Remote access instructions

Accessing Maple and MATLAB from home

The School of Mathematics and Statistics provides a remote login service to one of its Windows terminal servers. It is available for all students and can be accessed from anywhere within New Zealand with a broadband internet connection.

What applications and services are available?

There are licenses for users to run various applications, including MATLAB, Maple, R and SAS. When you login you will find your usual network shares are available such as P: drive, U: drive etc.

What are the limitations of this service?

  • Microsoft Office is not available on this service.
  • This service is only available from within New Zealand.
  • No local devices or resources such as printers, local hard drives, the local clipboard etc. are able to the used on the remote session. If you need to transfer files from your local machine to the remote session you can FTP to your My Documents (P:).
  • Printing is disabled on this server. This is to prevent people printing to printers within the School when they are in remote locations.
  • Connections that remain idle for two hours will be automatically logged out. Disconnected sessions will be logged out after five minutes.

How do I connect?

Remote computer or hostname: mathlab.canterbury.ac.nz

Windows systems come with a Remote Desktop Connection client (mstsc.exe) to connect to Terminal Servers.

Using a configuration file

  1. Download and save this configuration file (right-click and "Save Target As"): mathlab.rdp (1.2KB)
  2. Double-click on the downloaded file to open the Remote Desktop Connection client.
  3. If you are prompted to enter your credentials, just type in your user name as the server is set to request a user name and password upon connection (i.e. it won’t trust what is sent on the initial connection).
  4. You should now be present with the familiar Log On to Windows screen.
Windows log in screen

Now log on as you would normally.

Use the connection bar at the top of your screen to switch between your local machine and the remote session.

You will need to install rdesktopFreeRDP or one of the GUI front–ends to rdesktop such as tsclient, grdesktop or krdesktop. I'm sure you'll find one that suits you.

Once installed connect to mathlab.canterbury.ac.nz.

Where can I connect to the server from?

Anywhere! As long as you have a reasonably fast internet connection. If the School of Mathematics and Statistics computer labs are full or closed, you can connect to this server from any PC or Mac on campus, including the machines in the Crypt, Loft and Engineering computer labs. Just follow the instructions outlined above.

Tips for improved performance

RDP is a fairly light-weight protcol. However there are a few things you can do speed up your communication with the Terminal Server.

1. Close or restrict other bandwidth hungry applications on your PC while running a remote session, such as peer-to-peer applications.

2. Optimise the settings in the Remote Desktop Client to reduce bandwidth. The following setting are from the Windows XP Remote Desktop Client (mstsc.exe):

  • Set the desktop display size to a smaller resolution such as 800x600.Reduce the colour depth to 15bit.
  • Set the remote computer sound to stay at the remote computer.
  • Turn off the following in the 'Experience' tab; desktop background; font smoothing; desktop composition; show window contents while dragging; menu and window animation; themes
  • Ensure bitmap caching is turned on.