CSUG: Frequently Asked Questions About the Undergraduate Labs

General Information

What undergraduate lab facilities are available?
There are two labs available for undergrads to use in CSB. The inner lab (named for historical reasons) is on the 3rd floor of Hylan, and the west lab is on the 6th floor of the CSB. Any student taking CSC173 or higher has access to the inner lab but only fomally declared majors (completed all prereq's) and students taking specific courses have access to the west lab.
What kinds of computers are there?
The inner lab currently contains 14 Dell Precision workstations with 8 Intel i7 processors runnning at 3.4 Ghz, 8 GB RAM, and a printer. The west lab has 11 Dell Precision workstations and a printer as well. All of the machines are equipped with LCD displays.
When are the labs open?
Both labs are currently available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, however, the buildings aren't always unlocked. All labs are protected by electronic locks which can be bypassed via your UR ID.

Using The Machines

How can I work remotely?
You can remotely connect to one of the cycle machines using SSH:
  • cycle1.csug.rochester.edu
  • cycle2.csug.rochester.edu
  • cycle3.csug.rochester.edu
How much disk space can I use?
If you are a declared major then you have a disk quota of 1GB. Your quota may depend on which classes you are taking. Be careful, when you are at your quota then files might be truncated causing strange behavior. When in doubt try cleaning out compiled binaries from your folders, and emptying your browser cache.
How can I change my shell?
To change your shell, you must first SSH to master.csug.rochester.edu (run ssh master). Then run chsh.
Somebody has locked the terminal! How do I kick them off?
If you are absolutely sure the user is not coming back, you can kill his or her X session by the key sequence Control-Alt-Backspace. Use this responsibly! It is quite rude if the user is actually doing something, as they will lose all unsaved data. However, if someone leaves an idle machine locked for more than 24 hours, it may be necessary.
Can I run graphical programs over the network?
Yes. X can be used over the network, including over ssh. Try logging in with a command such as:
ssh -X user@cycle1.csug.rochester.edu
Then you can try to run graphical applications via the command line.
What can I do about spam?
You can set up SpamAssasin to filter your mail. Removing your email address from your web space is also a good idea.
How can I forward my URCS mail to some other address?
Use your favorite text editor to create a file called .forward containing the address you want to forward to.
How can I use syntax highlighting in emacs?
Syntax highlighting in emacs is a very nice feature. To begin with open up an xterm and create a file called .emacs in your home directory. Add the following two lines to the file to enable syntax highlighting by default and to use the most extensive highlighting options available the next time emacs launches:
(global-font-lock-mode 1)
(setq font-lock-maximum-decoration t)
How can I change my desktop background?
Right click on the desktop and select the option "Change Desktop Background".
I would like to edit my web page but I can't find it.
Undergraduate web pages are located in:
You might want to create a symbolic link so that you don't have to type that in all the time. To create a symbolic link go to your home directory and type:
ln -s /home/anon/httpd/htdocs/users/ugrads/$USER www
Now you should be able to type cd www and that will take you to your web directory. This command will create a symbolic link in your home directory. For more information check the man page of ln or Google for symbolic links.

Using the Printers

What is the printer policy for the labs?
Printing in the labs is mostly unmoderated and it is therefore the responsibility of the students to use them properly. Here's a few things to keep in mind:
  • Know what you're printing, and how to do it. For example, don't waste a ream of paper trying to figure out how to get psnup working. Just ask someone. Pay particular attention to the name of the printer you are trying to print to and the fact that "File > Print" might not go where you want it to.
  • When you're printing something, don't leave the printer unattended! If it's a long printout, wait until it is done anyway... browse the web or something while you're waiting.
  • Don't make wasteful printouts when you can just read it online. Remember, that piece of paper had to come from a tree somewhere. You can also use the psnup command to print multiple pages onto a single printed page. Or take advantage of the duplex option now available on the printers.
How do I print something?
The most basic printing command is:
lpr -P {printername} {filename}
Where printername will likely either be "inner" or "west" depending on which lab you are in. Duplex printing is available by printing to the printer with "/duplex" appended to the name. This means the duplex printers are: "inner/duplex" and "west/duplex"
How do I change my default printer?
You can change your default printer by modifying the value of the environment variable LPDEST. The value of this variable is the name of the default printer. This can be changed in your .cshrc (or .bashrc) by adding the following line: For csh (default shell) (add to .cshrc):
setenv LPDEST printername
For bash (add to .bashrc):
export LPDEST=printername
Where printername is the name of the printer you want to be your default.

Lab Policies

Are you allowed to eat pizza in the labs?
Not on your life. Please keep the labs clean!
What are the chalkboards for?
The chalkboards are there to allow students to work out their homework problems on a nice big surface. Since the lab is a somewhat public place (tours, etc), please do not write anything inappropriate on them.
What is the filing cabinet in the west lab for?
The filing cabinet was purchased to store undergraduate council documents, grad school information, job information and common printouts. It should not be used to store personal belongings. The cabinet is routinely cleaned out and any contraband will get tossed.
What's the deal with the windows in the west lab?
Aside from allowing natural light into the lab (a very good thing) the windows are only there to keep the building in line with the fire code. Under no circumstances should those windows be opened. If the lab becomes uncomfortably warm, turn up fans (note: the fans should ALWAYS be left on).