Working from home (or from out of the labs)
[Note: details change, and specifics here might be slightly out of date. Use this a guide, and make sure to notice onscreen instructions that might differ. If your computer is running Vista or Windows7, the XP instructions will vary; I don't know exactly how -- and if your computer is a Mac, I suggest using the first option below, the university's netstorage utility]
[Further note: if you save files from Word to "Web pages" or HTML, they often acquire garbage characters in place of punctuation. This can be fixed. Instructions for doing so are at the bottom of this document, here]
If your computer's operating system is Windows XP, the easiest way to work from home or over a wireless connection from your laptop -- that is, when you need to work over the Web rather than directly on your F:\ drive in the lab -- is to add your space on the STU server to "Your Network Places." Instructions for doing that are below. There's certainly a way to do this with Vista, but I don't know what it is. If you do, and email it to me, I'll add it to this page.
Otherwise, the university's suggested way to access your F:\ drive from out of the lab is this (there are also instructions for doing this on the STU Web site, here):
Using whatever browser you usually use, go to this site: https://stuzen.stu.ca/netstorage.
You'll get a login screen. Your login ID and password are exactly as they would be in the lab -- because in fact what you're doing is logging on to your account in the lab and on the STU people server.
You'll then get a screen that has two parts: a list of folders on the left and something called Location: /NetStorage on the left. They both show the same thing, but you work with them differently, and some of what you should do is simply try things and see what happens. Here are the two things you need to know first.
When the file's saved on your computer, edit it and save it (make sure it's an HTML file and that it has exactly the same filename you started with). I recommend editing it with Kompozer, but Microsoft Word or WordPerfect will do the job, as long as you remember that you need to be careful that the file is saved or published as a Web page or HTML file, and that the filename is exactly what it was).
Now, you need to put it back on your Web site -- or, if it's a file you've just created, you need to put on the server in the first place. (To do this, you may need to fix your Browser so that it doesn't block "popups" on this site. If you do need to do that, when you try to upload a file you'll get a note telling you so -- it will say "This feature requires that you disable the popup blocker for the site stuzen.stu.ca." This isn't hard to do, and you only need to do it once, but it varies from one browser to another. See below.)
Once you've done that (if necessary), you need to go back to the "File" icon in the NetStorage window, click on it, and then click on "Upload." You'll get a window saying "Upload File" with a slot for the file and a "Browse" button next to it. Navigate to the file you want to upload, click it, click "Open" (don't ask why they use that word when you're not opening the file), and then "Upload."
If this works for you, you will probably want to bookmark that site (or add it to your favourites) -- https://stuzen.stu.ca/netstorage -- so that you don't have to remember it.
Allowing popups on the netstorage site
Internet Explorer: When a popup is blocked (when you click on
"upload"), a line appears at the top of your screen which asks you to click
it for options; you can then tell it to allow popups from this site.
Firefox: When a popup is blocked, a line appears at the top of your screen, with an "options" button at the right. You can click to allow popups from this site.
An explanation of what you're doing
It's important to have in your head a model of what's happening, to keep straight the various versions of your document. Here's as simple an explanation as I can put together.
As a member of the St. Thomas community, you have a Web site. If you don't use it, it doesn't matter, because nothing will be in it; but if you put an HTML file in the folder named public_html in your f:\ drive on the server, it will be visible to anyone on the Web who knows where to look. Your Web site's address on the Web is http://people.stu.ca/~hijkl where hijkl is your STU logon ID. When you're in one of the labs on campus, you have direct access to that folder, and you can create and modify files in it simply by opening them with a word processor or HTML editor.
When you're not in the lab -- off campus or connected via the wireless access -- you don't have direct access to the files in your STU file area, and therefore not to your public_html folder. What you need to do to work with them is to copy them from there to your home computer, where you can edit them, and then put them back. And for a Web page, the important part is putting them back: if you edit and save them on your local computer without putting them back into your public_html folder, what anyone else sees on your Web site won't change.
To change anything in your f:\ drive, or your folder on people.stu.ca, you need access -- you need to log on, just as you do when you're in the lab. The most common way to do this with an FTP ("file transfer protocol") program, which allows you to get files from and, more important, to put them in, your Web folder.
Accessing your STU F: drive using windows XP
"My Network Places" is an icon you need to start with. Usually it's not on the desktop by default. Various vesions of XP have various ways to find this and put it on your desktop. Once you have it, you can configure it.
The older ways to do it
There are at least three other ways to get FTP access to the St. Thomas server (if you're using a different version of Windows, or a Mac, you may need to explore this). Two of them involve using a browser (Internet Explorer works one way; Firefox another, and Safari still another), and the third involves using a separate FTP program. The FTP program is more straightforward once you install and configure it, but the browser options are easier to set up in the first place. The university's instructions for accessing your f:\ drive from off campus using a browser (as explained above), are on the STU Web site, in the IT department's Frequently Asked Questions site, here.
The clicky way to get find those directions, if you're not looking at this page and so don't have that link in front of you, is go to the STU home page, then to Current Students, then to IT services, then to FAQs. An item in that list is called F:\ Drives / Accessing from Home. Click that.
If you do this a lot, an FTP progam can make your life easier. The best free one is CoreFTP LE; Ipswitch distributes one (WS_FTP Home) to try for free and buy for U$34.95. There are lots of others: Google FTP Programs free.
Taking out the Word garbage
Word (Micro$oft, that is) doesn't much care about producing Web pages, and often when you save pages from Word as "Web pages" (and you should always choose "Web page, filtered" if it's listed), it's full of garbage characters (maybe like this: Ò, Ó, Õ, in place of quotation marks and apostrophes; there are other forms of garbage as well).
While you're editing a document, click on "help" (it's often just a
question mark at the top of the menu). In the "Search" window, type
in "curly quotes." There are instructions for fixing Word so that when
you save a file as HTML it won't have the garbage characters instead of
quotation marks and apostophes. Here's a copy of the help menu item from