Remote Access Plotting

It is possible to connect in via Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to remotely send plots to the Design Studio plotter.

These plots will then be left beside the plotter for collection – if they are not claimed by the end of the day they will be taken to the pickup point on the ground floor of building 11 for you to collect.

Note: this system will struggle with everybody printing as usual – please be sensible about your plotting needs – and timing for deadlines.

This lightweight VDI does not have all the applications on it so you should prepare the files you need as PDF files. Please ensure your PDF files are:

  • Correctly sized pages and artwork – at real world dimensions
  • Suitable resolution images
  • For large, complex, multi-layered PDFs consider clicking the ADVANCED – PRINT AS IMAGE option to avoid errors in processing.
  • Crop marks are very useful
  • Spellcheck, etc.

These are the paper types available on the plotter for A2/A1/A0

  • Standard Paper : Coated Paper (120 GSM) – £1.00 / £2.00 / £4.00 (Q1)
  • Premium Heavyweight Paper (180 GSM) – £1.50 / £3.00 / £6.00 (Q3)
  • Polyester Film (tracing paper)  (90 GSM) – £2.00 / £4.00 / £8.00 (Q4)
  • Wallpaper Non Woven Paper (130 GSM) –  £2.00 / £4.00 / £8.00 (Q5)
  • Fine Linen paper  (130 GSM) –  £2.00 / £4.00 / £8.00 (Q6)

Connecting to the VDI

From your own machine visit the following site:

studentdesktop.gre.ac.uk

And choose VMware Horizon HTML Access (you could also connect via the VMware Horizon Client if you have it installed already)

Accept the terms of use and login with your University ID in the form of ab1234c@gre.ac.uk

You will then see a number of VDIs to connect to; choose

VDI – School of Design.

After a few moments you will be logged into this virtual machine within your browser window

Sending your Plots

Locate the PDF files you have prepared for printing

Note: the Uni OneDrive does not yet connect direct to this VDI so you would need to access files via the browser version of OneDrive (or use Google drive, or any other browser based file share)

Once you have your files, open them in Acrobat Reader by right clicking and selecting Open With > Acrobat Reader DC. (Say NO if asked to make Acrobat Reader reader the default, and allow)

(Just double clicking the PDF will open the file with MS Edge which is more tricky to plot correctly from)

Once you have your file open in Acrobat Reader choose FILE – PRINT and pick the printer queue you want to send to:

For the regular paper plots (120gsm / £2.00 per A1) choose:

\\GSM-RPS\STANDARD-PLOT-DST-CW7001_Q1

Then specify size by selecting PAGE SETUP and picking the size from the drop-down

Choose the size you want and then OK back to the main print page where you can see a preview indicating how your file will fit on the page. (You can choose FIT to scale to the page size but it is better if your document is correctly sized)

When you are happy then click print to submit the PDF.

After a few moments you will see a pop-up confirmation window that gives the price you will be charged (due to the way the area of plot is calculated the figure is not a round figure)

If the figure looks right then click CONFIRM. You will receive a message if there is not enough money in your account and the plot will not go through; you would need to send again after you have topped up your account.

You can monitor the progress of the plot by visiting this address in the browser window of the VDI session:

172.16112.21

Once the file disappears from here it is in the plotter’s internal queue

You can top up your print credit online by visiting the printcredit page – note this link will ONLY work from a browser INSIDE the virtual desktop environment, it will not work from your regular browser

Within Chrome in the virtual desktop visit

printcredit.gre.ac.uk

and follow the instructions

Collecting your Plots

The plot collection point is downstairs in the foyer; the roll cages.

Plots unclaimed from the plot area tables will be brought down at the end of the day and left in the roll cages on the ground floor.

Please exercise sensible queuing / fetching when picking up.

Remote Access PC – Direct Access

The machines in the School that have been cordoned off for social distancing reasons have instead been made available to access directly from your machine at home. In this situation you take over the machine and have access to the power and software resources on it from your own Mac, PC or Chromebook – with the hard work being carried out by the Uni machine rather than your own machine – which is just a conduit to it.

To set yourself up for direct access you should first download and install the client software for your Mac, PC or Chromebook (the following example shows procedure for Mac).

–Service status 23.09.20:
Some applications are still installing to these machines

Installation

Visit : studentdesktop.gre.ac.uk and click the link for Install VMware Horizon Client (use this link, not via Microsoft Store)

You will see a list of the clients for different platforms; choose Go To Downloads next to your machine platform and Download Now to get the installer.

The process for installing VMware varies according to device but for a Mac you would just drag it across to your Applications folder then launch it from there.

Connect to a Uni Machine

Create a new connection to the Uni with the address studentdesktop.gre.ac.uk and hit Connect

And then login with your Uni id in the format ab1234c@gre.ac.uk

You will then see two “pools” which represent the remote machines in the first floor computer area:

  • GM-DST : these are the machines in the first floor studios.
    You can plot from these machines and they include ArcGIS / NetFab
  • GM-L2001 : this is the teaching lab on the second floor.
    If a class requires the remote machines you may be logged off.
    ArcGIS / NetFab is NOT installed in 2001.

Double click to choose the pool you want to take a machine from and you will be logged in and connected to it.

It is worth trying this out so you can become accustomed to the setup – it can be a little disorientating at first having Windows in a window and hopping between your own OS (the host) and the remote one.

Notes

You cannot use USB devices directly through the remote access – but you can use your Uni OneDrive space to transfer files.

You cannot copy and past between the host and the remote OS

When you join the pool you will be allocated an available machine at random – there is no way to choose a particular machine

You can find out which machine you have – and the hardware it us running – by pressing the Windows key and typing MSINFO followed by enter

These machines will be available any time – but 2001 may sometimes need them for timetabled classes.

If you leave the machine for two hours it will automatically log you out.

If you don’t explicitly log out of the Windows session and instead just quit VMware you are still logged in (for two hours)

Please logout / signout from the remote machine rather than quitting the VMware application – otherwise you are tying that machine up for another two hours