What is it?
Courses offered by the Department of Computer Science on the St. George campus are supported by CDF, the "Computing Disciplines Facility". CDF sometimes supports a few courses in Electrical and Computer Engineering. CDF provides machines running a unix operating system (Linux), and, if the need arises, machines running the Microsoft Windows operating system.
Where is it?
Nine of the CDF computer labs are
located in the Bahen Centre for Information Technologies, 40 St George
St. The labs are located on the second and third floors in the south
wing (above the College St. entrance). Access is available 24 hours a
day seven days a week by the use of your student card (Tcard).
One large lab is in the Gerstein Science Information Centre (9 King's College Circle). This is open during the library hours.
How do I get an account?
If you have enrolled in a course supported by CDF, accounts are created automatically. The first time you take a qualifying course an account will be created that you will use for all your subsequent CDF supported courses. Mail is sent to the email address you provided the University's Repository of Student Information, but if you've forgotten you can lookup CDF usernames with CDF's Webfinger Utility (opens in a new window or tab).
CDF's MandateThe CDF facility is owned and operated by the University of Toronto in order to provide computing support for specific courses in Computer Science. The University is not obligated to provide computing support for its courses (and indeed, there are many courses, even in Computer Science, for which CDF accounts are not issued). But because access to computing facilities is useful for students enrolled in certain computing courses, the Department of Computer Science operates CDF in order to provide such access.
However, access to CDF is considered a privilege, not a right, and the University is free to withdraw this privilege should it believe it prudent to do so. In particular, the payment of tuition does not automatically give anyone the right to use CDF. CDF is not a computing service provider or a "common carrier". The University owns and operates the computing facility and carries a certain amount of legal liability for the content. Hence, students are given access to the facility at the University's discretion and there is no intrinsic right to a particular level of service, and no absolute right to privacy or ownership of files or accounts. However, while the University owns all files on the CDF system, the University does not necessarily own the copyright for those files.