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Contents The LAN Connection LANs and Your Machine In the ACCC Labs
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LANs in the ACCC Public Labs 


It is the use of LAN technology that enables us to maintain our public personal computer labs with our small staff. Each of the ACCC personal computer labs on campus has its own LAN, that connects to the campus backbone network via a specialized device called a router. (Many UIC departments and administrative units also have their own LANs which are connected to the UIC backbone network.) In effect, the UIC campus backbone is a super-LAN (an "internet") that has multiple LANs connected to it. 

When any machine in an ACCC lab, be it a Mac or a PC, boots, it sends out a request for services from an available lab server. Generally, the least busy server will answer the request the first; your Mac or PC is then adopted by that server until you turn your machine off or reboot it. This scheme provides some automatic load balancing, virtually guaranteeing that you will connect to the server with the best response time at the time you connect. 

Before you can use any machine in an ACCC lab, you must login using your ACCC netid and password. Software that checks the machine's operating system and other crucial files on its hard drive is run as part of the login process. If this software finds that any of these files have been modified, it downloads new copies of the files from the server and reboots the machine. Thus a consistent copy of the operating system is used each time you login. This virtually eliminates the threat of virus infection from the promiscuous interaction with a previous person's data, and will fix just about every software problem the computer could have, regardless of what any previous user of the machine did wittingly or unwittingly. This feature alone saves a huge amount of staff time that would otherwise be devoted to repairing software configurations on hundreds of lab machines. 

The client software on the lab machines works with lab file servers to provide each lab machine with the following services:

Shared software packages:
The lab servers provide each machine in the lab with a wide variety of software, including some installed for use by specific classes.
Personal disk space:
Each member of the UIC community also has his or her personal online WebDisk disk storage space, which is automatically mounted when you log into a computer in the ACCC public personal computer lab; for more information, please visit ACCC WebDisks - Personal WebDisks. (You can also access the WebDisks on the Web: )
U-Print -- shared network printers:
The machines in the labs use the U-Print system, which holds your print jobs until you go to a U-Print station and release your print job for printing. This means that you will be able to print your job on any lab printer that you want to and that you will always be right there to pick up your output when it prints. For more information on U-Print, see the U-Print Web page.
For more information, see Public Computer Labs.

LANs at UIC Previous:  LANs and Your Machine Next:  Other ACCC LAN Services

2010-1-25  ACCC documentation
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