The Computer Sciences Department has lots of machines; most of them you cannot and will not be using, unless you are involved with a particular project or with the facilities staff. In general, undergrad accounts are on lore, grad students’ and secretaries’ accounts are on ector, while faculty accounts are on arthur. Accounts on the main CS machines are available to faculty, Ph.D. students who have passed qualifiers and are doing research, and students engaged in writing software for the CS machines (often as a CS590 or CS690 independent study course). Because the machines all run NFS (Network File System), files on any machine can be read from any other, so accounts on all machines are roughly equivalent except for response times. The exception to this is the ugrad (undergrad) group which is all accounts on lore and the machines in CS G56, which can only access each other. All graduate students get accounts on ector.cs. Workstations are divided among the various research project labs and faculty offices. In general, a workstation in a lab belongs to the project there and is not available to students not connected with the project. (Workstations in the XINU lab are used for CS503 and CS636 classes.)
If you’re interested in finding out more, talk to Ron Castongia (the computing facilities manager). If you’re interested in actually working with the hardware, your best bet is probably to get involved with the project that owns the machine. For more information regarding the facilities please efer to http://www.cs.purdue.edu/help/CSWelcome/.
The Facilities Staff is responsible for the continued smooth operation of the Department’s equipment. This includes just about anything and everything; it certainly deals with software problems and administrative details. Ron Castongia, the computing facilities manager, is the fearless leader of this merry band. His office is in CS 207. There are two real systems administrators (that is to say, they are full-time University staff): Dan Trinkle and Steve Plite. Dan and Steve live in room 264 of the CS building when they’re not running around putting out fires. Candace Walters is in charge of creating accounts. We also have two full-time hardware technicians, who fix hardware not supported by ITaP or a vendor. They go by the names of Mike Matuliak and Brian Board. They do not get involved with software support, but they are always available for questions and problems concerning machines and printers in the CS department. They inhabit Room 279. There is also a group of people in charge of maintaining non-Unix (Windows and Macintosh) machines. The full time windows care takers are Kip Granson and Nathan Heck, who live in Room 271 and Room 275. Finally, Nick Hirschberg is the department’s web master. He is also in Room 264. The staff will do all they can to help you use the system more efficiently, but sometimes you won’t be able to find any of them! In this case, your best bet is to try to find a fellow student who’s been around for a while, or just ask the person at the terminal next to you. If this doesn’t help, just type trouble at a UNIX prompt to file a trouble report (which can be used for any system related problem or question). In general, everyone tries to be as helpful as possible; it’s just that some people are better informed than others.
ITaP (Information Technology at Purdue) serves the entire university community (excluding administration). This includes Krannert (business school), CPT (computer technology), Computer Sciences, and other divisions of the University. ITaP provides many varieties of computer systems, and administers several public computer labs. You might also have access to mentor.cc, a SparcServer for doing course work in CS courses. The other SparcServer, expert.cc, is now reserved for personal accounts.
For more in-depth information, check the schedule of ITaP short courses. These courses are taught by ITaP staff members and run one to six sessions. Usually they are given in the evening to avoid conflicts with classes or other activities. These courses give you a chance to ask specific questions and increase your knowledge about certain topics. Schedules appear in the ITaP Newsletter and are posted on various bulletin boards. For more information about courses, please visit http://http://www.itap.purdue.edu/training/index.cfm.
Another very important computing resource at Purdue is the Engineering Computing Network (ECN). The ECN serves the Schools of Engineering with computing facilities. Since a lot of collaboration occurs between CS and the Engineering departments, you will probably at some point work with machines that belong to the ECN.