Computing

PROBE (Departmental File Server)
     Drives
     Computer Desktop (Roaming Profiles)
     Backups
     File Access via the Wireless Network
     File Access from Outside the Department
     Quota Limits
     Recovering Deleted Files
Public Computer

Supercomputing (CLUMEQ)
Help Desk
Email
     Quota Problems?
Network Jacks

Printing
Software
     MATLAB
     Microsoft Products
     Other Products
     Campus Site Licenses (ELMS)
Wireless Networking
Workstations
     Automatic Windows Updates
     Connecting to a Network Jack
     Joining Active Directory


PROBE

PROBE is the departmental file server. It is a computer system run by the department where each BME staff member and student may have a limited amount of storage space to store files during their stay at BME.

To gain access to PROBE please request an application form at the reception desk.

(BME staff: The computer account request form is available here: S:\Biomed\BMED\Services-Technical\Forms .)

Drives

Two drives, Q: and S:, are setup with PROBE whenever you log into a workstation (*); that is, the drives are 'mapped' to PROBE via the computer network.

Q: is your home directory (i.e., your personal storage space.) Only yourself and the PROBE administrators have access to it.
S: is the so-called 'share drive'; it is intended to facilitate file sharing between colleagues. Each lab has its own directory and use of the directory is lab specific. See your lab supervisor for details. File access permissions on folders within this drive may be customized.

Because Q: and S: are mapped network drives they are available to you regardless of the machine you use (*). You may also setup access to these drives from machines not on Active Directory, outside of the department and laptops. Follow this link for instructions.

(*): Provided that the computer is configured to be on Microsoft's Active Directory, as is the case for most workstations that are permanently connected to a network jack.

Computer Desktop (Roaming Profiles)

The typical workstation on Active Directory uses 'roaming profiles,' meaning that a copy of your computer desktop (including, but not limited to, the My Documents folder and internet favorites) is kept on PROBE. This allows you to use different machines and have your desktop roam with you.

Each time you log into a workstation your desktop is synchronized with the copy on PROBE. Changes to your desktop are synchronized again with PROBE when you log off from workstation. (Hence, for PROBE to contain the most current version of your desktop you must log off of your workstation.)

  Synchronization can take a long time when you have large files on your desktop. This translates to a long log-on time.

Backups

PROBE is backed-up daily. Hence, the Q: and S: drives and your desktop are backed-up. Individual workstations are not backed-up.

File Access via the Wireless Network

Follow the instructions indicated in File Access from Outside the Department.

File Access from Outside the Department

To access your files on PROBE from outside of the department one needs to:
 

> Launch a VPN (Virtual Private Network) session.
> Manually map a drive letter to PROBE. (To map your home directory knowledge of your McGill short username is required.)

VPN: For instructions on setting up VPN see the McGill IT web site and search for "VPN".

McGill short username: McGill short usernames are assigned by McGill NCS. The McGill short username is a name that contains the first letter of a user's first name, part of their family name, and an optional number. (E.g., John Milsum might have jmilsu as a short username.)

You may use Minerva to determine your McGill short username. In Minerva go to Personal Menu > Create/Change McGill Password.
  Alternatively, when at the department you may use your Q: drive to determine your McGill short username by clicking on My Computer, as illustrated in the figure to the right.

Mapping a drive letter: Search the web for instructions on how to map a network folder or network share in your operating system.

The folder paths for the Q: an S: drives are given in the following table. (Of course, you may manually map a drive using a drive letter of your choice.)

Drive Folder or Network Share to map
Q: \\probe.campus.mcgill.ca\biomedusers\<McGill short username>
( Example: John Milsum would use \\probe.campus.mcgill.ca\biomedusers\jmilsu )
S: \\probe.campus.mcgill.ca\probeshare

Troubleshooting

If you experience trouble mapping a drive debug the problem as follows.

VPN: If you cannot establish a VPN session contact the Help Desk.

Mapping a drive: If you cannot map the drive try the following debugging steps,

 
  • Open My Computer
  • Type \\probe.campus.mcgill.ca in the Address bar and execute.

The above should either open a login screen or open a window showing some files on PROBE. If it does not,

  • Open My Computer
  • Type \\132.216.18.18 in the Address bar and execute.

If you still get an error message then contact the Help Desk. Otherwise use whichever address works. Note that once the window to PROBE opens you may browse down to your home directory.

Quota Limits

Each user is provided with 5GB of storage space on PROBE. This includes files stored on the Q: drive as well as spaced taken up by the roaming profile (which is used, for one, to store files on your desktop). Please adopt the practice of managing your files to avoid wasting storage.

Many labs have additional storage space on PROBE that is individually managed by the lab. Speak with your lab director to see whether your lab has such storage space.

Recovering Deleted Files

To recover deleted files from backup send a request to rcshelp [at] lists.mcgill.ca.

In your request include the following information:

  • The computer system involved: probe.campus.mcgill.ca
  • The location of the file/directory to restore. Use the following table to specify equivalent locations on PROBE for the "Q:" and "S:" drives.
     
    Drive Specify equivalent location on PROBE
    Q: D:\biomed\users\<McGill short username>
    ( Example: John Milsum would specify Q:\document.txt as D:\biomed\users\jmilsu\document.txt
    )
    S: E:\probeshare
  • The last known date that the file/directory was on PROBE.

