BIRS Information

Dear BIRS Participant,

When you arrive at the Banff International Research Station, you will probably wish to access your email and to have access to the BIRS Lounge.  Here is the relevant information.


1. If you are staying in Corbett Hall (most people do), you can use the terminal (SunRay) in your room to log into the BIRS computer system.  The terminals are connected to a Sun server that is running Sun Solaris 9 (UNIX) with the GNOME 2.0 user interface.

A computing account with a default password has been created for you.  The login name and password will be printed on the back of your name tag, which you can pick up in the BIRS Lounge.  To change the password, run the command: "passwd" in a terminal window, and follow the on-screen prompts.

2.  The BIRS Lounge is in Corbett Hall, 2nd floor, Room 5210.  There is an electronic lock on the door that requires a key-code to open.  Every Thursday, the key-code changes.  The next key-code will be:

                  door key-code: 1253

Other Information:

Laptop/Notebook Computers

If you have a laptop computer with a network interface, you can connect it to the BIRS network.  Your computer should be configured to "Obtain IP address automatically" (DHCP).  Ethernet (wired) access is available at these locations:

- The even-numbered port in your room in Corbett Hall
- Even-numbered ports in the BIRS Reading Room (Corbett Hall, Rm 5310)
- The computer room across from main lecture room (Maxx Bell Rm 157)
- The tables in the main meeting room, Maxx Bell 159

Each room in Corbett Hall includes an ethernet cable for your laptop.
Please make sure that it is still in the room when you leave BIRS.

Wireless (802.11g and 802.11b) network access is available at these locations:

- The "BIRS Wireless" network has excellent signal strength in the BIRS Lounge and Reading Room.  Signal strength varies in the rest of Corbett Hall and Max Bell Buildings.

- The Banff Centre provides a wireless network called "public" that is available in the Max Bell building, in the Kiln Cafe, and possibly other locations throughout the Banff Centre campus.

Note that the wireless networks are not encrypted - your security and privacy when using the wireless networks is your responsibility (use secure protocols).

If you wish to use our local SMTP server for sending mail from your laptop, use "" as the outgoing mail server.  If that doesn't work, use this IP address instead:


The default printer is in the Reading Room (Corbett Hall, rm 5310). Other printers are available in Corbett Hall in the BIRS Office (5110), and in the Team Room (5410); you can print to them all over the local network.  To list the available print queues, run `lpstat -a` on the server, or click on the Print Manager icon on your SunRay desktop.


The BIRS Reading Room (CH 5310) has a PC with a scanner and CD-writer for anyone to use, several free network ports for laptops, and a UNIX terminal (SunRay).

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions regarding the computer network at BIRS, please feel free to contact me at, or at BIRS local 6997.

If you have general questions about BIRS, please contact the BIRS Station Manager, Brenda Shakotko, at 403-763-6999 or