Welcome to the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science (MCECS)!

Starting Fall 2021, PSU is offering a variety of course delivery methods that allow students to participate in-person, remote, or both, depending on the course. For more information about course offerings, visit the Course Delivery Methods page from PSU.

The following guide will tell you everything you need to know about your MCECS account and all of the in-person and remote resources it provides so that switching between these delivery methods is seamless.

Table of Contents

  1. Your AccountsOdin and MCECS
  2. In-Person Services
  3. Remote Services
  4. Attend Anywhere Courses in MCECS

Your Accounts – Odin and MCECS

As an MCECS student, you now have two computing accounts at PSU: an Odin account, and an MCECS account.

MCECS has its own information technology organization to support the systems that serve its students. This support organization is known as the Computer Action Team, or the CAT for short.

Your Odin account, however, is run by the Office of Information Technology (OIT).

Please visit our Intro to MCECS Computing page for a brief overview of:

  • The computing resources provided by your MCECS account.
  • Instructions for claiming your MCECS account (also explained in the next section).
  • The differences between your MCECS account and your PSU Odin account.

MCECS Account Management – CRAM

CRAM stands for CECS Remote Account Manager, which is a system that allows you to activate and recover your MCECS account remotely.

If you are an Engineering or Computer Science student at PSU, you will need to get an MCECS account before you can use many specialized computing resources for your coursework and gain building access. This account will need to be claimed by either bringing an ID to the CAT front desk, or from the comfort of your own home by visiting CRAM:

You can also use CRAM to reset your MCECS password if you have forgotten it.

Windows and Linux File Storage

A key feature of your MCECS account is that it is synced to both a Windows and Linux user account with a limited quota of file storage for each. This means that you can log into any MCECS Windows or Linux lab computers with your MCECS credentials and all of your files will be accessible in both environments.

Windows settings such as your desktop background and your bookmarks are shared between computers in our Windows environment, but these are not attributed to your Windows disk quota. They’re in a separate area called your Windows Profile, which has its own separate quota.

You can learn more about your two disk quotas and your Windows profile quota here:

Please note that your MCECS file storage is separate from your H: drive file storage on OIT-supported computers and that you cannot easily get to your CAT storage space from an OIT computer or vice versa.

Resource Portal – Intranet

The Intranet is a portal created by the CAT that houses various resources available to students and faculty. Here you will be able to view and access different aspects of your MCECS account, such as:

  • Changing your MCECS password.
  • Accessing our remote labs.
  • Downloading software.
  • Viewing your various quotas:
    • Windows & Linux Disk Quotas
    • Windows Profile Quota
    • Print Quotas

Rent Equipment from the Library

The Library is committed to providing students, faculty, and staff with access to the knowledge and tools they need to be successful while teaching and learning remotely. In that spirit, the Library and OIT have collaborated to expand and modify equipment checkout to include additional equipment with term-long checkouts.

Available equipment includes:

  • Laptops
  • Chromebooks
  • Microphones
  • Headsets
  • Document cameras
  • Wacom tablets

To connect with the Library and view the amount of equipment available, visit their Laptops & Equipment page.


In Person Services

Now that we’ve reviewed how to manage your MCECS account, you can use it to access services that are vital to on-campus engagement.

Building Access and Locker Rentals

Most of the physical facilities in MCECS, including computer labs, are concentrated in two buildings: the Engineering Building (EB) and the Fourth Avenue Building (FAB). Inside of EB and FAB are labs that are available to all MCECS students, as well as more specialized labs that are department-specific.

The rooms containing these resources are protected by a card access system. You can use your MCECS account to gain all-hours access to these areas by activating your PSU ID. Once activated, you can also rent out a locker in the basement of FAB. Please note that access requests take 1-3 business days to complete.

Find out how to gain building access and rent lockers by reading the following guide:

Building and Lab Locations

You can view the location of EB, FAB, and prominent general and restricted access labs here:

The following rules and COVID-19 safety precautions are applicable to all of EB, FAB, including their labs and study spaces. Please contact the Computer Action Team if you have any questions regarding these policies.

Printing

As an MCECS student, you have a printing quota that resets every term (called Stipend) and is usable on the printers in CAT-supported computer labs. This is in addition to the printing credit every PSU student gets which is usable in OIT-supported labs.

You can also add funds to your Added Cash quota that never resets if you use up the initial stipend in a given term.

Visit our Printing in MCECS guide to learn how to:

  • Add more funds to your Added Cash quota.
  • Print quickly and easily in MCECS general lab printers.
  • View a list of available printers.

Remote Services

We have a variety of resources and guides on setting up a remote learning experience if you plan on attending class from anywhere or need to gain access to any given MCECS service offsite.

The following section will guide you to our remote learning resource page, explain how to set up and manage VPN services, and teach you how to gain access to our remote labs.

Resources for Remote Learning

As a PSU student taking online courses in MCECS, you will be expected to use your Odin and MCECS accounts to access a variety of remote tools. Although the technological requirements of a specific course is determined by the instructor, there are a handful that are commonly used across departments.

Our Resources for Remote Learning guide is a collection of links that will teach you how to use these accounts and resources so that remote learning is as seamless as possible.

VPN Services

Access to many MCECS network services (Windows file services, Remote Desktop, Print Services, some Linux hosts) require the use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network). The VPN also provides the added benefit of an encrypted connection so that your data from your computer to MCECS systems is more secure.

To learn how to set up the VPN for your specific operating system, read the following guide:

Remote Computer LabsRDP, SSH, and VNC

The CAT is allowing users to remotely log in to many MCECS computer lab machines from off-campus using our Remote Lab system. Users can interact with lab machines and use any software that they would normally find while in one of these computer labs through either an RDP client or a web browser.

To learn how to connect remotely to a lab machine, visit the following guide:

You can also view a list of commonly used Linux systems that can be remotely accessed by either SSH (from the command line) or VNC (graphically) here:


Attend Anywhere Courses in MCECS

If your course is classified as “Attend Anywhere,” students can participate outside of the classroom in general labs or other study spaces throughout FAB and EB. If you choose to use these spaces, please be aware of the needs of other students and limit noise where possible.

These areas do not come equipped with headsets or webcams so you will have to bring your own if required by the instructor. Remember that you can rent the necessary equipment from the library here:

Please note that CAT-supported lab computers are not equipped for bluetooth peripherals so you must use a wired headset and/or webcam if attending class from one.

With your active MCECS account, keycard access, and all of the other on-campus and remote resources provided in this guide, you should have everything you need to tailor your classroom experience to your needs. Please contact the CAT if you have any questions: