Computer Science

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I get my Floppy/CD-ROM to work?

First make a device link on your desktop, if one doesn’t exist already. Right click > Create New > Floppy (or CD/DVD-ROM) Device. Then set the Device (3 rd tab) to /dev/cdrom for a CD and /dev/fd0 for a floppy.

Second, "mount" the device by right clicking on it, and selecting "mount". Make sure to unmount the device before removing it, or you may lose files, and people will not be able to use the floppy or CD-ROM. (Linux tries to use the floppy while it isn’t there. Obviously this is not good).

If someone else has forgotten to unmount their floppy on your computer, you probably will get a "permission denied" problem when you try to use it. The easiest solution is to reboot the computer. If you don’t want to restart the machine, contact the computer Help Desk at 372-7334 or for assistance.

Q. How do I get access to campus e-mail?

WSU Tri-Cities email accounts are (currently) separate from Computer Science Accounts. You’ll need to get one. Tick the "WSUTC Mail Account" on your account form when you turn it in. Pick up your information from Admissions upstairs near the entrance to the West Building. If you forgot to do the form, or you have forgotten your email password, contact the computer Help Desk at 372-7334 or for assistance.

There is web-mail at (note the lack of www at the beginning), and a native Linux client KMail. If you want to setup an email program, the IMAP server is, and the SMTP server is also You can also login to if you want to use something like pine or mutt.

Q. I forgot my password. What do I do now?

Contact the computer Help Desk at 372-7334 or for assistance. Please note that the Help Desk will not be able to provide your password via e-mail.

Q. How can I program or use these computers from home?

Login to using secure shell. SFTP is also available for transferring files. If you’re using a machine which doesn’t have native secure shell support (Windows, Macintosh), see our connecting guide for software and instructions.

Q. How do I create a gzip-ed "tar" archive?

tar –create –gzip –file homework-n.tgz <files to put in archive>

tar -czf homework-n.tgz <files>

The KDE "Ark" program works as well, but it can be buggy.

Q. Whom do I contact for help?

Contact the computer Help Desk at 372-7334 or