Brock University Virtual Labs is an online platform that provides users with access to the various apps required for courses currently offered to students. There are 2 separate platforms that comprise the virtual lab environment:
- Splashtop provides users with access to the on-campus Mac labs (PLZ310 and MWS133)
- Windows Virtual Desktop provides users with access to Windows-based apps (for all other labs)
This page focuses on Splashtop (Mac Labs), providing instructions on how to access and use the apps found there. For instructions on using Windows Virtual Desktop to access the other virtual labs, please refer to the Virtual Labs: Windows Virtual Desktop page.
The virtual Mac labs are only available to students registered for courses that require Mac-based software.
If you are registered in a course that requires access to the virtual Mac labs, you will receive an email invitation to Splashtop. Follow the instructions provided in the email to download and install the Splashtop Business App on your personal computer and connect to the virtual Mac labs.
The virtual Mac labs are available 24/7 except during scheduled maintenance and unplanned outages.
All iMacs are available 24/7 on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please note that the iMacs in Marilyn I. Walker and Plaza 310 are intended for in-class work, so do not use these machines unless you are scheduled to do so (you will be disconnected by an admin if you are using one of these machines during class time when you shouldn’t be).
Please use the iMacs in the COMMONS for work outside of class.
Maximum Session Length
There is no maximum session length, however you are asked to respect the fact that there are a limited number of computers available for use and other students may be waiting to use a machine. Please keep all sessions as short as possible.
The idle timeout is 10 minutes. Your session will automatically be disconnected in the event that you are idle for 10 minutes. Please note that you will be considered idle if the machine does not receive any user input from you (moving the mouse, typing on the keyboard, etc.). Programs running tasks do not count as user input.
If you are disconnected due to the idle timeout, you will have 5 minutes to reconnect before the system will fully log you out. Any unsaved work will be lost if/when you are logged out.
In the event that you lose connection to a virtual machine (due to power failure, bad wifi connection, clicking the Disconnect button in the Splashtop Toolbar, etc.), you will have 15 minutes to reconnect before the system terminates your session completely and logs you out. You will not lose any of your work so long as you reconnect within the 15 minute period, however all unsaved progress on your work WILL be lost if you do not reconnect within 15 minutes.
The following software is available in the virtual Mac labs:
|Adobe CC 2019|
|Android File Transfer|
|Axure RP 8|
|Axure RP 9|
|Google Web Designer|
|LEGO Digital Designer|
|LEGO MINDS Education EV3|
|Microsoft Office ProPlus|
|Pro Tools First|
|Python 3 for SPSS Statistics|
|R for Mac|
|Visual Studio Code|
|Wacom Desktop Center|
1. Open the email you received from email@example.com entitled “You’ve been invited to join a Splashtop team” and click “Accept the invitation from your administrator”.
2. Next, click the Splashtop Business app link to go to the downloads page on the Splashtop website.
3. Select the operating system/device from the list on the left that corresponds to your home computer or mobile device.
4. Complete the steps to download and install the app onto your computer/mobile device (installation for Windows 10 is shown here). Once installation is complete, the app should launch automatically.
1. Launch the Splashtop Business app and click Single Sign-On login.
2. Enter your Brock email address and click Log in.
3. A browser window will open. Select your Brock account from the list or select Use another account if you do not see your account listed.
4. You will be redirected to the Brock sign in page. Enter your Password and click Sign in, then authenticate your login using Multi-Factor Authentication (NOTE: Multi-Factor Authentication is mandatory for accessing Brock’s virtual labs).
5. Once signed in, you will be directed back to the app. The first time you log into Splashtop from a computer or mobile device, you will need to authenticate that device to work with Splashtop. Click OK.
6. Check your email for the message sent by Splashtop and click Authenticate this device.
7. Once authenticated, the app should complete the sign in process and display the iMacs you have access to.
There are two settings in Splashtop that ITS recommends you enable in order to get the best performance possible when you are using the app to connect to a remote iMac.
1. While logged into Splashtop, go to Splashtop > Preferences > General (Mac) / File > Options (Windows). Check Reduce display quality when network is slow.
2. Select the Advanced tab and check Enable hardware acceleration.
3. Close the Preferences window (Mac) or click OK (Windows) to save your changes.
Before you can connect to a remote iMac, you must understand which computers are currently available for you to use and which are not.
a. This iMac is available for use (it has a coloured icon).
b. An icon with a ring around it indicates that someone is currently connected to this machine. This iMac is not available for you to use.
c. If someone is logged into an iMac, their Campus ID is displayed beside the computer ID. This iMac is not available for you to use.
d. This iMac is offline and unavailable for use (it has a grey icon).
e. Click the circular arrow icon to refresh the list of computers.
1. To connect to an available machine, double-click the computer in the list. Alternatively, single-click the computer and then click the Connect icon.
2. Log in with your Brock Campus ID (e.g., “sallen” or “firstname.lastname@example.org”) and Password.
3. Dismiss any popup notifications on the screen (e.g., click Cancel on the 802.1X network popup, and OK on the Required Data Notice popup). The remote iMac is now ready for use.
When you are connected to a remote iMac, you will see the Splashtop Toolbar across the top of the window. This toolbar gives you access to the following functions:
a. Disconnect – Click this icon to disconnect from the iMac. This will NOT log you out of the machine.
b. Next Monitor – If the iMac has multiple monitors, click this icon to switch your view to another monitor (NOTE: None of the Brock iMacs have multiple monitors).
c. Switch Monitor – If the iMac has multiple monitors, click this icon to switch your view to another monitor (NOTE: None of the Brock iMacs have multiple monitors).
d. View Options – Click this icon to drop down a list of viewing options.
e. Full Screen – Click this icon to toggle between full screen and windowed mode.
f. Command-Option-Esc – Click this icon to bring up the Force Quit Applications window.
g. Actions – Click this to access a menu of additional actions.
h. File Transfer – This option is disabled.
i. Start Recording – This option is also disabled.
j. Chat Bar – Send messages to other Splashtop users.
When you are done using a remote iMac, please be sure to log off of the machine so that other students can use it.
1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
2. Select Log Out <your name>….
! IMPORTANT ! Do NOT select Sleep, Restart or Shut Down. Only select Log Out when you are done using a remote iMac.
1. When you are finished using Splashtop, click File > Log Out or simply quit/close the program.
Where to Save Your Files
When working in the virtual lab environment, it is important that you store your files in a central location that is easily accessible at all times, across all virtual machines. To do this, save all of your work to your OneDrive.
! IMPORTANT! Do not save to any other location (e.g., the desktop or the Documents folder), as your files may not be accessible to you again.
Do not print from a remote iMac.
Please scroll to the bottom of this page for all frequently asked questions about the virtual Mac labs and Splashtop.
The remote iMacs have a high screen resolution, so items on the iMac desktop may appear somewhat squished or small if your monitor is set to a different resolution. This can be very challenging to use, especially when pixel precision is necessary (e.g., when doing graphic design on the remote iMac). To change the display settings in Splashtop, click on the View Options icon in the Splashtop toolbar across the top of your screen (see The Toolbar tab for more information), and select Original size.