Connecting to the RTL - instructions for Mac OS X users

Connecting to the RTL is a two-stage process. First you need to connect to the VPN, then you are able to connect to the RTL.

Remote Desktop Connection only allows one connection at a time to an RTL Windows machines. See also: Logging out

Connect to the VPN using AnyConnect

Step 1

Double click on the desktop Cisco VPN icon, or open it using Finder: Applications->Cisco->Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client

If there is no "Cisco Anyconnect" icon on your desktop, use Spotlight to find and start the application: press COMMAND-SPACE or click on magnifying glass in upper right corner, then type AnyConnect in search box, then click on "Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client". If AnyConnect application is already loaded, you can click its green dumbbell icon on top menu bar (note added gold lock when connected).

Note that the old version 2 "Cisco Anyconnect VPN Client" has a green dumbbell icon while the current version 3 "Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility" has a white circle icon with 2 green arcs. You might also find the diagnostic utility "Cisco AnyConnect DART" , depending on options you selected when installing AnyConnect ; it's useless for connecting, but can help collect information for troubleshooting.

Step 2

Enter your Popdata Account username and for the password use your Popdata passphrase (same as for https://my.popdata.bc.ca).

Connect through VPN to the RTL using the Remote Desktop

Step 1

Check available RTL machines. Currently available servers are listed at: https://my.popdata.bc.ca/rtl/available

Step 2

Start Microsoft Remote Desktop. You can use Spotlight Search from Upper Right corner, or a Dock link, or the Applications folder , or ... For keyboard or mouse issues, see Installing.html page.

Step 3

Select from “My Desktops” an available RTL machine.  See “connect” page on creating, duplicating and/or modifying an existing “desktop” entry using right-click

If a message appears about "computer cannot be found" , your system may be one of those that prefers the long "fully-qualified" name for the remote computer: append ".popdata.bc.ca" (ex: rtl5.popdata.bc.ca).

If you forget to check the "available" page and try to connect to a busy machine, you will probably see the cryptic message "Failed to read from socket".

Upon connecting, a complaint may pop up that the certificate is self-signed. While the PopData VPN is connected, there is minimal risk of connecting to a bad machine in the RTL, so you can ignore this warning.

Logging out

When you are done, make sure you log out. Closing the Remote Desktop application window leaves your session logged in, preventing others from using this limited resource. If you get disconnected, you should login again to the same machine. You will find your applications still open and you can log out properly..

Disconnecting from VPN after disconnecting from RTL Remote Desktop

You may prefer to disconnect "Cisco AnyConnect" whenever you stop your connection to the RTL. Click on AnyConnect icon or status window; click disconnect.

The PopData VPN connection does not interfere with your access to other parts of the Internet, including local computers around you, with two exceptions: DNS name resolution service is redirected to the PopData name-server (so connections to short names like "rtl4" go to "rtl4.popdata.bc.ca"), and connections from your computer to private PopData networks (under 10.50.*.*and 10.80.*.*) are routed through VPN server “access.popdata.bc.ca”. There is a small chance that these two features may interfere with your access to other computers near you while VPN is connected.