This guide is intended for new users of the PC network in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotchnology. In particular, it is aimed at students taking Part I of the Chemical Engineering Tripos, but it is relevant to all new students and staff.
A printed version will be given to new undergraduates, and it can also be read from
The printed version is quite brief, on the assumption that most students will have used computers fairly extensively already. The WWW version includes links to other web pages giving more details. In some sections, these links are for those who are less confident with computers. In other sections, they lead to information needed later in the year.
Within the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, New Museums Site building, there is a PC suite with PCs available for use by all members of the department. There are two rooms. The lower PC suite has a laser printer, a colour laser printer and a colour inkjet printer. The upper PC suite also has a laser printer. All the printers can print A4 and A3.
The hard disk, or drive C:, on these computers contains all the information needed to make your computer and software packages run properly.
You should not store your files on the local hard disk of any public access computer.
The disks are periodically cleaned of any information left there without explicit authorisation. (See the next section to see where you will be allowed to keep your files.)
All PCs have CD or DVD writers. Writable CDs and DVDs are available from the Stores. You may also use a USB data stick (pen drive).
DS is Desktop Services. It is a service that can be used by all staff and students of Cambridge University. It provides networked PCs and Apple Macintosh computers running a wide range of software, together with printers and scanners and a central filestore. There are DS rooms around the university and in some colleges. (It was previously known as the PWF or Public Workstation Facility.)
The PC suite within the department is set up so that you can see your DS filespace and print using the Common Balance. It is not a Managed Cluster, therefore DS software is not available.
The PCs in the PC suite use Windows 7.
First, log on to the computer
Username should be "user"
and password should be "user"
If you want to see your DS filespace, you then have the option to mount the drive using the shortcut on the desktop.
Double click on shortcut MapDSfilestore
Your Username crsid
DS Filestore Password ds/pwf password
Click on Mount Drive – just hitting return won’t work
If you get your password wrong there will be a 30 second delay before you get another chance
The first thing you should do the first time you logon is to change the password that has been assigned to you.
- Start the Putty program
- In the box for Host name, type linux.ds.cam.ac.uk
- Login with your crsid and password
- Type passwd
- At the prompt "Enter login(LDAP) password:", type your current password.
- At the prompt "New Password", type your new password and, when prompted, type your new password again.
Alternatively, you may change your password at a Managed Cluster Site.
Once you have finished you need to logout. Click on
Log off user
Leave the terminal showing the login window, ready for the next user.
If you don't logout you are leaving your work accessible to other people. Someone could delete all your files or use the printing allocation that you have paid for.
Do not shut down or restart the computer.
Please do not lock the workstation as this restricts access to the computer by other people and we frequently find that people lock a workstation and then go away and forget that they have done so.
Printing is available through DS-Print which uses the Common Balance Scheme. The PCs upstairs have been set to print to the laser printer upstairs and the PCs downstairs have been set to print to the printer downstairs, so you should not modify anything to print. The procedure usually involves selecting PRINT from your application menu.
All printing to public printers is charged for at the rates given in the following table:
|Printer||Cost for A4||Cost for A3|
|black and white laser printer||5p||10p|
|colour laser printer||20p||40p|
The first time that you print for each session, you will be prompted to enter your username (crsid) and password (DS password). Where it asks "Remember" you should select "Until I logout".
To make sure you have enough credit, go to web page http://www.ds.cam.ac.uk/balance/. You will be asked for crsid and Raven password.
You may top up your printing balance using your credit card or you may pay in cash at Computing Service Reception. More information on how to pay.
If you try to print and either nothing comes out of the printer or the page does not print as you expected, please check the following.
- Which printer did you send the job to? Some computers are set up to be able to print to more than one printer.
- Is there any paper in the printer? If not get some paper from the Computer Officers and fill the tray.
- Toner low? This message will not stop jobs from being printed. The laser printers start to show the Toner low message long before any loss of quality is noticeable. Toner cartridges are expensive and we will always try to get the most out of one before replacing it.
- Page size. The printers are set up to reject any job with page size other than A4 or A3. Check that your document is not US letter or other size.
- Do you still have credit in your printing account? Check your balance.
- Are you very close to your allowed filespace limit?
The PCs in the PC suite use Windows 7. Most of you will have used Windows before and it has extensive help text, but see the Basics of Windows 7 if you are not already familiar with the basic commands.
To run programs , click on
and then select the program.
The PCs all have Internet Explorer. To run this program, click on the desktop icon or
The department has a web site at http://www.ceb.cam.ac.uk.
The IT support pages link to more information on the computer facilities in this department. If you have a problem with the computers, or don't know how to do something, please look here before asking your Computer Officers. For some of the material, you need your crsid and Raven password.
The recommended method for reading your e-mail is the webmail service. This is a way of accessing your e-mail using a Web browser, from any Internet-connected computer. The service is available at https://webmail.hermes.cam.ac.uk/ and Computer Services publish a leaflet called the Introduction to Webmail.
Later, during project work, the web will be useful for Literature and information searches. You will need the Department Library, the University library, http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/, which has an on-line catalogue, LibrarySearch, and WoK, the Web of Knowledge, http://wok.mimas.ac.uk. WoK requires your Raven password.
Using the network, it is possible to access computers outside the department (and outside Cambridge) from PCs in the PC suite.
To access machines outside of the department:
The window shown to the right will appear. If you wish to access hermes, click on hermes (underneath Stored Sessions) and click on Load. The Host Name and Port will be filled in for you and the Protocol selected. Then click on Open.
FTP = File Transfer Protocol. You might use FTP to copy files from another computer to your file space here, or vice versa. However, there are security issues associated with some FTP servers.
It is safer to use a secure file transfer client (e.g. WinSCP or MacSFTP) to access your files. See http://www.cam.ac.uk/cs/filetransfer/ for details. WinSCP is available on PCs in the PC suite.
It is not possible to access the Hermes mailstore in this way and you should use Hermes Webmail.
To access your Desktop Services filespace, please see http://www.ucs.cam.ac.uk/desktop-services/ds-filestore/access
The software available on the public access PCs in the department is listed on http://www.ceb.cam.ac.uk/pages/software-in-use-in-the-department.html
All the software programs are run from the local C: drives of the computers in the PC suite, so if you work on a computer elsewhere, then that computer needs to already have the software installed on it.
The department now has a license for Mathematica which enables members of the department to install it on their home computers. For more information, see http://www.ceb.cam.ac.uk/pages/mathematica.html
You have full rights into your own directory space, so there you can create, read, modify and delete files or directories as you please. You don't have any such rights into any other user's directory. You are not normally even allowed to list the contents of their directories. For shared group space you should consider a Camtools worksite.
You will each be allocated 2GB of filespace on the PWF/DS.
You may apply to request more space, but you will be asked to give reasons.
All PCs in the PC suite have VirusScan installed on them which should pick up most viruses. If VirusScan informs you that one of your files has a virus, please report this to one of the Computer Officers (Jim or Vanessa) immediately. There have been several very nasty viruses around lately and we take the threat of viruses very seriously. If you get one, tell us straight away and let us try to stop it before it spreads to the rest of the department.
More information on viruses can be found on http://www.cam.ac.uk/cs/security/malware/
The Department does not have a department photographer, but we have a digital camera which gives good results for non-specialist photography. For anything that cannot be captured by the digital camera, the Photography and Illustration Service should be contacted. P and IS can also assist in making posters for conferences. See http://www.cam.ac.uk/cs/pandis/ for more details.
For image processing, there is a networked PC in the lower PC suite where you may use Adobe Photoshop. That PC is linked to a scanner.