Windows Operating System

"Windows" is the name for the software program "operating system" generally used on Intel-based computers.  It serves as a convenient interpreter between  the human computer user and the computer itself.  Windows is known as a "GUI"  (sounds like "gooey") type program, which is an acronym meaning "Graphic User Interface" because of its use of visual  pictures or "icons" tto cue the user toward specific actions.  The most recently developed  versions of Microsoft Windows are  "Windows XP" and Windows Vista.

When you turn on your computer, the Windows program is "loaded," and the "desktop" screen will appear. The desktop screen contains "icons" or small pictures which represent the various software application programs which you have available to use on your computer. In addition to AutoCAD, you will have Microsoft "Word" (a word processing program), "Excel" (a spreadsheet program), "Access" (a database program), and a few miscellaneous utility programs. To start up one of these programs, "double-click" on the icon for the program. To "double-click" means to place the visible arrow (called the "cursor") on the icon, and depress the left button twice quickly in succession (with a mouse, you would double-click with the left button).

The reason this program is called "Windows" is that you can have several rectangular areas of the screen visible at the same time, with different programs or files visible at the same time. Only one of those "windows" is the active window. (It is the one "on top." or active) but you can switch easily between them by simply clicking on the window you want to make active. One of the great advantages of using Windows is the ability to switch quickly between programs or files. Windows also forces a consistent discipline in using software application programs, since the interface is the same in each, regardless of what it does.

Normally, you will save all your files to a "Folder" that you will create for your work on the network (the H:/ drive).  If you want to take one or more of your files home with you, you should copy them to a USB removable drive from the network drive using the Windows Explorer.

The Windows "Network" at Triton College

As a matriculating student in the School of Building Science at Triton College, you will be assigned a computer account name by your teacher, such as "AIC123. " When you are assigned a computer account name, sit down at any computer in the studio and boot it. If the computer is already booted, reboot it so that the Novel network screen appears and asks for an account name and password. Type in your assigned computer account name and the generic password friday99. A “Confirm” dialogue box will appear that says:

The password for User AICxxx has expired. You have 5 grace logins left to change your password. Do you want to change your password? Yes No.”

Pick “Yes.” Type in your new password and confirm it. Passwords must be eight-alpha-numeric characters, such as "jose1234.”

You will need to remember your own password because no one else will ever know it (not even your teachers or the IT Help Desk in Room AT121). Once you have logged in with the new password, the file-server program will automatically associate your new password with your account name, and will assign the drive letter H: to your account. You will have a unique H: drive visible only to you upon your login at any computer on campus. When you are done working on your projects and want to leave the studio, you must either log out of your account or turn the computer off. If you do not do either of those things, as long as your computer remains turned on, any other person will have access to your H: drive and all of your files.

When you come back to a computer and want to log on again, when the first dialogue box appears (the "Novel Client for Windows") type in your "Username" which is your AICxxx number that you were assigned in the top line and your "Password" in the second line, then select "OK." This will then bring up a another dialogue box called "Windows Workstation." It will have "AT150" in the "Name" line and the "Password" line will be blank. DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING ON THIS SECOND DIALOGUE BOX. Simply click on "OK." This will log you into your account.

You will have 100 Mb of storage space in your H: drive. Computer accounts will be automatically deleted one week prior to the beginning of the following semester, so you should also copy your files to your own portable media, such as a portable flash drive.

What if I forget my password?
If you forget your password or simply want to change your password for any reason, you will need to call or go to the IT Help Desk in room AT121 to have it reset. They will reset your account and give you a temporary password to use. [You may need to bring your instructor with you or take a note from your instructor saying that it is OK for you to change your password, to prevent someone maliciously changing someone else's password.] You then can go back to the studio and log in using your account number and the temporary password they gave you.
A “Confirm” dialogue box will appear that says:

The password for User AICxxx has expired. You have 5 grace logins left to change your password. Do you want to change your password? Yes No.”

Pick “Yes.” Type in your new password and confirm it.

The “T:” Drive:
Only the A: drive ( 3 1/2" floppy disk if one is inserted), C: drive (local hard drive), D: drive (DVD disk drive), E: drive (USB flash drive letter if one is plugged in), your H: drive, and a communal T: drive will appear on the “My Computer” list of destinations on the network. The T: drive is a shared drive which stores files such as AutoCAD standard drawings, AutoCAD Templates or files to which your teachers want you to have access. No one will be able to add files or folders to the T: drive or delete files or folders from it. You may, however, open files on the T: drive and save files from it to your own H: drive, the C: drive, or your portable flash drive. Be careful in saving files to the C: drive, because they are automatically erased when the computer is rebooted.

Working without an assigned Computer Account Number:
Anyone may use the computers in the studios and all of the software residing on them without having to have an account name assigned. You will be able to save your work to the local computer's C: drive, your floppy disk in the A: drive or your flash drive plugged into a USB port. You will also have access to the T: drive for shared drawings or files (although you cannot save your files to it). Faculty in our programs will have access to students' folders for quality control purposes. For your own protection, do not give out your account name or password to anyone.

Go Back:
The AutoCAD Autosave function saves to the C: drive. The C: drive is volatile, that is, it permanently contains only files that were saved on it prior to the “Go Back” program installation. Therefore, if a student needed to recover his or her backup file after a computer crash (rare, but it does happen), and if the computer has to be re-booted, the contents of the C: drive will be deleted, except for files that were put there prior to installing “Go Back,” which are mainly program files. Therefore, all Autosave files will have been deleted.

To turn off studio computers:
When you leave your computer for the day, simply turn it off by pushing the button on the front of your computer. With the Windows XP operating system, there is no longer any need for you to log out or go through the old "Start button," "Logoff," and "Turn Off" sequence. For consistency of use for everyone, do not turn the monitors off - they will go to sleep by themselves when the computer is off and wake back up when the computer is turned on again. Life is good.