Winter 2001

Computer Info

General Purpose Computers

In room 3011, we have four general-purpose computers. These can be used for plotting and analyzing your data, writing and printing your lab reports, searching the web for information, sending email to the professor, etc. Two of the computers are Macintosh G3's and two are Dell Dimensions running Windows NT. All of these computers are connected to the building network. Each computer should have a sign on the wall above it, listing the software available on it. All the computers have floppy, zip, and CD drives. You can save your work on removable media, but I would strongly suggest that you also save it on the hard drive. In the past, we have had disasters in which someone's floppy with their data would suddenly become unreadable. If you have your own computer, feel free to use it.

The Macintoshes:

If you have never used a Mac before, see the attached sheet "How to Use a Macintosh" for easy instructions. Our Macs don't have separate accounts for different users. This has three consequences:
  1. We are not allowed to ftp from these machines, since there is no way to authenticate a user.
  2. To keep the hard drive organized, each student should create their own folder inside the folder called "Students put your files here". Use this folder to save any files you create during the quarter. Please do not put them in the Kaleidagraph folder, the Excel folder, etc.
  3. If you want to do web searches, you should use the Profile Manager in Netscape Communicator to create your own profile. That way, each student can maintain their own bookmark file. There is a profile called "616 Students" which you can use if you wish, but it doesn't have many useful bookmarks and so there is not any advantage to it.

The Macs are set to print to the Laser Writer in room 3011. You can also select from a list of other printers in the print dialog box for whatever application you are using. Or you can print by dragging a document to one of the printer icons on the desktop.

Remember that these Macs can read a floppy that is PC-formatted, but not vice-versa.

The Windows NT computers:

Use your regular physics department NT account to log on to these. If you don't have an account, see J.D. Wear or one of the other members of the computer support group in room 2180. These computers are fairly new and don't have much software installed yet. If you have suggestions for software, please tell Margie.

The Dells are connected to the Apple LaserWriter in 3011 and the HP Laser Jet in room 3012. You can set either of these to be your default printer, using "Settings" in the Start Menu.

Dedicated Computers

We have some older computers that are dedicated to specific experiments for data collection. Some of these also have software such as Word and Kaleidagraph, so you can use the same computer to work on your lab report.

Room 3018:
We have three Macintoshes, used for the Compton Effect, Muon Lifetime, and Scintillation Spectrometer experiments. These contain National Instrument acquisition cards and run LabView to collect data, operating similarly to the computers in Physics 416. They all print to the Laser Writer in 3018. The Compton Effect computer is connected to the building network, so you can transfer your data to a different (newer, faster) Macintosh for analysis if you wish (see "How to Use a Macintosh"). This computer can also be used to download data from the Canberra MCA which is used for other nuclear physics experiments. The other two computers in 3018 are only connected to the printer. If you want to transfer your data to another computer, you will have to put it on a floppy.

Room 3017:
The Kater Pendulum experiment has a Mac IIsi for data collection. It is hooked up to the building network, so you can print to any printer or transfer your data.

Room 3012:
The X-Ray experiment has an old PC that runs a data collection program in DOS mode. The AFM uses a special purpose HP computer. Both of these can print to the Laser Jet in 3018, using an A/B switch. Neither is networked. For both of these experiments, I suggest that when you have data to save that you copy it to a floppy and then copy the data onto another, more reliable computer as soon as possible.