Welcome to the Sunlab

What is the Sun Lab?

The Sun Lab is the primary facility used by students taking computer science courses and other selected classes. It is located in Room 143 of the Thomas J. Watson Sr. Center for Information Technology Building (a.k.a. the CIT). The lab consists of 80-odd PCs running Debian Linux. It is used mostly by undergraduate students for coursework, but is also sometimes used as a classroom for computer science courses.

Where are the fire exits?

There are two fire exits, one at the back of the lab (where you usually come in), and one at the front of the lab, to the left of the stage. If the fire alarm goes off, there is no need to log out. Just go to the nearest fire exit. Officials will notify you when you may go back into the building.

Which computers can I use?

Students who have been given a CS course account can use any of the computers in the lab except the one named cslab9a, the first computer you see when you walk in. This machine is reserved for the consultant. If you cannot find a free computer, ask the consultant if there are any free machines, and if necessary, a waitlist will be started.

Students who are looking for a Macintosh or who do not have a CS account should go to the CIS clusters, located in rooms 169 and 167 in the CIT. Help for cluster problems can be found in the CIS Consulting Room 101.

How can I print in the Sunlab?

See the Printing in the Sunlab page for more information.

Who are the consultants?

The sunlab consultants are the people who sit at the first machine you see as you walk in (cslab9a). They are here to:

Don't be afraid to ask the consultant on duty a question, even if you think it may sound funny. They are there to help you. If they do not know the answer to your question, they will be able to refer you to other sources or other people who may be better able to assist you.

What do `cslab3b' and `9a' mean? What is a 'node'?

These are names which are used to identify the computers. The rows are labelled from 9 (nearest the door) down to 0 (the one on the stage). There is also a row 10 which is against the back wall of the lab, behind row 9. Within each row the computers are labelled alphabetically from left to right. Sometimes, you will hear people refer to machines just by their row and location for short, for instance `6c' or `4e.' Often times, you will hear the word 'node' used to mean one of the computers in the lab. In the lab there are two posters which diagram the layout of the lab. They are located on the columns on the left side of the room. You can also refer to the [LabDiagram.gif diagram] at the end of the Sun Lab Guide to see the current layout of the nodes in the lab.

How do I log in?

What is the email address for my account?

Your e-mail is simply your login name plus "@cs.brown.edu." For example: if your account is 'jcarberr', then your email address is jcarberr@cs.brown.edu. Ask the consultant about email programs if you do not know how to use one.

Are there any rules that I should know about?

There are only a few but important rules which everyone is expected to follow when working in the Sun Lab.

You will also want to look at the page on Identities, Quotas, and Limited Shell for more detailed information about working in the Sunlab as a student, and the quotas on space for the work you will be doing there.

Sunlab Etiquette

The Sun Lab will become a second home to most of you. Thus, like any good home, there are rules of etiquette that must be adhered to so that we can all coexist happily. Most of these rules are straightforward and obvious, but they should be stated anyway.

What's the whiteboard for?

The small whiteboard located on the column by 9a is used to display general messages about the status of the lab. Check the whiteboard when you come into the lab to see if the lab is closed for any reason, or if there is a waitlist running.

Can I work in my account from my dorm room?

Yes, you can work from your dorm room. See the Portable Sunlab page for information about logging into the Sunlab from outside the CS Department building, or ask the consultant for a hotsheet on how to log in remotely. The hotsheet goes over the steps you need to take, as well as the software you will need.

Be aware that if you do log in remotely, you may be asked (via email) to log out of your current node if a user in the Sun Lab needs more processing power. Please be gracious about switching nodes. Especially when there is a wait list, it is easier for you to change nodes than for someone in the lab to do so. Tip: look for free nodes in the middle of the lab to log into when you log in remotely. People in the lab tend to sit near the ends.

Who should I see if I have more questions?