CS 1440 Lab 1

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The first lab is a "getting started" lab. During this lab you will perform, likely for the first time, activities that you will continue to perform throughout the term. Since this is the first time, some advance information should make the lab session run more smoothly.

This lab is all about learning to use the computing environment and its tools. The lab sessions will be conducted in room 439 in the CAP Science building. This room contains PCs running the Microsoft Windows NT operating system. It is assumed that you know how to use PCs running Windows. If you do not, contact your instructor for some additional background materials.

The PCs allow you to open Internet browsers and other applications simultaneoulsy. One of these other applications will be a "telnet window" that allows you to access another computer. Specifically, you will use the telnet application to log into the Computer Science department's academic server machine, which is named "cs". An important thing to learn about the telnet window is you can not use the mouse "inside" the window; you'll use only the keyboard "inside" this window.  Also, you should not resize the telnet window.

The cs machine runs a different operating system called Unix. Unix uses a command line interface meaning that there are no icons to click on. Instead you type commands that are like words. Unix tells you when it is ready for a command with a prompt (which is the % character). Some examples of Unix commands are: cp (to copy files), ls (to list what files you have), and cd (to change directory). "Change directory?" you might be asking. "What is a directory?" A directory is the Unix name for a "folder." It is a special file that contains other files (including other directories). For example, you'll have a directory for this class called 1440 and inside that directory you'll have another directory called Lab1 for all your Lab 1 work. At first you may find the Unix interface a bit clumsy, but "it grows on you!"

Now, on cs there are some additional tools you'll need to learn about. You'll need to create and modify C++ program files. This requires an editor application. You'll need to convert your C++ program files, which are readable by humans but not computers, into executable program files, which are readable by the cs machine but not by humans. Lastly you'll need to print your C++ program files.

The editor application we'll start using is a simple one. It is called pico. This allows you to type text into a file and save it. It is a lot like a word processor, but without the fancy stuff. There are more powerful editors which are tailored for the kinds of things programmers do, but they are a little more complicated to learn to use. The g++ application is the C++ compiler we'll use in this course. The compiler is the tool that converts the human readable C++ program into a machine readable form that can be executed. When you run the g++ compiler you also tell it which C++ program file to convert. Lastly, the enscript application prints your C++ program files to a printer. There are two printers available: one in CAP 439 and another in CAP 369, which is a public PC lab.


1.      What is the telnet application used for?

2.      In Windows, can you have an Internet browser open at the same time as another application?

3.      What is the name of the CS department’s academic server machine?

4.      What operating system does this server machine use?

5.      Is the telnet application a “full service” Windows application; that is, can you point and click at things “inside” the telnet window?

6.      How does Unix inform you that it is ready for a command?

7.      Are C++ program files readable by humans?

8.      Are executable files readable by humans?

9.      What tool converts C++ files into executable application files?

10.  What does Unix call a “folder?”

11.  Is it okay to resize the telnet window to have it and a browser viewable at the same time?