Bits and Bytes


   Free Microsoft Software for Students


Penn State offers Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013, Office for Mac 2011 and Windows 8.1 Upgrade to currently enrolled Penn State students at no additional cost. By clicking on the following link: you will be directed to a site to download the software directly from Kivuto Solutions, Inc.

Software under the agreement is only available via download and must be completed within 31 days of accepting the terms and conditions.  Please backup your download immediately upon completion and save your product key information. Penn State is NOT responsible for lost product keys or the downloaded files.

If you experience issues during the download or installation process, please contact Kivuto for support. They offer help online and via phone at 866-435-4722 or 888-396-1447 (Monday-Friday 6am-6pm EST).

If you have questions with regards to eligibility please visit this pageĀ


Power Management


We are taking an aggressive approach to reducing our carbon footprint. The amount of energy used by PCs in our College, when they are sitting idle, is what we are targeting. We will be modifying the power settings of some PCs after consulting with the user on their schedules and how they make use of their PCs.

We will be placing PCs in a sleep mode as part of this effort. If you need to access a sleeping PC from a remote location please review our article How to Wake Your HHD Computer.

Users should review the document "User Decided Power Management Program" located here. This document will help users decide how to set their power management settings.


Compromised PCs and PII

If you are one of the unfortunate PC users in our College who suffered a compromise, this document will help you understand what is happening when we show up in your office to claim your PC. There is a FAQ at the end of the document listing some of the more frequent questions we get.


Identity Finder


Identity Finder brings the power of enterprise identity theft protection to your office computer.  Using it can secure your social security number, credit card numbers, passwords, and more from viruses, worms, and hackers.  IDF intelligently searches the deepest recesses of your computer to uncover sensitive information and then allows you to use the built-in tools to protect that information by permanently shredding it, scrubbing it clean, securing it with a password, or quarantining it to a secure location.

Look here at our IDF Help Guide.


Wireless Networks

The College utilizes the services of central IT (ITS) for wireless networking in our buildings. Most of our main buildings now have TNS supplied wireless networks. Look for these network names to gain access: "psu" "psuwirelesssetup", and "attwifi". For questions on wireless coverage call 865-4NOC.


Foreign Travel with Technology

There has been much interest recently in the College regarding foreign travel with technology in tow. Specifically the concern centers around taking a laptop and your data with you.

Definitive advice to help the traveler make an educated decision on just what is the best approach in this situation is not available based on our searches. ISS would like to offer you some suggestions based on info we did find and knowledge gained in talking to other IT groups on campus. Please consider these points before taking your trip:

  • If you can get by with an inexpensive laptop (netbook) take it versus a top-of-the-line model

  • Take a laptop that only has the software needed for the trip

  • Scan your laptop before you leave to make sure that PII has been remediated/secured

  • Put your personal files/data on an encrypted USB memory device

  • If you have personal files/data on the hard drive encrypt them using SafeGuard PrivateCrypto (ITS download)

  • If you can convince your department to invest in a laptop just for foreign travel do that and wipe and re-image after each trip

  • The laptop you take may not come back with you

For more information on this subject visit this link.

Disposal of eWaste

Compact fluorescent bulbs, disposal batteries (such as AA, C, D, 9V) and rechargeable batteries can now be dropped off at our offices for proper disposal. We are located in 16 BBH Building. There are bins in room 10. Carefully place your item in the appropriate bin.

Other eWaste, like old ZIP drives, floppies, cheap inkjet printers, power supplies, cables, etc can be processed through Surplus and Salvage. If they will not accept your items call 865-4371 and ask for Glenn Fagley. Tell him Al Matyasovsky sent you. We appreciate your help in keeping our landfills ***clean***!