What Everyone Needs to Know about Computers & Computing at SFU

1)    Activate your SFU Computer Account

Activate your SFU computing account online by clicking on SFU Connect, click on "Activate your SFU Computing ID" under "Need Help?".  This account gives you access to campus wireless, backup space, and web space.  If you are being paid (TAship, RA, etc.) in order to see your pay statements you need to follow "How can I obtain an SFU Computing ID". 

2)    Stay Informed

Get on the Biology Mailing lists - make sure you are subscribed at SFU's online services. Faculty, staff, research technicians, and PDF's should make sure they are put on their respective mailing list (bisc-faculty, bisc-office, bisc-research, bisc-techs, bisc-pdfs) by e-mailing me or biscrec@sfu.ca. Graduate students should email Marlene Nguyen, biscgrad@sfu.ca to be put on the bisc-grads email list.  Undergraduates and people outside of the department that want to stay informed may subscribe to bisc-info, an open mailing list. Each course also has a mailing list which automatically includes instructors and registered students (but TA's may need to be added by the instructor or a list manager).
Make http://www.sfu.ca/biology your home page so you can learn about upcoming events and have easy access to important web sites.

3)    Find out what is available

Check out the Faculty of Science IT Support page for a wide variety of information available. Did you know lab guests can have guest accounts to the SFU Wireless, you can access wireless at UVic, UBC, and many places around the world, and can access Web of Science and other reference material requiring an SFU location from off campus.  Read the Survival Guide prepared by the Graduate Student Caucus.

4)    Security

Learn about security differences between different operating systems and web browsers and why it is very important to keep your software updated.  Both Macintosh and PC's should have firewalls turned on. PC's must have up to date anti-virus software. On PC's check for system updates via Microsoft updates or use Internet Explorer to go to http://update.microsoft.com/ (do Microsoft updates, not just Windows updates). On Macintosh computers check under the apple for software updates, and under the help menu in Microsoft word. I always check and recheck until the software says no updates are available. Malicious people reverse engineer the updates and target systems that are not updated. Most software will automatically update itself- take advantage of it.
All computing here is governed by common sense and SFU Policy GP-24 Fair Use of Information Resources.
SFU pays for network bandwidth from off-campus, and file sharing programs such as Gnutella, Kazaa and Limewire are not allowed (unless for research purposes). Skype is allowed.
If you have a virus or your system is causing network problems SFU will block your computer. If you are on a lab router your whole lab will be blocked. See me if you suspect a virus or networking problem.

5)    Networking

Biological Sciences was one of the first areas at SFU to switch to DHCP (automatically assigned IP addresses). This means you can set up a computer without changing its network settings and go between home and here seamlessly.
SFU Wireless is installed throughout biology. Use your web browser to connect to SFUNET and it will prompt you to log on with your SFU account for internet access. I recommend you setup access to SFUNET-secure and Eduroam, which will give you wireless access at other B.C. institutions such as UBC and UVic. Instructions are at http://www.sfu.ca/itservices/wireless/.

6)    Printing/Photocopying

If you want to print to the photocopiers, ask for an account from the receptionist in the front office.  For printing to photocopiers, follow the instructions on printing to new photopiers for PCs and Macs. Scanning and emailing documents from the photocopiers to your account is free!

7)    Information Security

If you intend to use Gmail or other third party mail services, it is important that you note that there are privacy concerns associated with University data being hosted on servers outside of Canada. Please see the IT services Draft Information Security page for more details.

Please send questions or suggestions to Dave Carmean at bio-computing@sfu.ca