No, you cannot save documents or install/remove software onto WIT student PCs.
Many people have home computers or laptops. Generally there are very few users of these particular systems - mainly the owner themselves and/or the immediate family. Access to home computers is usually unrestricted and the owner/users can store documents, music, photos, etc, wherever they want on the system - this is usually on the hard disk or the C drive as it is also known of the computer.
However, here in the Institute, there are many hundreds of computers constantly being accessed by many thousands of users. Imagine how full the hard disk (C drive) would be after even one day of use! For security reasons and to protect the computers, the hard disks are "locked" to prevent users from storing information to them. Users cannot install software onto the computers nor can they remove software.
Because students cannot save information onto WIT student PCs, he/she must store files elsewhere. Students can store information on centralised storage devices commonly referred to as the "G drive" but there is a limit to how much they can store. Information can also be stored on various types of removable media throughout the Institute namely:
- USB sticks (also called memory sticks, flash drives),
- Portable hard disks,
The majority of users now choose to copy files to USB sticks as these are very portable BUT also very delicate and easily damaged if you are not careful with them. They can also be easily lost as they are quite small. A USB stick has many names -it is also called a pen drive, a memory stick, a memory pen or flash drive They are quite small -usually they are about 5cms in length by 1 to 1.5cms in width. They fit into the USB slot on the back and/or front of the computer.
Please note though that USB sticks should only be used to TRANSPORT information from one computer to another. They really should not be used as the main source of backup storage especially for important data such as your thesis, photos, etc.
Also make sure that you have more than one copy of important work (thesis, projects, etc). Because USB sticks are so small, they can be lost easily. Never keep one copy only of a project/thesis – ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have at least three copies at a time and keep one of those on your own computer.
USB sticks though extremely versatile and handy to transport should always be handled with care.
Always eject your USB stick correctly from a computer – never just pull it out as this may damage the data on the stick. If you are not sure how to do this, please ask someone in Computer Services to show you. There is an “Unplug or Eject Hardware” routine which is normally found on the bottom bar on the screen.This should be run before removing any attached USB sticks. To be absolutely sure that you are ejecting your USB stick correctly, simply save any open files and shutdown the computer. Once the computer is powered down, remove the USB stick.
Do not edit your work directly on the USB stick. USB sticks have a limited shelf life which is shortened with each edit you make to a document. ALWAYS copy your work to your computer and do your editing from there. This will also give you an extra copy – ie one on your computer.
Avoid water, extremes of heat and dropping your USB stick (too often).
Never force your USB stick into a USB port – you may not only damage your USB stick but also damage the computer.
If you can, use a USB extension cable to connect the USB stick to your computer. A number of students and staff have broken their USB stick by hitting off them by accident when the sticks were directly connected to the computer. If you physically break/bend the USB connection on the USB stick itself, there is a strong likelihood that your data will be lost (sometimes it is recoverable but very one that is, there is one which is not).
Avoid keeping your USB stick too close to your phone – magnetic fields can destroy data.
USB sticks should automatically appear under “My Computer” when you plug it in – note that it may not come up with the same drive lettering as when you use it at home – this is mainly because WIT PCs are attached to many different types of storage devices such as the G drive, etc, etc. In the picture (right), the highlighted drive – Removable Disk (D:) is a USB stick.
Theoretically, USB sticks can be added to a PC whilst it is up and running. However, in order to avoid any confusion, the USB stick should be inserted whilst the PC is powered off. As the PC is booting up, it will automatically detect the USB stick and add it to your system.
If a WIT computer appears to be giving problems, please report the problem to Computer Services as soon as possible - once we are aware of the problem, we will be able to deal with it as quickly as possible. Many users of the various systems think that any existing problems have already been reported. However, unfortunately, this is not always the case and as there are many hundreds of machines in use within the institute, we are not always aware of problems which occur.
