Welcome to the Magical World of the Software Center!In Wellsboro Area School District, we use a management software called Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). SCCM allows us to easily reimage computers back to our default install, push out updates, and push out new programs, among other things. The piece of SCCM you see is called the Software Center.
The easiest way to get to the Software Center is to use the icon on your Desktop:
Once in the Software Center, you can do a few things: Install available updates, install new software, remove (some) existing software and see how installations are making out.
(or My Computer Keeps Telling Me Software Changes are Required)If you get the notification pop up that says "Software Changes are Required," chances are it's a Windows Update that needs to be installed to fix security or stability issues in Windows or other Microsoft programs (like Office). These pops ups give you some flexibility to install the updates when it's convenient for you, but the Software Center will install the updates with or without your OK at some point (hence the "Required" part). When you get one of these notifications, you can click on it to get more information about what is required and when.
As you see in the example below, the software is required to install by 12/31/2014 at 6:26pm and there are 3 things that will be installed. You can click View details (highlighted in the red box below) to get what will actually be installed. The link with bring up the actual Software Center with a listing.
From the box above, you have a few choices:
- You can choose to do nothing by just closing the box, which means the software will be installed automatically at or after the deadline (in this case, 12/31/2014 at 6:26pm). Please note you will most likely get additional notifications about the required software until it is installed.
- You can choose to install the software now -- the "Recommended" option (in the green box above). Keep in mind that many updates require a restart after installation. While Software Center won't require a restart until the deadline, your computer won't be protected by the update and may be a bit buggy until you do restart. If you choose to run the updates now, I highly recommend you also check the box "Restart my computer automatically if needed" before clocking OK. Doing so will install the updates and, upon completion, restart your computer.
- You can choose to install the software outside your business hours. Software Center's default business hours are 5am to 10pm, Mondays through Fridays (I'll show you how to change this below). So if your computer is never turned on outside of those times, the update won't install until the deadline is reached. If your computer is on, the updates will install as expected. Once again, if choosing this option, I highly recommend checking the "Restart my computer automatically" box so the updates can complete their installation.
Installing Optional Software
(or My Teacher Says I Need the Program XYZ)So what happens when you really can't stand Internet Explorer and while Firefox is OK, you'd really rather use Chrome. Most software can't install on your computer without admin rights, so your stuck, right? Not always. Chrome is amongst the software we make available to everyone through the Software Center. We keep Chrome fairly up-to-date and, if you install it through the Software Center, updates will automatically get pushed out to your computer as we make them available.
There is other software available in the Software Center as well, mostly what teachers across the school district have requested. Interested in programming, but couldn't fit the class into your schedule? We have a few programming options, from Microsoft's Visual Studio to Alice and App Inventor. Want to do image editing? Try GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program), it's Photoshop-ish, but free. Looking for a simple photo touch-up software, try Google Picasa. Need to play a video that Windows Media can't decode? Try VLC. All available in the Software Center.
To install optional software, all you have to do is open the Software Center, click on the program you want (or check multiple programs) and click the Install/Install Selected button. The program should download and install anywhere you're connected to the Internet -- in school or out.
Want to see how the install is going? Click on the Installation Status tab. It will tell you what's going on with the install. Pressing the "F5" key will refresh the window to get the latest info. Don't see the program under the Installation Status tab? It's probably already installed, so check the Installed Software tab.