Computer Laboratory

Leaving the Computer Laboratory

This page contains a miscellaneous collection of items of which people leaving the Computer Lab, or moving into the Hot Desk area, should be aware.

It is intended for people who will be leaving the lab permanently - if there are already plans for you to come back then alternative arrangements can be made - contact sys-admin@cl.cam.ac.uk.

Leaving your office

When your desk is de-allocated, you are expected to remove your personal belongings and leave any office furniture keys in the locks.

Any Lab machines you have been using will be removed to make room for the machine to be used by the next occupant. Your machine is likely to be reloaded and may be off the network, so if there are any local files you want save them before you move or liaise with sys-admin@cl.cam.ac.uk.

The writing-up/hot-desk area

If you still have associations with the department (e.g. if you are a Research Student who has over-run your time, submitted, etc but have not yet had your viva and the PhD accepted) you may remain on the Departmental List, but without an assigned office or phone number. You are free to use the public machines in the alcoves, and the machines in the hot-desk area (a.k.a. the writing-up area). These are shared resources, so please log off when you leave the room.

If you have a laptop registered for the WiFi network this should continue to work, but if it is connected only by UTP you will have to arrange for a connection to be made available in the Hot Desk area.

Accounts and other filespaces

User accounts are not removed immediately the System Administrators are informed that a person has left. It is not uncommon for leaving dates to be quite vague - Research Students will often have to return briefly for vivas for example, so System Administrators can seldom be certain that someone has definitely left. Furthermore, people often want to retrieve files from their account here once they are at a new location, so there is a period when access may still be needed - if this is the case you should make suitable arrangements for ensuring that you can access your filespace from outside (ie take a fresh OTPW with you, see One-time passwords).

The System Administrators are notified automatically when someone is removed from the Office List. If you are a Research Student your status will be periodically reviewed until it is confirmed that you have completed. Non-research students and research students who have completed (or are otherwise no longer registered) will usually be contacted by a System Administrator (this does not happen if you were only here short-term, or if it appears that you have already tidied up to our satisfaction). The message will ask if it is safe to remove your account, and ask about your requirements for email and WWW forwarding. Review dates are set based on the replies received (or not), and status may be periodically reviewed.

Eventually your account will be put into an inaccessible "disabled" state - the files are untouched but the password entry is removed from all our machines so that they can no longer be accessed. Your account will remain in this state typically for about 6 to 12 months, again subject to review. After this the account directory will be moved into an archive area, from which it will be relatively easy for a System Administrator to retrieve it, if necessary. At a much later date the directory will be backed up onto tape.

It is important to note that System Administrators are much less careful with other filespaces that you may have used. It is very likely that the workstation you were using will be reallocated on the day that you leave. It will almost certainly have its scratch space cleared, so any files you have in a /local/scratch directory will be lost. Likewise, if you have a directory in bigdisc it should be regarded as scratch and may be tidied up at any point after you have left.

See Burning CDs and DVDs for information on backing up your own files.

If files in your account filespace are used by other people, in your Research group for example, then they should be moved to a suitable part of the Research group filespace so that they remain accessible. If you are responsible for any part of a group filespace then you should make sure that another member of the group takes responsibility for it, and has sufficient access permissions.

Email and personal webpages

Our current policy is that people can have a simple email forwarding for as long as they want it provided that it causes us no trouble (e.g. with bounces). If you leave a forwarding address in your .forward file (or give one to postmaster@cl.cam.ac.uk), it is our standard policy to continue to forward Email unless you ask us not to. At some point your account will actually be removed (see above), but we will continue to forward email.

Please arrange to remove your CL address from any mailing lists it may be on.

We can also set up WWW forwarding if you wish, contact webmaster@cl.cam.ac.uk.

Also remember to ...

Go to reception or one of the secretaries to

  • hand in your access card (unless it is your University card and you are going to still require it elsewhere in the University);
  • hand in your office keys;
  • leave a forwarding address for (paper) mail.

Note: If you can't reach one of the secretaries or if Reception is closed, please put them in an envelope with your name on and leave it in the Reception pigeonhole (located to the right of room GC03).