These are notes concerning the new mac lab. I intend to add things periodically.

A link to changing your password on the CERI lab Macs and the Landmark Redhat Linux machines

if you use any of the other selections on that web page, you are on your own as I have not had a chance to check them out as yet, and have only concentrated on the change password functionality as it was essential. Your chosen password must be at least eight characters long and contain a number.

The new mac lab infrastructure is radically different from that used with the Suns. The accounts and passwords used on the Macs and for the new Landmark Redhat Linux servers are separate from those on the Suns or the Windows boxes. Eventually, the lab Suns may also be migrated to this new authentication infrastructure as well.

When you are logged into a CERI lab Mac, /gaia/home/<your id> will show you your Mac disk space, which is hosted off of an Apple server. You have 50GB of disk space available to you there. To access your home directory on the Suns, you would access /gaia/sunspace/<your id>. When logged into the Suns, you may access your lab Mac disk space as /gaia/macspace/<your id>. You may ignore /gaia/linuxspace for now as it is the same (for now) as /gaia/sunspace.

YOU are responsible for backing up your home directory space on the lab Macs. If there is a hardware failure on the server and you do not have a current backup of your work, the results will be most unfortunate. For the purpose of backing up, the lab Macs have a DVD writer (Apple Superdrive), USB 2.0 ports, and Firewire 800 ports. You can plug your own USB or firewire devices into these ports to make backups or provide your own writable DVDs. External hard drives and USB keys are very inexpensive these days. If you care about the contents of your home directory, I would strongly advise obtaining such a device and doing backups regularly.

Please DO NOT unplug any of the lab Macs from the network for any reason. Try to avoid rebooting them unless absolutely necessary. They need to be on the network and available for the CERI Mac lab  infrastructure to work properly.

It turns out that the shells tcsh and csh are one and the same binary executable on Mac OS X Snow Leopard (the version of Mac OS X the lab Macs currently run). From what I have seen, they behave identically (not that I have done much beyond checking basic command completion). If you provide your own .cshrc or .tcshrc, YOU are entirely responsible for fixing any issues relating to it.

Mac OS X is an incredibly complex, capable, and inclusive operating system. It incorporates just about any feature from every other Unix in existence which anyone at Apple thought might be useful (and some that are quite arguable). It provides interfaces to other OS sharing facilities (NFS, AFS, SMB/CIFS). In fact, there is so much available in Mac OS X, that it is quite difficult to attempt to grasp all of its' capabilities (in my opinion). The learning curve, from the Unix perspective, can be quite daunting from the sheer mass of available features and facilities. Of course, if you stick with the basics you have learned on the Suns, most things are essentially the same (they share a common heritage of one of the major branches of Unix, BSD Unix, but things have evolved quite a lot since then.)

I have found machines in the CERI Mac Lab still logged in and unlocked a number of times now, where some application had stopped the logout process (iTunes, DVD player, Matlab) and the person more than likely thought just hitting logout was sufficient. DO NOT consider yourself logged out of a Mac until you see MAC OS X login screen reappear on the monitor.