OAL Logo

Lab Information

Open Access Labs (OAL) manages three full-service computer labs and many other supported locations around campus.

LOCK your computer before leaving, even for a short time.

DO NOT leave personal property unattended.

ALLOW others to use the scanner and accessibility tables if you are not using them.

BE CONSIDERATE of others working around you.

SPEAK QUIETLY or go outside to use your cell phone.

Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.

Food/Drink Guidelines

Covered drinks and small snack foods are allowed in the labs.
  • Drinks without lids
  • Food deliveries
  • Messy or strong smelling foods
  • Alcoholic beverages or tobacco products.

Please report spills and disruptive odors to the Open Access Lab staff.
There are seven Open Access Labs (OAL) classrooms located across campus. Each classroom is equipped with computers, a Proxima projector and an instructor's terminal. The OAL classrooms' primary purpose is to provide support for student computing instruction. Reservation requests for other university uses will be granted on a case-by-case basis.
Who can use an OAL classroom?
Departments determine whether staff members are authorized to use OAL classrooms. In some cases, a temporary ID can be created for use in an OAL classroom for those without an authorized account. For more information, visit Staff Accounts and Temporary IDs.
Reserving an OAL Classroom:

Recognized student organizations, authorized staff and all faculty can reserve an OAL classroom, though faculty and staff have priority over organizations. To reserve an OAL classroom, submit the OAL Classroom Request Form.
Reservations for an entire semester will be made by the first class day of the long semester before it. Semester-long reservations do not include finals. To reserve a classroom during finals, a separate request must be submitted that specifies the date and time of the request.

• Fall reservations are due by August 1.

• Spring reservations are due by December 1.

• Summer reservations are due by April 15.

Single use reservations will be added to the calendar after the deadlines above. Reservations are granted on a first request basis.
Please contact Michael Ringham at 979.845.0703 or email at ringham@tamu.edu for more information.
To find out more information on reserving a Smart Classroom or multimedia equipment on campus, visit the Instructional Media Services website.

Required fields are marked with a red asterisk (*).

(if different from contact name)
US phone number - 123-456-7890
Select Days:

Lab Preference:

Do you need software installed?:

The Open Access Labs has a large number of software titles available.
Do you need to setup an account so that you may log into the Open Access Labs computers?:

In order to use the classroom or lab computers, each person needs to have a login-id and password.
Answer the question below:
Is four < than seven? (true/false)
People.tamu.edu allows students, faculty and authorized staff to publish a personal web page.
Your web address will be http://people.tamu.edu/~NetID/.
To get started, visit Creating a Web Page.
Several academic departments are now using the CONTINUUM domain (the same domain as the Open Access Labs) for access to their computer labs.

What CONTINUUM does:

  • Allows people with a NetID to sign into a computer.
  • Works on with all versions of Microsoft Windows (Support for Windows XP from Microsoft ended on April 8, 2014)
  • Works on Mac's using OS X 10.7 and Thursby’s ADmitMac.  It currently does not work reliably with OS X 10.8.  Thursby is working on the issues.  Departments are responsible for licensing for ADmitMac.
  • When logging into a computer that is joined to the CONTINUUM domain, if the user is authorized, the H: drive from Open Access Labs is mapped. Currently enrolled students and faculty will have their Open Access Labs home drive mapped, just as it is mapped in the Open Access Lab locations around campus.  Staff can login, but are not allocated a OAL Home Drive.  The users roaming profile associated with the Open Access Labs will not be downloaded/accessed.
  • All NetID accounts are updated once a day.  Password changes go into effect as soon as a user changes their password.
  • NetID passwords are managed/expired through http://gateway.tamu.edu/
  • Security groups can be created and populated on daily based from the student rosters.  If you would like to limit access to machines to students enrolled in specific course, course section or department, this can be managed with groups and GPOs upon request.
How to setup CONTINUUM:
  • Send an email to tamu-oal@tamu.edu requesting your own departmental Organizational Unit “OU” in the CONTINUUM domain.
  • You will be contacted once your OU set up and given an account to log in to via remote desktop to ts-department.continuum.tamu.edu for managing your OU.
  • Join computers to your OU in the CONTINUUM domain (just like joining computers to the to any Active Directory domain. Using Windows 7 PowerShell (all one line):

