Department of
Physics & Astronomy


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  • Computer System
    • In the Terminal Room

In the Terminal Room
Th 123


You should have a password and a PIN for the door to TH 123, issued in the Physics and Astronomy Department office, TH 335. The PCs are available to anyone with a P&A login account.


The terminal room contains a number of Pentium-based PCs, two printers, a CD-ROM burner, and a scanner. Most of the PCs are currently running Mandrake Linux, while the rest carry MS-Windows 2000 installations. In general you can choose the environment you're most comfortable with, and you'll have full access to all the facilities available on the P&A System. The exception is that the scanner and CD-ROM burner must be accessed from the MS-Windows machine they're attached to. Uh, or to which they're attached... Anyway, just look for the scanner...


Both platforms are configured to allow full connectivity within the Department. You can get a Unix environment while logged onto a MS-Windows machine, and you can get a MS-Windows environment from a Linux machine.

Your user file space is accessible on all platforms as well. It is backed up nightly. A Linux login will deposit you in your login directory in /Users/... From MS-Windows you can mount the same user directory from the PandA network.

You can also store your data files on the local PC disks, or on floppy media, but local disks will be inaccessible from other machines and will not be backed up. This should be less of a temptation on Linux machines, since you'll have write access to only your home directory, plus the /tmp directory, which you should avoid.

Additional facilities common to both platforms include printing and web browsing. Secure Shell (ssh) is available for logging into remote Unix/Linux/FreeBSD systems, and Secure File Transfer Service (sftp) can be used to transfer data between systems. (The Linux machines also have the non-secure ftp client, which lets you transfer data from unsecure sites.)

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Please leave the monitors on when you're done...