PHY102 - Linux Help

The computers in room BPS1240 are dual boot systems and can run either the NT operating system or the Linux operating system. Linux is a new form of the Unix operating system and it is becoming extremely popular, mostly because it works well and it is FREE. Unix is the most widely used operating system on workstations, whereas MS Windows is the the most widely used system on pc's. However Linux also runs on pcs and is eroding the monopoly of the windows system on that platform(thank God!!).

Your account

You have been assigned an account under the linux operating system of the computers in rm 1240. Your account name and initial password will be given to you by your TA. This week you need to:

Change your password

To start a ``terminal'' click the ``foot'' on the control panel at the bottom of your screen (after logging in). At the prompt type:
yppasswd
Then answer the prompts.

Run mathematica

Click the word ``Applications'' on the lower left end of your toolbar. Under the list of applications, you will see mathematica. Click it and it will launch a Mathematica window. You are then ready to read the Mathematica introduction. After reading the introduction you are ready to first worksheet.

Save your worksheet

Click ``save'' which is under ``file'' in mathematica toolbar. It will save the file to your home directory under the linux operating system (give it a better name that ``untitled''!!). To ensure that you have succeeded, return to your ``terminal'' window and type ``ls'', which lists the files in the directory. When you do this you same your worksheet on the machine that you are working on. If you want to access this file from another machine in BPS1240, you need to remember which machine you saved your file on. A better way to work is to save your file on the server. To do this log in to the server by entering: ssh gauss.pa.msu.edu You will be prompted for a password. Enter the password that you used on the local machine. Everything looks the same, except you are now able to save onto the server hard drive, which is more convenient if you do not use the same machine in BPS1240 each week.

Print your worksheet

To print you file, Click ``print'' under ``file'' in the mathematica toolbar. Then choose ``file''. This will save your file as a postscript file (again give it a better name that ``untitled''). Then return to the terminal window and type ``ls'' to check that it is there. Now type ``lpr filename.ps'' and your file will be printed on the printer in rm346G.

Besides the above you should explore the linux operating system e.g. ``man'' (for manual) is the unix help facility. You can launch a window-based help system from the applications menu. You will need to learn quite a bit about the unix operating system and a nice unix manual is available online.