ProgSoc Basics

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Now you have forked over your hard earned cash and your ProgSoc account has been activated, what is next? Here are the top 10 frequently annoying questions asked by new (and old) ProgSoc members.

Q: How do I use a ProgSoc computer?

A: ProgSoc owns several computers avaliable for UNIX shell access by its members and several more computers for administration, experimentation and general fiddling around. You can ssh to machines listed under 'User Machines' here.

Q: I'm using a Windows computer and I don't have an SSH client. Where can I download one?

A: The ProgSoc Executive (and other wise members) chorus: USE PUTTY! PuTTY can be downloaded from the [PuTTY website]. Save it to your c:\windows directory, then click on the Start Menu > Run > Type putty and press Enter.

Q: How do I read my ProgSoc mail?

A: That all depends on how new you are to this UNIX thingy. Brand new users should use pine until they complete first semester: after you use PuTTY to connect to a ProgSoc computer and have typed in your username and password, type pine and press Enter. More advanced users may wish to experiment with one of the many mail clients such as elm or mutt.

Alternatively, you can read your mail by pointing your browser to [1] and typing in your username and password.

Q: I'm getting all this mail from this guy. What the go?

A: That's the ProgSoc mailing list; clearing ground for anything computer related, be it hardware, software, programming or networking, as well as most things non-computing related. Feel free to [post] a question, comment or criticism. Most questions receive some response within a few hours as most ProgSoc members check mail on a minute-by-minute basis.

Q: I'm trying to telnet to a ProgSoc computer and it doesn't work. Why not?

A: Telnet (and other non-encrypted network protocols) have been disabled from locations not within the UTS network. Telnet sends your password across the Internet in plaintext where all manner of [Hax0rs] (read: script kiddies) can sniff your password, hack into your account and cause all sorts of trouble. Use ssh instead.

Q: I'm on a UNIX computer at UTS and ssh isn't working, help! I need to check my ProgSoc mail!

A: There could be many things wrong. The network may have been struck by lightning, the ProgSoc network may be experiencing technical difficulties, but most likely you're FIT username is not the same as your ProgSoc one. Type ssh on your UNIX computer.

Q: I reeeeeaaaaaaalllllllly need to use an insecure protocol (like Telnet or FTP). Can I?

A: Ummm.... Errr.... Well.... I don't know if I should really tell you this. You can, but whether or not you may is another matter entirely. The author of PuTTY has another funky utility called pscp which can copy files between computers using ssh (a similar command exists on UNIX computers called scp). See the PuTTY webpage to download it. There really isn't any reason to use an insecure protocol, but if you plead, beg, cry and wimper to the ProgSoc Exec or CSO, you might be lucky.

Q: I'm stuck at an Internet cafe/friends's house/public library without a copy of PuTTY and can't remember the URL.

A: The owner of PuTTY does not have a domain (and never will), but if you point your web browser to [Google], type in putty and click on the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, you'll be transported to the PuTTY website.

Q: How can I meet one of the Executive members in person?

A: You want to do what???? But if we come out into sunlight, we'll melt! If you're lucky you may catch a glimpes of an Exec member around UTS, usually in one of the FIT computer labs hiding from all the nasty sunlight. Check out the photos mugshots on the Executive page.

Q: Are you guys being paid by the owner of PuTTY?

A: No comment.

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