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Computing and Information Services

CIS News

Available now - the new, free Wi-Fi service for visitors

Let your guests know they can now connect to the new Wi-Fi service, TheCloud@Durham when they visit you on campus. Provided by Sky, it offers simple, fast and reliable internet access for business guests, conference delegates and open day attendees. The service replaces DU Guest and temporary CIS usernames and passwords are no longer required, making for a more convenient experience all-round. Your visitors can save even more time by registering for TheCloud@Durham in advance. Visit our dedicated pages to find out how.

(11 Aug 2017)

Keep cyber safe this summer

It may be holiday season, but remember those cyber criminals won’t be taking a break. Stay alert for emails from people you don’t know or which seem out of context or unexpected. If you suspect you’ve received a malicious email, don’t open it or click on any attachments or web links it contains. At work you should save a copy of the original suspect email (File –Save As), forward it to then delete it. In doing so you’re also helping to provide CIS with wider visibility of security issues at the University. If you’re concerned about an email you have opened, contact the IT Service Desk straightaway on 0191 33 (41515). 

(27 Jul 2017)

Updating the staff desktop: rolling out over the summer

Following the update of the teaching desktop (formerly NPCS), CIS is rolling out the updated desktop to staff machines across the University. CIS will liaise with departments directly to agree a convenient time. You'll find out what you'll get with the updated desktop and where to find help and support using it by reading on.

The desktop gives you an updated experience with a Windows 10 operating system and the current version of Microsoft Office (2016) so you benefit from the latest tools. 

There's also a new way of accessing your applications via a tool called the App Hub. The App Hub is a vital component of the new desktop, as moving forward it will enable remote access to your applications (subject to licensing restrictions) wherever you are located, no matter what type of device (desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile phone) you are using.

The App Hub is a web based tool that you access via an icon on your desktop and it streams your applications to you as and when you need them. Apart from a couple of minor changes to how to find and open your applications (which take seconds), you use the applications in question exactly the same way.


  • Updated tools for you to work with, giving you a consistent experience.
  • Streamed applications makes patching and security protection easier to manage and apply, so you can be confident in the applications you're using.
  • It takes the University a step closer to the ultimate goal of launching the flexible remote access solution, so that you can access applications remotely when you're off site, be that working at home, at a conference or somewhere else (subject to licensing restrictions).

When can you expect to be updated?

We’ll be doing this over the summer and will contact departments directly to organise a suitable time. In some cases, where users are due to have their PC or laptop replaced, it will be provided with the new desktop installed. Take a look at our dedicated webpages to see what the desktop looks like and check out our video demonstrating the App Hub. Visit: or use the term ‘Managed desktop guidance’ in the University website’s search field if you prefer to navigate there yourself.

Getting ready for the upgrade

There are a few things you can do to prepare:

  • Take a look at the link above so you know what the new desktop and the App Hub look like.
  • Check and tidy up your D: drive: there is no D: drive space on the new desktop so delete any items you don't need and as far as possible, save those that you do in a different place (e.g. J: or S: drive).
  • Make a note of the following:
    • Any preferences set up in your Outlook (such as additional mailboxes or calendar settings, archives and signatures),
    • Bookmarks that you need to keep,
    • Applications you’ve installed yourself or are specific to your desktop or laptop.

When your machine is upgraded or you get a new machine, your preferences, bookmarks and self-installed software are not carried over: you’ll need to re-set or re-install them yourself.

Watch your inbox for a message advising when your machine is going to be updated and take a look at our webpages for further details.

(27 Jul 2017)