Walkthrough the process (booking, training, acceptable use, lead time for software changes, account provisioning, etc)
When the wall is displaying its full resolution, text and UI elements in applications can be too small to read. We’ve implemented DPI scaling in Windows to enlarge text and UI elements 200% to improve usability. Windows applications coded to the appropriate modern standards will display their UI elements at the larger size, but render the actual visuals (images, graphs, etc.) at full resolution. Older applications that aren’t coded this way will generally pixel double their visuals horizontally and vertically to match the UI size. This results in the loss of 75% of available resolution. The only way around this is to run the application at 100% and work around the smaller UI with tools such as the magnifier. We’ve set certain applications where high resolution is desired such as ImageJ & Google Earth to run at 100%, so that the images displayed use the full resolution of the wall.
You can use the windows magnifier to enlarge portions of the display that are too small to read. This opens a magnified ‘box’ around the cursor location, providing a ‘zoomed in’ view. You can enable and disable the magnifier with the following hotkeys
The video cards on this system have 4GB of RAM. Although there are 3 cards, because various framebuffers and textures must be shared across cards, there isn’t 12GB of available memory, but instead 4GB[DLB2] . Some 3D applications that work fine at lower resolutions may need to allocate more than 4GB of texture and buffer memory running at the full video wall resolution. Symptoms of this problem include severe application slowdowns, texture corruption or crashes. Possible solutions include reducing texture memory or buffer size needs in the application (may not be possible in all applications), or to run the application in a window that does not take up the whole screen.
GPU Accelerated CUDA applications are supported. The configuration is [DLB3] set so that all GPUs are used for both graphics and compute needs. ECC mode is not supported, as it is incompatible with Mosaic.
Video conferencing in the room is supported via microphones and speakers in the ceiling, and two video cameras (one front facing and one rear facing). The room microphones, speakers, and camera source should already be configured on the computer for use. For reference, the device names are:
Camera settings, including tilt/pan/zoom, are controlled via the Creston touch panel interface via the ‘Camera Controls’ tab. The Crestron interface will also let you switch the video feed into the computer between the front and rear room cameras. The Crestron interface is also used to adjust microphone and speaker volume. Consult the A/V troubleshooting section for issues with the audio or microphones.
The system has Deepfreeze installed. Deepfreeze automatically rolls back any changes made upon reboot. Everything on the C: drive is nonpersistant; changes/additions/deletions can be made, but they will be reverted on the next boot. The D: drive does not use deepfreeze, and any content there persists across reboots. User data should be stored on the d: drive. To aid in this, certain common user folders are mapped to d:\userdata (Contacts, Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Favorites, Links, Music, Pictures, Searches, Start Menu, Videos). AppData/Roaming also mapped. Virtualbox is configured (via VBOX_USER_HOME environment variable) to use d:\userdata\%username%\.virtualbox as its configuration directory, and d:\userdata\%username%\virtualbox vms as its vm storage directory.
The D: drive has a quota (currently 400GB) per user profile. Note that there is only 2TB of disk available, so 400GB represents the maximum amount of space that can be consumed by a user, not guaranteed allocation of space. Depending on usage, we may adjust quotas as needed. We may delete old/unused user data to reclaim space (scheduled TBD). This user space is provisioned for use in the vizlab, it is not designed to be the primary storage location for data. Users are responsible for backup, the library does not back up any of the data.
The current proposal is to have a user folder that is only accessible by the user, and a shared public space that anybody can add or remove files from. Both locations (on the D: drive) will be subject to the same combined 400GB quota, and one or both locations will be accessible from the network.
Store data in documents folder (redirected?)
Remote access to machine on win/osx/linux
Accessing remote CIFS or web data
Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 are installed on this system. When running the browser maximized across the full resolution of the video wall, some websites, especially ones performing heavy graphical compositing or webGL may exhibit display corruption or crashes. Running in a smaller window can sometimes help, or trying a different browser. When running full resolution, we’ve found that Microsoft Edge seems to have the best results.
Installed. Where do settings go. Where do VMs go. 4096x4096 limitation, so turn on scaling in config?
For viewing generic map or aerial views, the Google Earth and Microsoft Maps applications are installed on the machine. Running maximized across the full resolution of the wall, these applications work better than their browser based counterparts (e.g. maps.google.com). Google Earth has a much greater functionality than Microsoft Maps, allowing custom data layers, etc. However, the Google Earth application is older, and does not support high resolution modes without very small UI elements. It is also less stable running maximized. If only simple map or aerial views are need, consider using Microsoft Maps. It is a more modern application and we’ve found it to be both more stable and performant.
The VLC Media Player is installed on the system[DLB6] . VLC can play most audo/video file formats, and we’ve found is the more stable and performant than other options. Video playback performance is dependent on many factors, including video codec used, specific codec settings, resolution and frame rate. As a general rule of thumb, videos that play without frame drops with VLC on a normal desktop system should play well on the VizWall system. As a data point, UHD 30fps h264 main profile video [DLB7] plays back without frame drops scaled to the full resolution of the video wall. 8K h264 video seems to fall out of the accelerated video decode path and cannot maintain the same frame rate.
Microsoft Excel 2016
Excel works well on the system, but it will not work correctly at full screen. When you initially launch Excel, it launches in full screen and displays a blank white screen. In order to begin to use it, you must change the window size of Excel. You can do this quickly by using Windows keyboard shortcuts. For instance, <Win> + <Left Arrow> moves Excel to the left half of the screen, and it will then display all the normal options instead of a blank screen. Excel can be expanded to use approximately 75% of the screen before it begins to fail. This is a known bug and can be found referenced here:
Microsoft OneNote 2016
OneNote 2016 does not work acceptably at high resolutions. It is a known failure of Microsoft Office. See the link in the Excel 2016 section.
WorldWide Telescope runs in 100% DPI mode, instead of the default 200%. This is so it can display all the pixels, instead of pixel doubling. Because of this, menu items are quite small and it is recommended to use the Magnifier (documented earlier) in conjunction with the app.
Problem: No Audio/Wrong Source
Problem: Microphones don’t work –
Problem: Cluster of 4 displays is dark after logging into windows –