Up: the center and its environs

Geometry Center Facilities

The Geometry Center has a bewildering and constantly changing of array of equipment. Below is a brief overview of the Center facilities, as well as some recommendations for first time visitors. Technical descriptions of most Center equipment are also online for visitors who already know what they are looking for.


The Geometry Center currently has a wide variety of workstations, including Silicon Graphics, NeXT, HP, and Sun workstations, as well as Intel and Macintosh platforms. Some are in offices, but most are in common areas.

Machines also come in a variety of configurations, some with more memory, some with faster processors, and so on. For general use, most machines will be acceptable for most tasks. However, some tasks fit better with some machines than others. Here are some recommendations:


Each computer has a default printer. In the common areas, this will be one of the printers in that area; just look around for it.

In addition, the Center has two color printers, a wax printer which is lower cost and lower quality, and a high quality Tektronix printer.

More detailed information on printing is also available.


The Center has a high quality HP Scanjet IIcx scanner. Ask the staff, or mail problem@geom for assistance.

Tape Drives

The Center has equipment to read and write tapes in the following formats: 8mm Exabyte tape (2000 or 5000 MB formats), 4mm DAT tapes, and 60 and 150 MB 1.4" cartridge tape.

Visitors who feel comfortable with reading and writing tapes can check out logical device names on various systems. Others should consult the staff by writing problem@geom.


There are three CD-ROM drives at the Geometry Center on unix systems; one each on a Sun, an SGI, and a NeXT. There are also a number of PC's and Macintoshes with CD-ROM drives. To use one of the unix CD drives, you need to insert the CD into a caddy; there's generally at least one caddy near each drive. Then insert the caddy in the drive.

On SGI machines, a CD is automatically mounted as a unix file system under the directory /CDROM as soon as the caddy is inserted in the drive (provided the CD is in a recognizable format). To remove the CD, use the eject unix command. (Avoid ejecting the CD by pressing the button on the CD drive. Doing so does not unmount the filesystem. If you accidently eject the CD this way, just reinsert it and use the eject command.)

On the NeXT, an inserted CD is also automatically mounted as a directory named in / according to the volume label. To eject the CD, either drag the CD's directory icon to the recycler, or select disk->eject in the Workspace menu. Be sure to log in on the NeXT's console before you insert the CD, and as before, avoid ejecting the CD manually if possible.

On the Suns, superuser privilege is needed to mount CD's so consult the staff.

On the Macs and PC's, CD use is usually fairly straight forward and intuitive. If you are having difficulty, consult the staff.

Video Production Facilities

The Geometry Center video production facilites consist of two JVC BR-SG11U tape decks, a JVC RM-6810U editing board, a DisQuest video controller, two high quality monitors, and inputs from Sun, SGI and NeXT workstations. The Center also has facilites for high quality sound recording. For detailed information about using the Center facilities, consult the Communicating with Video online web documentation.

Up: the center and its environs

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Comments to: webmaster@geom.umn.edu
Created: Fri Sep 8 11:39:00 1995 --- Last modified: Thu Sep 4 15:15:03 1997