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Using Remote Desktop Connection

Remote Desktop Connection, also known as the Terminal Server, allows you to connect to the server and work from there.  It runs much faster than the old, tired computer in your classroom.  It also has access to a couple of programs that are too new to run on your classroom computer.

Any computer that is allowed to use remote desktop connection will have a sticker on the front.  It is usually installed on one computer in each classroom (the "main computer" in rooms with more than one computer).

Getting started with Remote Desktop Connection

Connect to the server

  1. Click on the Start menu, point to Programs, and click "Remote Desktop Connection".
  2. You will be asked for a computer.  Type "ashc7" (this is on the sticker on the front of your computer).
  3. Click the Connect button.  The computer will now connect to the server.
  4. You'll see a screen asking for your username and password.  Type your username and password, and click OK.  (If the server won't accept your password, press the Caps Lock key on the keyboard and try again.  Unlike the computer in your room, the terminal server is case-sensitive.  Capital and lowercase letters in your password must match exactly.)

You're connected!  The terminal server works pretty much the same as a newer computer running Windows XP.  To get to the programs, click on the Start button, and point to "All Programs".  You'll see the usual programs such as Internet, e-mail, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.  The "Server" menu at the top contains the programs for each building such as Grade Quick and Student Writing Center.

Set up e-mail

If you have used your e-mail on a Windows 2000 or Windows XP computer before, your e-mail will already be set up.  If not, then you have three options for using e-mail on the terminal server:

  • Use the web page (this is the easiest!).  Click on the Start button, and click on Internet Explorer at the top of the menu.  You'll see  the school web page.  Look for a button that says "School E-mail".
  • Set up Outlook Express.  This is the same program that you use on your classroom computer.  (Click here for instructions to set up Outlook Express.)
  • Set up Outlook.  Outlook lets you use calendars and task lists in addition to your e-mail.  (Click here for instructions to set up Outlook.)

Tips and Tricks

After you are comfortable with the basics of the remote desktop connection, here are some other capabilities it has to offer.

Software

These programs are available on the terminal server:

  • Internet Explore
  • Outlook Express (for e-mail)
  • Word 2002
  • Excel 2002
  • PowerPoint 2002
  • Outlook 2002 (for e-mail and calendars)
  • Scholastic software (elementary buildings only)
  • Grade Quick (high school & middle school only)
  • Any other software that your building has in the start menu

Disconnecting and reconnecting

If you switch rooms during the day, you can disconnect from the terminal server and reconnect in another roomówithout closing all of your programs.  To disconnect, click on the "X" button in the white bar at the very top of the screen.  When you get to the new room, connect to the terminal server the same way you normally would.  After you type your username and password, you'll see all of your programs exactly as you left them.

You can stay disconnected for up to two days.  After the time expires, the server will log you off automatically, so make sure you save your work before you disconnect.

Printing

You can print to your classroom printer from the terminal server.

Disks and CDs

You can use floppy disks and CD-ROMs with your server, but it requires a couple of extra steps.  First, before you connect to the server, click on the "Options" button.  (This is right below the box where you type "ashc7".)  You'll see a tab at the top that says "Local Resources".  Click on that.  Then, put a checkmark in the "Disk drives" box.

Now, click Connect.  You'll get a security warning that this could be unsafe.  Click OK.

After you log in, click on the Start button, and then click on My Computer.  At the bottom, you'll see several drives such as "A on ASHS125-1".  Those are the disk drives from your computer:

  • A is your computer's floppy drive.
  • C is your computer's hard drive.
  • D is usually your computer's CD-ROM drive.
  • E could be the zip drive or the CD-ROM drive.
  • Don't use the other drives (H, S, T, and U).  They will work, but they are very slow.

Frequently asked questions and answers

Why isn't remote desktop connection on all the computers in my room?
The remote desktop connection program costs $29 per computer.  Plus, we have to have an additional license for Microsoft Office (about $60 more).  We don't have enough money to put this program on every computer right now.
Can I have Remote Desktop Connection installed on a different computer instead?
Because of the way we have purchased software licenses, we can only install Remote Desktop Connection on the "main computer" in your room.  However, we can physically move your main computer to a different place on the table.  If you want us to make a switch, submit a tech support request (at the left side of this page).
Can I install programs on the server?
No, because this would make the program available to everyone, not just the teacher who installed the program.  In most cases, this violates the license agreement for the program.  If we have a building-wide or district-wide license, we can install the program on the server.  Contact Sam Richmond for software requests.
Are students allowed to use Remote Desktop Connection?
Not right now.  We want to get all the staff set up first.
Will Grade Quick run from the terminal server?
It will at the high school and middle school.  The elementary schools' version of Grade Quick will not run from the terminal server.
Will Scholastic software run from the terminal server?
At the elementary schools and high school, yes.  The middle school has a different version of SRI, and we can't run more than one version from the same server.
Sometimes the server seems really slow.
Right now, we don't have a proper server.  This started as a pilot program with only 15 client computers and a minimal server.  We used up the rest of this year's budget to buy the 226 software licenses for the rest of the school district.  Once next year's budget is available, we'll be buying a better server that can handle the load.

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