What laptop do I need for my major? IT has the answer

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By Jad Omar

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH – What new American University of Sharjah students need in terms of computer technology differs by major, and to help them make the right purchases, the AUS Information Technology department has published a list of hardware and software recommendations.

Interviewed Sept. 2, College of Arts and Sciences IT Team Leader Reem Sobeih said students can access articles on the AUS website on each major’s computer requirements or recommendations, as well as help in troubleshooting network and other issues. The links are https://itfaq.aus.edu/ and https://servicenow.aus.edu/sp; a large knowledge base is accessible at ServiceNow.aus.edu. 

She added that students can back up their data and access limited storage (50 GB for Google Drive; 5 GB via the AUS network drive) through the IT department.

According to Sobeih, students who work with the IT team can also help their peers with device or account problems. There are hotlines and WhatsApp groups to facilitate this, she added. 

While AUS provides no specific anti-virus software for external machines, devices on campus use Windows Defender, and every department has an IT team that handles security issues. 

“Students with password or access issues can always contact us, while IT keeps track of alerts and device information,” Sobeih said. “We always have a way to keep track of our accounts.”

Departmental needs

Many students are learning that their computer technology requirements change from year to year and often involve higher speed or memory needs. Visual Communication junior Hala Orabi who works with IT at AUS, said in a Sept. 7 interview that she “had to upgrade from a MacBook Air to the Pro” because of the tech-heavy nature of the program at the College of Architecture, Art, and Design. 

She added that most technical complaints that other students come with are regarding Banner; Wi-Fi; problems downloading the lockdown browser for placement tests; and password resets. She added that to reset a password, students are required to confirm their identity before any changes are made. This is a security measure to make sure not anyone can log in into another student’s account. 

Of her job, Orabi said that “Working with the IT department helps me because any technical issue that I face, I have the knowledge to fix it myself.”

Contacting IT

There are several ways to contact IT for help. One is via the IT Support Hotline, at 06 515 4800, or by creating a ticket on ServiceNow.aus.edu. Students and faculty may also email IT at [email protected] or contact it via WhatsApp at +971 6 515 4800.

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