Desktop Computer Acquisitions

Revised July 13, 2017

When purchasing a new desktop computer system a security and policy review must be performed by an ACOM Systems Administrator (Tim Fredrick or Garth D'Attilo) before the procurement procedes.  This process begins by filling out an ACOM Procurements Security Checklist which you may obtain from a Systems Administrator.  The signature of a Systems Administrator on this checklist is authorization to procede with the procurement.  All IT procurements including servers, desktop/laptop computers, commercial software, and open source software requires the ACOM Procurements Security Checklist and a signature by an ACOM systems administrator.

The following are our IT hardware standards -- exceptions are allowed with justification and sign-off by an ACOM system administrator.

Legacy systems (such as Windows XP systems or Macintoshes incapable of running the current operating system) are not supported and must be placed behind outbound-only firewall devices to be included on the ACOM network.

Computer System Hardware Standards

  • Desktop Computer Platforms (business-class models)
    • Dell (Optiplex or Precision)
    • Apple (Macintosh)
  • Notebooks
    • Dell (Latitude or Precision)
    • Apple (Macbook series)



Peripherals and supplies that do not perform independent computing functions do not require approval by a system adminsitrator.  We do have several suggestions for divisional standards in this category however: Items here will receive higher-priority support than items that are not listed below.

  • Printers (networking is highly encouraged but not required)
    • HP Inkjet  printers and multifunction (printer+fax+copier)
    • HP Postscript Laser Printers
  • Backup/Archive/Data-Transfer Devices.
    • USB Flash Memory "keychain" devices
    • External disk drive units capable of RAID5
  • Monitors 
    • We recommend at least 1280x768 for most Unix systems.
    • Make sure the connection technology (e.g., Displayport, Thunderbolt, etc.) is compatible with your system and video card
  • Keyboards, Mice, and other input devices
    • Bluetooth or wireless devices are not recommended and offer no advantage in most office situations. If you do need to use such a fdevice, be sure to keep USB keyboards and mice on-hand for troubleshooting.
    • Ergonomics are important to ACOM -- if you have a special ergonomic or physical need, see your System Administrator or your UCAR safety officer for a recommendation.



ACOM stocks printer supplies for the public printers and for certain inkjet printers (see your Sysadmin to see what models this includes). ACOM also stocks a few mice and keyboards for office use. Plus we keep some spare parts or other peripherals that we've inherited from decomissioned systems. If you need any of these supplies, please see a Sysadmin:

  • USB Flash Drives (for loan -- please return to a System Administrator when finished with them)
  • USB-connected mice or keyboards
  • Connecting Cables for monitors

 The Systems Staff will consider supplying additional ink cartridges if there is sufficient demand. The availability of ink cartridges is, of course, a major consideration when purchasing a personal inkjet printer.


Servers are computers where more than one person routinely logs on and does work. Servers are acceptable, but must be approved by the ACOM Systems Staff. Servers must follow these constraints:

  • All servers and their specific configuration must be approved by the ACOM Systems Staff
  • Servers must be rack-mountable in a standard computer equipment rack. Rack-mount hardware must be provided along with the purchase of the server.
  • Servers must be located in a co-location data center (ML-29 or NWSC).
  • Multi-user servers require the use of a UCAR issued authenticator token for access.
  • Servers must run an ACOM approved operating system (Windows Server 2012R2 or newer, CentOS 7.3 or newer)




ACOM | Atmospheric Chemistry Observations & Modeling