Guide to Getting Started in the Lab

Fall 2002

Getting an ECE account

You need to do this before you can log on to any of the computers in the ECE labs. First of all, go to ENS 317 or ENS 507. Those are the two main labs, and they both have a proctor sitting behind a desk near the front. Tell the proctor that you are a new ECE student, and need an account. You'll get to fill out a form, you'll be given a username, and you'll choose your password. Your account will be activated right away for the Windows machines, so you can go log on to Windows.You'll need to wait an hour or so before you can check your email or log on to a Unix machine. You should keep the passwords on your Windows account and Unix account the same. This will make memorizing them easier. (Ask the proctor or another student if you're not sure which machines are which).

Please don't tell anyone at all your password. This would be like giving someone the key to your house. It allows them to rummage through your things, change or delete your files, or even do things which others will think are coming from you. If you suspect someone has stolen your password, change it immediately! (Ask a proctor for help with this, and make sure to say that you want your Windows and Unix password to both change to the new one.)

* The rest of this document will assume that your Windows and Unix passwords are the same.

Logging on to a Windows machine

The Windows machines which are not currently being used will have a bouncing dialog box titled "Begin Logon." Press the "Ctrl" and "Alt" keys, and holding both down, press the "Delete" key (the 3-finger salute :) This will bring up a new dialog box, titled "Logon Information." Here, you will type in your new username and password. (* symbols will appear for each character of your password, so that no one can steal it by looking over your shoulder.) The text field labeled "domain" will say "LRC." This is the one you want. Press the OK button.

Using your ECE email from a Windows machine

An hour or so after you've gotten your account, you'll be able to use your email. There are several ways to do this, but I will explain just one: a program called "pine".

After logging into a Windows machine, press the "start" button, select programs menu, select internet menu, and navigate to the ssh client installed, probably called putty. If the client is not installed, download an ssh client by clicking here. Connect by running the program and entering the host name and select an ssh connection. Click on connect. When the word "login:" appears, type your username, and press the Enter key. When the word "Password:" appears, type your password and try not to be confused by the fact that absolutely nothing appears as you type. That's OK. It's supposed to work that way for privacy. Press the Enter key when you're done typing your password. (If you mess up, press Enter anyway, and you'll get another chance to prove your typing skills ;)

Now the prompt (that's what comes before the black rectangle cursor) will say ">" or just a "$". You're logged in to a Unix machine! Now type "pine" (without the quotes, but you knew that by now), and press Enter.

Using pine

Once you've followed the instructions above to start pine, read this part to learn the very basic commands in pine. If you're used to a Macintosh, this is all going to seem really ugly.

To check your messages, use the up and down arrow keys to place the black bar on top of "FOLDER LIST" and press Enter. Then use the left and right arrows to place the black bar on top of "INBOX" and press Enter. Now you'll see a list of the messages in your inbox. To choose one to read, place the black bar on top of it by using the arrow keys. Press Enter to read the message. If you do not have any messages, you can try sending some test messages to yourself from your yahoo/hotmail account.

Note that there are commands, preceded by their one-letter shortcut key, all along the bottom of these screens. You can press the appropriate letter to do the associated command. For example, when you're reading a message, one of the commands at the bottom says "R Reply." So if you want to reply to this message, press R, and then type your response.

After reading a message, return to the list of messages in your inbox by hitting the I key. (I stands for "index.")

To compose a message, type C.

To send a message after you compose it, type ^X. That ^ sign doesn't mean to literally type the carat symbol. It means while holding down the Ctrl key, press the X. When you type X while pressing the Ctrl key, pine will ask you "Send message?" Press the Y key to choose yes, or the N key to choose no.

To quit pine, press Q, and then when it asks if you want to quit, press Y.

Using the Web from a Windows machine

The machines in 317 and 507 all have Internet Explorer and Netscape. You will see their icons on the desktop when you log in. Double-click the appropriate icon to start up the browser. Type the web site you'd like to visit, into the text field at the top labeled "Address" and press the Enter key.

Logging out of a Windows machine

Close all the applications by clicking the x in the top right corner of each. Then click on start and select logout.

Logging on to a Unix machine

Unix machines are only located in 507. To log on to a Unix machine, go to a unix machine and type in your username and password. When the window titled "Welcome to the Learning Resource Center" comes up, click the OK button. Once the machine finished loading, right click on the Desktop, select "Programs", and select "Terminal..." This brings up a new shell on your screen. Click on the new window, type "pine" and press Enter. Follow the instructions from the section called "Using pine" above.

Logging out of a Unix machine

When you are done and are ready to log off, right click on the desktop, select "Log Out...", and click OK.

Forwarding your ECE email to another email account

You'll be receiving mail for this class at your ece address. However, you may prefer to read another account, and only rarely check this one. If so, forward your ece email to the account you read more often. Many students are not familiar with using UNIX and prefer to use their existing email accounts. Well, the good news is that you can do exactly that.

Log in to a Unix machine, or telnet into or ssh into from a Windows machine as described above. At the Unix prompt, type this:

$ echo "" > ~/.forward

So, for example, my ece login-id is and i want to forward all my mails coming to to my yahoo account, i would type at the prompt :

$ echo "" > ~/.forward (with the quotes)

To verify if the file contains the exact address, type the following command:

$ cat .forward (This is the output seen when i enter the cat command)
It should print out the email id where you want all your mails forwarded. If that is wrong, again type the echo command and re-verify.

But please don't really put in the address! Between those quotes, type the address of the email account that you read most often, so that your ece email will go there. A copy of all forwarded mail will also stay in your ece inbox.

Once you have successfully done this, all the mails to your ece account will be directed to the email address you specified in the .forward file. Just try sending a mail to your ece-login and verify that you receive it at the other address (yahoo/hotmail/aol etc). If you got till here, everything is fine.

To verify that you have actually got the login, we would send an email to all those who are registered in the class AND those who have their ece-logins at their respective login ids after the 12th class day. We will collect the list from the department, so please DO NOT send emails to the TA saying that you have got your account. If you have got your id and did not receive the confirmatory email after the 12th class day, then let one of the TAs know and he/she would be glad to help you out.

If this is confusing...

Talk to the TA or a proctor right away! If you haven't worked with computers much before, don't feel overwhelmed. We're here to help you, and this will all make sense with a little practice.

Last Updated: 29 August 2002 -- kmajor