Laboratory for Scientific Visual Analysis
Access, Policies and Procedures
To get access to the Viz Lab contact:
R.D. Kriz at voice (CAVE office 231-2062),
Students are asked to contact John Kelso the first day of class
and send him their Hokie Passport ID (please indicate if this is the first,
second, or third card that was issued)
The lab has an open door policy from 8am - 5pm weekdays when someone in is the
lab, otherwise the doors must
be kept locked. With a minimum of security we want to provide the students
and faculty on campus open access to state-of-the-art hardware and software for
creating scientific visualization and multimedia projects in both research and
education. . We intend to keep the rules to a minimum and to focus our energies
on project development. To maintain a predictable working environment some rules
are required, however, and these are listed below for your reference. These
same policies and procedures are outlined in the "Laboratory Brochure".
Viz Lab Rules
- Each user is required to use OPTICAL disks on SMVC workstations. Students
will be given their own optical disks formatted on the Sun Sparc20, though this
can be changed to SGI. Some students will working mostly with the SGI workstations
and often format one side of the disk for mounting on the SUN Sparcs and the
other side for mounting on the SGIs. Students will replace lost
optical disks at their own expense.
- Each student is give their own account that can be used on any of the SMVC
workstations. Because each user walks away with his/her own files on a
removable read/write optical disk, our system administrator does not backup
student accounts. This policy results in a minimum of system
administration backup. Students automatically become
responsible for their own data security when unmounting and removing their
Often users think of the optical disk as a floppy for back up purposes only.
As you work with the removable optical disk you will find that you will not
be able to tell the difference in performance between mountable optical or
the magnetic disks.
WARNINIG: Although optical
disks have a longer shelf life compared to magnetic media, these disks can crash:
PERIODICALLY BACK ALL OPTICAL DISKS by transfering your files to another
- Real-time simulation-visualization projects are the intent of the lab.
However, we recommend that unusually large simulations requiring extensive
computation time be run other computer resource at Virginia Tech.
- We also encourage students to explore new software and to develop new visual
interfaces. To accommodate this objective we require that users initially
install and execute their new software from their optical disks. On the
Macintosh computer in the multimedia lab some Mac applications require that
files be placed in the system extension folder. Therefore:
DO NOT PUT ANY FILES IN THE MACINTOSH "SYSTEM" OR "EXTENSION" FOLDERS. DO
NOT INSTALL SOFTWARE ON ANY OF THE WORKSTATIONS or computers in the lab.
Please FEEL FREE TO ASK us to install your software for you. The lab is
designed to adapt to the user's needs. If people use your software we
will, if space is available, install it. Of course cost is always a
limitation. If money is available we will purchase software. Let us know what
software you want changed or included by contacting
- If you buy and we install your software on a lab workstation all lab users
have equal access to your software. Of course you can have your software removed
at anytime. Several lab users have temporarily installed and used software on
lab workstations until their workstations arrived. Over the last four years we
have helped the start up of a number of computer graphic labs on campus. We
believe computing should be a distributed-shared resource: not located under one
roof. That's centralized computing and as we all know that just does not work.
Our long term goals for the lab is not to grow bigger but keep our resources
updated, current and accessible which will facilitate the development of other
research and educational facilities on campus. Therefore these resources
together with our class has become a mechanism for educators and researchers on
campus to experiment with this technology and make a more informed decision with
respect to their own purchases.
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College of Engineering