PS C:\Windows\system32> add-computer -DomainName continuum.tamu.edu-Credential "UserID@continuum.tamu.edu" -OUPath "OU=Workstations,OU=[YourOUGoesHere],OU=Departments,DC=continuum,DC=tamu,DC=edu"
  • To help organize your OU, it is suggested that you place your workstation in the Workstations container, Groups in the Groups container, Servers in the Servers container etc. This will make it much easier when applying group policies.   You can add additional OUs inside your departmental OU.
  • CONTINUUM admin users are created for your use, separate from your NetID accounts, for security purposes.
  • Group Policies are managed using AGPM (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/products-and-technologies/mdop/agpm.aspx). The GPO has to be checked out before it can be edited and then checked back in and applied before it will take effect. Audit logs are maintained on who did what and changes to the GPO can be backed out if there are and issues. Further instructions are available upon request.
  • The NetID's are case sensitive and must be entered in lower case.  Passwords must be entered in the case that they were created.
How CONTINUUM works:
  • CONTINUUM is a domain managed by Open Access Labs’ LAN Systems Support Team.
  • The authentication used by CONTINUUM is via Kerberos to the campus Kerberos servers where the NetID passwords are managed.
  • NetID user accounts are actually users in the CONTINUUM domain that are mapped to the Kerberos TAMU.EDU realm principles for authentication. The user accounts exist in the CONTINUUM domain, and authentication comes from the Kerberos TAMU.EDU realm.
  • With the exception of the department admin accounts, all CONTINUUM accounts are authenticated as netid@TAMU.EDU.
  • The CONTINUUM domain also has a one-way trust setup with auth.tamu.edu. User accounts in the Kerberos TAMU.EDU realm are synced with the users in the auth.tamu.edu domain.
  • With the auth.tamu.edu (AUTH) one-way-trust, you can assign permissions to files and folders. But make sure to understand, the AUTH accounts are separate accounts and can be given access to resources to machines in the CONTINUUM domain.
  • When logging into a computer within the CONTINUUM domain with AUTH credentials, the Open Access Labs H: drive will not get mapped like they do when using TAMU.EDU credentials.   
  • Email tamu-oal@tamu.edu if you have any questions.
The temp drive is useful if you do not have enough space on your home drive to save the files you are working on. For example, if you need to save multiple, large files during a single session, you can save them for that session while you work.


The Open Access Labs (OAL) temp drive share is a temporary storage area. It should NOT be used for storage of critical data or as a backup storage.

Each file in the temp drive share is checked and removed after seven days of inactivity. Any programs that you create yourself, document files of any type that you edit frequently, and other files that you have created and modify with some frequency within the seven day guideline limit should be safe from removal. However, there is NO GUARANTEE.

According to the guidelines, most executables (and some other files) will be removed within a twenty-four hour period of being 'installed' onto the temp drive share.

Space consumption is monitored on a 'per user' basis. In other words, if you make thirty directories with one megabyte of data in each one, your user ID is taking up a total of 30 megabytes of space. Anything over the 100MB space limit will be considered an infringement of these practices.

  • The temp drive share (M:) is for academic use only.
  • Files will be removed after seven days.
  • There is NO backup for this drive.
  • Create subfolders instead of storing files in the root (main folder) of the drive share. Files in the root will be removed.
  • Do not install or launch programs on the temp drive share (M:).
  • Do not abuse your privileges to this resource or your access may be denied.

Are you curious about which lab has the most computers available?  The Lab Utilization link below shows graphs of computer usage in the Open Access Labs (OAL) for individual labs as well as total usage. The report provides daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly data.  Look us up before heading in!

Lab Utilization