I'm New. What Do I Need to Know?
The information on this page is aimed at new graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty members. Visitors will find some of this information helpful, but should also look at the Visitors section of the FAQ.
Your departmental computer account gives you access to the department workstations, servers and printers. You should have received your username, password and some general information on a sheet of paper from the office staff or a pdf file from the sysadmins.
You will want to get your campus computer account (MAC ID) activated so that you can use campus systems such as univmail, the undergraduate labs and the MacSecure wireless network.
Wireless is available in Hamilton Hall and almost all other campus buildings (and much of the outdoors) via the MacSecure network; you will need to have your MAC ID activated in order to use it. You may plug your laptop into a physical connection in your office once you have registered it with RHPCS, though you may need a network switch first since most offices have only one or two network ports.
People can send mail to you at firstname.lastname@example.org or Firstname.Lastname@math.mcmaster.ca.
Spam filtering is activated automatically; each Sunday, a review of the previous week's filtering activity is email to you.
Your web address is http://ms.mcmaster.ca/Firstname.Lastname. Put your web files in the folder public_html on ms (or your linux workstation). You can also have a course site separate from your personal site. RHPCS can set up a WordPress or mediawiki site for personal, research group or course use, if you'd like.
Most graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and visiting researchers will have use of a linux workstation with file space on the central server. Faculty may choose to have RHPCS maintain their linux or OS X workstation.
There are several shared laser printers in Hamilton Hall; the Departmental Printers page has full details - models, features, locations, restrictions and instructions for laptop access. The department will bill you for use beyond a threshold; details here. The HPLJ 4345 outside of HH-303 is the main shared printer and is also a high-speed, two-sided scanner which will email PDF files to you.
There is a broad range of general and scientific applications on the linux workstations and the computer servers, including OpenOffice (Microsoft Office compatible suite), LaTeX, R, MATLAB, Maple, gcc.
Support for research systems (including the main file server, email server and web server) is provided by Research & High Performance Computing Support; support for instructional computing is provided by University Technology Services and the Centre for Leadership in Learning; support for general computing, including the campus email service, the network and MacSecure wireless, is provided by UTS. Yes, that's a little confusing; there's a story behind it; ask me over coffee sometime.
See the Math & Stats Computing Resources web site for an overview of campus computing support and much more information about research computing, including the latest news and announcements (also published on the Computing News blog). You might want to check the FAQ, too.