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Using Microsoft Windows in the College Computer Labs
In general, the college computer labs all have the exact same software installed. This means that you do not, for example, have to be in the GIS Computer Classroom in order to use GIS software.
1There are exceptions:
Note that if some software has a "classroom" or "teaching" license, it will be installed in the college computer labs only. If you need to use software that is for "research" (e.g., any non-classroom use), we have resources for you.
The PCs in the college computer labs run Windows 8.1. Please click the Log Off icon on the desktop when finished with your session.
Windows PCs will log you off after 20 minutes of inactivity. This is so others can use this valuable resource. (No, you cannot lock a machine to run simulations for hours or days. There are other resources for this.)
The thin clients in the labs (identified by small black boxes about the size of a thick book) connect directly to a group of load-balanced servers called, collectively, the Virtual Classroom. The Virtual Classrooms runs on Windows Server 2012 R2, which looks and acts just like Windows 8.1 for you. The Virtual Classroom is available only from a thin client. The Virtual Classroom has nearly all the same software1 as the Windows PCs in the labs.
One advantage of using the Virtual Classroom is that users are not limited to a 20-minute idle time, so users may start applications here and let them run without physically being at the computer. Users will be logged off after 3 days of inactivity, defined as input from a keyboard or mouse. In order to keep an application running, simply reconnect to the Virtual Classroom and use the keyboard or mouse within 3 days.
You have two options when you are finished with your session: Disconnect or Log Off. See Mobile Session for more information.
Because this is a shared user environment, you should not run processes that can hamper other users' computing experience. (For example, simulations that use a large amount of CPU compute power or RAM.) For this type of use, we have other resources available for you. Please contact ENS if you need assistance running large simulations.
This document last modified Tuesday April 04, 2017