Malware (malicious software) and Spyware (spying software) can find its way onto your computer without you knowing. These bits of software install themselves on your computer locally, or within your browser, and can disable computer settings and / or send personal information to unintended sources. This is obviously a problem we want to avoid!
No system is impervious to malware / spyware, and LPS provides software, called Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, to help keep our systems clean and fully functional. The best way to prevent malware / spyware from finding its way onto your computer is to be cautious with what you install. Make sure you know what the software or extension will do, and who is creating it. Just like clicking on links in emails you don’t recognize is a bad idea, as is installing unrecognizable software. Many times, this takes the form of an add-on search bar in your browser.
How might I know if I have malware or spyware on my computer?
- You might see ads/pop-ups on your screen.
- Your browser home page might be blocked by our filters (shown at right)
- You have a search engine (or search toolbar) in your browser which you didn’t install / select.
What should I do about it?
It’s prudent to run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware occasionally to ensure your computer is clean, even if you don’t see any of the red flags listed above. To do this:
- Open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from your Applications folder.
- If you’re opening the app for the first time, it’ll need you to enter your LPS password before it will open.
- In the Malwarebytes window, select Scan.
- Following the scan, if you have any threats, make sure all threats are checked, and click Remove Selected Items.
- Read through the bullets and links, and then click OK.
Once you’ve removed the malware and spyware from your computer, you’ll want to reset your browser home page, as well as any startup pages which might be set. To do this, follow the instructions provided by Google.
Adobe Reader was formerly named ‘Adobe Acrobat’ or ‘Acrobat Reader’
The default PDF viewer on LPS computers is called Adobe Reader. Printing pdf files using the current version of Adobe Reader is different than it was with older versions.
Here are a few steps that will help you be successful and avoid failed printing attempts due to invalid accounting codes.
1. Print Button
Open your PDF file in Acrobat Reader and either:
- Click the small printer icon in the Reader toolbar (as shown below)
- Select Print from the File menu
When the print dialogue box appears, click the Printer… button in the bottom left-hand of the window.
DO NOT click the blue Print button.
Pop-Up: You may encounter this pop-up window. If so, dismiss it by clicking Yes.
3. Select Printer & Options
- Select the appropriate Printer.
- Adjust printer options if necessary (number of copies, pages etc).
- Click the blue Print button.
Click the blue Print button again in the original Print window.
Depending upon your role in LPS, you may have a reason to have software applications on your laptop that other LPS employees may not need, or be licensed to install. In an effort to get the right software to the right staff members, LPS offers a way to install your own software, on your LPS computer, using a tool called Managed Software Center.
Managed Software Center works similarly to the “Software Update” tool you are already familiar with on your Macintosh, with one significant difference. The software available through this tool is curated by Lincoln Public Schools. You will only see the software that LPS makes available to optional install on your LPS laptop.
Launch Managed Software Center
- Open the Applications folder on your Macintosh computer
- Double-click to launch the application called Managed Software Center
- If you want to install software that is not already on your computer, click the Software screen.
- If you want to update software that was previously installed with this tool, click the Updates button.
Installing New Software
- Click the Software button along the top of the Managed Software Center window to see a list of available software titles.
- Click the “Install” button beside the software title you wish to install. You will see indicators that the software is “downloading.” If there are any other updates available you will be redirected to the Updates screen to include them along with your new software install.
- From the Updates screen, click the “Update All” button to install your new software and any accompanying updates. You should find it in the Applications folder, ready to open and use.
- Certain software will require a license code upon first run. Seeing a title in this list does not ensure that you have a license to legally use the software in question. Unless you have received other instructions, contact the Helpdesk for assistance in acquiring license codes, or determining whether you qualify for one based upon your role or location.
- You might be asked whether you want to log out to run this install, or not. While a logout is always good practice, in most cases you do not need to. You can click the “Update without logging out” button if it is an option.
Operating System Updates
Every year Apple Computer puts out an updated version of the operating system for computers running Macintosh OS X. When Computing Services determines that the core software tools used in LPS work reliably in the newly released OS, it will appear in Managed Software Center as an available update that you may choose to run at any time.
Before installing make sure that:
- Any important files on your computer are backed up elsewhere. (LPS OwnCloud, LPS Google Drive, etc.)
- Your computer is plugged in to power.
- You have at least an hour where you will not need your computer.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the LPS Help Desk before beginning.
Updating Existing Software
If you previously installed a piece of software with this Managed Software Center utility and an update is released, it will notify you of the available update. Clicking on the notification dialog presented on your computer screen will launch Managed Software Center and bring you to the “Updates” screen. (It is similar to the Apple “App Store” tool found on your Macintosh in this way.)
You can also choose to launch the update tool at a time that is more convenient for you by following the instructions offered above and clicking the “Updates” button.
No matter how you get to the Update screen, the following steps apply:
- Click the “Update All” button. You will be provided updates as the tool downloads and installs the updates to your software.NOTE: You might be asked whether you want to log out to run this install, or not. While a logout is always good practice, in most cases you do not need to. You can click the “Update without logging out” button if it is an option.
