Thursday, 05 November 2015 09:27

Recommended Computer Specs for Students

2015-2016 UAB IT Recommendations

 Apple/Mac: Laptop
CPU: Intel i5 Processor        
RAM (Memory): 4GB
Hard Disk: 128GB SSD
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.10
Networking: 802.11n/ac

CPU: Intel i5 Processor or Higher
RAM(Memory): 8GB or Higher
Hard Disk: 256GB SSD or Larger
Operating System: Mac OS 10.11
Networking: 802.11n/ac

 Apple/Mac: Desktop
CPU: Intel i5 Processor
RAM (Memory): 8GB
Hard Disk: 500GB 5400 rpm Serial ATA Drive
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.10
Networking: 802.11n/ac; 10/100/1000 LAN port

CPU: Intel i5 Processor or Higher
RAM (Memory): 8GB or Higher
Hard Disk: 256GB SSD or Larger
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.11
Networking: 802.11n/ac; 10/100/1000 LAN port

 Microsoft Windows PC: Laptop
CPU: Intel i3 Processor
RAM (Memory): 4GB
Hard Disk 128GB SSD
Operating System: Windows 7
Networking: 802.11n/ac

CPU: Intel i5 Processor or Higher
RAM (Memory): 8GB or Higher
Hard Disk: 256GB SSD or Larger
Operating System: Windows 10
Networking: 802.11n/ac

 Microsoft Windows PC: Desktop
CPU: Intel i5 Processor
RAM (Memory): 8GB
Hard Disk: 128GB SSD
Operating System: Windows 7
Networking: 10/100/1000 LAN port; 802.11n/ac

CPU: Intel i5 Processor or Higher
RAM (Memory): 8GB or Higher
Hard Disk: 256GB SSD or Larger
Operating System: Windows 7 or Later
Networking: 10/100/1000 LAN port; 802.11n/ac

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, 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
Thursday, 30 July 2015 15:18

Digital signage

SignageScreens copy
UAB IT offers an inclusive digital signage solution to campus departments and schools.

Digital signage offers dynamic, vibrant messaging with easily adaptable, branded content. With proper hardware, signs can even be interactive.

  • Multiple layouts to choose from
  • Automatic emergency notification integration (coming soon)
  • Branded content with department name
  • Media flexibility: Videos, slideshows, live TV (with proper hardware), flash content, HTML 5, RSS feeds, weather, news and Web pages
  • Touch functionality (with proper hardware)
  • Easily managed and maintained media via a simple web interface
  • Role assignment for multiple layers of approval

  • A one-time fee includes the TV, PC, mounting, installation, initial configuration, network and power installation. Cost will vary depending on the type and amount of equipment.
  • A small monthly fee per sign will be assessed to cover the cost of server maintenance, player licensing and local PC support.
  • We will assist with setting up new features as they are requested. Any custom requests may be charged an hourly rate.

  • Submit a request to AskIT.
  • Determine the location for your signs (high-traffic areas, indoors and outdoors).
  • Choose the personnel in your department who will manage content.
  • UAB IT will handle the rest with your approval of the cost: purchasing equipment, network, scheduling installation, training your staff on how to manage content.
Thursday, 28 May 2015 12:35

ChemOffice Professional

ChemOffice Professional is a scientifically intelligent, integrated suite of personal productivity tools that enables scientists and researchers to capture, store, retrieve and share data and information on compounds, reactions, materials and their properties. ChemOffice Professional helps chemists and biologists to efficiently keep track of their work, visualize and gain a deeper understanding of their results and correlate biological activity with chemical structures. ChemOffice Professional is available to UAB students, faculty and staff through a site license arranged by the College of Arts & Sciences. 


Account Verification Enter valid institution email address.

    • Only emails with valid domain(s) have access to site subscription

Account Verification Click "Continue" on account verification screen.

PerkinElmer Informatics User Account

    • Sign up for a new PerkinElmer Informatics User Account or login to an existing account.
    • If you have an existing CS User Account, email confirmations will be sent to the email@[institution domain] and not the address of the existing account
    • Account registration is required to access online databases

Download Software

    • Download the software and manual after registration is complete
    • Access to included databases is automatic after registration is complete. To manage database subscriptions, login to your CS User Account and click "Manage Database Subscriptions
    • An email will be sent with instructions to access software and/or database

Activate your software

    • When you start installing your PerkinElmer Informatics software, you will be asked to Activate. If you wish to activate at a later time, you can choose to "Activate Later." Detailed Activation Instructions

PerkinElmer Informatics User Account

For technical questions and support, click here.

Friday, 19 December 2014 09:12


Mathematica is a software package used for communicating scientific ideas in a variety of ways, whether this is visualization of a concept in an intro-level course, or creating a simulation of a new idea related to research. Mathematica is available for free to UAB faculty, staff and students, thanks to funding from the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering.

Campus machines

Follow the directions below to download software from Wolfram and request the appropriate activation key. If you do not have administrator access to your machine, please contact your IT support for assistance.
    1. Create an account (New users only):
      1. Go to and click "Create Account"
      2. Fill out form using a email, and click "Create Wolfram ID"
      3. Check your email and click the link to validate your Wolfram ID
    2. Request the download and key:
      1. Fill out this form to request an Activation Key
      2. Click the "Product Summary page" link to access your license
      3. Click "Get Downloads" and select "Download" next to your platform
      4. Run the installer on your machine, and enter Activation Key at prompt

Computer labs

  • Please contact your College IT representatives for specific installation information.
  • UAB College of Arts & Sciences, contact IT at: 205-975-4500,,

Faculty and staff personally-owned machines

Fill out this form to request a home-use license from Wolfram.