Each computer in the Walton building has a number on it. The number should look something like this -ITG-O1-PC13. This number should be located on the front of the PC. When reporting a problem, please give the exact PC number, as this will help us pinpoint the machine on which the problem was/is occurring.
When possible also give as detail a description about the problem – for example, saying that the computer doesn’t work is too generic – that could be mean that there is a problem with the mouse, the keyboard, the screen or the PC itself.
If there are error messages coming up, please take note of the error message as these are very beneficial when it comes to problem solving.
Please note that if you require help with using a software programme or package, the best person to help you is your lecturer in that area. There are many packages which require specialised help and training eg Autocad, Desktop publishing packages and unfortunately don’t come under the remit of Computer Services.
Unfortunately, no. Currently, Computer Services are not in a position to provide this service for staff or students.
Unfortunately, no. Currently, Computer Services are not in a position to provide this service for students. However there are companies which do provide software at a special rate for enrolled students. Some examples are as follows:
http://www.software4students.ie – for Microsoft and Adobe products,
http://www.adeptscience.co.uk - for Endnote and Reference Manager.
(As we come across other sites, we will add them to the list here).
Although we cannot guarantee that we will be successful, Computer Services will try and help in whatever way possible if you have a problem with your USB stick. Please note though that we may need to keep the USB stick in for 24 hours as it takes time to run our recovery programmes on the sticks.
Printing from the Classrooms - Using your WITCard to print
There are a number of printers/photocopiers distributed around the various campuses in different locations. These are generally located in public places such as the library, near the Spar shop in the Cork Road Campus, to name but two. In the Walton (IT) building for example, there are colour and monochrome printers and a plotter located on the first floor of the building in a print room near the spiral staircase.
Printing is accessed in the normal way on WIT PCs but is controlled exclusively by the WITCard office (which is located in the Atrium near the ATM machine on the Cork Road Campus). These printers are maintained by the WITCard office – this includes putting paper into the printer, clearing paper jams, etc.
It should be noted that there are some rooms in the institute which belong to specific departments and are not part of the system. To find out how to use these machines (and how to print from these machines), ask the technical officer who works in that department - your lecturer will be able to give you the relevant names.
Note: If you have a problem with a WITCard printer in the Walton building, you can contact us in Computer Services during opening hours and we will notify the WITCard office for you.
How do I print a document?
In order to print, you need to have credit on your WITCard. Check with the WITCard office (click here) for details of cost per page for printing and photocopying. So the normal procedure for printing would be as follows:
Log in as you would normally to your account.
Open up the document you want to print.
Print your document as you would normally to any printer – the print command may vary slightly from location to location – for example in Word 2010, the print command is located underneath the File tab.
Make sure that when you print that you print to the correct printer, for example, if you want to print to the colour printer, choose Colour from the list, if you want to print to the Mono (black and white printer), choose Mono.
Go to the nearest printer/print station located to you which suits your needs for example, there may not be a colour printer located at every print area.
Next to the printer is a print station (which looks like a computer).
On the top of the print station is a box. You must swipe your WITCard through the box on top of the screen. If you are not sure the direction through which the card should be swiped, just follow the instructions on the screen.
Once you swipe your card through, a list of documents which you have queued to print will appear on the screen.
Note: If you print from your account and swipe another student's card through then a list of documents that that student has sent to be printed will appear on the screen - not yours. It is similar to using a bank card -if you use someone else's card, you will see their bank details -not yours.
The system then checks the servers dotted around the institute to see if you have printed any documents in other rooms. As a result you can go to any print station in the institute, swipe your card through and see what jobs are queued for you -similar to a cash machine -just because your account is in Mayo, doesn't mean that you can't check your details/withdraw money from elsewhere!
Select the job you want to print - you may have jobs queued that you don't want to print - ignore these. The WITCard office cleans the server every now and then, in order to make space so any jobs you don't want printed will eventually be removed from the system. Bear in mind though that you shouldn't leave jobs you want printed too long on the system or they will be deleted.
