Quick Introduction to the Computer Lab for Windows Lovers
This document explains how to use the terminals for browsing (including
WebAssign), editing simple Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets,
and accessing flash memory drives.
You need to get a Physics department computer account to use these
machines. These accounts are NOT the same as your University mail
account. See your instructor or ask the receptionist in 201 JFB.
The terminals in the lab are not really stand-alone computers. They
are ``thin clients'', that is, they are graphical displays with a
network connection to powerful servers that manage sessions for many
users at the same time. You must first select a server to manage your
session. Then you log in to the server.
You should see a bunch of server icons on the left of your screen.
Double-click on the one appropriate to your class. For Physics
3730/6720 you should choose one of three: ``cygnus'', ``draco'', and
``orion''. Once you have selected the appopriate server, you should
see a login banner. Enter your assigned login user name and password
in the space provided. Unix is case-sensitive, so be sure to type
upper and lower case exactly as given. If you are successful, you
will get the window manager screen.
If this is the first time you have logged in, you must change
your password. Do this in three steps explained in the next four
paragraphs: (1) Choose a good password. (2) Open a terminal
window. (3) Use the Unix passwd command to make the change.
Do this in three steps explained in the next four paragraphs: (1)
Choose a good password. (2) Open a terminal window. (3) Use the Unix
passwd command to make the change.
Your password is a string of
letters, numbers, and/or special characters that you can remember
easily but others would find it very difficult to guess. Unix
distinguishes upper and lowercase letters. For the sake of security
on this system, we urge you to choose your password wisely. Don't use
names and words found in dictionaries. A combination of letters and
numbers, upper and lowercase and/or special characters is good. Your
password should contain at least six characters. For example, you
could create a password from the first letters of a mnemonic phrase,
such as ``H,llwht!'' for ``Houston, looks like we have
trouble!''. (But don't use this one, now! Make up your own.)
Open the root window menu by
right-clicking with the mouse in an empty space on your screen.
Select ``Open Terminal''.
The terminal window is the
basic interface for typing in commands. Any command or other
information you type will not be interpreted until you hit <Enter>. Before that, you may hit <Backspace> to redo the
previous character. To redo the entire command from the beginning,
hold down the <Ctrl> key while typing u. (This operation
is abbreviated C-u in these notes.)
After you have invented a new
password, type passwd<Enter> (it i.e. the letters passwd followd by the Enter key) at the prompt in a terminal window
to run the procedure that changes your password. You will first be
asked for your old password, then your new choice, and you will be
asked to repeat your new choice to verify that you didn't make a
typing mistake. You may change your password as often as you want
using this method. It takes about one hour for the change to take
effect, so you may have to continue to use your old password for a
At the top of your screen you should see an ``Applications'' pull-down
menu. Use it to select ``Applications'' -> ``Internet'' ->
``Firefox''. You can also start Firefox from a Terminal window by
typing the command firefox &.
The LibreOffice application understands and can edit simple Windows
documents. This includes Excel spreadsheets and Microsoft Word
To run LibreOffice, select Application->Office->LibreOffice Writer
(for Word), Calc (for spreadsheets). You can also start it from a
terminal window by typing the command libreoffice &. If you
already have a Word file, say ``foo.docx'', you can open the document
from a terminal window with the command libreoffice foo.docx &.
It EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to log out when you
leave the console so the next user won't have access to your
account. There are two ways to do this. (1) Select System->Log Out on
the top menu bar. This logs you out and kills your session. (2)
Click the ``X'' at the top right of the big session window. This
kills the display, but your session can be restored if you log back in
to the same server.
Please do not lock your screen unless you are just taking a quick
bathroom break. The terminals are shared by everyone. Locked sessions
will be killed by the administration.
This document was generated using the
translator Version 2008 (1.71) Copyright © 1993, 1994,
1995, 1996, Nikos Drakos, Computer
Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds.
The translator was augmented by "uces.sty" and
"uces.perl" (version 3.0b), which are available from the
at the University of Utah.