Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Damnit, Melbourne

Maybe it's just me, but Melbourne Uni seems really disorganised. Just the other day, I was trying to find more information about the MSDN Academic Alliance, which allows staff and students of IT-related departments to recieve free Microsoft software.

So to find out about the MSDNAA, I needed to contact the department which teaches IT-related subjects. There are two departments, though - the Departement of Information Systems and the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. The Department of Information Systems falls under the Faculty of Science, while the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering falls under the Faculty of Engineering.

I'm currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Science, so I suppose I should contact the Department of Information Systems since that's the department that falls under the Faculty of Science. But hold on, I'll be majoring in Computer Science which means that I should belong to the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. But the actual subjects that lead to this major (Informatics 1&2) are administered by the Department of Information Systems.

So to sort this confusion out, I asked one of the subject co-ordinators for Informatics 2. He didn't know about the MSDNAA specifically, so he referred me to the Information Services division. I emailed them through Student IT Support, and they forwarded my request to the university's IT Licensing Group. The IT Licensing Group apparently told Student IT Support that the university's MSDNAA subscription only allows for the software to be installed on "University Assets" and not personal workstations.

That appeared contrary to the terms of the MSDNAA subscription, so I contacted the Melbourne University Computer Students Association (MUCSA) who sell legitimate copies of Windows Vista/XP to students for a nominal fee of $10. I asked them where they got their keys from, and they told me that they went through MSDNAA (via. one of the departments). This means that Melbourne Uni does have an MSDNAA subscription, and is allowed to distribute software to students, contradicting what the IT Licensing Group told me.

Now after wading through that quagmire, I didn't find what I was looking for, don't have any more information, and don't know what's going on. Nevertheless, I've contacted the subject co-ordinator for Informatics 2 again, who might be able to shed some more light on all this. I await his reply.