laptop computer

High Performance Lab Software Now Available from Home

With both safety and convenience in mind, ITS has made select software packages available via a streaming service this semester. Programs that typically work best on lab computers (e.g. The Adobe Suite, ArcGIS) are now available via Amazon AppStream.

The platform provides two important benefits — one, it enables us to offer software licensed for campus use to students who are studying remotely, and two, it provides on-campus students with the ability to work from the comfort of their own dorms. AppStream works by running chosen software on high-end cloud computers, and then streaming those virtual desktops to the end user with minimal latency. The experience is not the same as working on a large monitor backed by fast processors, but it offers a close approximation and the programs are serviceable.

AppStream also integrates with Google Drive, enabling students to work directly from their Swarthmore accounts, and facilitating real-time collaboration from anywhere in the world. In fact (a word of caution) all projects must be saved to Google Drive when working from AppStream as files located on one’s virtual desktop will not be saved after logging out.

For a complete list of software available via AppStream, as well as instructions for launching the service, follow the link above. See this page for additional instructions specific to the Adobe Creative Suite. And to request that other software be made available, contact the Help Desk.

For those on campus who would prefer to use lab computers, the Language Center and the Media Center remain available by advanced reservation. Reach out to us at this email.