Info for New People in Computer Science

Get BU ID card

Students can get the BU ID, called Terrier Card, Monday through Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm from the Terrier Card Office, 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Student Lounge, Lower Level. Faculty members can get their IDs at the BU benefits orientation meeting or the Terrier Card Office.

Computer Accounts

  1. Check the Computing Administrators and Staff page.
  2. Get kerberos BU account at the Information Technology Office, 111 Cummington St, 1st floor (need to bring a photo ID, and if you are a student, your letter of acceptance into the CS program)
  3. Get a cs account from Ernest Kim (, x2765, ENA 302A or his staff at 730 Commonwealth Ave). Then you'll have access to and Check the groups command. Your group membership will determine permissions, such as printing privileges, potential disk quotas, etc.
  4. Get a cs-nt account from Ernie. This will let you log onto the Windows machines in the teaching and research labs (see below) under the domain cs-nt.
  5. If you are a faculty member or research assistant, get an account from Paul Stauffer (, x5228, 214) on (after you got the account). For more instructions see Your home directory will be on whale, but you cannot log into whale directly. Use the SGI or linux machines in the research lab (fish cluster, eg,, shark, ...) to access your data on whale. Most partitions on whale are backed up nightly (check with Paul). Samba is installed on whale, so you can access whale from the Windows PCs also. See for additional info.
  6. New faculty members: Get a UIS account from Ellen. This will let you use the web page for faculty. You will be able to access your course lists, student pictures, advisee information, etc.

Access to Rooms

The Computer Science Research Laboratory is on the 2nd floor of 111 Cummington Street. The main door of the lab is labeled MCS 205-218 and is across from the westmost staircase of 111 Cummington Street. The research lab is used by faculty members and some graduate and undergraduate students.

You need to ask Jennifer Streubel, MCS 140F, to set up your BU ID card access to the research lab. Send email to with your ID number. The number starts with a U.

If you are a research assistant or teaching fellow, you will have a desk in the research laboratory (MCS 205) or across the street on the 2nd floor of 64 Cummington Street. Check for your desk location and ask Ellen Grady (Room 140D) for a key to your office.

Faculty office keys generally cannot be used to get into the research lab or xerox room.

Printing in Research Lab

Printing from UNIX/LINUX:
  1. Bullwinkle:
    double-sided: lpr -Pbullwinkle [filename]
    single-sided: lp -o simplex -dbullwinkle [filename] or lpr -Pclunky [filename]
    Check out man net_ljx000 for options.
  2. New color printer:
    Use lp -dacrylics [filename] for color.
    Check out man -M /usr/local/man net_ljcolor for options
    lp -o2 -dacrylics [filename] prints 2 pages on 1 sheet of paper.
To print .pdf files on bullwinkle or acrylics (lp or lpr expects ascii text or postscript), use acroread [filename] to convert to postscript.

There a several ways to convert a postscript file into pdf so that it can be viewed and printed by Adobe Acrobat using Windows. I obtain the best results using ps2pdf on csa or csb (some of the other options seem to have font problems or blur pictures).

If you use a new linux PC and your printer is not set up, follow Paul's instructions: ``As root (or sudo), run "printtool". Hit the add button. Pick a name, set remote host to "", remote queue should be "bullwinkle", and select "HP LaserJet 4/5/6 series" as the Input Filter.''
To print programs from a linux machine, use nenscript -P[printername] -2 -r -G [filename]

Accessing BU via Modem

I haven't tested this.
Stan has used the phone number 617-378-1111.
Ernie writes: BU maintains a modem pool. You'll need to have set up an ACS account at the basement of MCS. They have modem software which will help you set the modem connection up.
Paul writes: OIT maintains a large modem pool for remote access to the campus network, and I'd recommend you dial into that. If you go downstairs to the first floor to the Office of Information Technology front desk, they can give you instructions on how to connect and authenticate to the main modem pool.
Just found this web page: BU Dialup Access

Web Account

Long Distance Telephone

Faculty members need an ID for long distance telephone access. Check with x8919.

CS Letterhead

An electronic version of the department's letterhead can be found on in directory /cs/lib/teTeX/

Template for 1st Page of Graduate Thesis

I will provide a link to the template in the near future.

CS Teaching Lab Info

The Teaching Laboratory is mostly used by undergraduate CS students. It is located at 730 Commonwealth Avenue.

Anonymous FTP

Our ftp server for downloading and uploading files is called Your research collaborator outside BU can access it anonymously. On our end, you can get to the files from any unix or linux machine in the research lab by cd /cluster/ftp

Vacation Program

The vacation program returns a message to the sender of a message telling him or her that you are currently not reading your mail. Check man vacation on your cs account.

Departmental Mailing Lists

Check csa or csb under /var/pubspool/mailinglists. For example, cs-faculty, cs-grads, cs-ugrads, etc. Each semester mailing lists are set up for the cs courses. To sign up for your course list, type csmail -a [your course number], e.g., csmail -a cs585.

Margrit Betke, Assistant Professor
Computer Science Department
Boston University
111 Cummington Street ( campus map )
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-353-6412
Fax: 617-353-6457

Last updated: November 6, 2002