Laptop Computer Support in NACS Labs

NACS has created two “laptop stations” in the NACS Engineering Gateway computing labs where portable computers can be connected to the campus network. Laptops with an appropriate Network Interface Card (NIC) and running current versions of the Microsoft or Macintosh operating systems are supported. Connections are made using the Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) to simplify the process, which is outlined in new NACS documentation:

http://www.nacs.uci.edu/computing/laptops

We have created only two stations for laptops at this time, while we determine support requirements and the level of demand. If the demand warrants it, we will establish laptop positions in other NACS labs, such as the NACS@HIB lab in the Humanities Instructional Building.

Please let us know your experience and interest in using this new facility.

Instructional Computing Lab Summaries

With the help of campus lab managers, NACS has created two summaries of UCI open-access instructional computing labs. The first is a summary of classroom labs that can be scheduled by faculty for classroom use. The summary lists the location, hours of operation, number and type of computers, available software, and reservation contact information for each lab. The classroom lab summary is available in the Web as follows:

http://www.nacs.uci.edu/support/clc/instruct-labs.html

The second summary lists the instructional labs at UCI open to students of all majors and available for drop-in use. The hours of operation, location, type of computer, and a summary of software available is listed for each lab. The summary is especially useful as a reference to provide students to ensure they are aware of facilities available to them; it is available in the Web as follows:

http://www.nacs.uci.edu/support/clc/open-labs.html

NACS’ Indirect Support Team plans to work with campus lab managers to keep both of these documents current — this will be a bit of a challenge due to the constant growth and change in UCI computing labs.

New Open-access Graduate Student Lab

Note: The GradEA Lab is no longer in operation.

NACS is pleased to announce the new “GradEA” Graduate Student Computing Lab, located in Engineering Gateway room 1141C. GradEA was created to provide UCI graduate students access to an expanded set of computing resources for their research and instructional activities.

The 8 DEC UNIX workstations in the GradEA computing “cluster” were brought online earlier in the summer to provide graduate students additional remote computing access for e-mail and other uses. NACS has now added additional software to the cluster, opened the lab for local access, and created a study area in the lab. Software applications can now be run remotely over the network, or in the lab facility itself. Local access is especially useful when doing display-intensive work. Manuals and other forms of documentation are also available in the lab, which is open to UCI graduate students 24 hours a day.

NACS plans to add to GradEA in the future and would like input as to what graduate students need in the way of software, computers, peripherals, manuals, and other computing tools. Please send your input via e-mail to NACS@UCI.EDU, or contact Allen Schiano, Manager of NACS Core Services, at 824-2829.

For more information on GradEA, please see: http://www.nacs.uci.edu/computing/gradea

NACS Humanities Instructional Building Lab

 

Dell Pentium II

Dell Pentium II

This fall, NACS opened the “NACS@HIB” drop-in instructional lab in the new Humanities Instructional Building. This lab has thirty 266Mhz Dell Pentium II PCs running Microsoft Windows NT. Each system has the standard NACS Lab configuration plus 64MB of memory and a 100MB “Zip” removable disk drive. Several 1000MB “Jaz” removable disk drives are also provided for higher-capacity storage needs. While NACS@HIB is especially convenient for students in Humanities and the Arts, it is available to all UCI students, staff, and faculty. Currently, the lab is open during the day, but in the future NACS hopes to expand lab hours into the evening.

NACS Computing Lab Changes and Expansions – Fall 1996

University of California, Irvine
Network & Academic Computing Services
NACS@UCI.EDU
http://www.nacs.uci.edu 

Since before the first PCs and Macintoshes came out of garages in the Silicon Valley, NACS has been providing computing access points for general campus use. With the advent of ever more powerful PCs, we have continually increased the number and usability of computing systems in our computing labs. Concurrently, powerful UNIX servers (EA, E4E, Orion, etc.) have been available for electronic communications through both simple terminals and application software (Netscape, Eudora, etc.) on all our PC systems.

This fall we made significant changes to our computing labs. There are now 130 computer access points in Engineering Gateway (EG, building 321) available 24 hours a day. There are an additional 80 computers in the Engineering and Computing Trailer (ECT – building 317) available 7AM until Midnight, Monday through Friday, and 8AM until 8PM on weekends. Together, these labs constitute the largest ensemble of computer access points on campus.

CHANGES AND ADDITIONS MADE THIS FALL

 

  • 25 new PowerPC model 7500 Macintoshes have been installed in the large schedulable Mac lab, ECT 120. Each system has 32Mb of RAM and 1 GB of local disk.
  • 25 new Dell Pentium 133MHz PCs have been installed in the large schedulable PC lab, ECT 123. Each system has 32Mb of RAM and 2 GB of local disk.
  • A new schedulable/drop-in lab has been opened in ECT 121 with 15 PowerPC model 7100 Macintoshes
  • A new schedulable/drop-in lab has been opened in ECT 122 with 15 Dell Pentium 90 Mhz PCs.
  • All ECT machines have software mounted locally, facilitating use of the large, complex software packages currently in demand (Netscape 3, Word 6, etc.). This results in rapid software start-up even when all classroom users are doing so simultaneously.
  • All NACS PCs are now running the Microsoft Windows NT operating system both on student stations and on the lab server. This will result in reduced downtime due to viruses and local system setup changes, greater flexibility in system management, and will allow the installation of the Windows95 Graphical User Interface (GUI) for Winter quarter.
  • The computing systems in our Engineering Gateway labs have been improved with the addition of more capable PCs and Macs formerly located in ECT.
  • Newer, higher performance laser printers are being installed in several locations. This is a prelude to a newer, easier to use, printing system to be deployed in the next few months in all labs.
  • A new, more rugged electronic tie-down system is being deployed to replace the existing system. Coupled with security cameras and other devices, this system allows us to provide access during extended hours.
  • Local lab networking has been improved with the deployment of switching hubs in the ECT labs (also planned to be added to the EG labs during quarter break). These hubs improve reliability, provide much greater network security for user passwords and the like, and improve network throughput.
  • Lastly, we are installing a greatly improved computer-to-screen projection system in both large, schedulable labs. These state-of-the-art systems are both significantly brighter and of higher resolution than our previous, aging, LCD-panel systems.

During the rest of the school year we will be making further, albeit smaller, improvements in all labs – software upgrades for applications and operating systems, more security tie-down installations, additional ‘seats’ when possible.

IMPROVED COMMUNICATIONS WITH INSTRUCTORS

To develop better communications with UCI faculty and others teaching in NACS’ instructional computing labs, we have created an e-mail listserv list, NACS-Labs-Info@UCI.EDU. We will use this list to communicate lab announcements, updates, requests for comment, surveys of current use, surveys for requested changes (e.g., what new software is needed?), and the like.

If you have scheduled any NACS labs in the last three years your name has been added to the list and you should have already received a message welcoming you. If you know of others interested in joining the list, please suggest they send mail to nacs@uci.edu with their name, e-mail address, and departmental affiliation.