skip to content
 

Information about the Maths Windows computer network

This is an online copy of the introduction which pops up the first time you log into a Maths Windows 7 PC, and can also be accessed via Start Button -> All Programs -> Maths Faculty Extra Programs.

Introduction - Windows Programs

Windows 7 is now being installed as the default Windows operating system. The pc you're reading this message on has a number of programs installed including some that may be specific to this pc. E.g. Matlab will be installed on pcs whose users require Matlab but it won't be installed on pcs whose users are department administrators. They'd never need Matlab, why install it.

The 'default' installed programs include the full version of Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Creative Suite Standard CS5.5, Microsoft Office Professional 2010, a TeX/LaTeX composer, various multimedia programs and antivirus and spyware protection. If there's a program that you need on your pc to help you do your work, please email help@maths.cam.ac.uk and request it.

The software on your pc is automatically kept up to date by a program called WPKG. If you see a round orange icon flashing, it means that your pc is being updated. You can see what is being updated by selecting the option in the options menu when you right click on the orange icon. You can also see a list of programs installed on this pc by selecting the menu item when you right click on the orange icon.

Your files

There are a number of programs that are run at login that are worth pointing out. In the system tray, near the clock at the bottom right of your screen, there is an icon of an old floppy disk. This program maps various network drives for you, most notable and probably most important will be the N:\ drive. This is your home directory on the UNIX system and is the place to save your files to as these will be regularly be backed up. (On the old Statslab Windows system it was known as drive H:\.) In addition to the N:\ drive, some users will have extra mapped drives; these will be for 'roles' that some users will be members of. These tend to be for administrative users and are places where files for that role are saved and are shared with other members of the group they are in.

Another program is the quota program, its icon looks like a purple pie chart. This shows you how much space you have used and how much is remaining on the N:\ drive. For UNIX users, this is the same as the quota program in the notification bar.

Printers

When you log into your desktop pc, the printers in public places in the pavilion your pc is in will automatically be installed for you. Printers in offices will not be installed by default but if you wish to install a printer in your office, start the 'Add Printers' program in Start Menu -> All Programs -> Maths Faculty Extra Programs. This program allows you to install printers from any pavilion as well as typing in the office number of the office containing a printer you want to print to. You can save your choice of printers so they are automatically installed at next logon.

Power saving

Maths Windows 7 pcs are set to hibernate when the pc has been idle for a pre-set length of time. During the day when you need to use the pc (core hours), this idle time is long. At all other times the idle time is short. The core hours can be set on a per-pc basis as well as the long and short idle times. In the system tray there is a red power button icon. Hovering over this icon will show you when your pc will toggle between core/out of core hours. It will also show you the time your pc will next automatically turn on. Clicking on the icon will allow you to disable any hibernation for a set length of time. Another method of disabling hibernation, aimed at those who run long jobs on their pc is to create a file in C:\tmp called disable_powersave. Hibernation will be disabled for 30 days. Manually deleting this file or pressing the system tray icon option to 'Resume normal powersaving mode' will cancel the disabled state. Another system tray icon menu item is the 'Web config page'. This will allow you to configure the core hours of your pc along with how long the short and long idle time are for. This web page has yet to be written so this feature doesn't work yet. If you need the times of your pc set, please email help@maths.cam.ac.uk.

Remote login - Winex

Lastly, it is possible to remotely log into a Maths Windows pc from anywhere in the world using a program called Winex (search for 'winex maths'). This will allow you to connect to the Maths Remote Desktop Service over a secure connection. Once logged in, the look and feel of your session will be identical to the Windows 7 setup on desktop pcs. You have the option to make your home printer(s) available to the programs run from the Remote Desktop Server so for example if you wish to run MS Word 2010 on the server and print the document to your home inkjet printer, this will work. Your home computer drives can also be available on the Remote Server for you to read and save files to as are any USB devices plugged into your pc's USB ports. Sessions to the RDS server have time limits, a countdown clock on the desktop display this information. To connect to the RDS server, type the name 'RDS' into the remote computer name box within Winex. Winex also provides a way for users to run a Unix X session on a DPMMS, Statslab or DAMTP Unix computer but display everything on their home pc just as if they were using a Unix computer within the CMS. When you close Winex your Unix session does not get closed unless you explicitly log out of the Unix host. This means you can leave processes running that you start in CMS, return home, connect using Winex and check their status. This program was written in house, any questions or problems, please email help@maths.cam.ac.uk.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Chris Mortimer
DAMTP CA
c.mortimer@damtp.cam.ac.uk