Public Computer

There is a public computer in the Electronic Workshop intended for general, short-term use. You may log into this machine using the same user name and password that you use to log into your workstation in your lab. The computer has the following software installed on it:

  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Corel DRAW
  • Microsoft Office

CLUMEQ

CLUMEQ is a research consortium for high performance computing (HPC). For more information click here.

Help Desk

Report problems concerning the departmental printer(s) to services-bme [at] lists.mcgill.ca.
Report problems concerning the public computer to services-bme [at] lists.mcgill.ca.
Other requests for help should be directed to the McGill ICS Help Desk.

You will be directed to different divisions within ICS depending on the nature of the problem and your position at the university. This pdf document explains how help requests are processed. As such, when you call the help desk:

  • Non-administrative staff (e.g., students, academic staff, etc.) should identify themselves as "Biomedical Engineering"
  • Administrative staff should identify themselves as "Biomedical Engineering Admin"

If your problem does not involve Banner, email, Minerva, wireless networking or myCourses, requests can be sent to rcshelp [at] lists.mcgill.ca for faster service.

Email

Email is a centalized service managed by McGill NCS. Please see the McGill IT web page for general information and instructions on how to setup an email reader.

You are encouraged to use the Exchange Server email facility as it provides a unified environment to manage your email, contacts, calendar, and more. Moreover, you will be able to access these features via the web. Everybody at McGill has a mailbox on the Exchange server.

Students should strongly consider listing their email address in the Exchange GAL (global address list.) There are two reasons for this.

  • The Exchange GAL is the primary means by which administrative staff can lookup your email address. By not being listed in the GAL you make it difficult for staff to contact you.
  • In order to be able to setup Outlook as an Exchange Server client you need to be listed in the Exchange GAL.

Staff are listed in the Exchange GAL (global address list) by default.

Note: When an email is sent within the Exchange platform (say, via Outlook setup as an Exchange client) to another user with an Exchange mailbox the email is deposited directly into the recipient's Exchange mailbox. There is no way of redirecting the email. As such, if you do not at least check your Exchange mailbox you may be missing out on some email.

Quota Problems?

Staff may look into using EVault Archiving to free up their quota. Email placed in the archive can still be accessed from Outlook and the web.

Network Jacks

Though McGill NCS manages the campus computer network, requests for LAN jack installation, activation, etc., are handled at the department level. Please contact services-bme [at] lists.mcgill.ca for your computer jack needs.

Printing

Documents may be printed on the color photocopier in the department. The photocopier is part of the uPrint service managed by the university.

For more information on printing black & white and color copies point your web browser to the McGill IT Knowledge Base and search for uPrint.

Software

MATLAB

MATLAB is available for stand-alone installation for faculty, staff, and active Post Doctoral Fellows. Licenses are available through McGill Campus Site Licenses and are obtained individually.

BME students and labs may obtain access to "concurrent" MATLAB, where the computer running MATLAB needs to maintain a network connection to borrow a license from our MATLAB license server. (You may run MATLAB off-campus provided that you first launch a VPN session.) If you wish to use MATLAB under these conditions:

  • Send a request to services-bme [at] lists.mcgill.ca asking for MATLAB access.
  • Include your McGill short user name.
  • Include the name of your supervisor.
  • Indicate whether or not you have access to PROBE.
  • Wait for notification that you have been granted access to the MATLAB license server and, if necessary, to PROBE. You will also be provided with installation instructions.

Microsoft Products

McGill IT Services provides Office 365 ProPlus at no charge to all students, and elligible faculty and staff members. This allows eligible people to install several MS Office applications on personal devices. See McGill IT KB article 5172 for additional information.

Other Products

McGill also has volume licenses for other software, offering a substantial price saving when compared to the commercial retail price. See the McGill IT Services site for details. (Search for "software licensing".)

See also McGill's Software License Center.

Though each lab must purchase required products out of its own budget, some software such as reference managers and anti-virus are free to the McGill community.

Campus Site Licenses

All of McGill University volume-licensed software is available at this site for downloads by faculty, staff, and students at their convenience.

Wireless Networking

Wireless access is a centalized service managed by McGill NCS. Please see the McGill IT web page for more information.

Workstations

For a variety of reasons it is recommended that you do not lock your login session overnight. For instance, system maintenance may be performed overnight and your workstation automatically rebooted! You risk losing any open files.

Automatic Windows Updates

Workstations that are members of Microsoft's Active Directory automatically receive Windows critical patches. As such, your computer may be forced to reboot overnight. (This occurs only when a patch requires a machine reboot to complete installation. Users have no indication whether a patch warrants a machine reboot.) When a critical patch has been installed on your workstation an information bubble pops up from the task bar at your first login after the event.

How updates are managed: NCS evaluates each patch released by Microsoft and selects which ones will be pushed to our workstations for installation.

Not all of the critical patches are pushed down by NCS; for instance Windows Service Packs are not automatically installed though the more critical patches are. Just the same, it is good practice to occasionally check with Windows Update to determine whether there are any patches for your system.

Connecting to a Network Jack

To prevent conflicts with other workstations on the BME network a computer needs to be properly configured.
The ability to browse the internet or use the network is not an indication that your workstation is properly setup.

If the machine is in the Duff building please contact services-bme [at] lists.mcgill.ca.
Otherwise please contact rcshelp [at] lists.mcgill.ca.

Joining Active Directory

To add/remove a computer from Active Directory please contact services-bme [at] lists.mcgill.ca.

By default workstations are put on Active Directory when BME Services connects a computer to a network jack.