- When installs complete, the tool will check for any additional updates. If none are found you will be told that “Your software is up to date.“
Uninstalling (Removing) Software
Managed Software Center can also be used to UNINSTALL software that was originally installed using the same tool.
- Click the Software button at the top of the Managed Software Center window.
- Find the software you wish to remove from the list of titles available.
- Click the REMOVE button.
- You will be taken to the Updates screen. Click Update to initiate the removal tool. (I know, I know, it sounds all backwards. Just play along.) You will see updates on the progress of the removal.
Computing Services often receives questions about what accessories we recommend to go with teacher laptops. The truth is that there are thousands of items that will work great with this laptop, but what follows are some recommendations in a number of categories.
If you are purchasing as an LPS entity please use the LPS Buying Guide
links. Otherwise, for personal purchases use the links of the online stores.
There is no end to the models, styles, material and color combinations available for bags that can be found to carry this laptop in safely. Any department or sporting goods store, and many clothing stores now offer a selection, though the best prices may be found online. You can find a functional bag for $15, or a fashion statement for $300. Most of the bags with features we love live in the $35-$100 range.
Experience has taught us to look for a few features when choosing a laptop bag:
- Make sure your bag of choice has a strap or handle. Many laptop “sleeves” do not, and are therefore easy to drop.
- Many bags come with a padded pouch for your tablet device (iPad?) as well as an easily accessible top pouch for a cell phone.
- Some bags feature upright, zippered pockets for your water bottle. This is a nice hands-free way to carry liquids with less risk of spilling/seepage on your laptop.
- Your laptop is 13-inches. Larger bags are not necessarily better, because the laptop can move too freely within the bag, and the additional cargo you squeeze into the larger bag may actually end up doing damage to the laptop.
- If you travel by air, it is nice to have a bag that zips open to expose the laptop without having to remove it from the bag. NOTE: your laptop should never be checked, always carry it with you.
- Shop around! The price for the same bag can vary wildly from store-store, site-site.
A few brands we like:
The MacBook Air has two USB 3.0 ports. Any USB hard drive should work, but ones that specifically state that they are USB 3.0 will be much faster than ones that are USB 2.0.
Portable External Hard Drive Storage
USB 3.0 drives are available in multiple storage sizes and colors, each changing the price. We recommend at least 1TB.
USB 3.0 Flash Drives (16GB+)
If your storage needs are not as great, a USB 3.0 thumb drive is smaller, cheaper, and fits in your pocket.
External Optical Drive (CD/DVD)
LPS has provided a number of these external USB optical (CD/DVD) drives to school media centers for teachers to check-out as needed. If you have a more persistent need and wish to have one available permanently, this is a fairly inexpensive option. (~$25)
LG Super-Multi Portable DVD Rewriter: CDW.com or LPS Buying Guide
A shell does not offer complete physical protection for your laptop, but it can protect from everyday wear and tear, keep simple bumps from leaving permanent dents and bruises, and can offer a splash of color. Look for shells that fit a 13″ MacBook Air.
A skin won’t protect your laptop from physical harm, but it will help your laptop resist scratches and stand out in the sea of identical MacBook Airs, allowing you to express some personality. Look for skins that match 13″ MacBook Air.
Note the difference between a vinyl skin and a sticker. Stickers have adhesive backs, vinyl skins do not and are therefore easy to remove without leaving residue on the laptop. No stickers are allowed on LPS devices.
Power & Cords (Adapters)
Apple 45W MagSafe Power Adapter for MacBook Air: Apple.com or LPS Buying Guide
MagSafe to MagSafe 2 Converter: Apple.com or LPS Buying Guide
If you have an older MagSafe power brick, this adaptor should let it work with your newer MagSafe 2 laptop.
Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter: Apple.com or LPS Buying Guide
This will let you connect your MacBook Air to most projectors.
Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter: Apple.com
This will let your MacBook Air connect to certain newer projectors and most HDTVs.
Apple Magic Mouse
This is the standard mouse that ships with Apple desktop computers.
Apple.com or LPS Buying Guide
Logitech makes great computer mice at every price point ($6 – $100) and feature set you might desire.
Logitech.com or LPS Buying Guide
You can keep a virtual copy of a physical DVD on your computer if it is needed for instructional purposes. This is especially useful on computers that do not have a DVD drive (like the teacher Macbook Air laptops.)
Note that not all DVDs allow for this process. While most DVD will work fine in a disk image as shown in this tutorial, as they say in the commercials… your milage may vary.
Download a PDF of these instructions
1. DVD Drive
To begin, you will need access to a DVD drive. You may find a DVD drive in older laptops, or you may check out an external (USB) DVD drive from your school’s Library Media Center.
2. Load the DVD
Begin by loading your physical DVD into the DVD drive. You should see it on the desktop of your computer.
3. Launch ‘Disk Utility’
Open the application on your Macintosh called Disk Utility. It is found in the Utilities folder in the Applications folder on your Macintosh.
- Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility
4. Select the DVD in Disk Utility
In the Disk Utility application, you should see your DVD listed in the left column of the window, along with any other hard drives and external drives you may have plugged in to your computer.
