Welcome to Computing at the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences!
The department has dedicated staff and various resources to meet the ever growing computing needs of the department. This includes hardware, software, network resources and support staff to help in the day to day life of the department for teaching, research and administration. The primary departmental staff member is Hugh Chou, who is available to provide daily support on all aspects of your computing needs. Hugh's typical availability hours are 7:45am to 4:15pm daily during the school year, a little later during the summer. The department computing policies and resources are overseen by a departmental computer committee, comprised of departmental faculty and staff, headed by Slava Solomatov.
Some labs and areas have there own specific people who maintain their computing systems, and they should be contacted directly:
|Remote Sensing Laboratory||Primary: Lars Arvidson|
Secondary: Tom Stein
|Seismology Laboratory||Primary: Patrick Shore|
Secondary: Hugh Chou
|GIS Lab (183) & Classroom (308)||Primary: Bill Winston|
Secondary: Aaron Addison
|All Other Areas:||Hugh Chou||5-4012||hugh@levee|
The GIS Classroom is located in Room 308, the GIS Teaching Lab is in Room 183. The classroom consists of 22 Dell Optiplex 7010 i7 desktop systems with 16GB RAM all running Windows 7 Professional. Contact Bill Winston if you would like more information or to reserve the space.
The Undergraduate Student Rooms are located on the third floor, rooms 393 and 394, and consist of two Dell systems running Windows XP for E&PS major undergraduate student use. One system is equipped with a flatbed scanner, and there is also a printer available. The rooms are kept locked and students will need the room key for access to those systems.
In Room 308 there is a Xerox Phaser 7400 color laserwriter for use with the GIS workstations. Print jobs are processed through the Papercut system and will be billed to the user's Campus Card account. In Room 222 there are two departmental printers available: a HP LaserJet 4200tn printer named chert that prints duplex black and white pages, and a HP Color Laserjet 4600dn for faculty and staff use. Everyone should always print to the black and white printers and not the color one when possible since the color pages are quite expensive! There is also a networked HP LaserJet 400 Color M451dn in the first floor office area. Let us know if you want to network your computer to these printers.
Departmental Computing Resources:
- E-Mail Accounts: All new students, faculty and staff now receive e-mail addresses on Office 365. However, many existing department faculty and staff have a full e-mail account on the main department server levee.wustl.edu. This provides a spam and virus filtered e-mail address, plus backed up file storage and web directory space for class or research work. Graduate students can receive an alias which gives them a @eps.wustl.edu address forwarded to any e-mail account desired. Anyone can have your LEVEE e-mail forwarded to Office 365 or GMail or some other mail provider if you like. Account requests can be sent via this online form and aliases can be requested here. There is also a URL for accessing webmail on levee. E-Mail Us for more info.
- Software: The department has some good deals for many popular packages through The Software Library and also directly with En Pointe. We have purchased multiple licenses of Trend Micro Antivirus for all departmental (not personal) computers or can direct you towards free anti-virus solutions for personal systems (like Microsoft Security Essentials). Microsoft Office is available free for anyone (but students and staff must access it differently). Other software is available for discounted prices as well. For more information visit our software page. We also have CD's for many free packages and Linux distributions available for folks to borrow. Also try our secret website full of handy dandy free software. Don't bother trying to access certain directories outside of the department, it will not work!!
- Computer Purchases: We can help you select computer systems and peripherals for whatever need may arise. (We have even been known to help with personal purchases!) We can help you find the best deals, although those can also be found at the WashU Purchasing site. Our preferred vendors for computers are Dell (Member# US11190783) and Apple (which can also be purchased at the Campus Bookstore.) Look here for Personal Dell Purchases. For accessories and peripherals we typically use CDW-G or NewEgg. Locally we purchase components at the Micro Center in Brentwood. Other preferred vendors with special discounts for us include Insight and GovConnection. For computer supplies, you can also get some good prices from Corporate Express/Staples, which you can order through the Marketplace at the AISystem web site.
If you are dirt poor and looking to buy a computer (yes, I am talking to the grad students here!) you can purchase a used computer for virtually nothing online at Uloop or via the St. Louis Craigslist. You can also try the Micro Center in the Brentwood Promenade which sells both refurbished and new systems (and just about everything else too). You can also visit a used dealer like The Computer Resale Store (2249 S. Brentwood, 962-8400) or EPC in St. Charles. EPC sells many of their used PCs for a steal via eBay. The place in Brentwood is much smaller, but sells systems ready to go with software re-installed.
- Technical Support: We are here to serve. Any problems, complaints or questions, let us know. If you bother us too much with stupid Windows problems, we will simply start pushing Linux on everybody. We try to respond to any request made between 8:00am to 4:00pm on business days within 24 hours, but are typically faster than that. After 4:15pm you had better bribe me with food, or expect to hear me say "And why are you asking me now?"
- Printer Supplies: The department cheerfully supplies laser printer toner cartridges for any lab in the department. We no longer support inkjet printers. Our vendor also will recycle any used, empty toner cartridges, simply leave them under the delivery table in the main office. Let us know what supplies you need and we can usually get them in 1-2 days. Our preferred toner vendor is Office Essentials (via Marketplace) for toner. We also have a toner and service contract with Copying Concepts for our more heavily used networked laser printers. Please let us know when any printer with a Copying Concepts tag needs service or more toner.
