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Thursday, July 28, 2011

  • Change coming to login screens
  • Waterloo robot tears up the track
  • Staffer, camera buff, takes to the sky
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

It was Christmas in July at the Village of Winston Park seniors' care home, Kitchener, on July 9 when a group of Waterloo undergrads volunteered to set up festive decorations, help run event stalls and — like Roy Lee (left), nanotechnology engineering, and Chris Letnick, computer engineering — serve food. The event raised more than $700 for the Alzheimer Society's Walk for Memories.

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Change coming to login screens

"[Starting today,] there will be a small change appearing on the login screens of all ADS and Nexus computers used by about three to four thousand faculty and staff, and 20,000 students," says Erick Engelke, director of engineering computing, and leader of the Active Directory consolidation project for the university.

"The change will be that computers in nexus domain will also mention ADS, and likewise ADS computers will mention nexus. We don't actually want people to try logging into the other domain, but we need this step so we can start moving accounts across for a future time when all these users will be in Nexus."

Details of the change, and the reasons behind it, are online. Here are some excerpts:

"The Active Directory consolidation project aims to simplify the campus into a single Active Directory for teaching and administration purposes.

"Active Directory is Microsoft’s directory, a sort of phone book which holds lists of computers and users with associated attributes. For users, it contains attributes with information like passwords (irreversible hashes), home directory pointers, preferred email addresses, and groupings that declare one a student, a member of one or more departments, and members of other lists which might access to certain databases or other resources.

"Three existing Active Directories (ADS, Artsfaculty and Nexus) will be folded into one: Nexus. The merged directory will contain all users on campus, and will be used to manage access to many campus databases, SharePoint servers, wireless access, email, and directly manage at least 6,000 campus workstations."

"The week of July 25th, 2011 we will begin the first major steps on production systems. We will create trusts between ADS and Nexus. 

"The only noticeable effect for most people will be that the login screen will allow them to log into other domains that weren’t listed before. People are encouraged to not attempt to change their login domain.

"This stage will be used to copy accounts from ADS to Nexus, but only for users who haven’t used Nexus in the year 2011, including those who have never used Nexus. Regular Nexus users will not be moved yet.

"The timing of this stage allows us to prepare for freshmen students arriving for September. They already have ADS accounts for Quest; this will copy their accounts and password for use in the Nexus labs."

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Waterloo robot tears up the track

Last weekend, July 23, the University of Waterloo’s Team Wavelab Robotics returned to the International Autonomous Robot Racing Competition at the University of British Columbia, with a redesigned version of the vehicle that crashed last year just before the competition and had to be rebuilt at lightning speed. This time, it was a clean sweep for the Waterloo team.

They won the Grand Award, and also captured first place in the Design, Drag Race, and Circuit competitions. Videos of the Circuit Race Training are here and here; a video of the Drag Race Competition is here.

Earlier this year, the joint UW Robotics and WAVELab Robotics team also did well at the International Ground Vehicles Competition at Oakland University in Rochester, with the best showing of any Canadian entry. The team is advised by mechanical and mechatronics engineering professors Steve Waslander and Sanjeev Bedi.

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Staffer, camera buff, takes to the sky

Aerial photo of Warrior Field by Joe Bevan July 13
This aerial photo of Warrior Field, looking towards the south campus, was taken by Joe Bevan, multimedia specialist in Mapping, Analysis and Design, on July 13…. but not from an airplane. He used a kite.

Joe Bevan flying a kite“Basically I have a fairly simple yet large kite (left) that can lift a bit of weight,” Bevan says. “I'm using a 45-square-foot parafoil kite onto which I attach some clamps which in turn hold the strings that are attached to a camera rig I made (below).

"The rig is balanced using the crisscross network of strings and contains a camera, trigger servo, battery, and a small bit of electronics for triggering the servo.

Camera rigged to hang from kite line“Right now I angle the camera manually before sending it up but the next version of the rig will incorporate movement like rotation and tilt.”

People have been taking aerial photographs from kites since the 1880s. Lately, thanks to lighter cameras and microelectronics, aerial photography from kites has been growing again in popularity.

CPA staff

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Link of the day

Rockhound Gemboree

When and where

Diploma survey: Complete this anonymous survey of two semi-final diploma design options to help the Diploma Review Committee recommend a preferred choice to Senate.

"Just Food" travelling art exhibit sponsored by Mennonite Committee on Human Rights, through to September 27 in Conrad Grebel UC atrium. Information: 519-885-0220 and online.

Library hours during exams, July 24-August 13. Davis is open 24 hours except closed Sundays, 2-8 a.m. Porter is open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile, play by Standard Deviation Theatre company started by Waterloo grads. July 27-30, 8 p.m., Registry Theatre, 122 Frederick Street, Kitchener. Tickets $15 ($12 students). Reserve by email.

Student Life 101 visits for future first-year students, July 28-29, August 2-3, 5-6, 8-9.  Details.

Surplus sale of furniture and equipment, today, 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall.

Bread clipart

Potluck for Somalia famine relief, today, 10 – 11 a.m., Needles Hall room 1116. Donations will go to Doctors Without Borders.

Shad Valley program open house to show off student projects, today 1:30-4:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel U College great hall.

WPIRG Seeds of Resistance workshop: Alternative Media. today, 5 to 7 p.m., Student Life Centre room 2135. For information or to register:

Sandford Fleming TA Awards: engineering students, nominate your most deserving teaching assistant. Ballots at EngSoc and at reception in CPH 1320. Deadline to nominate is this Friday, 4:01 p.m.

Ilion, a play about the siege of Troy by architecture students, Friday, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. at Lang Tannery, 151 Charles Street West, Kitchener. Tickets $10 at the door or at Melville Café, School of Architecture, Cambridge. Tickets left only for Saturday 2 p.m.

Civic Holiday, Monday, August 1, university closed.

Examinations for spring term courses, August 2-13. Unofficial grades begin to appear in Quest August 15; grades become official September 19.

WPIRG Seeds of Resistance workshop: Canadian Mining Injustice. Thursday, August 4, 5 to 8 p.m., Student Life Centre room 2135. For information or to register:

Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students (grades 10-12), August 8-12. Details.

Peace Camp for students aged 11-14, August 8-12, Conrad Grebel University College. Details.

Warrior athletics camps August 8-12: Womeh’s hockey. Details.

Ontario Mennnonite Music Camp August 14-26, Conrad Grebel University College. Details.

Warrior athletics camps August 15-19: Multi-sport camp; women’s basketball fundamentals. Details.

National women’s volleyball team vs. Netherlands, Saturday, August 20, 7:30, and Sunday, August 21, 3:00, Physical Activities Complex. Tickets.

Warrior athletics camps week of August 22: Men’s volleyball elite. Details.

Fall term fees due August 29 (certified cheque or promissory note), September 7 (bank transfer).

Warrior athletics camps August 29 to September 2: Women’s basketball; field hockey. Details.

Labour Day, Monday, September 5, university closed.

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