[Computing Resources, Remote Desktop Clients, Books and Stuff]

Computing Resources

For your labs and course project, you will use four server machines:,,, and Each of you should have an account on one of these machines by the end of the first week.

Each of these machines is running Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 (Enterprise Edition), enabled in the application server and terminal server roles. The former means that each of these machines is running the Internet Information Server (IIS) web server, augmented with ASP.NET functionality to support .NET-based web services and applications. The terminal server functionality allows users to connect to these machines using Remote Desktop clients: each user is presented with his/her own Windows desktop, as if they had direct access.

The servers provide access to the following software tools:

o        Microsoft’s Visual Studio.NET 2003 (Professional Edition), the IDE that I would prefer for you to use. As part of this install, you have access to a C# compiler, the .NET Framework class libraries, and various command-line and other utilities to help you develop, build, deploy, and debug .NET applications.

o        Cygwin Tools: A full release of the cygwin tools is available for those of you who prefer a UNIX look and feel to your development environment.

o        Emacs-NT: An installation of Emacs for Windows platforms is also available. This has been configured so that it recognizes cygwin-style paths and uses cygwin bash as its default shell. In principle, you should be able to use an emacs-based development and build environment relying upon cygwin make and command-line utilities from the .NET framework.

Note that at least for some of the labs, you don’t need to have access to the full Visual Studio.NET install. It is sufficient to have the .NET Framework tools and redistributable available. These can be downloaded from Microsoft’s web site (we are using Version 1.1 of the framework) as also from the home page of each of the servers above (,,,

User folders:

User folders on these machines will be created on the D: partition, and can be accessed using the path D:\VSDev\<user name>. Access permissions for these folders will be setup so that they can be accessed only by their owner, preventing users from accidentally or maliciously reading, writing, or modifying each others folders. No facilities are provided for backing up the state of these folders, so please try and make sure that you have backups of your files on your own. You have two options for moving your files to and from these servers:

1.       If you use a Microsoft-supplied Remote Desktop Client (these work on the different Windows platforms), you can specify during connection establishment time that drives on your local machine be accessible under the remote desktop connection. Then, you can move files between folders on two machines just as you would between two folders on the same machine.

For security reasons, these servers will not allow their local drives to be network-mapped from elsewhere, but you should be able to map drives on your home machine to them (modulo the security risks).

2.       You can use the scp utility (accessible through the cygwin shell) or the WinSCP program to move files to and from the server using an intermediate machine which is running an SSH server and on which you have an account (most of you should have accounts on, which does run an SSH server). Note that the netserver* machines are not themselves running an SSH server.

In addition, all users will be able to read and write to a shared folder D:\VSDev\Public. This folder has been created to permit your web applications to be accessible from clients running on remote machines without requiring them to supply authentication credentials. Additional instructions will be provided at a later time on setting up and using this folder for your publicly accessible web applications.

Remote Desktop Clients

You will need to download and install an appropriate Remote Desktop client on whichever machine you will be using to connect to the development servers described above.

o        The Microsoft Remote Desktop terminal service application is compatible for use with Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT4, and 2000 workstations.Remote Desktop comes pre-installed with Windows XP. Installation and operating instructions for using Remote Desktop are provided in the .NET Development Server - Developer Jump Start guide.

o        In case you have access to a Windows box, but don’t have install permissions (for example, you are using one of the ITS lab machines), you can run the remote desktop client as an Active X control within the Internet Explorer browser window. To use this facility, you should have permission to install and run Active X controls (I have verified that the ITS lab machines do allow this). To access the control, navigate to any of the following URLs:

                        After you accept installation of the control, you will be presented with a form asking for the server name and your login information.

o        For UNIX platforms, source code for an open source client can be dowloaded from Make sure that you download version 1.2.0, which has support for 128-bit RC4 Encryption (required to connect to the servers).

o        For MAC OS X Version 10.2.3 or higher, you can download and use Microsoft Remote Desktop Client 1.0.1 for Mac

Books, Sample Code, and Hands-On Labs using C# and .NET

The Microsoft .NET Framework Academic Resource Kit CD (available online on each of the development servers:,,, contains an extensive collection of resource materials. Of particular interest are the Books and Course Materials tabs.

You can also go to for an extensive listing of books about different .NET technologies.