This page is for new (and not so new!) users of the university-wide student PC Computer network known as PC Caledonia (or just PC Cal). Using a PC Cal workstation is NOT like using a stand alone PC - there are important differences that you need to be aware of if you want to get the most out of this system. What follows are some hints and tips along with explanations that I hope you will find to be of some help!
As with any computer system, the management of your information (ie documents/files and folders) should be one of your main concerns. Here are some questions that we have had to deal with in the past:-
The main reason for never working directly from a floppy disk is actually due to a design flaw in the philosophy of Windows! Let me clarify this point. Most Windows applications (eg Word 97) create and use a hidden 'working copy' of the document in the SAME folder as the one where it loaded the original from. Other operating systems (such as Mac OS X, RISC OS and Unix/Linux) do not suffer from this particular flaw. So, if you do work from a floppy disk, then you are automatically limited to a document size of at most 720k. I have seen some students loose valuable work through not being aware of this fact!
So, use the H: drive - you know it makes sense.
As in any teaching laboratory, there are some good habits that you should adopt - this is what I mean by the phrase "Good working practice". Here are some things to take note of:-
Remember that in a commercial working environment you would encounter even stricter working practices, so why not be positive and learn some good habits now that will be useful to you throughout your career!
From an System Administrator's point of view, when one considers how complex the PC Caledonia system is then it is REALLY AMAZING that for 99% of the time it will perform WITHOUT ANY GLITCHES! However, sometimes there will be problems. That is why you should ALWAYS take time to read the various Messages of the Day which appear just after you log in to the PC Cal system. They are put there for a very good reason ie to inform YOU, the user, of any important system work that might need to be carried out or of any potential problems.
Similarly, if you DO experience a problem with the system then it is vital that you let us know about it. We welcome feedback from users, so here's what to do:-
This help page produced by Dr R. Ferguson