In this course we will be using Macintosh computers running OS X operating system. The project itself consists of a number of tasks which will help familiarize you with the computers.
We assume in the following that you have never logged into this type of computer. Fortunately, our graphical user interface is intuitive. 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. We'll demonstrate how to use it during the first lab session.
Your computer account (username and password) for these computers is the same as for normal campus computers, email, etc. It does not matter which computer you log into; you will have access to all your files on all computers, since they are stored on a central file server.
You'll use a web browser to access information such as the web page for this course.
You will see a bar across the bottom of the screen with icons on it. This bar is called a dock and it's similar to the taskbar on a Windows operationg system. To launch firefox, just click the web browser icon on the dock.
Locate the course homepage by
in the Location box and pressing Enter. Since you may want Firefox to
remember this address for next time, select "Bookmark This Page" under
the Bookmarks menu.
The campus computers (including these Macintosh computers) 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 OS X system on the Macintosh computers.
Double-click on the icon named My Home Directory on the desktop. A new window will pop up showing all the files and directories contained in your home directory.
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 right-clicking the mouse on some empty area in the newly opened window, then selecting New Folder. You can then give the new directory a name, which should be MCS-177.
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, use the Log Out command within the Apple menu. To access this menu, click on the Apple icon situated at the leftmost position of the panel on top of your screen.
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!