When you have selected the job you want to print, click on the word print.
Money is taken from your account before you print so make sure you have enough money on your card.
For more details about the WITCard and how it works, please contact the WITCard office
What do I do if the printer attached to the print station is out of paper?
Every morning, the paper trays in the printers are loaded up with paper and an attendant goes around filling them from time to time. However if you do find that the printers in the Walton Building are empty of paper, contact Computer Services during normal opening hours.
Note: If you are using a room which has a printer which is not part of the WITCard system, then you need to check out with the technical officer in that area what the situation is regarding paper for the printer.
Help! -The print station ate my credits!
If this happens, contact the WITCard office as the operation of the WITCard belongs exclusively to them.
I’ve printed a document but I can’t find it!
If this happens, you will have to try printing again. If you still can't get anything after 20 minutes, contact the WITCard office.
As I was printing, the toner ran out and the print is faded.
Contact the WITCard office. Bring your printout with you to show them what happened.
A few good tips when printing.
If you are printing a large document, divide it up into sections for printing purposes, for example, print from page 1 to page 10, page 11 to page 20, so on and so forth.
And why is this a good idea? Well, credits are taken from your WITCard account before you print so if you are printing a large document all at one go, all necessary money will be taken from your account initially.
For numerous reasons, this is not a good idea for example, the paper could run out, the toner start to fade, or a paper jam could occur. At least if this happens, you won't loose too many credits. You can then re-enter the section, which didn't print out correctly, go to another print server and print out all remaining documents and the re-entered section. Some documents can cost a fortune to print for example, a thesis due to its size, so the last thing you want to happen is to have all your credits used up and a problem to occur just when you least need it.
Please note that computer services do not have any involvement when it comes to monetary issues -this is handled exclusively by the WITCard office.
Can I print from my own personal laptop?
At the moment, you can’t but WITCard services are currently in the final phases (Summer, 2012) of putting such a system in place.
Can I print from home to the WITCard printers?
At the moment, you can’t but it is something which WIT are looking into doing hopefully in the near future (no definite date available).
Student WIT computer and email accounts
VERY IMPORTANT - April, 2012 Update: Please note that during summer 2012, most of the computers accessible by students in the Institute will be upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7. Though the principals of logging in will be the same, the screens may look slightly different.
Every student in WIT is entitled to a WIT computer and email account on registering with the Institute. There are some exceptions to this. Deferred, repeat exam only and students who are still eligible to register will not have an active WIT computer account.
For further information, please contact the Computer Services Department by email at our address, [email protected]
You need a username and a password. Your username for logging in will be your student number (without the W at the beginning).
Normally, passwords are sent out on your registration letter but if you have lost that letter or have forgotten your password, you can call to Computer Services with your student card and we will print it out for you. Unfortunately, for security reasons, we cannot give you your password over the phone and we can only give the password out to the owner of the account.
Remember that your password is case sensitive so if, for example, your password is in small letters, it must be entered in, in small letters otherwise it will not work.
- If the computer isn’t turned on, press the start up button which is located at the front of the computer. In WIT, we have a mixture of Dells (different models) and HPs.The start up button may be square or round but most of them have a symbol similar to the one (see right) located on the button itself.
- The computer goes through a variety of checks. All going well, a screen should come up asking you to press CTRL-ALT-DEL simultaneously to login. When you press CTRL-ALT-DEL simultaneously, a screen similar to the one below will appear on the screen (as of April, 2012):
- The Disclaimer should be read as it contains some very important information regarding the use of WIT computers. Failure to comply and/or to behave in a responsible manner when using WIT computers/computing facilities may unfortunately result in your WIT computer account being suspended. To view rules and regulations click here.
- When you click on OK, the following screen should appear:
- Note that the Log on to: box contains the word WIT. If there is ANYTHING else in this box, you will not be able to login to the computer. If anything else should be in this box, click on the down arrow next to the box and choose the word WIT from the list.
