Assignment Zero: Introductions

This assignment is meant to introduce you to your classmates and the course staff. It is also a lesson in following directions precisely. It consists of three parts: setting up a directory for course work, posting tot he discussion forum, and completing an introductory questionnaire online. It is a minor minor assignment worth 5 points.

Due: Monday, January 12 at 10:30am

1. Creating a Course Directory

Every Duke student is given an account on the Public Unix Clusters. Your account login is the same as your NetID. If do not know your login or password, you can get this by visiting the Office of Information Technology, OIT, on the second floor of the North Building. The book "Introduction to the Public Unix Clusters at Duke" explains how to login, send mail, and read newsgroups.

To facilitate grading and getting help from the course staff, you should follow the steps below in creating a directory named cps100 in which you will do all the work for CPS 100.

  1. Log in to one of the acpub machines (e.g.
  2. Enter the following command at the command prompt.
    (Press return after the command.)

This command gives the group jforbes:cps100 read permission on your directory. The course staff will be able to check your files in this directory , but not change them, when you have a question or if there is an issue in grading. For more information about using permissions on the acpub system, check here. If you did not take CPS 6, or are unsure about using your acpub account, a more detailed handout is available here.

2. Posting to the Discussion Forum

The course bulletin board is a place for you to ask questions that can be answered by any of the course staff or even other students. This system is a much more efficient system for getting your question answered than emailing one specific person or even waiting for an over-burdened TA during office hours. To make sure you can use the bulletin board system, please post the following information to the category titled Introductions in the forum CompSci 100 - Spring 2004:

To do this, you will need to register yourself on the bulletin board. Please use your Net ID as your login, but do not use your actual Net ID password for the bulletin board. Instead please create a new password for this site. By using your Net ID as your login, you will help us to more quickly get more information if we need it to answer your question.

The authors of the best jokes, haikus, or limericks may receive extra points (and valuable prizes!).

Computer Science Autobiography

Since computers are now so pervasive in society, everyone should have a variety of experiences using or programming them (or being victims of others that have programmed them). Before you start this course, you should take a moment to reflect on how these experiences have affected you and shaped your decision to program (and to take this course).

Your autobiography should attempt to answer the following questions:

3. Initial Survey

In order to better direct our efforts, we would like to gauge the variety of experiences within the course. This part of the assignment will give us some information about the people who are taking the class. Go to the course Blackboard page and complete the Initial Survey listed in the Announcements and in the Assignments section.