Getting Started in the Statistics Multimedia Computer Classroom



The Mathematical Sciences Department's Statistics Multimedia Computer Classroom (hereinafter known as the stat lab) is located in 207 Kaven Hall. It is equipped with twenty-eight X-terminals networked to the server stat. There are two networked PostScript printers, stat1 and stat2 available for student use. The classroom also has an A/V system with projector, screen, and PC, VCR, and cable TV input.

Starting Your X-Terminal Session

To begin your X-terminal session, move the mouse to activate the screen.

Each X-terminal is connected to a server, whose name will be displayed on the X-terminal screen. The stat lab X-terminals are connected to the server stat. The screen will display the message ``Please enter user name.'' Type in your user ID and hit the ``Return'' key. The message ``Please enter password'' will appear next. Type in your password and hit the ``Return'' key (NOTE: the password will not be displayed on the screen).

After a short wait, the Common Desktop Environment (CDE) will appear on the screen. (Windows users will recognize this as similar to the Windows desktop.) In order to proceed, you need a window in which to enter commands. There will be a taskbar at the bottom of the screen. On the taskbar, there will be an icon consisting of a notepad and pencil. (Clicking on this will bring up the default text editor.) Immediately above this icon, there is an upward-pointing arrow. Click on this arrow. A personal application popup menu will appear. Select terminal from this menu. This will bring up the appropriate window. Using the mouse, position the arrow anywhere in the main part of this window. Then click the left mouse button to activate this window. You'll know the window is active when the bar at the top darkens and the cursor begins flashing on and off. There will be a prompt (a ``>'') in the window just to the left of the cursor.

Ending Your X-Terminal Session

To end your X-terminal session, click on the "Exit" icon on the taskbar in the CDE.

Sources of Information

The machines in KH 207 are set up the same way as other networked X-terminals on campus, so the general information found online through the information systems xinfo or the WPI web pages- especially the introductory sections, and the sections dealing with simple Unix commands-will be useful to you in getting acquainted with the Unix computer systems on campus. To access xinfo you must first log in to a Unix machine.


Xinfo is a mode of the editor emacs which serves as an online information system. You do not have to know anything about emacs to use it, though you can access it from inside emacs if you are an emacs user.

To start xinfo from the command line, just type xinfo at the Unix prompt. An xinfo window will appear with a menu. The information you seek is found under the menu item "Campus Computing (CCC)". Xinfo is easy to use and self-explanatory.

The WPI Web Pages

The WPI web pages are a source of information about WPI on the World Wide Web (WWW). Of course, if you are reading these words, you have already accessed part of the WPI web pages. To obtain information about computing at WPI, click on "Services" in the WPI home page, then on "College Computer Center (CCC)" on the next page that appears.

Classroom Facilities

During certain hours the stat lab is reserved for classes. You are free to use the machines in the classroom anytime it is open outside those reserved hours. The hours it is available may change from term to term, but they will be posted on the lab door. The hours are also listed on the World Wide Web at

The main difference between the machines elsewhere on campus and those in KH 207 is that students using SAS or Maple software for coursework in MA courses have priority in KH 207. In addition, students will not be charged the usual $.10 per page fee for printouts produced using SAS or Maple software for MA coursework and submitted to either of the two classroom printers, stat1 or stat2.


Basic Unix Information

Much of the scientific computing done at WPI (and around the world) is done on computers running the Unix operating system. At WPI, these computers consist mainly of Alpha machines, made by Compaq. The version of SAS supported at WPI and described in this document is found on the Unix network.

Information on Unix may be found at and

Where Next?

gif Intro page.

gif Unix SAS Quickstart.

gif Introduction to SAS/EIS, which you'll use to run SAS macros (programs) for labs and specialized applications.

gif Introduction to SAS/INSIGHT I: Elementary Concepts. This is the minimal tutorial you should do to be familiar with the basics of SAS/INSIGHT, a graphically-oriented data analysis system

gif Introduction to SAS/INSIGHT II: Advanced Concepts. This tutorial will show you some of the more advanced features of SAS/INSIGHT

Joe Petruccelli <>
Last modified: Tue Aug 28 21:55:25 EDT 2001