Office products are available to students for free through their Office 365 accounts, along with free storage on OneDrive. Through UAB's relationship with Dell, many computer products are available at a discount to students (and parents on behalf of students).  Visit uab.edu/it/students and select from the available resources for more details.

Computer Labs

computerUAB maintains several student computing labs which are open to all current students with a valid BlazerID. For locations and hours, visit uab.edu/it/labs.

Campus Directory

The online directory contains contact information for students, faculty, staff and all UAB entities: uab.edu/directory.

Copyright/Download rules

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) includes provisions to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing of movies, videos, music, etc. More information, including how UAB detects and responds to illegal downloading activity, can be found at uab.edu/it/heoa.

IT Policies

policiesIndividuals who use UAB technology resources are required to read the Acceptable Use Policy in its entirety. This and other IT policies, standards and best practices can be found on the UAB IT website: uab.edu/it/policies.


Students can register their cell phone for various notifications from around campus.  From notifications about postings in the learning management system, to reminders about registration deadlines, to being able to reset your BlazerID password remotely (24x7)...it all starts with registering your cell phone and selecting which services you want to take advantage of. Visit uab.edu/enotify and sign up today.


Wednesday, 20 February 2013 14:56

VMWare Academic Software



The VMware Academic Program, provided as a service to the UAB STEM Community through UAB IT, accelerates instruction and research in the rapidly expanding area of virtualized infrastructure by providing faculty and students involved with science, technology, engineering, and math courses (STEM) with access to the virtualization technologies most widely used in commercial production environments.

  • STEM Faculty can use VMware software under specific usage guidelines in a variety of areas of academic research and classroom instruction.
  • STEM Students can use this software free of charge for one year with yearly renewals as part of qualified coursework or research projects.


With UAB's annual subscription qualified members of the academic community in a STEM course can utilize the VMware Academic Program in the following areas:

Instruction – STEM Faculty within member institutions gain access to VMware software licenses free of cost for the purpose of classroom instruction.  STEM Students taking qualified courses can also install program software on their personal computers.

Research – STEM Faculty within member institutions gain access to VMware software licenses free of cost as a part of their research projects. Program software can be installed in research labs (open a ticket with AskIT (uab.edu/askit) to inquire about lab installations) as well on the personal computers of faculty and students involved in research projects.

Use of VMware software for instruction and research is governed by specific program guidelines and the conditions described within the VMware Academic Program EULA (End-User License Agreement) and all faculty/students installing VMWare products should be familiar with the licensing and comply. The use of software for infrastructure purposes is governed by the VMware Commercial EULA and not included under this Academic Program.

VMWare maintains strict compliance guidelines for the Academic Program and the following links are provided to ensure that specific licensing details are always the most up to date version and available to the UAB Community.  Each user of this program is responsible for ensuring they understand and are in compliance with the licensing requirements at all times.

Usage Guidelines 

End User License Agreement

Examples of Acceptable Use

  • The free single use licenses provided through The VMware Academic Program may be used for instruction and non-commercial research only. Please refer to the definitions of instructional and research use below
  • Lab licenses may only be installed in lab environments where the lab is primarily used for instructional and research purposes.
  • Program software installed in shared lab environments can be used across different courses offered by different faculty members. 
  • Faculty members as well as staff directly involved in administering systems and providing support for program software may install the software on their personal computers
  • Students taking qualified courses or conducting research can access program software within lab machines or download programs software on their personal computers. Students receiving licenses through a qualifying course or research project may use the licenses after the course or project is concluded.
  • Multiple academic groups in an institution may join the Program if each group meets the eligibility requirements.
  • Every copy of the software must be a true and complete copy and it must include all copyright and trademark notices. All software made available must include all of the files.