Select the DVD you wish to make a virtual copy of.
5. Create a New Image
Begin the creation of your virtual disk image by clicking the “New Image” button at the top of the Disk Utility window.
Make sure that your DVD was selected when you click the new image button, otherwise it will be empty.
6. Name your virtual DVD
In the pop-up window, enter a name for your virtual DVD in the “Save As” box, and select the location where it should be saved in the “Where” box.
7. Set the image type
In the drop down menus, make the following selections:
- Image Format: DVD/CD Master
- Encryption: none
Click the Save button
8. Disk Utility Progress
The disk utility application now begins the process of making a virtual copy of your DVD.
This can take a great deal of time. Expect the process to run for at least 10 minutes, potentially taking an hour or longer, depending upon the amount of data stored on the DVD.
Monitor the progress with the blue bar in the pop-up window, as shown here:
Find & Use your DVD.
You will find your virtual DVD disk image wherever you told it to save.
Double-click on the .cdr file to see the same contents you would see if you had the physical DVD.
Depending upon the type of DVD you are working with, you may see different results.
Opening Movie (VIDEO) DVDs
If this was a DVD movie that was intended to be played in a traditional DVD player, you will just see contents like what is shown in the folder above. There should be _TS folders for AUDIO and VIDEO. You cannot open these files directly.
To view this movie,
- Make sure the disk image is opened
- Launch the application “DVD Player” found in the Applications folder on your Mac.
- In the File menu for the DVD Player application select “Open DVD Media…” and locate the VIDEO_TS folder inside the virtual DVD disk image. (Sometimes, the DVD will simply auto-play and you can skip step 3.)
Other DVD Types
If the DVD you made an image of was a game, a multimedia DVD, a software installer, or another type of DVD, you may see the startup files you need when you open the disk image.
Microsoft Windows 10
Windows 10 is the most up-to-date software from Microsoft, and is designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind.
VIDEO TUTORIALS: Atomic Learning has dozens of self paced tutorials on how to use Windows 10 available here:
OTHER WEB RESOURCES:
Computing Services Support is here!
If you are having issues with your computer, you might begin with some of the ideas listed below for dealing with the general health of your machine. If these basic ideas do not get you to the desired result, you can seek support by:
Windows Troubleshooting Tips
To force an application to quit:
- Press the [Control]+[Alt]+[Delete] keys simultaneously and select ‘Start Task Manager’ OR type “task manager” into the start/search menu bar in the bottom left of the screen.
- Select the frozen application from the list provided.
- Click the ‘End Task’ button.
If the computer doesn’t turn on or start up:
- Make sure the power adapter that came with your computer is plugged into the computer and into a functioning power outlet. If the power adapter stops charging and you don’t see the indicator light on the power adapter turn on when you plug in the power cord, try unplugging and replugging the power cord to reset it.
- If you are still unable to start up your computer, contact the LPS HelpDesk (x1735).
Ergonomics is the word commonly used when thinking about the way a person interacts with their working environment. If you are considering setting up a computing workspace for yourself, or are finding that you are physically uncomfortable in the one that you have, here are a few tips and ideas to help you begin.
If you have not found the simple tips listed above to be satisfactory, remember that LPS Risk Management can do a review of your workstation to determine if adjustments need to be made.
If you are considering accessories that might make a more suitable personal working environment for your LPS laptop, we offer the following buying guide for LPS employees.
The LPS Laptop Initiative computer is a white Apple MacBook that can be set up to run the Macintosh or Windows operating systems. More technical specifications for this computer are available to those interested, as is the original MacBook User Manual. [PDF]
Handouts & Materials
- Getting Started
- Basic Care
- Keyboard Features
- Data Ports (Left Side)
- Optical Disc Drive (Right Side)
- Login & Network/Wireless Access
- Connect to a Printer/MFD
- Connect a Projector or Monitor
- Built-in Camera
- Backup Your Computer’s Data
- Troubleshooting MAC or WINDOWS
Other LPS Resources
There is not a District Acceptable Use Policy for students regarding the use of computers or network resources (including Internet access). All applicable policy is included in LPS School Board Policy 3972 & 3972.1 “Rights and Responsibilities of Students” (PDF).
Internet use for students is considered a privilege, not a right. It can be taken from a student at any time for any reason.
Teacher & Staff Use
LPS staff members are often active participants in the creation of content and facilitation of learning using Internet based resources. LPS hosted web sites should be viewed as an electronic extension of LPS buildings, schools and classrooms. All LPS staff members using the Internet in this way must read and abide by the “Lincoln Public Schools Web Linking Agreement” (Summary Form and Full Text) as stated in School Board Policy 3972 & 3972.1 (PDF).
LPS makes every effort to filter out Internet content that is not in line with acceptable instructional use. As a result, access to valid curricular content is restricted unintentionally on occasion.
If you are an LPS staff member who wishes to access a page that is being filtered, please use the Help Desk system to create a ticket with item type “Web Filter – Netspective” and include the URL (address) of the page you wish to access in the ticket’s details.