The project 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 an XWindows-based user interface.
Although we assume in the following that you have never logged into this type of computer, it has a reasonably intuitive user interface. 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
mcslab, so if you need to select a printer to
print to, that is the one you should use when in the third-floor Olin
Your computer account (username and password) for these computers is the same as for normal campus computers, email, etc. 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.
Netscape is the same web browser that is supported on other platforms at Gustavus. You'll need to use it to access information. In particular, there is a web page for this course.
You will see a bar across the bottom of the screen, which is your toolbar. On the left side there is a button with a K on it. . That is your "K menu", similar to the "start menu" on Windows. Click on the K to bring up a list of sub-menus. 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 sub-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.gustavus.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 (which you should also bookmark) is located at:
The campus computers (including these Linux workstations) share a tree-structured file system. This means that the files on the computers are located in directories (also known as folders), which may themselves include files and subdirectories, which may contain files and other subdirectories, ....
Following are some tasks which will help you learn how to view and manipulate the directory structure using the windowing system on the Linux computers.
There are many ways to open a file browser to your home directory. The easiest is to click on the picture of a house and folder: .
Rather than storing all the files you create directly in your home directory, it is much better to organize the files in subdirectories. For example, you can create a subdirectory called "MCS-177" for this course by clicking on the Edit menu, then selecting Create New, and then clicking on Directory from the sub-menu. You will then be asked to give the new directory name, which should be MCS-177.
Simply click the MCS-177 directory to enter it, then create a subdirectory as above.
Click on Using DrScheme to program in Scheme 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 click on the logout icon near the right-hand side of the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. It looks like this: .
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!