KB – FAQ

Map N drive Windows

Click on File Explorer the little folder on the task bar

In the left hand column find the icon for This PC and right click on it and select Map Network Drive

In the box that pops up change the Drive letter to N

Then in the folder path enter \\cnrdom.colostate.edu\wcnr-network

check the boxes for reconnect at sigh in and also connect using different credentials then click finish

in the box that pops up there is a box for user name and password right under that it will say the domain name

If the domain says CNRDOM then all you need to do is enter your WCNR user name and password, most likely the same as your eid

If the domain says something other than CNRDOM then the user name has to be cnrdom\your user name

This should connect up the N drive for you

Map N drive on Mac

For a Mac it must be set up and configured for you to have access to the network drive.

You have to open finder and then in the top menu click on GO and then click on connect to server.

In the box that pops up enter smb://COLOSTATE;ename@cnrdom.colostate.edu/wcnr-network

Hit the plus next to the box and it will save the address for you

Then hit the connect button and in the box that pops up for your user name enter cnrdom\wcnr user name

Some times with newer versions of the OS it will take just the user name without the cnrdom\

And then use your WCNR password

You can select the option to save user name and password then click on the connect button and this should get you connected to the N drive.

Setup ARCGis in VirtualBox:

  • Get a copy of VirtualBox
  • Get a copy of Windows 10 ISO
    • colostate.edu/dreamspark
    • Click on link for ‘WCNR DreamSpark WebStore”
    • Login with you eName and Password
    • Agree to License agreement (Software only for education use)
    • Click Windows 10 product and express checkout
      • Fill out required information
    • Download 64x option

New VM settings:

30 GB Hard drive (flexible allotment)

4 GB RAM

Reedit after saving:

Increase cores to ‘2’

Set ISO file (wind10) for virtual cdrom drive

Change chipset to second option

Start VM

Run through defaults, Select ‘Custom Install’.

For product key, go to page link in dreamspark receipt in email.

After windows 10 installation completes.

Insert ‘Guest additions’ CD from virtual box. This will install paravirtualization drivers for improved scaling.

Now you are done.

SSH client options

Connection to Linux applications via X-Window system:

Windows: 

Windows client would use Xming (http://sourceforge.net/projects/xming) and a SSH client such as PUTTY (http://www.putty.org/).

“​​Launch Putty and enable X11 forwarding by enabling Enable X11 forwarding under the Tunnels options. The Tunnels options is located here: Under the Category panel expand Connection, then expand SSH and finally click on Tunnels.”

Best documentation of configuration I’ve found is located here:

http://www.eecs.yorku.ca/tdb/_doc.php/userg/login/x11-from-home.html

Apple:

Setting up X window sessions:

The X-Windows system allows you to tunnel Linux applications to your mac. It’s kind of (not really) similar to virtual applications on a Microsoft RemoteApp server.

X-Windows relies on an x11 library (installed by default on Mac computers) however it needs an application to grab the tunnel information from terminal. Here is how we suggest doing this:

  1. Install xQuartz (https://www.xquartz.org)
    1. This will require a reboot of the computer when completed.
  2. Remote to a linux workstation/server that has a graphic interface installed (not all servers do) using the following syntax:
    1. ssh -X username@servername.warnercnr.colostate.edu
    2. please note the capital ‘X’ tag.
  3. Provided there are no errors this should look just like a regular ssh session. To test it attempt to run an X-window application.
    1. Type ‘gedit’ and hit enter. You should have a notepad-like application run.
  4. Other X-window applications include: gedit, gimp, mathlab

Linux:

  • Open terminal “ssh –XC <servername>”

Once connection has been established per above OS specific directions, type in the name od an X compatible Linux application such as ‘gedit’ or ‘mathlab’.

Device Replacement Guidelines

WCNR IT suggest the following guideline to assist in decisions regarding the replacement, repair, and estimated lifecycle of Apple devices.

Estimated Lifecycle:

All computer devices have a finite lifetime. This lifetime can be determined by OS and software support of the hardware or simply the age at which the hardware is most likely to fail. When planning lifecycle costs for your department be mindful of the following:

  • OS X/macOS versions are typically backwards compatible approximately 6 years. After this time, the hardware will not support the newest OS, security updates or even some applications.
  • Consumer harddrives have a general life expectancy of 4 years with normal use. At 3-4 years there is an uptick in the likelihood of harddrive failure.

Replacement vs Repair:

WNCR IT is committed to providing cost and time effective sustainable solutions for our clients. Below list additional guidelines when deciding on replacement vs repair.

  • 4-5 years of service from a computing device is typically an apt time to consider replacement. At this time frame:
    • Likelihood of hardware failure increases.
    • Substantial device improvements are usually available after 4-5 years. (Faster disks (SSD), faster RAM (DDR4), etc)
    • Provides advance planning time for new OS or applications in case of compatibility concerns.
  • If the repair is minor, 3-4 years is an ideal time to consider small upgrades to gain additional use. Small upgrades include:
    • RAM upgrades
    • Harddrive upgrades (spinning disk to ssd)

Important Considerations:

  • As your device falls out of warranty and grows in age it is important to consider the following:
    • Probability of data loss increases. If you do not already have a backup plan in place please contact WCNR IT for available options and assistance setting one up.
    • Probability of downtime increases, should a critical device component fail the device will be out of service of an extended period of time. Factors include cost/shipping of parts, service/repair time, type of failure.
    • Lastly, please do not hesitate to reach out to WCNR IT for advice regarding your computer equipment. We can assist in troubleshooting further the nature of device issue to determine if it is software or hardware based. Additionally, we can assist in the resolution of most software issues.

