Windows Labs Use UCInetIDs

NACS has converted a number of computers in its drop-in PC labs to require UCInetID authentication.

For this initial phase, all the computers in Lab B (Engineering Gateway 1140) and half the systems in the NACS lab in HIB 343 use the new PC authentication system. If the system works as expected, NACS will convert all of its computer labs to the new scheme over the summer.

UCInetIDs (and their associated passwords) have been used as a means for delivering computer services for many years. Authentication is a term which means “proving who you are” to a computer. Certain computing resources need to be restricted to use by UCI affiliates and are thus tied to one’s “network identity.” Other times it is necessary, as with the recent student elections and changing one’s phone book data, to tie services to a single user.

In order to be able to use the PC authentication system, you need to sign up at https://authenticate.nts.uci.edu/nt/. A computer is available in the NACS labs for accessing this Web page. The new PC authentication program has been in place for only a few weeks and already over 1000 students, faculty, and staff have signed up.

NACS plans to offer other services in the near future through UCInetID authentication, including access to network file space for EA and E4E users. Authenticating from computer lab systems will thus enhance the range of services available to UCI users while working in the labs.

New ECE Computing Lab

Recently NACS helped the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) assemble a new computing lab for ECE majors.

The Computer Science and Engineering Instructional Laboratory comprises 32 “SunRay Appliance” Unix workstations and a four-processor server. The lab will also include a station running NACS’s PayPrint service for student printing. The creation of the new lab was driven by record enrollments in ECE and the Henry Samueli School of Engineering. The new facility will serve both as an instructional lab and a drop-in homework lab.

30 of the workstations are Sun Microsystems SunRay 100’s for student use. The other two are SunRay 1’s for use as teaching aids which can be connected to overhead projectors.

The SunRay appliances were selected for the lab because ECE found these systems allowed much lower per-seat administration costs than other options.

ECE and NACS wish to acknowledge a generous contribution from Sun Microsystems, which helped make the new lab possible.

New Computing Lab

NACS has completed a new, very large instructional computing laboratory in the Multipurpose Science and Technology Building (MSTB). Officially opened on February 27, the lab has already been used by several UCI classes, and is available for Spring quarter courses.

The lab has an electrically operated partition so that it can be used as two 48-seat labs or one large 96-seat lab. The lab is equipped with Pentium III 733 Mhz systems with 256Mb of RAM — our fastest lab systems, capable of running the most demanding Windows applications.
Both sides of the lab have independently controlled state of the art projection systems that can be used together when a single class uses the entire facility.

The main purpose of the lab will be to support campus instructional activities. Either or both labs can be scheduled by contacting the NACS Response Center (email nacs@uci.edu). When not in use by reserved classes, the lab is available for drop-in use.

Lab hours are from 8 a.m. to midnight Sunday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Computing Labs at Local Campuses

NACS sponsors regular bimonthly meetings of Computer Lab Coordinators (CLCs), UCI staff who manage academic computing labs, to help them address mutual problems, to establish campus standards, and to improve services.

A recent CLC meeting included computing support staff from several nearby campuses, including Irvine Valley College, Saddleback College, Chapman University, Cal State Long Beach, and UCI.

Representative(s) from each school described the computing situation at their respective campuses. Topics discussed included number of faculty, staff, and students supported, operating systems and software supported, classroom use of computing, printing, replacement cycles, user authentication, and other pertinent issues.

Chapman University is starting a notebook computer program in which all incoming freshmen will receive a notebook computer next year. Cal State Long Beach gives all their students an ‘all-in-one’ card, which acts as both a student ID card and a debit card. The campus tracks student usage and provides increased security by requiring students to swipe their cards when entering and leaving any computer lab on campus.

Learn more about the computing situation at the other campuses by viewing the meeting minutes athttp://www.nacs.uci.edu/support/clc/meetings/2000.11.29.notes.html

Printing in Labs

For the last few years, NACS has managed a pay-for-printing service in its instructional computing labs in an effort to balance printing needs with the inevitable costs of providing that capability. This service has been so successful (we estimate more than half a million pages will be printed this year) that departments which manage other labs have asked for NACS’ assistance in setting up similar services.

Today, “PayPrint” is available in labs managed by NACS, Information and Computer Science (ICS), Social Sciences, Humanities and the Division of Undergraduate Education’s Instructional Technology Center. There are a total of 20 stations to which users can direct printouts, and the cards needed to pay for and authorize printouts in the system are for sale from vending machines in NACS’ labs in Engineering Gateway and the Humanities Instructional Building, as well as in ICS, Social Sciences, and Humanities.

There is more good news for users of PayPrint! A recent analysis of anticipated costs for the coming year has enabled NACS to reduce the price to $0.10 per page. This will make printing more affordable to students.