Welcome to MCECS!


What follows is an introduction to the IT services provided to you by the CAT in the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science. If you have questions about anything in it or need other assistance, you can reach us at support@cat.pdx.edu or 503-725-5420. We would also be happy to pay you a visit to explain in person.

What is the CAT?

The Computer Action Team is the IT organization for MCECS. Our primary job is to deploy and support lab and office computers in the Engineering Building and Fourth Avenue Building as well as maintain the networking between them. We’re also a training program for PSU students who are passionate and curious about IT. This means that our front line workers are primarily volunteers, backed up by a core staff of full-time employees.

The CAT is separate from OIT, the IT organization which handles general campus services such as Banweb and the main campus classrooms and labs.

When you need assistance for anything relating to your computing needs at MCECS, come to the CAT first!

Your MCECS Account

Because the computers in MCECS are run by the CAT, you’ll use a separate login here than the Odin login you use for OIT-run services like Banweb. Your MCECS username may or may not be the same as your Odin username.

Getting an Account

For yourself:

If you haven’t already received the username and password for your MCECS account, ask your department manager.

For someone else:

If you need an account for another person, such as a TA or a visiting scholar, just send us an account request form.

Changing or Resetting Your Password

If you know your current MCECS password, you can change it.

If you’ve forgotten your password, you can reset it using your Odin credentials and the CAT Remote Account Manager.


Anything sent to your username@cecs.pdx.edu will be forwarded to your official @pdx.edu email address. So will username@dept.pdx.edu where dept is any of the MCECS department abbreviations: cee, cs, ece, or mme.

You can request additional email addresses in a couple of different ways, depending on your exact needs. See Additional Email Accounts for more details.

File Storage

Depending on your account type, you have at least 25 GB of disk quota for your files. This is divided between your N: drive (which is accessible from any CAT-maintained Windows box) and your *nix home, which is mapped in Windows to the S: drive (and accessible from CAT-maintained Windows, Linux, and Unix boxes).

You may also have access to departmental shared directories; check with your department manager. If you’d like quick access to your departmental share, you can map it to a drive letter.

In addition to your file storage space, you have a small amount of disk quota set aside for your Windows Profile, which allows themes and settings to roam with you from one computer to another. You can normally ignore your profile quota, but if applications you use need a lot of space for their settings or temporary files, you might get an email warning you that it’s nearing capacity. If you get that email and aren’t sure what to do, just reply to it or give us a call and we’ll be happy to assist you. You can always check on the status of your disk quota at the Maseeh College Intranet: If you would like a shared directory for use by a class, team, or project, you can request one using the stash request form.


Your file storage includes webspace where you can host files you wish to be accessible from the internet. You can add and remove files from this space at the following locations:

From a CAT-supported Linux/Unix computer


From a CAT-support Windows computer


From another computer using SSH or SFTP

Connect to websftp.cecs.pdx.edu and authenticate using your MCECS credentials. Place files in the directory called public_html.

You’ll need to ensure that your files have global read permissions. They’ll be visible at: http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~username/filename. For example, the user “bob” might have a file called “testdocument” at “http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~bob/testdocument.”


For printers in offices or otherwise restricted to faculty and staff, access and accounting are handled by the department where the printer is located. If you can’t print somewhere you should be able to, or have any questions about office printer policy, contact your department manager. General access printers in labs are managed by the CAT. Faculty use of these printers works the same as student printing; if you run out of print quota, contact your department to have funds transferred into it.

Keycard Access

All current MCECS students, staff, and faculty may request card access to the Fourth Avenue Building, Engineering Building, and general labs, as well as offices and other department-specific spaces. In order to do so navigate to https://services.cecs.pdx.edu/ and go to the key card section. After requesting card access it may take 1-3 days to take effect. The rooms and buildings you have access to are dictated by what college you belong to e.g CS majors get access to CS labs, ECE majors get access to ECE labs. If your access has already been requested and activated and still isn’t working, bring us the details(key card expiration date, key card number, and MCECS username) and the CAT can troubleshoot.


Current employees can navigate to services.cecs.pdx.edu to get CECS General access. If you require access to specific offices  then your department may need to request access on your behalf. There are two categories of employees/staff that may need extra-assistance due to the nature of their employment:

  1. DRA (Department Research Accounts) whose accounts are not listed the same way as regular employees/staff
  2. Advisors are paid out of PSU, not MCECS, so these accounts may not have the immediate ability to request card access

Connecting to the Network at MCECS

Wireless internet access at MCECS is part of the overall campus network, and can be connected to using OIT’s wi-fi instructions. Note that you will need to authenticate using your Odin credentials, not your MCECS credentials, even if you’re physically in MCECS. Using the wi-fi does not require that you register your computer in advance. To use the wired internet, you will first need to register the computer you wish to use so our network will recognize it and allow it access. You can do this on our host registration page. (When registering a laptop, select the “roaming” option to make the form much shorter.) Note that not all network jacks are configured to be usable by laptops; the ones which are usually have labels saying so. If you’ve registered your laptop and it’s still not getting connectivity, submit the laptop jack form to request that a jack be activated for laptop use. If you’re using a stationary computer and wish to move it to a different network jack (such as when rearranging an office), be sure to submit a move host request to ensure that networking will still work at the new location. Visit My Hosts in Intranet, select the machine in question, and then press the “Move” button and fill in the details.

Remote Access

To Windows

You can use Remote Desktop to connect to our terminal server. Software on the terminal server is mostly the same as on our Windows lab computers. One notable exception is Microsoft Office, which is absent for licensing reasons; instead, the terminal server has LibreOffice. Many restricted-access Windows computers (such as lab and office machines) have also been configured to allow remote access. If you’d like us to enable it on your machine, just ask.

To Linux

For command-line access, SSH is enabled on most of our Linux hosts. This means that SCP, SFTP, etc. also work. For graphical access, you can connect using VNC from Windows or Linux.


If you need software that isn’t already installed, there are a few ways to get it. Self-service instructions for several commonly-requested programs can be found on the Maseeh College Intranet, under the Faculty & Staff menu. Some Microsoft products can be found on Dreamspark; we also lend out install CDs for PSU-licensed copies of Windows and Office by request. If you need a program not covered above, contact us. We can accommodate most software requests.

Lab Reservations

If you would like to schedule an event in a CAT-maintained computer lab, you can make a lab reservation request. Be sure to include any unusual software or other information we’ll need to make sure the lab is ready for you to use, and submit the request as early as possible. PSU classes have priority for lab scheduling requests.

Acceptable Use Policies

By using MCECS computing services, you agree to PSU’s Acceptable Use Policy. The CAT also publishes additional guidelines for MCECS-specific resources.

Contact the CAT!

If you have any questions or would like any assistance with computing at MCECS, you can reach us in any of these ways:

Means Location
By Email support@cat.pdx.edu
By Phone 503-725-5420 (5-5420 from inside PSU)
In Person In person in the Fourth Avenue Building lower level, Suite 82 (weekdays 8-6, Saturdays 12-5).