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Personal Computers

 The UW has special deals on PERSONAL Computers from Dell.  See the following 

Student Technology Loan Program

Student Technology Loan Program (STLP) as it relates to students who may be in need of technology items during this critical time. The program is available to all UW Seattle students who are enrolled during the spring academic quarter. Students may visit the STLP website anytime and make a reservation to pick up a laptop or tablet computer as early as Monday, March 30, 2020. 


Portable LCD projectors are available for checkout in the Physics main office (room C-121 in the Physics/Astronomy tower) and the Astronomy main office (room C-319 in the Physics/Astronomy tower). Please stop by one of these office to inquire about checking out or reserving a projector. You are encouraged to make projector reservations as early as possible to guarantee one will be available when you need it.

The Physics main office also has Apple VGA adapters and laser pointers available for checkout.

Additionally, the A-wing lecture halls and room C-421 have permanent LCD projectors installed. Please follow the instructions in those rooms regarding their operation (NOTE: If you are affiliated with the Physics department and wish to use the projector in room C-421, please check out a remote for the projector from the PHYSICS main office in room C-121, NOT the INT main office).

Disk Storage

Currently there is minimal space for each user/group.   If you have or need large amounts of storage space, more than approx 100GB, you will need to purchase this storage space or look at other storage options on campus.  We can help with this decision see any member of the PACS team to discuss your needs.  

All home space is currently backed up and should be considered safe with the exception of Visitors/Collaborators.   Areas labeled SCRATCH space is NOT backed up and should only be used as temporary storage.  

Also NOTE that as of 11/15/2018 PACS backups up over 200TB of disk space weekly.  This is a large amount of data to backup and maintain.  Keep in mind that LOTS of small files has a huge affect on the backup system.  If you are not using files, zip/compress them.  This makes backups much more efficient.  

Server Disk Usage Reports

All Servers Usage:

Purchasing Hardware

University e-Procurement System
The purchasing department at the University of Washington has negotiated discounted pricing for institutional purposes from several major vendors. Part of the "deal" is that these vendors must interface with the University's e-procurement system. Generating a single PO costs the University purchasing off $120 on average, and rush items cost more. Having the E-procurement  system reduces the cost of ordering for the central purchasing department significantly. 
Past purchasing mistakes
The department has learned from purchasing mistakes in the past, and this list is to remind folks that many have traveled this path before:
  • Pricing for "small business" or "home" models generally means lower quality hardware and not much support
  • Certain vendors will not take back purchases if they are not run through eprocurement, or will charge you hefty restocking fees
  • If the deal is too good to be true, the vendor is likely "bending the truth"
  • There really is a list at purchasing of vendors the University would rather not do business with due to past violations
Feel free to send email to help@phys or help@astro before you click "purchase" and we'll be happy to review a configuration.
PACS Supported Vendors and Configurations
PACS has extensive experience managing Dell desktops and laptops and prefers these systems.  

The following laptop/desktop models have been tested with both Linux and Windows, and we recommend these configurations:

Dell Optiplex
Dell Precision
Dell Latitude
Dell PowerEdge Servers
Service contract requirement and recommendations
Any desktop maintained by PACS requires a minimum 3 year, next business day (NBD) service contract. This is different than a "manufacturer warranty". A service contract ensures that hardware problems are likely debugged in less than 2 hours and parts/equipment are shipped NBD. Manufacturer warranties can often take 4-8 weeks for repairs, depending on the explicit agreement at purchase time.
PACS recommends the following support contracts for hardware:

    LAPTOPS/DESKTOPS: 4 year Professional Next Business Day (NBD)

    SERVERS: 5 year Professional Next Business Day (NBD)
What does supported mean and why the requirement?
PACS has a limited supply of desktops in storage waiting to be swapped out for your equipment. We try and keep you working through issues with viruses and hardware failures. If you're having a major problem, PACS will:
  • Bring you a replacement machine
  • Install your original hard drive and/or set up a fresh operating system
  • Allow you to keep this replacement until the work is completed

Alternative vendors and self-supporting

If a faculty or post-doc wishes to manage their own vendor relationship and service their own hardware, the departments will not interfere. PACS will apply the "20 minute promise" if said person gets themselves in a bind, but will not support the hardware. Vendors that folks have generally been happy with are:
    Pogo Linux:

PACS can assist with purchases from these vendors or you can directly purchase via procard or your grant administrator.  Additionally, NewEgg is a UW contract vendor:

-------------​ NewEgg Inc. is now a UW contracted vendor. Departments can use a ProCard to purchase computing supplies or equipment from and receive the contracted rate.