Use of CUED Computing facilities by conferences
Please note that for practical reasons we normally only provide IT support for conferences or workshops where a member of the Engineering Department's staff is involved and can be the contact point.
This document outlines what services are available, and what we are likely to need to know from you if we are to successfully provide computing facilities. However if you are considering running a course, workshop or conference you are recommended to talk to us about your plans and computing requirements as soon as possible. Please contact the helpdesk in the first instance.
The Engineering Department is connected to the Internet by the CUDN, which is itself connected to the UK Academic Network JANET. Any use of network must therefore be in accordance with the acceptable use policies of these networks, and in particular must follow the guidelines for use of CUDN/JANET by Conferences in Cambridge
The easiest service for us to provide is wireless network access for the participants' own laptops. To meet JANET AUP requirements (see above) their access must be authenticated.
Access via visitor tickets
The department currently provides wireless access to visitors who aren't otherwise known to University systems via the University-wide UniOfCam service. This provides a wireless internet connection giving access to most web and email facilities. Certain features are unavailable for use over the UniOfCam: see restrictions for details.
To access UniOfCam delegates and/or demonstrators will need:
- UniOfCam user ID
- UniOfCam Password.
UniOfCam tickets with the above information will normally be issued by the IT Services division in advance of the conference. At least one week's notice should normally be given, though it may be possible to generate small numbers of tickets at shorter notice. Note that the maximum number of UniOfCam accounts that we can provide to a conference/workshop is normally 100, and there may be further restrictions on the number of simultaneous connections from an area.
The following information about each user will be required:
- User's full name.
- User's Affiliation (Name of Employer).
- User's email address
Where a conference organizer is a member of staff at Engineering, it may be possible to delegate issuing of UniOfCam tickets to them, on the strict understanding that the conference organizer is responsible for gathering and recording the required information before handing out the ticket.
eduroam is also available within the department. This allows visitors from other institutions who also participate in eduroam to access the department's WiFi service with no need for any local registration.
Teaching System Access
The Engineering Department Teaching System currently comprises around 120 dual-boot Linux and Windows 7 machines in the DPO. The teaching area in the EIETL contains about 80 dual-boot Linux and Windows 7 machines arranged in 3 clusters. The setup of these systems is designed to facilitate our teaching, and is customized to those requirements. The Linux systems available in both areas have similar configurations, but the Windows machines in DPO and EIETL may have different software available.
Anyone wishing to use these systems to support external teaching, workshops or conferences needs to be aware of the range of software available. It is important to note that most licensed software has restrictions on what it can be used for and may not be available for use by conferences. If you wish to use licenced software you must check the conditions of use.
Anyone wishing to book teaching space in either the DPO or EIETL should contact dpo-bookings. Please note that departmental teaching will always be given priority.
The simplest facility that can be provided is web browsing. Our default browser is Firefox.
To use this facility individuals will normally need to be issued with their own temporary accounts (see below). However in some cases, e.g. where a highly supervised class will be accessing a limited number of web sites for a relatively short period, we may be able to provide a single login which will automatically drop into the web browser: if you wish to do this is is essential that you discuss your requirements with us well in advance.
Use of other software
If more than web-based access is required then we need to know what software is required on which systems. Ideally we should have at least a month's notice of any such requirements, and if possible three months' notice. We may be able to handle simple requirements at shorter notice.
We normally recommend that courses be run by a member of the department who is familiar with our system. Our system configuration is sufficiently different from a standard installation that it would be unwise to assume that an external trainer could come in and just present their course. If external trainers are involved then we strongly recommend that they come and run through the course material on our systems well in advance of the actual course.
IT support staff are normally only available Monday to Friday 08:45 to 17:00. It is not possible to guarantee any support outside these hours. Some parts of the process of setting up and registering accounts require the presence of IT support staff, so course/conference organizers should ensure that registration is arranged for a time when IT staff are available.
It may be possible to arrange cover out of hours for an extra charge, provided that a suitable member of IT staff is willing to attend. However, any such out of hours cover will normally only cover registration and basic support.
We advise that all demonstrations be tested well before the conference starts so that there is time to investigate any compatibility issues which may arise. Some issues may not be resolvable. We recommend that demonstrators (whether internal or external) make arrangements to use one of our course accounts for testing. If internal demonstrators test from their own accounts they may find that the demonstration relies on some personal environmental setup that is not present in the empty course accounts.
Printing from the Teaching System
Printing is not normally available from either wireless visitor accounts or DPO/EIETL course accounts. If printing is required by a course we need at least a week's notice. An arrangement will have to be made for the billing of any significant printing, which will be at standard print charging rates.
Issuing of accounts
Anyone, demonstrator or delegate, who is not a member of the Engineering Department will need to be issued with a course account before they can use our systems. These accounts may only be used by the person to whom they are issued, and may not be shared (for both accountability and technical reasons - some things do not work with shared accounts).
Course account details may only be issued by CUED IT Support Staff, which as noted above should normally be done in working hours.
To prepare course accounts we require the following information a minimum of 5 working days before the conference.
- User's Full Name.
- User's Affiliation (Name of Employer)
- User's email address
There is no fixed schedule of charges for use of IT facilities by workshops, conferences or courses, since in our experience demands and requirements vary widely. Each is considered on a case by case basis, and charges may be waived for a small workshop with minimal resource requirements.
The charges will depend on which services a particular event requires, and will be made up of which of the following are relevant:
- an account setup and registration charge for each delegate;
- a per-delegate per-half-day charge for use of facilities;
- a per-hour charge for Computer Officer time dedicated to the event,
- installation of software specific to the event,
- consultancy before the event,
- supervision and support during the event,
- making printing available for the event,
- any printing charges incurred,
- any charges that we directly incur as a result of providing this service (e.g. if software needs to be purchased or licences upgraded).
Note that where out of hours cover is negotiated there will normally be an extra charge.
Note that in general there is no extra charge for allowing demonstrators and trainers access to sample course accounts on the system in advance of the course in order to test course material.