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How to Use the MDP ED & L disk

This page describes how to get started with the MDP Engineer's Desktop and Library once you've managed to load the disk. If you're having problems loading the disk, then check out How to Load the MDP ED& L disk, and Loading Problems .

If you wish to use network facilities (e.g. the Internet) and you need to specify your network settings manually, then you may wish to specify them now - see Network Settings. You may also wish to connect to facilities that are specific to your university or institution - see the University Specific page.

For further instructions and tips, please read the FAQ.

Getting Started

Click the Start button in the bottom left corner. This will bring up a menu, from which you can start the applications that are provided on the CD. Most applications are under the Programs sub-menu.

There is a large variety of applications that may be available on your edition of the MDP Knoppix CD. Each application has its own set of tutorials and manuals, the more useful of which have been included on the CD. The following resources are available:

Desktop Applications  Engineering Applications
Open Office Office Suite   3D CAD
Web Browser   Electronics Design
E-Mail Software   C/C++ Programing
Text Editors   Fortran Programming
LaTeX Document Preparation   Basic Programming
Graphics and Image Processing   Analysis Tools
File Viewers    

For further information on using this CD and the programs that are on it, have a read of the FAQ or look at the documentation on the CD.

Saving Data/Files

When running programs from this CD, the computer system is operating from a "ramdisk", meaning that files are stored in the computer's memory rather than being written to a hard disk. Unfortunately, files on the ramdisk will be LOST when you switch off the computer. There are several ways to keep your files permanently, all of which effective mount a new disk on the system, see below. Note in each case a new filer window (Xfe) will appear after the disk has been mounted pointing at the top level directory of the drive, together with a confirmation window indicating the disk has been mounted correctly. The latter window must be cancelled before continuing.

Hard Disk (not Windows 2000 ,NT, XP or Vista)

You can access your computer's existing hard disk space with:

--> Start --> Settings --> Disks --> Access Hard Disks and USB Drives

USB memory device

The procedure for accessing USB memory devices is similar to accessing data on your existing hard disk:

--> Start --> Settings --> Disks --> Access Hard Disks and USB Drives

N.B. The USB device should be appear on drive listings, e.g. Xfe, as a "Special Disk" partition, i.e sda or sdb. If you insert the USB memory whilst the computer is running, you may need to wait a few seconds before attempting to mount it.
USB memory devices should be unmounted ,

--> Start --> Settings --> Disks --> Unmount Drives,

before disconnection/removal from the computer to ensure that all your data has been written.

Floppy Disk

If your system has a floppy drive a floppy can be used by simply inserting a disk and select the following:

--> Start --> Settings --> Disks --> Access Floppy

All Floppy discs should be unmounted ,

--> Start --> Settings --> Disks --> Unmount Floppy,

before removal from the computer to ensure that all your data has been written and allow the use of other floppy disks.

Use FTP to transfer the files to another computer

You can temporarily save the files to the ramdisk, and then use the program gFTP to transfer them to another computer, on which you have an FTP account.

--> Start --> Programs --> Network --> gFTP

For this to work, the user must have set up network access and have a user name and password for the remote machine. (N.B. for systems which have high levels of security it is often required to select the SSH option rather than the default ftp)

Networked mounted Drive (Samba)

If you have an network connection, see Network Settings , and access to a remotely mountable disk space it is possible to mount the filespace directly. In order to access your files:

  1. Ensure you are connected to a network, ( see Network Settings )
  2. To mount the network drive select either
    1. Settings --> Disks --> Access Local network Drive
    2. Settings --> Disks --> Access network Drive (SSH/Remote)

    Both options present the user with a similar window requesting the server, username and password. The second option differs in that it uses SSH tunnelling and needs a secure server address, see section~\ref{ssec:servers}.
    Access Network Drive Menu Image
    • Example //
    • Username Cheesehead

The second option uses a SSH tunnel through a preset secure server, see Loading the CD for further information on how configure this option.

MDP reserved area for NTFS discs (Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista)

Direct writing to NTFS discs (those found in Windows 2000/NT/XP and Vista machines) from Linux systems can cause problems, so an alternative method has been included in the MDP EDaL system. This uses a `MDP reserved area' which normally looks like a single file when viewed in Windows Explorer, but as a complete file system from the EDaL system. To use the system a setup program has to be run, see option 4, from the MDP options menu while in a windows environment. The wizard prompts the user for the amount of space to be reserved and then generates the required file (normally named 'mdp-drive0') in either the root directory of the primary hard disk (typically C:) or in the 'Documents and Settings/All Users' directory. Once booted into the EDaL environment the reserved space is automatically detected and appears in the home file area as a directory 'MDP-drive0')
Once the reserved area has been setup it is possible to read the individual directories and files, created when using the EDaL system, from the Microsoft Windows environment using the package 'explore2fs' which can be started using option 6 on the options menu.

Network Settings

This EDaL disk can be used both with and without setting up a network connection. However if you connect to a network, then you will be able to check email, view web-pages, save your files permanently across the network, and use software like Pro/Engineer. (Pro/Engineer requires network a connection to access a license server on the network).

Some networks can provide information to automatically configure your computer's network settings. In this case, the MDP EDaL will configure your network settings automatically, and you are ready to start using network facilities.

If the computer was unable to automatically detect your network settings, then unfortunately you must configure them manually or record the settings using an automatic program in windows if you want to use network facilities. The network can be configured manually by selecting =>Start =>Settings =>Network =>Network Card.

Select Manual when asked if you want the computer to automatically configure the network, and then simply provide the relevant network information when you are asked.. See Loading the CD for further details.

To save you from having to enter the network information every time that your computer restarts, you may wish to save these settings to your boot floppy disk (or perhaps your hard disk). To do this, select =>Start =>Settings =>Save Settings.