Lab Operating Procedures

Our Labs are a working space for hundreds of students — for some, it is their primary computing resource. We have implemented certain guidelines to ensure that we provide the best work environment possible for our users. Please take a moment to acquaint yourself with these rules and procedures.

Food and Drink

We do not allow food or drink in the labs. Should you be carrying such items when you enter the lab, either put them away in your book bag or place them near the door on the floor or on the shelves provided at the back of the Main Lab. While we tolerate water bottles, we would prefer that you keep them away from the computers themselves. Please be considerate.

Keep Unauthorized Users Out

Do not open the door after hours for people who knock. Not only is this likely to trigger an alarm with Campus Security, we believe our previous large thefts occurred in this manner. Since you cannot see who is on the other side of the door, this is also an issue of personal safety. If you have any concerns about whether a user is authorized for access or not, you may contact Campus Security at 403-220-5333 — they have a list of people who have access.

Quiet Work Space

Users are reminded that the labs are primarily a work space for individuals, not a lounge or a social area. Every station has a wired headphone jack (and support Bluetooth headphones) so that multiple people can work with audio/video at the same time. Conversations (such as voice calls on your cellular phone) that last longer than 30–60 seconds should be moved outside the lab (some grace is extended to those doing collaborative work related to lab courses). We trust that you will be considerate.

Unattended Use

Users should not leave computers unattended for extended periods of time, especially when they are on a specially-equipped computer (e.g., scanner station) or if the lab is quite full. If you intend to be gone for more than 10 minutes, please pack up your stuff when you leave so that another person may use that station. Exception: Some multimedia programs, such as movie editing and 3D modelling, require long “rendering” times (i.e. the computer needs to work on its own for minutes or hours at a time). It is acceptable to leave the machine unattended while the computer does its work — we recommend you lock your screen when you leave (Apple menu > Lock Screen, or by pressing Command-Control-Q). Users needing access to files stored on a busy machine can get access remotely from any machine in the Labs using file sharing — ask Lab Staff if you require more help.

Priority Use

When a lab is busy with users, the following priority for computer usage is in effect (from highest to lowest):

  1. Classes scheduled into the lab.
  2. Students working on course work applicable to classes held in either lab.
  3. Other course work.
  4. Accessing research resources via the Internet.

(Notice that non-course work is not even mentioned on this list.)

This priority order also applies to deciding who should have access to the fastest computers in the Labs. Please be considerate of other users and limit your time on our machines when doing low-priority tasks or tasks that don’t depend on the IAML’s special resources.

If necessary, students wishing to do high priority tasks may “bump” lower priority users, but we ask that you also be considerate by bumping the people who are lowest on the priority list first. Also, please give the bumpee a minute or two to finish up their work.

Finally, in those rare cases where a user would like to use more than one computer at a time (e.g., to render multimedia files), they may do so if there are machines free. However, they must vacate all but one station if demand from other users require it — no person shall be guaranteed access to more than one computer.