Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science

SCS Computing COVID-19 Response

In response to both university guidance and Pennsylvania state directives, SCS Computing Facilities is committed to maintaining the facilities and equipment necessary to allow remote research and teaching operations and will continue to provide ongoing on-site resources in support of that mission.

We have enacted formal policies to enforce "social distancing" between staff due to the COVID-19 outbreak. During this time, critical services, including machine room support and monitoring will continue to be available. Services that require a high amount of direct interaction will continue to operate at a reduced level.

We are prepared to support you

Our technical teams are now structured to provide remote support as well as on-site support on an as-needed basis. For all technical support, you can submit a request through our website, call 412-268-4231, or email help@cs.cmu.edu.

Help Desk

Our Help Desk team is available remotely, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. We will be providing fully remote support services as in-person Help Desk support will be unavailable until further notice. Our escalation teams employ an "on-call" system to ensure full support is available to our community.

Remote support and your privacy

When our technical support staff uses a remote support tool called Bomgar/BeyondTrust to remotely connect to your computer, there are important security safeguards in place to protect you and your privacy.

All connections require your acceptance of an invitation for the remote support session. SCS Help Desk technical staff cannot remotely view/control your computer without your consent or acceptance.

  • If accepted, the permission is limited to only one (1) remote support session and access is revoked the moment that session ends. An invitation cannot be re-used.
  • If a second connection is needed in the future, you must accept a new invitation.
  • You will see the screen throughout the remote session and any operations performed on the computer at all times.
  • You have the ability to terminate the remote support session at any time.
  • We cannot see your keyboard input, so if a password is entered as part of the support procedure, we do not see anything you are typing.

Our technical support staff is trained to provide clarity about any and all procedures being performed and the expected outcomes of the remote session. You privacy and security are paramount while we work to support you during this time. 

Desktop Support

For hardware support issues a machine drop-off can be coordinated with our technical staff (with lead time). This will allow them to collect and disinfect machines so that repairs can be conducted safely and efficiently.

HPC & Project Server Support

Our engineering teams are ready to provide hardware support should the need arise. Our engineers will coordinate with requesters for on-site support on a case-by-case basis. 

Receiving

The SCS Receiving office will be scheduling limited pickup/dropoff times once a week with our vendors (USPS, UPS, FedEx, campus mail).  Staff will only be on campus briefly once per week.  For smaller items, we recommend shipping directly to your remote work location.  To arrange for shipping/receiving larger computing items, please contact receiving@cs.cmu.edu.

Computing Resources

Remote Work and Teaching Resources

The Andrew Computing Services website has resources for Faculty and Staff who are working remotely. The Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation has excellent technology for education resources on their website

Zoom

Zoom is the preferred web conferencing solution for Carnegie Mellon University.  Zoom provides a high-quality video, audio, and/or screen sharing solution for conferencing and collaboration. For first time log in details, visit Get Started with Zoom and choose the Launch Zoom option.

General Purpose Computing: LINUX.GP

SCS Computing Facilities maintains a group of Linux computers running Ubuntu for general purpose computing and access to AFS. More information about accessing the general purpose Linux computer is available on our Linux GP support page.

VPN

The General Use Campus VPN is available for remote access to campus resources that typically require a campus presence. 

CrashPlan

 If you experience a system failure on a machine being protected by CrashPlan, you can perform a self-service restore of your data. See Data Protection for more information about restoring your files.