How to be
cool in six easy
Number One way to be computer-cool: change your system prompt. That would
be the little line that appears every time you log in, like
"mhc.mtholyoke.edu 1%" where you can type system commands. No,
that doesn't have to say mhc.mtholyoke.edu.
Mine says "your wish is
my command" I've seen friends
with "life is beautiful" and
"this too shall pass."
What would you like to be greeted with
every time you log in? mhc.mtholyoke.edu 1%? Of course not. Change
Go to your current boring system prompt and type
A window of system parameters will appear
-- you can and probably should ignore most of it.
Just go to the
line that says: "set prompt="etc etc etc
change everything within the quotes on that line to anything you
When you're done, hit ctrl-X (like sending an email) and
changes by hitting Y
It will suggest a file name to write
to, ".login", which
is correct, so hit Enter.
will take effect next time you log in.
2. Set up a signature file to attach itself to the
ends of all
your emails. If, like so many other cool computer people,
you decide to
include a quote (cute, funny, insightful... the possibilities
endless), change your signature quote every few months or so -- even the
best quote gets old after awhile. Here's how:
At the system
prompt, type "pico .signature"
A blank box will appear.
Type whatever you want on your signature in this box.
have determined this is a good signature, type ctrl-X
(like sending an
It will ask you if you want to save changes -- type Y for
It will suggest a file name to write to, in this case,
which is correct, so hit Enter.
3. Finger people online and change your
information. Everyone has an "finger profile" if you
generated by the college computers. At a minimum, this profile
your real name, username, home directory, when you last logged
in to the MHC system, and where you logged in from. You can also write a
plan and check out other people's plans, see step 4 below. Any other user
can look up this info about you, and you can look it up about anyone else.
You can also change your finger information -- name, home and office phone
numbers, etc. Some people get quite creative.
To finger people:
username", or "f name"
though avoid common names such as
"f sarah"... also, for long plans that go flying past when you
try to read them, type "f username|more".
To change your finger information:
At the system
"chfn" (stands for Change
You can enter whatever
you want for any of the fields...
Write a plan and check other people's plans.
Regularly. To write a plan
of your own:
At the system prompt, type "pico
Enter anything, ANYTHING, that your little heart
desires in this
blank box for the world to read.
Hit ctrl-X, then
save the changes Y, and hit Enter to accept the
file name as
You can update your plan in the future by just
doing the above
steps. But the first time you set it up, you have to set
so everyone can read it, so also do the following:
At the system prompt: "chmod 644 .plan"
Make sure not
to include a space between the "." and
Problems will assuredly result...
Talk to people. You can easily determine if a
friend is on the MHC system
by fingering, and once you have located
someone who is also online, you
can set up a talk session and chat
online with them, without having to
download any of those pesky
programs like AOL...
system prompt, type "talk username" where username
A split window will appear, and the computer
will attempt to contact
the other person.
Wait until a connection
is established and can start chatting with
them, or until you give up on
waiting for them to answer.
To exit back to the system prompt, type
6. Write a webpage. It
doesn't have to be anything
big. You don't have to learn to hand-code in
HTML, though there
are certain advantages to hand-coding. But the
important part is
to just have a webpage. There is a large amount of
material in the
section of the college tech help pages. Also check out
the pages on
learning to use Dreamweaver
(a very good webpage design program available in the Dwight labs).
Also, once you've created your webpage, register it so it appears
official college listing of student webpages. Just go the
and type: "register-homepage" and follow