The lab itself consists of a number of tasks which will help familiarize you with the computers we will be using in this course. In this course we will be using computers running the Linux operating system with the XWindows-based user interface.
Although we assume in the following that you have never logged into this type of computer, is had a reasonably intuitive user interfaces. Therefore, rather than explaining how to do each task in gory detail, we will simply give you the tasks together with some optional explanations you can refer to if you find the tasks obscure or otherwise difficult. However, we encourage you to try to figure out how to do the tasks on your own. When that doesn't work, don't be shy: ask!
There is a printer in the small room adjoining the classroom/lab.
Its name is
mcs-lab, so if you need to select a printer to
print to, that is the one you should use when in the third-floor Olin
Each Gustavus student has been given a computer account; this handout assumes that you already have read your account letter and changed your password. If not, and you need help with this, let one of us know. It does not matter which workstation you log into; you will have access to all your files on all computers, since they are stored on a central file server.
One important general point about the Linux computers: to type into any window with the keyboard, your mouse must be pointing into that window.
The following instructions assume some familiarity with such terms as single-click, double-click, and drag, which refer to the use of the mouse (the small doohickey next to the keyboard). All these actions should be done with the mouse's left button, unless specified otherwise. If you don't understand something or if the instructions seem impenetrable, don't worry. These are examples of things better shown than described in words. Ask your lab instructor or one of the tutors to explain it to you. Also, feel free to talk with your fellow students. Computers are unfortunately fraught with many arcane terms, and defining them all would unduly clutter these handouts. Fortunately, if you are not shy about asking someone when you have a question, you should get the hang of it fairly quickly.
Use your username and password, as given in your account letter, or later changed by you.
Netscape is a web browser that is supported on all platforms here at Gustavus. Much useful information is available on the web, so you will be well-advised to learn how to use Netscape, if you haven't already done so. In particular, I have constructed a web page for this course.
You will see a bar accross the bottom of the screen, this is your toolbar. On the left side there is a button with a K on it. . That is your "K menu", the "start menu" on Windows NT is similar to this. Click on the K to bring up a list of submenus. The Application menu contains most of the applications that you will need for this course. Click on the Applications menu and then on the Netscape item to start netscape. You may need to wait for several seconds until Netscape starts. If this is the first time have used the current version of Netscape on this system, a window will pop up describing the license agreement you must accept in order to use Netscape. After reading through and (presumably) accepting that agreement, the Netscape window will pop up.
Locate the Gustavus Adolphus College homepage by entering
http://www.gac.edu/ in the
Location box and pressing Enter. Since you may not want to remember
this address for next time, select ``Add Bookmark'' under the
Bookmarks menu. Next time you want to find the Gustavus homepage,
select ``Gustavus Adolphus College'' under the Bookmark menu.
The course homepage is located at
The Unix computers on campus (among which are the Linux workstations) share a tree-structured file system. This means that the files on the computers are located in directories, which may themselves include files and subdirectories, which may contain files and other subdirectories, ....
When your account was created, you were given a home directory in which you can store and create files and subdirectories. This home directory resides on a file server maintained by the Department of Information Technology (which is located on the first floor of Olin Hall). Since your home directory (as well as other user accounts) are automatically loaded onto the Linux computers, it really doesn't matter which specific computer you use. Whichever computer you use, you will have access to the files you created in your previous sessions.
Rather than describing in this document how to manipulate the file system on Linux workstations, we have created a separate web pages for each system. You also have the option of using a a shell or terminal window, which is less system dependent and graphically based. Click on the hyper-link below to go to the page that is appropriate for your system:
Click on the following link for some tasks that will help you learn how to run Scheme in the DrScheme programming environment:
A panel will pop up asking whether you really want to quit. (If you modified the definition window more recently than you saved it, you'll be asked about it as well.) You can then logout.
To logout move the mouse cursor to an open area of the screen and hold down the right mouse button; the last menu item is to logout
One problem you will encounter is how to make yourself aware of all of the applications available to you. This is a rather daunting task, and one which we will not directly address in this course. Instead, we suggest that you make use of the main source of useful computer arcana and trivia we have found, namely your fellow computer users. We are always learning new things from our students. So don't be shy!