Frequently Asked Questions site


CS 283 Questions

General Questions

General Questions

Q. How do I copy a program into my dilbert account?


1. Copy the Python program to the clipboard
(Edit > Select All and then Edit > Copy)

2. Login to dilbert:

ssh username@dilbert.mathcs.wilkes.edu

(notice no -XY switch!)

3. Get into the correct directory:

cd cs125/projects/about

4. start emacs

emacs about.txt

(Notice the name is 'about.txt' NOT 'about.py' AND NO ampersand (&)!)

Paste clipboard into file
(Edit > Paste)

5. Get out of emacs:

cntl-x, cntl-c



meaning yes

6. Rename file:

mv about.txt about.py

Q. Can I use a Unix command to transfer the files in Terminal?

The scp command copies files to or from a remote Linux system. You will be prompted for your mathcs password for authentication.

  • To copy files from the local system to a remote system:
    scp file... user@host.domain:path
    File to be copied.


    Your username on the remote system.


    The Internet address of the remote system, such as linux.nmt.edu.


    The absolute path name to the destination on the remote system.
  • To copy files from a remote system to your local system:
    scp user@host.domain:path ... dest
    where dest is the path name on your local system where you want the files copied.


To dilbert:

scp demo.py koch@dilbert.mathcs.wilkes.edu:/home/mathcs/staff/koch/cs125/projects/demo

From dilbert:

scp 'koch@dilbert.mathcs.wilkes.edu:/home/mathcs/staff/koch/images/*.jpg' /Users/koch/Pictures/LaborDay

Q. Where do I go to get a username or if I forget my password?

A. If the account is on wilkes, call the help desk (408-HELP). If the account is for mathcs, you need to see one of the network managers (students) for mathcs.

Q. How does one type the choices in turnin on the command line so one doesn't have to keep typing them to redo turnin?

A. Dr. Sullivan provided a solution to a question that was posed in lab yesterday by Kyle Hatcher. He asked if it was possible to enter the choices in turnin on the command line so you don't have to keep typing them to redo turnin. If you can do that, then you can use the up-arrow to find the line in your history and not have to type the entries again.

Dr. Sullivan suggested:

If this is the sequence you are going through for turnin:

dilbert > turnin

The available courses are: 





Choose a course: cs125

The available assignments are: 



Choose an assignment: Pierre


Simply type:

dilbert > echo -e cs125"\n" Pierre | turnin

Q. How do I get emacs to auto indent Java and Python programs?

A. Add this to the bottom of your ~/.emacs file

(add-hook 'python-mode-hook '(lambda ()

      (local-set-key (kbd "RET") 'newline-and-indent)))


(add-hook 'java-mode-hook '(lambda ()

      (local-set-key (kbd "RET") 'newline-and-indent)))

Q. What do I do if Firefox has a greyed out back button?

A. Usually, this occurs when something in your Firefox directory is messed up. Go to your home directory and remove ".mozilla":

dilbert > rm -r .mozilla

Q. What do I do if my mathcs account is out of space?

A. Usually, this occurs when your Firefox cache is too large. You can reset its size smaller in the Preferences for Firefox. To delete your cache from the terminal, go to "~/.mozilla/firefox" and look for a large directory containing the cache. You can do

dilbert> du | sort -n

which will list your files and directories in increasing size. This will allow you to see which directory is the largest and where there might be a large file created by a runaway program.

To check your quota, you can type the following command on dilbert:

dilbert % quota

Disk quotas for user XXXXXXXX (uid XXXXX):

     Filesystem  blocks   quota   limit   grace   files   quota   limit   grace


                  62748   92160  102400            2644    7000    8000

If there is an asterisk after the number of blocks, e.g.:

dilbert % quota

Disk quotas for user XXXXXXXX (uid XXXXX):

     Filesystem  blocks   quota   limit   grace   files   quota   limit   grace


                  62748*  46080   51200            2644    3000    4000

...it means the user is over quota.

If you are in lab and students have quota issues, the immediate fix is to do the following:

dilbert % cd


dilbert % rm -r .cache

Q. What do I do if it says Firefox is running on another computer?

A. Usually, this occurs when you have left Firefox running and still logged in on another computer. Sometimes, it is because Firefox crashed previously. Go to "~/.mozilla/firefox" and look for a file whose name contains "lock" or "parentlock" (you might have to list the invisible files by doing "ls -al"). Delete that file and try Firefox again.

Q. How do I report a computer or printer in the lab that is not working?

A. Call the help desk (408-HELP). Describe the problem and the location (or number on the monitor) of the malfunctioning equipment.

Q. What page do I go to to submit my weekly questions?

A. Click on "Questions" in the navigation bar. Then choose Submit Questions for your section.

Q. How do I download everyone's weekly questions?

A. Click on "Questions" in the navigation bar. Then choose Download Questions. The browser will bring up a dialog about an "Unhandled File Type". Choose "Save File As..." and name the file with a ".txt" suffix since it is a plain text file. You can open it with a text editor (like NotePad, WordPad, SimpleText or BBEdit ) or use a word processor (like Microsoft Word).

Q. How many passwords do I have?

A. You have a password to read your wilkes email and another to get into the mathcs computers. You also use the wilkes email password to login to the course site.

Q. How do I change my mathcs password?

A. There is a page describing Changing your mathcs password.

Q. How do I change my wilkes email password?

A. Go here to change your email password:


Q. How do I change my course.wilkes.edu password?

A. By changing your wilkes email password, your course.wilkes.edu password will also change. Go here to change passwords:


Q. Can I make both my passwords the same?

A. Yes.

Q. What happens if I forget my course.wilkes.edu password?

A. You must call the help desk (see above).

Q. Can I use my AOL or hotmail email address to log into the course.wilkes.edu site?

A. No, all accounts on course.wilkes.edu are set up using only wilkes email addresses (they all end with "@wilkes.edu").






CS 115

CS 125

CS 126

CS 128

CS 225

CS 230

CS 283

CS 323

CS 326

CS 328

CS 330


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Last update: Monday, August 19, 2013 at 11:59:46 AM.