Classroom Computer FAQ

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Who can use the installed computer?

Instructors and Teaching Assistants can use the installed computer for credit-generating activities. Room and equipment usage fees may apply to other uses of the computer. To request a fee schedule, contact Classroom Technology & Events at 206-543-9900.

How do I logon to the classroom computer?

Instructors and Teaching Assistants may use their UW NetID and password to access classroom computers for credit-generating teaching activities.

What classrooms have installed computers?

Classrooms with computers administered by CTE:

How can I reserve a room that has computers for every student?

Classroom Technology & Events maintains three computer classrooms in Mary Gates Hall that are specially designed to support computer-based instruction, experimental education, and student collaboration. To schedule a quarter-long, credit-generating class in MGH 030, MGH 044, or MGH 058, please contact Room Assignments.

What software is installed on the classroom computers?

  • Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit
  • Microsoft Office 2010 Enterprise
  • MS Remote Desktop Connection
  • MS Internet Explorer
  • FireFox
  • Google Chrome
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Adobe Shockwave Player
  • Sun Java Runtime
  • Turning Point 5
  • VideoLan VLC Player
  • Windows Media Player
  • WinSCP (secure FTP)

Can Instructors install software on a classroom computer?

Some software programs run without needing to install them. Users can run these programs on the classroom computers as long as the program is legally licensed. An example of such program is ImageViewer, which is used by the Art School.

Some software programs must be installed. The Windows security profile prevents users installing these types of software programs. A CTE System Administrator can install these types of programs if all the terms of the software license can be met, and if the program passes stability testing.

Standard turn around time for software program installation is ten business days. Standard turn-around time for minor features that are already a part of the master computer image, including but not limited to foreign language input components, is five business days. Please note: We do not provide technical support for foreign language input.

If a program is not part of the standard computer image provided by CSS, we may consider adding to the image. Changes to the standard computer image occur once a quarter for MGH computer labs, and once a year for desktop computers located in classrooms.

How can an instructor get software installed on a classroom computer?

The software must be installed by a CSS System Administrator and only when the following criteria are met:

  • The software must be something that we can add to the master computer image.
  • The requesting party must provide proof of a valid license and meet all conditions of the license agreement.
  • Software must be provided to Classroom Technology & Events for testing prior to installation. The software will be tested for stability on a model system. If it does not appear to be stable, it will not be installed on the instructor workstation.
  • Classroom Technology & Events will not support these applications. You must get support from your department.
  • Classroom Technology & Events cannot guarantee that the application will be available once installed -- the hard disks are clones of a master image and in the event of a system failure, or the need critical updates, the old disk is removed and a new disk is installed. The software would obviously be missing until it is re-installed.
  • If there is any question about legitimate licensing, support or stability, Classroom Technology & Events reserves the right to refuse the installation.

Why are my documents, bookmarks and shortcuts missing?

There are two reasons why files or personalized settings could be missing. The first reason is that personal profiles are automatically removed to conserve disk space. A user's personal profile is automatically removed from the computer if it has not been used for 90 days.

The second reason that files or personalized settings could be missing is that the computer may have been re-imaged. Re-imaging replaces all the files on the computer to a standard configuration used by all classroom computers.

Classroom computers are periodically re-imaged to incorporate changes to the operating system and its configuration. They are also re-imaged if we receive a report of hardware or software problems.

Where can I safely store documents on the classroom computer?

Classroom Technology & Events makes no guarantees regarding data or programs files that are stored or installed on the classroom computers. Classroom computer users are encouraged NOT to store important files on the computer itself unless they have a backup copy of those files on other readily available media or portable storage devices such as a CD or flash memory drive. Classroom computers can be re-imaged or replaced without notice.

If classroom computer users do store data on a classroom computer, please do so in the "My Documents” directory, which is located on the “C” drive. Please do not store more than 200MB of files on a classroom computer.

Please be aware that computer maintenance often requires CSS to re-imaging classroom computer hard drives. Re-imaging replaces all the files on the computer to a standard configuration used by all classroom computers. This means that your data files will be lost forever.

Does the computer have a CD player?

All classroom computers have CD players. Music CDs can be played on the computer. Instructors are strongly urged to test any CDs before using them in the classroom computers to be certain that they will work. Testing is especially important if the CDs are not commercially produced, e.g., they have been burned with a CD-Writer.

Does the computer have a DVD Player? Can I play movies on it?

Most classrooms have a dedicated DVD player located in the podium. We recommend that this DVD player be used to play DVD movies.

Classroom computers have DVD players too. VideoLan, also known as VLC media player, is the program that is installed for playing DVDs on the computer. VLC is a free cross-platform media player that supports a large number of multimedia formats without the need for additional codecs. Vista: Play a DVD Movie provides instructions for playing DVD movies on classroom computers running the Windows Vista Operating System.

Instructions for using VLC are located at

We do not recommend using DVDs that aren't commercially produced. Instructors are strongly urged to test any DVDs before using them in the classroom computers to be certain that they are compatible with the installed decoder software and also to check that the sound and picture quality are satisfactory. This is especially important if an instructor is trying to use a home-burned DVD.

Should I log out when I'm finished with the classroom computer?

Yes. When an instructor is finished with the computer, they should close all open programs, and then log out. To log out, press the CTRL+ALT+DEL keys and click the “Log off” button from the choices that are available. Another window will appear asking “Are you sure you want to log off?” Choose “Yes”. Logging out clears all changes made, keeps the computer on and ready for the next user to log on. To log back on, clear the “authorized use only” banner, enter your UWNetID and passphrase, and click “O.K.”. If you are the last person to be using the computer, please choose "Shutdown."

How do I access the "classrooms" file server from my office computer?

The short answer is, you don't. If you need to move files from your office computer to a classroom computer, we suggest using your Homer account as temporary storage depot. You can move files from your office computer to Homer using the SSH Secure FTP program (SSH 3.2.0). In the classroom, you can move files from Homer to the classroom computer, or the classroom server, using the SSH FTP program. This program is installed on all classroom computers. It can also be downloaded as part of the UWICK "Starter Set" from

Do I need to be assigned a passphrase if I use my own laptop computer in a classroom?

The answer is no, but you must be a UW Faculty, Staff, or Student with a valid UWNetID in order to gain access to non-UW internet sites in certain buildings. UT IT has additional access requirements in the Electrical Engineering Building, Savery Hall, Fisheries Science, Savery Hall, Mary Gates Commons and in the Libraries Building to secure the campus networks and public accessible ports. For more information on this subject, please e-mail UW IT's service desk:,

Why won't the graphs on my PowerPoint presentation show up on the installed computer?

Usually this is because your presentation was created with a Macintosh version of PowerPoint. External objects, such as graphs and charts, do not transfer very well between PowerPoint for Windows and PowerPoint for Macintosh. To make your presentation work on either Windows or Macintosh, you need to convert them from "graphs" to "drawings". This is easy to do, but you will lose any underlying datasheets:

Open your presentation on your Macintosh. Select the graph, then click the "Draw" toolbar button, and click "Ungroup". You will probably get a warning about losing the embedded data, click "Yes". Then click "Draw" again, and click "Group".