Carleton College
Carlpedia
Carlpedia

Overview

ITS has a training facility in CMC 011, which has 13 user workstations, a few spare chairs, and an instructor workstation, all Dell OptiPlex 755 computers running Microsoft Windows in at least 2GB of memory.  (The instructor workstation has more resources, as described below.) The computers have administrative network connections, so this room can be used for training on administrative as well as academic applications.

The instructor workstation is connected to the overhead projector, and there's a spare connection into the projection system on the instructor desk, with a Macintosh video adapter.  There is also an ELMO projector (for displaying physical objects) hooked into the projection system, and a DVD player along with a sound system.

This room serves two purposes besides training: it is used as a conference room, and it is used as a test bed for ITS projects. It is reserved by ITS staff through the Zimbra mail system, by inviting the resource "cmc11training" to a meeting.

Computers

The week of December 6-10, 2010, all the computers were freshly imaged with the campus standard Windows 7 build. (You can find more technical details about the image and the K1st standard applications.) This means anyone with an AD account can login to any computer and get their usual mapped network drives, running as a standard user.

In addition, each computer will have a local .\ITSTrain account whose password is itstrainingroom; this account runs as a standard user and has no access to mapped network drives. Each computer will also have the expected .\admin account for elevating privileges, and its password will be posted on the inside of the door behind the instructor station. Finally, the usual CarlAdmin accounts exists, and the usual ITS account can be used for software installations by ITS staff and students.

The southeastern-most desk, currently Train05, is a special handicapped-accessible desk with a larger monitor. (And, unfortunately, a worse chair.)

The easiest way to see what software is on any computer is to view the KBOX inventory: at the computer, enter the KBOX user portal; on the My Computer tab, under the Software heading, expand "Installed Programs".

Several more changes are planned for these computers as time permits; contact Sande Nissen in Desktop Systems for more information:

  • put a Windows XP Mode shared virtual machine on every computer;

Teaching in this room

It is highly recommended that you get access to this room before your scheduled session, to check the status of the machines and perform any necessary setup. Any ITS staff member can use his office key to let you in, and the door will lock behind you when you leave.

Each workstation has a number on its monitor arm, from 00 (instructor) through 13. Train00, Train04, Train07, and Train13 have longer mouse cables so the mouse can be moved to the left side of the keyboard for left-handed users. Each monitor is mounted on an extensible arm "inside" each desk; just lift the "lid" on the top of each desk and pull the monitor up and forward to make it visible. The computer system units are hung under each desk; each system has a power button in the middle of the front face, which you'll need to turn on. (If the power light is flashing, the computer was left on and is in a power saving mode; press the button once briefly and wait for the screen to brighten.) When you power on a system, please also open its monitor lid, even if you don't plan to lift the monitor, because the closed monitors get very hot.

When you're ready to leave, please choose Shutdown on every computer, and then let the computer power itself off. This puts the monitors in a sleep state; in the central section of eight desks, please then hide the monitors back under the desk lids. (You don't have to hide the south wall monitors.) Don't use the power buttons on the computer systems units or the monitors.

To find power outlets for your own devices, there are one or two power strips inside each row of desks, in the area where the monitors are stored--just lift the lids to find the strip. To get an Ethernet connection for your own devices, there are labeled Ethernet cables on the floor in three locations: in the southeast corner, on the west side (under the projection screen and credenza), and on the east side (sticking out of the end of the central desks). These Ethernet connections may or may not be active; contact Chris Dlugosz if you need one activated. There are spare cables of all types, along with mice and a keyboard, in the Cables drawer in the credenza at the front of the room.

The instructor workstation is a minitower chassis instead of a Small Form Factor (SFF), with 4GB of memory and an extra hard drive (for Windows XP). It has longer cables and its own power strip under the desk, for plugging in your peripherals. It also has an external drive for floppy disks or for media cards as used in cameras and other small electronic devices. The instructor workstation boots into Windows 7 by default, but can be booted into its old Windows XP environment, following the instruction page taped to the instructor desk. In its Windows XP environment, mapping of the standard Carleton network drives (shares) to H:, I:, K:, L:, and W: is broken and cannot be fixed.

We are discovering that this room gets very warm when computers are left powered on and the door is closed. You may want to open up the room early to cool it down with the door open. There's a fan on the instructor desk to aid in air circulation; please do not move it or unplug it.

Maintenance

All of these workstations are visible in the KBOX (K1000), with names in the format ITSTRAINccid#, under the label InTrainingRoom. They are all on the Wednesday Night patch schedule, with Wake-On-LAN enabled. If you'd like these machines to have all current patches before you start a class, power on all the machines then contact anyone in Desktop Systems who can start the Patch Now schedule on the InTrainingRoom label. The patching process takes an hour or two; later, based on their power settings, the machines will sleep themselves, or you can return to power them off.

Windows Test Bed

The 5 machines along the south wall are the least popular for classes, and so are also set up as a Windows 7 test bed. A diagram posted on the south wall (look for red on black) shows these configurations (as of Monday, April 9, 2012), ordered as the machines are from left to right (remember, x86 means 32-bit, while x64 means 64-bit):

Train05

Train04

Train03

Train02

Train01

8GB memory

4GB memory

4GB memory

2GB memory

2GB memory

Windows 7 x64  

Windows 7 x64  

Windows 7 x86  

Windows 7 x86  

Windows 6 x86  

Office 2010 x64  

Office 2010 x86  

Office 2010 x86  

Office 2010 x86  

Office 2010 x86  

DEP on

DEP on

DEP on

DEP off

DEP on

The purpose of these divergent configurations is so you can test Windows software side-by-side in different environments, answering questions like:

  • will this application run under Windows 7 with DEP on?
  • will this application run on 64-bit Windows 7?
  • will this application work with 64-bit Office?
  • will this application benefit from having more memory?

All these testbed machines will have the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) installed for testing application compatibility (using shims). The SysInternals free tools can be copied from SWARCHIVE\OriginalMedia\SysInternals, or downloaded or run from http://live.sysinternals.com.

After you finish testing an application, if its license is limited, remember to uninstall it from all machines you installed it on.

Who to call

Sande Nissen, in CMC 019, created the test bed and does most of the support of this room. If she's not around and you need help, contact the ITS HelpDesk at x5999. The PEPS group, x7070, installed and maintains the projection system. If something non-essential is not working, please don't ignore it---please contact someone in person or via E-mail to let us know exactly what is broken. ITS will create a WebHelpDesk ticket and get the problem resolved.

If you plan to teach a software application that is not currently installed on the computers where you need it, you have two options: 1) install it temporarily yourself using the accounts described above, or 2) contact Desktop Systems at least a week in advance for an automated installation. All the machines have installed a free utility called Virtual CloneDrive, that makes it possible to mount a .ISO file as though it were another optical drive (F:). Desktop Systems may need to borrow the .ISO or physical media for your software, and they will require licensing information to make sure it's legal to install the software here. Why go through this hassle of contacting Desktop Systems? Because they may already have a KBOX-based installer for the program you need, and the installation on all machines at once may be as simple as a few clicks. Contact Sande Nissen in CMC 019 at x4479 for more information; the other members of Desktop Systems are Rebecca Barkmeier and Troy Barkmeier in CMC 119.

Disclaimer: This information was correct as of when it was created based on Sande's best knowledge. If this page has been edited by anyone else, Sande is not responsible for the accuracy of the information.


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