Frequently Asked QuestionsUpdated 9/3/2014
This ILR School at Cornell University uses Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) for its public computer labs, kiosks and the Catherwood Library. Collections of virtual desktops, or pools, run on servers in the datacenter and are presented to displays in labs and kiosks using a remote display protocol. This provides IT administrators a more centralized, efficient client computing environment that is easier to maintain and able to respond more quickly to the changing needs of faculty, staff and students.
Where should I put my files while editing them?
We recommend using cloud storage for your files with a backup on your laptop and/or USB flash drives. cornell.box.com All Cornell, faculty, staff and students are automatically provisioned on Cornell Box with 50Gb of cloud storage. The ILR public computers have Box Edit installed to make editing files on Box very easy and safe. You can use the native application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) to edit your files, but they stay on Box, and are updated every time you click save or press Ctrl-S. To use BoxEdit, login to https://cornell.box.com, sign in with your netid and password. Then, browse to your file and click the Edit (pencil icon) link. This will open the file for editing in Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint/OneNote.
If you have a Microsoft account, you can access your personal OneDrive files by opening an Office 2013 application, clicking on the File > Account > Switch Account > +Add Account. Type the email address you use for xBox, Live, Outlook.com, etc. If asked which account to use, select your “Microsoft account” instead of the “Organizational account”. Login with your Microsoft account password.
OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online (coming soon)
OneDrive for Business is a feature of Office365 that will soon be available to all Cornell University faculty, staff and students. Despite the similarly sounding name, OneDrive for Business is a very different service than OneDrive. It provides 1Tb of storage for your files and is tightly integrated with Office 2013 and Office365. SharePoint Online is Microsoft’s team collaboration tool and can be used to store files. To access these resources (when they made available), you will use the same process as for OneDrive (above), except you will type your Cornell email address and select “Organizational account” if prompted. Once connected to Office365, documents are automatically saved to the cloud as changes are made. In addition, you can share your documents with anyone that has an email address and allow groups of people to simultaneously edit documents at the same time from different computers.
Google Drive is not currently designed to operate well in a public computing environment. Your best option is to use Google apps and edit documents online. However, this saves your files as Google Docs. If you need to use Microsoft Office 2013 applications, you will have to download the file(s) to the public computer Desktop or to a USB flash drive, edit the file(s), save, and then upload back to Google Drive. To avoid creating multiple copies of your documents on Drive, go to Google Drive, right click the file and select “Manage Revisions”. Then click “Upload new revision” in the dialog box.
USB flash drive
The public computers have two USB ports on the left side of the monitors. Most USB flash (a.k.a. thumb) drives will work fine. However, they are typically subject to harsh environments (like your purse, backpack or pocket) and are inherently fragile. As a result, we recommend using cloud storage first and keep these as a backup. If you do choose to use a flash drive, make sure you have a copies of any important files in other locations and be sure to save you work often (press Ctrl-S to save in any Windows application).
When you are done, be sure to close all open applications,