Examples of Unacceptable Use

  • Students who are in an approved department but are not taking courses that lead to credit or a certificate or who are not involved in relevant research projects are not eligible to use the software.
  • Students, faculty members, or other parties that received a license under the program but no longer attend or are employed by the institution.
  • Staff members who are not directly involved with system administration related to the program, such as administrative assistants, may not install the software on their personal computers.
  • Software that is part of the program may not be shared with non-approved departments. However, it may be installed on shared labs if the approved department's students regularly use that lab.
  • The designated Program Administrator for the member approved may not be a teaching assistant or a student. However, teaching assistants or students may help the Program Administrator with the program.
  • The software provided by VMAP may not be sold, rented, leased, or transferred to any third party including contractors, consultants, other companies, and other department personnel.
  • Software cannot be used for infrastructure purposes. Licenses acquired through the VMware Academic Program are for instructional, research and personal use only.
  • The software provided by VMAP may not be used for any purpose outside of instructional, research and personal use.
  • vSphere licenses provided under this program may not be used for desktop virtualization.


Use of free VMware software for instruction and research is governed by the specific program guidelines and the conditions described within the Academic EULA and the use of software for infrastructure purposes is governed by the VMware EULA for each of the products.


Definitions of Instructional, Research and Infrastructure Use

  • Instructional use is defined as conducting educational classes, labs, or related programs for teaching or learning concepts related to the products that are part of this program.
  • Research use is defined as conducting not-for-profit research projects.
  • Infrastructure use is defined as use of software as a part of the institution's or department's infrastructure that's not intended for specific classroom instruction or research project


IMPORTANT: These guidelines are provided for your convenience only. Please refer to the VMware Academic Program EULA for specific license rights.

For STEM students and faculty/staff

  • VMware Workstation
  • VMware Fusion
  • VMware Player
  • VMware eLearning
  • VMware Sales Professional Certification


For STEM faculty/staff only

  • VMware vSphere Enterprise
  • VMware vCenter Server Standard
  • VMware vCloud Director

Software is available by download only to faculty/staff/students via the website below. Logon using your BlazerID and Password.  UAB will validate your participation in the program and pass the appropriate information to the web store. All UAB users can logon to the site, but only those faculty/staff/students validated as STEM will be allowed to actually order products.

VMAP - VMWare Academic Program logon  Order NOW


Wednesday, 19 December 2012 09:54

Microsoft Dreamspark

DreamsparkMicrosoft Dreamspark Premium is now available to all UAB STEM programs at no cost. The Dreamspark program supports technical education by providing access to Microsoft software for learning, teaching and research purposes for faculty & students engaged in a STEM program (science, technology, engineering, math). UAB will be working to make a limited selection of products available to non-STEM programs, but current access to the Dreamspark products is for STEM programs only. For more guidelines on the appropriate rights for installation and use of products under the Dreamspark program click here.

According to Microsoft "DreamSpark is simple: it's all about giving students Microsoft professional-level developer and designer tools at no cost so that students can chase their dreams and create the next big breakthrough in technology - or just get a head start on their career."  While most of the software is free, some items are at a small cost and if ordered you must provide a valid form of payment.  However, those fee-based products should not be required as part of any course at UAB.

DreamSpark helps educators teach the latest technologies and experiment in research. To make learning more motivating, relevant, and engaging for today's students requires a diverse set of resources. DreamSpark gives educators the resources to ensure their classrooms always have the latest technologies to challenges, motivate, and keep students engaged in new ways.

Access to the Dreamspark program is through an external webportal managed by UAB IT.  Login using your BlazerID and strong password (don't worry, the authentication takes place using a secure connection back to UAB...your password is never provided to the external website).

NOTE: While anyone with a valid BlazerID can login to the Dreamspark site, only those students and faculty engaged in a STEM program are currently authorized to order/download any software.  Your ability to participate in the program is based on the information UAB passes to Dreamspark during the login process.

For more guidelines on the appropriate rights for installation and use of products under the Dreamspark program click here.


Step 1: Get Started Here >>> Order Now - DREAMSPARK Website (see instructions below...login using Single-Sign-on option)

Step 2: Click Sign-in (top right)



Step 3: Sign In using your BlazerID via Single Sign-On (box on the left)

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 15:06

Digital Copyright Compliance - HEOA

Digital Copyright Compliance / HEOA Compliance

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) includes provisions to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing.  UAB's policy concerning such copyright and licensing violations can be found in the Acceptable Use of Computer and Network Resources document. The specific, applicable example of a violation from that policy document is:

"Copyright and licensing violations including, but not limited to, providing or obtaining illegal copies of software or digital media (movies, videos, music, etc.) for which legal permission to distribute or possess has not been granted." 