Mac Vs Windows Purchasing Decisions

When making purchasing decisions it is always important to make cost-effective solutions that will support your workflow. This document is to help cover key points when deciding between an Apple or Windows workstation. This is by no mean comprehensive but will hopefully cover any major considerations.

Comparing Oranges to Oranges:

When picking a computer, the easiest way to compare or contrast the systems are typically by reviewing hardware specifications. These specifications include:

  • processor type (eg intel i5, i7)
  • RAM type (DDR3, DDR4)
  • RAM size (4 gb, 8 gb, 16 gb)
  • harddrive (ssd or spinning disk)
  • Screen size or resolution

Other considerations include:

Warranty length:

All computers are subject to hardware failure either through manufacturing or utilization. Be mindful of warranty length to safeguard against unexpected repair costs.

Lifecycle cost

On average computers last approximately 4 years (this is applicable to both Mac and Windows computers). During that length of time the Total Cost of Ownership includes initial cost, software, hardware upgrades, warranties, and accessories for the device.

Software compatibility:

Windows computers have the largest range of compatibility with applications and various document formats. This is largely due to the majority of business networks running Microsoft products.

Mac also has compatibility but with slight differences or workarounds sometimes required. Microsoft Office can be installed on Mac however it is not developed/release as frequently and may lag in features. Many statistical applications only work in windows and may require the Mac to have a Windows subsection. This can be inconvenient to some clients that rely heavily on these applications essentially adding extra steps to their workflow.

Summer 2016 Lifecycle cost estimates:

Windows Laptop (~$700): HP ProBook 440 G3. Intel i5, 500 GB hard disk drive, 8 gb ddr3 (with 3 year warranty)

Apple Laptop (~$1200): MacBook Pro Retina 13″ 128GB. Intel i5, 128 gb SSD, 8gb ddr3 ram (with 1 year warranty)

Windows Desktop (~$603.00): 3.2ghz intel i5, 4 gb ram, 500gb disk (with mouse/keyboard and 3yr warranty, no monitor)

Apple Desktop (~$1050.00): iMac 21.5” 1.6ghz intel i5, 8gb ram, 1tb 5400rpm hard disk (With monitor and 1 year warranty, no mouse/keyboard)

Bottom line:

It’s difficult to decide between all the amazing computer options available these day.

From a personal standpoint be mindful of the applications you consistently use and documents you share with your coworkers to get work done. Choosing a platform that fits your workflow can make everything run more smoothly.

From a departmental budget standpoint, all computers (Apple or Windows) have a suggested lifecycle of approximately 4 years.  Windows computers are sometimes cheaper with respect to modular replacement (replacing desktop only) and length of warranty (usually 3 years). Apple computers are also excellent machines provided they fit your employee’s workflow and the department is conscientious of the differences.  Please not it is by no means makes good budgetary sense to use an Apple computer while constantly using a Windows emulator or virtual machine to get work done. These are types of workarounds are computationally less efficient and add to the cost and complexities of ownership.

New Employee Information

– Once the new employee has an eID (eid.colostate.edu) please have them visit https://accounts.warnercnr.colostate.edu to create a WCNR account. They may set any password, however most folks just utilize their eID password.

– Department Share access:
In order to provide permissions to the share we require approval from the Data Custodian. This is usually the PI for the research project or a department head. Once we have received written approval we can process your request. If you have any questions or trouble finding the data custodian please reply back.
If you are a department head or PI making this request for someone, please provide their Name and eID if you have not done so already.

– N Drive Resources:
Each employee with an active WCNR account receives N drive access. This drive contains departmental shares as well as ‘My Files’. This 30 GB directory is not shareable and is private to each employee. We strongly encourage the use of our Network storage for important or shared data as it is regularly backed up.

– New Computer Requests:
Please consult your local IT staff for any purchasing recommendations. All new Windows computer requests should include Windows Professional to ensure optimal network compatibility. All new Mac laptops typically require the purchase of an additional dongle for video or network support.

– Using your local computer:
Please contact us for questions regarding your local computer or additional software. Please remember your local computer’s data is not backed up. For data backups please consider utilizing our N: Drive storage or a paid subscription Crashplan.

– Safety tips:
If you receive and email or see a web page that appears untrustworthy please remember to reach out to us before clicking, downloading, or installing. IT staff will never request your username or password.

Is my Mac compatible with High Sierra?

If you have the following model of Mac, you can download and install macOS High Sierra:

  • Mac Pro (mid 2010 or newer)
  • iMac (late 2009 or newer)
  • Mac mini (mid 2010 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (mid 2010 or newer)
  • MacBook (late 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (late 2010 or newer)

If your Mac is older than any of the models listed above, it isn’t compatible with macOS High Sierra.

If I’m not compatible, should I buy a new Mac computer?

WCNR is subject to University IT Policies and Standards. As such, please refer to the University Standards for Desktop Software found here: https://www.acns.colostate.edu/media/sites/100/2016/08/Desktop-Software-Standards.pdf

As of the time of this email, OSX 10.10 (Yosemite) or older is out of Support and hardware that cannot be upgraded to 10.11 (El Capitan) or above should be considered for upgrades.

Apple notes that OS X El Capitan runs on the following Mac categories:

  • iMac (Mid-2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)

How do I find my Mac’s model and year?

Apple provides helpful instructions here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201300