- Classroom Computer Projectors: There are ceiling mounted projectors in 102, 112, 184, 203, 204, 281, 282, 308 and 333. Classrooms 102, 203 and 282 are run by the Teaching Center and they should be contacted about those systems (although we can help out in a pinch.) Rooms 184 and 204 now each have a PC, DVD/VCR, and projector which seems to be working well (204 also has a document camera). Room 112 has a ceiling projector which can be connected to any laptop or the old desktop on the cart in the room. Room 333's projector is connected to a Dell PC in the room, but can also be connected to any laptop. If you need speakers to watch a DVD movie in 333, just let us know in advance. Contact Hugh for assistance using those systems. The 281 projector is supported by Tom or Lars in the Remote Sensing lab. For other rooms, one Optoma (a portable 2000 lumen 1024x768 DLP Projector) is available for checkout. See Katherine to borrow it. Robert also has a portable XGA projector purchased from a Space grant that can be used for educational purposes.
- Remote Access: We used to have dial-up access available for free, but come on, it is not 1994 any more! You should really get broadband Internet access at home. You can, however, FTP or SSH into levee from anywhere on the Internet, but it will only give you 5 password attempts before blocking your IP address!
- Personal Webspace: Any faculty or staff member can have space on LEVEE for a personal website. Any student who wants a site can request a LEVEE account for web space and I can set it up for you too. Your personal webspace on levee is in the directory public_html in your home directory. This is accessed using the URL:
http://epsc.wustl.edu/~usernamePlease do not place gigantic images, movies or PDF files there since not everybody has a big fat pipe to the Internet like we do here at Wash U. If you want a fancy domain name like geodude.wustl.edu we can set that up as well if the name has not been taken and it serves some real purpose. As for content, you get to be creative but please refrain from being too political or commercial. This is a university after all. Also note that all the content on the main departmental site (eps.wustl.edu) can be updated by Randy or Hugh, so you can contact any of us to make changes on your page. Arts & Sciences maintains the hardware and software that runs it, but we can add whatever cool stuff we want there.
- Building Networking: Some folks think all of the ports on the walls of the modernly equipped Scott Rudolph Hall are all live. Those people are wrong! There are nearly 2,000 network jacks built into the walls but less than 1,000 live ports on all our switches combined. If you want to connect a system to our network you must tell us what port you want to become active (e.g. 1234 N1). By default when you plug in to a live port you will be dynamically assigned an IP address, but it you want a static IP just ask and we can assign one to your specific machine (desktops, workstations and servers only please.)
- Wireless Networking: Our lovely building is currently a wifi hotspot hosting over 60 Cisco access points (SSID values of: wustl-2.0, wustl-encrypted-2.0, wustl-guest-2.0) flooding everywhere. Anyone with a WUSTL Key and a laptop with a 802.11b/g/n compatible wireless adapter (or any wifi capable tablet, smartphone or mobile device) should be able to access one of the wireless networks. You will need a laptop with the properly installed and configured software or an iOS or Android mobile device to use the secured wustl-encrypted-2.0 network. This is the most secure network and should be used for sending sensitive or personal data. The wustl-2.0 network should be fine for most general use for anyone with a WUSTL Key. Anyone without a WUSTL Key can use the wustl-guest-2.0 network, but should realize it is bandwidth limited and is not secured. It should still be fine for casual browsing and low security use. NSS provides the campuswide wireless service and they have some nice pages on setting up your computer or mobile device. Many visitors from other institutions can also connect to the eduroam SSID and connect using their own institutions' authentication protocols. I know it works well for people from Saint Louis University and Mizzou.
Backups Backing up your data is very important. We backup everybody's e-mail on the LEVEE e-mail server, but to allow it to work you must set your POP3 clients to leave the mail on the server for at least one day, or do not delete your mail from your Inbox for at least one day. Another easy way to backup your e-mail is to set up a GMail or Yahoo! account and send a copy to that account. We can help set that up for you if you need assistance. With today's giant hard drives on every PC, the department does not have the resources to backup everybody's computers. The backup of your document and data files is therefore your own responsibility, but we have several recommendations:
- Box.wustl.edu - Wash U IT is offering this new collaboration/file sharing tool which also provides backup capabilities for small collaborative projects with unlimited online storage. All the files shared online are backed up and available for remote access from anywhere.
- External USB Drive - Many people do not trust online backup so they can stick to a hardware based solution. That means an USB external hard drive or flash drive large enough to hold your essential documents. Most drives comes with some kind of backup software, but there are also free alternatives we can suggest.
- Microsoft OneDrive: The university Office 365 accounts also come with a OneDrive account. Does anybody really use OneDrive? Who, maybe all those Bing users? I did not think so. Since WUSTL Box is unlimited and has better sharing and access control features, it is better to use Box.
If you have any questions you can visit Room 289, call Hugh at 5-4012, or e-mail me.
For most people: Office 365 Webmail Access
Old-timers only: LEVEE Webmail Access