Detection and Response

In an effort to comply with HEOA and effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of materials by users of the UAB network, UAB blocks many peer-to-peer protocols primarily associated with copyright infringement.  When UAB IT receives a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notification indicating unauthorized copying of material, UAB IT disables the associated network port and/or wireless connection and notifies the affected user or department. In order to re-enable the network port UAB requires violators to meet with an IT Help Desk representative to discuss the offense and the impact of the violation. Violators are required to bring their system to the Help Desk to ensure that all relevant file sharing software and infringing content has been removed

On subsequent infringement notices, students are referred to the Office of Non-academic Student Conduct.  Network access is blocked until we get approval from the Office of Non-academic Student Conduct. Employees are referred to their appropriate departmental management for handling. 

Alternative (Legal) Online Sources for Copyrighted Materials

Many legal sources exist for copyrighted material such as movies and music - some are free and others are for-fee. UAB's Mervyn H. Sterne Library maintains a website of Legal Media Downloads with links to many of the sites.  They are provided only as a resource and no endorsement is intended for any of the listed sites.

Links to Related Policies 



Preparing Your Computer for Use at UAB

Incoming students are required to verify that their computers are up-to-date with the latest patches and antivirus software. This step must be completed prior to connecting to the UAB network using a wired Ethernet (in residence halls only) or wireless (Wi-Fi) connection. Please follow these steps to prepare your computer. When you have prepared your computer, click the link in Step 5 to verify that you have the correct settings.

Step 1. Ensure that your computer is running a valid, licensed operating system. For students, UAB supports PCs with Windows XP with Service Pack 3, Windows Vista with Service Pack 2, Windows 7 with Service pack 1, and Windows 8.   UAB also supports Macs with OS X 10.6 or later.

(Note:Microsoft and UAB no longer supports Windows XP. This means you will not receive updates from Microsoft, which will make your computer vulnerable. Students can download Windows 7 and Windows 8 for free on the software website, www.uab.edu/it/students. Click on Microsoft Agreements and Products for more information.

Step 2: For complete setup instructions for WiFi outside the residence halls, click here. A map of WiFi areas can be found here.

Step 3. Check for updates that are available for your operating system. Windows operating systems can be updated by clicking on Start, clicking on All Programs, and then click Windows Update.

Student Computer Step 2 1     Student Computer Step 2 2

Mac OS X operating systems can be updated by clicking on the Apple icon in the Menu ribbon and choosing Software Update.

Student Computer Step 2 mac

Step 4: Ensure that one of the antivirus applications that are listed below is installed. The antivirus programs below are free of charge.  Contact the AskIT Help Desk at 205-996-5555 for assistance with antivirus software issues.

  • For home use on Windows 7 and Vista, UAB IT recommends Microsoft Security Essentials be installed on your Windows system. If your computer is running Windows 7, Windows Defender only removes Spyware. To get rid of viruses and other malware, including spyware, on Windows 7, Windows and Vista, you should download Microsoft Security Essentials for free. 
  • For home use on Windows 8 and 10, Windows Defender replaces Microsoft Security Essentials. You cannot use Microsoft Security Essentials with Windows 8 or Windows 10, but you don't need to because Windows Defender already provides built-in protection. Learn more about using Windows Defender on Windows 8.
  • For Mac/(OS X) use Sophos Anti-virus. Please click here and login to select Sophos from the available titles.  When you select and install your antivirus software, be sure to enable the Auto-update feature so the application will automatically download the latest antivirus definitions at regularly scheduled intervals.
Step 5: For students who will be using Canvas (UAB Online Learning System), there are several tutorials are provided to familiarize you with the Canvas system.  If you have issues with Canvas please call Canvas Support at 1-855-778-9969 or go to  https://www.uab.edu/canvas.
Page 3 of 3