Student personally-owned machines

Follow the directions below to download from the Wolfram User Portal.
    1. Create an account (New users only):
      1. Go to and click "Create Account"
      2. Fill out form using a email, and click "Create Wolfram ID"
      3. Check your email and click the link to validate your Wolfram ID
    2. Request the download and key:
      1. Fill out this form to request an Activation Key
      2. Click the "Product Summary page" link to access your license
      3. Click "Get Downloads" and select "Download" next to your platform
      4. Run the installer on your machine, and enter Activation Key at prompt
Are you interested in putting Mathematica elsewhere? Please let IT or Troy Schaudt at Wolfram Research know.

The first two tutorials are excellent for new users, and can be assigned to students as homework to learn Mathematica outside of class time. Follow along in Mathematica as you watch this multi-part screencast that teaches you the basics—how to create your first notebook, calculations, visualizations, interactive examples, and more. Provides examples to help you get started with new functionality in Mathematica 10, including machine learning, computational geometry, geographic computation, and device connectivity. Access step-by-step instructions ranging from how to create animations to basic syntax information. Search Wolfram's large collection of materials for example calculations or tutorials in your field of interest.

Mathematica offers an interactive classroom experience that helps students explore and grasp concepts, plus gives faculty the tools they need to easily create supporting course materials, assignments, and presentations.

Resources for Educators

Learn how to make your classroom dynamic with interactive models, explore computation and visualization capabilities in Mathematica that make it useful for teaching practically any subject at any level, and get best-practice suggestions for course integration. Learn how to create a slideshow for class that shows a mixture of graphics, calculations, and nicely formatted text, with live calculations or animations. Download pre-built, open-code examples from a daily-growing collection of interactive visualizations, spanning a remarkable range of topics. Access on-demand and live courses on Mathematica, SystemModeler, and other Wolfram technologies.

Rather than requiring different toolkits for different jobs, Mathematica integrates the world's largest collection of algorithms, high-performance computing capabilities, and a powerful visualization engine in one coherent system, making it ideal for academic research in just about any discipline.

Resources for researchers

Explore Mathematica's high-level and multi-paradigm programming language, support for parallel computing and GPU architectures, built-in functionality for specialized application areas, and multiple publishing and deployment options for sharing your work. Learn how to create programs that take advantage of multicore machines or available clusters. Learn what areas of Mathematica are useful for specific fields.

In general, Mathematica is a high-level complete system, while MatLab is a low-level core with specialist toolboxes. Most engineering colleges at research universities maintain both products, including UAB. Because MatLab has separate toolboxes, each toolbox can only assume the functionality of the basic, core system; Mathematica is an all-in-one software which is interconnected nicely. For example, in Mathematica, purely numeric commands can perform symbolic pre-processing for richer and more accurate results, which is not possible in MatLab because of the design. This overall concept applies to the vast majority of Mathematica’s commands when compared to MatLab. Engineers and other groups on campus value the following functionality, which is unique to Mathematica:
  • Very sophisticated symbolic algorithms for closed-form solutions to problems
  • Much easier to create mouse-driven interfaces to visualize variations in equations or simulations,
  • The highest quality and most accurate graphics engine available for symbolic and numeric graphics,
  • Support for both machine precision and arbitrary precision,
  • Automatic switching between algorithms for best results,
  • Solves any order ODE (rather than only first-order in MatLab),
  • Integration for any n-dimensions (rather than only 3 in MatLab),
  • Wolfram Language included to program in procedural, functional, object-oriented, or rule-based style makes language easier to learn (rather than procedural only in MatLab),
  • Mathematica’s  high-level language requires less code to develop algorithms or ideas than MatLab
  • Text and equation typesetting document interface with slideshow mode (not available in MatLab),
  • Load-on-demand data sets to use in addition to importing a wide variety of types of data
  • IDE based on Eclipse, which researchers more commonly know and work with (rather than MatLab’s home-grown IDE).
  • Import of MatLab data sets supported for high-quality rendering of MatLab results in Mathematica

To learn more about Matlab and access it, click here.

Windows installation instructions
Mac OS X installation instructions
Linux installation instructions

For assistance with using the Mathematica software:

  • College of Arts and Sciences users can contact the CAS IT help desk by phone at 205-975-4500, by e-mail at or online at
  • School of Engineering users can contact Tommy Foley at 205-934-8477 or by e-mail at
  • All other schools/departments should contact Tony Schaudt, Wolfram Research Inc., at 800-965-3726, ext. 5588, or by e-mail at Find support for Wolfram here

Monday, 04 August 2014 16:39

Key performance indicators

UAB IT has developed a set of Key Performance Indicators that report various statistics to help UAB IT better understand and improve on how we interact with customers and respond to their needs.

The KPI charts measure, for example, how tickets are submitted to AskIT, the kind of issues for which customers are seeking help, the length of time tickets are open and the scores from customer satisfaction surveys/feedback.

Setting goals, measuring the results, communicating to our customers and acting on these Key Performance Indicators are critical to UAB IT's becoming a more service-oriented organization.

KPI charts by month:

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014
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

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 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 - 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
( is the place to look for all official correspondence from UAB. To check or update your e-mail preferences, visit BlazerID Central at 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, 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

Wireless Networks

Stay connected on campus by accessing the UAB WiFi network using your BlazerID and password: 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:

Online Classroom/Canvas

Online courses are available via Canvas (log in with your BlazerID and password at 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 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 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

Campus Directory

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

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

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:


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) all starts with registering your cell phone and selecting which services you want to take advantage of. Visit and sign up today.