Easiest. Install. EVER.

I have a policy that any software purchase by anyone in the school has to be done through the IT department. There are several stated reasons for this:

  1. To check that the software actually works on a domain with a non-admin logon.
  2. To check it doesn’t have ridiculous copy protection measures such as having to have the CD in the drive (our lab machines don’t have CD drives).
  3. To ensure we shop around for the best price (instead of being suckered by a single overpriced supplier who happened to send a mailshot to a teacher).
  4. To make sure we actually buy the right number of licenses (we’ve all had requests to install single user editions on an entire lab – or more – and refusal often offends).

However, there are also some unofficial reasons. One of these is to make sure we’re not wasting the school’s money on utter junk. Another reason is to prevent the situation we had this week:

  • I was passed some new software for install that had just been bought by a department head.
  • I looked at the CD case and realised I’d installed software from this manufacturer before so it would probably be nice and easy.
  • I looked a bit harder and realised it was in fact the same software I installed before, that we had owned a site licence for since before I worked at the school, and that was installed on the department head’s computer in 2010.

A quick visit to the teacher in question revealed that the software was in fact on the Start Menu under their department folder, and was working just fine.

They had just forgotten it existed, and never actually used it. Still, it made for an easy install.

About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

2 responses to “Easiest. Install. EVER.”

  1. ScottishTech says :

    Oh, yes.. I’ve had that on several occasions.

    At the moment, I’m Win7 testing the 600-odd applications that I have created deployment scripts for over the last 3 and a bit years. Yes, it’s as fun as it sounds.

    There have been several which I’ve discovered not only didn’t work on Win7, they didn’t work on the current XP PCs either – mostly because of typos or overlooking NTFS changes needed.

    These are all SITE LICENCE applications, incidentally. Some of which have been pushed out in several schools (who also have site licences of course).

    So it’s reassuring to know that these essential software packages which the schools almost certainly paid a stupid amount of money for are being so well used.

    It’s for precisely this reason that I’m seriously considering implementing Software Usage metering if/when my lot stump up the cash for Altiris 7.1. Mind you, in the cases above, I evidently don’t need much metering!!

  2. Jamman960 says :

    It sounds as though the policy is working just as well for you as it does here… I’ve given up and have made staff return software in the past – one piece of software required per user, per machine licencing, I was asked to provide generic logons but stuck to my guns and in the end the software company created a patch to ease up the licencing.

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