Student Computer Lab

  1. Equipment and policies
  2. Using the lab
  3. Hours and staffing
  4. Getting additional assistance

Equipment and policies

Check this document often, as policies and support information are subject to change. Crucial changes will be noted in HDS IT and Media Services announcements. This document supplements the information contained with the HDS Computer Use Policy.

The Student Computer Lab is located in the lower level of Andover-Harvard Theological Library. The lab computers are supported and maintained by the HDS Office of Information Technology and Media Services and the Harvard University Information Systems Desktop and LAN Support team. Library staff are not responsible for supporting these machines in any way. Please do not ask library staff for assistance with these machines. The Office of Information Technology and Media Services staffs the lab with student consultants who are able to assist you with your essential academic computing needs. 

Do not store files on the local hard drives of these machines. All data stored on these machines is removed each time a machine is rebooted, and you risk losing any data you store on these computers. All data should be stored to some form of external media (USB, CD, DVD).

Equipment and configuration

Computers in the lab are configured such that a username and password is not required to log in. The Office of Information Technology and Media Services has configured these machines in such a way as to prevent tampering. Attempting to modify or install software on these machines in any way will not be tolerated and could result in the revocation of lab privileges. The computers in the lab are also configured to "refresh" and return to their default state each time the machine is rebooted. This means that no personal files or settings will remain on any lab computer once it is rebooted.

The following workstations, software, and shared equipment are available in the Student Computer Lab:

  1. PCs: IBM Small Form Factor (18 workstations)

    1. operating system: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Service Pack 3

    2. monitor: IBM 17" LCD flat panel display

    3. available drives:

      • USB Flash drive (USB ports are easily accessible to accommodate the flash memory drives.)

      • CD-RW/DVD+-RW drive

  2. Available Software

    The PCs in the lab are configured with the following software:

    • Mozilla Firefox

    • Internet Explorer

    • Microsoft Office 2003 Professional Suite, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and FrontPage

    • BibleWorks

    • Adobe Acrobat 7 Professional and Photoshop 7

    • RealPlayer, QuickTime, Flash

  3. Shared Hardware

    • (2) Black and white laser printers (See Printing Policy below)

    • Color laser printer

    • (2) scanners

    Attempting to modify or install software on these machines yourself is a violation of the HDS Computer Use Policy. Students may not install any software whatsoever on these machines, including but not limited to: special web browsers, software to view documents in other languages, and games.

Using the Lab

  1. Fifteen-minute rule

    As a courtesy to other users, please do not leave your workstation unattended for more than 15 minutes. Any machine not attended to by a user for more than 15 minutes is considered to be available to any users who wish to use it.

    Please note that leaving your belongings on the desk, leaving tasks running or disks in machines, etc., does not bypass this rule. Only the presence of a user who is currently logged on is valid.

  2. When there are lines

    If there are no computers available, please be courteous to the users utilizing the workstations and wait for your turn outside the lab.

  3. Printing policy

    Printing is paid for using a Crimson Cash-enabled card (usually your Harvard ID). See Wireless Printing for additional information on printing using Crimson Cash. During the 2010-2011 academic year, black-and white-printing will be charged at the rate of 7¢ per single-sided page, and 5¢ per side when using duplexing (two-sided printing). Color printing will be 14¢ per single-sided page, and 11¢ per page when using duplexing.

    The cost for pages printed accidentally will not be refunded. If you are experiencing difficulty printing, cease printing and contact the lab consultant or call the HDS Office of Information Technology and Media Services (6-9111) immediately. Refunds or credits will only be given for printouts which are obviously flawed beyond user control due to printer/hardware malfunction. To request a credit, you must bring in your affected printouts to the HDS Office of Information Technology and Media Services. Please take care in printing: paper is a valuable resource that should not be abused.

  4. The use of any program playing sounds and/or music requires the use of headphones, which are not provided.

  5. Food and drinks are not permitted inside the Lab.

  6. Lost and Found

    All items left in the computer lab during the day will be placed in the lost and found area to the right of the Lab Support workstation; if the item in question is of greater value, it will be taken to the Help Desk, located in the basement level of Andover Hall (G-8).

    The library and the Office of Information Technology and Media Services Student Computer Lab staff cannot be responsible for any items lost or stolen in the lab at any time, so please take care not to leave your belongings unattended.

  7. The Student Computer Lab is a place of work; all users are urged to keep the noise level down to the absolute minimum and to refrain from socializing in the lab.

  8. Ending your session and security

    Take special care to properly shut down your workstation using the procedure below. This will ensure that any personal data you may have left on the local hard drive will not be accessible to other users, and this will also assist in conserving energy at Harvard.

    To shut down a lab computer, follow these steps:

    1. Using the mouse, click on the "Start" button at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.
    2. After clicking on the "Start" button, click "Shut Down."

Hours and staffing

The Student Computer Lab will open and close based on the library's hours of operation

Lab consultants will be available throughout the week to answer questions. They will occupy the computer marked "Lab Support." Note that access to this computer is restricted. If there is no consultant on duty, please call the Help Desk at 617.496.9111 for assistance.

Lab consultant duties do not include in-depth tutoring in the use of software, though lab consultants are available to answer general questions.

Getting additional assistance

For assistance, first ask the lab consultant on duty. 

The following additional help is available:

  1. Call the Help Desk at 617.496.9111 or email hdshelp@hds.harvard.edu between 8 am and 6 pm, Monday through Friday.

  2. If you need assistance with a computer or printer problem on evenings and weekends and a lab consultant is not present, the Help Desk will provide basic phone support after hours. If your problem cannot be resolved over the phone, your call will be logged and a technician will get back to you on the next business day.