- In the Username box, enter your student number as listed on your WIT student card.
- In the Password box, enter your 9 character password as given to you via your registration letter or from Computer Services. Note that as passwords are case sensitive, they must be entered exactly as given to you – so if some letters are in capitals, they must be entered as capitals. If other letters are in non-capitals, they must be entered as such. So for example if you password is ADEFGH98y, it must be entered as ADEFGH98y.
Your computer account can be used to access many IT systems within WIT. It can be used to access WIT computers in all the campuses. It can be used to access Moodle, the WIT wireless network and student information sections such as the exam website. It can also be used to access the library databases externally from WIT.
Your WIT computer account is available to you for as long as you are a registered student within WIT. When a student leaves, his/her account is disabled and he/she no longer has access to it.
Your WIT password will last for 365 days. You can change it anytime you wish. The easiest way to change a password is whilst using a WIT computer though currently it can also be changed through Moodle.
Passwords are case sensitive so if you set your password using upper and lower case letters (capitals and non-capitals), you will need to make sure that you enter your password that way each and every time.
Passwords must be a minimum of 9 characters long and can be a mixture of letters, numbers or symbols.
Note that for security reasons, your account will be locked out for 30 minutes should you put in the password incorrectly eight times whether it is logging into the computer, Moodle or wireless. After 30 minutes, the account will automatically unlock itself and you can try logging in again.
The easiest way to access your WIT email is by using the link on the WIT home page. Your WIT email address will be [email protected] The same username and password for your WIT computer account can be used to access your WIT email account. WIT student email accounts are hosted by Google and can be used for life!
DO – Always keep your password secure.
DON’T keep it with your student number and don’t stick in onto your student card (as this can cause problems in the vending machines throughout the Institute).
If you happen to lose your card and your password is with it, then if someone has your card, they will have access to your WIT computer account, to your WIT email account and to your WIT Moodle account. They may delete all of your information and even use your account to send abusive emails, download illegal software, music etc. As the owner of the account, you are the one who will be held responsible
DON’T use an obvious password such as the name of your dog, where you live, your telephone number, etc, etc. People trying to hack your account (if they know you well enough), will try these type of passwords to get into your account.
DO keep your original password safe and secure – you never know when you might need it again.
VERY IMPORTANT – if you think that someone knows you password, either change it straight away yourself if you can or come to Computer Services with some form of official photographic identification (preferably your student card) and we will reset your password for you.
More than likely when this happens, the problem is your password. It may have expired or someone may have gotten into your account and changed your password. Please come to Computer Services during our opening hours and make sure to bring your WIT student card or some form of official photographic identification with you.
More than likely when this happens, someone has disconnected the WIT computer from the network and this is the reason why you can’t login. If you feel this is the problem, please contact Computer Services during normal opening hours or when you can, please email us at [email protected]
It is quite possible that you may not be able to find your original registration letter or remember your original password. So what can you do, if you can’t get to Computer Services or it is outside of opening hours? There are a few options currently open to you.
Emailing us at [email protected] – Usually when you register here in the Institute you are asked to provide an email address for communications. If you email us from that address giving us your student number, we will email you back with your original password. If you email us from your WIT/Google email address, we will also email you back with your original password should you have forgotten it.
Using the Moodle Password changing services – Moodle have provided a little online video as to how you can change your password through Moodle at the following link http://www.wit.ie/eLearning/
No. Passwords are never, ever given out over the phone for security reasons as we have no way of verifying who you are over the phone. If you do ring requesting that your password be changed, we can only reset it back to the original as is our policy BUT we cannot tell you what that password is should you have forgotten it.
Unfortunately, if you are registered for exams only, you will not have access to WIT computers, wireless or Moodle. If you need to access Moodle for notes, please contact the appropriate lecturer and explain the situation to them.