Computer Science Department
College of Arts and Sciences

Introduction to Computers
CS-101(B1) / Fall 1997

Give short answers (on paper) for the following questions on materials covered in the lectures. Note: The answers to some of the questions below were exclusively covered in the class (i.e. not in the textbook).

In this problem you will get a taste of the basic editing capabilities of Emacs.(1) By the end of it, I hope that you will feel comfortable using Emacs as an editor. Your familiarity with Emacs is extremely important for you to be able to keep up with upcoming homeworks. Actually, your ability to create and edit files is crucial for the completion of other problems in this homework (namely, the creation of your home page). There is much more to emacs than what is described here. Some of these features will be discussed in the discussion sections.

Before we delve into the details of Emacs, it is important to note that Emacs allows two methods for invoking its commands. The first is a ``point-and-click'' interface based on the X Windows GUI, whereby the user could select various commands by selecting options using various menus, etc. The second is a ``character'' interface, whereby the user could select various commands simply by typing on the keyboard (i.e. without having to use the mouse). In this problem, we will use the ``character-based'' interface. If you would like to try the ``point-and-click'' interface, you are welcome to try it out!

Using Emacs' ``character-based'' interface for invoking commands requires frequent uses of the ``control'' and the ``escape'' keys on the keyboard. The symbol CTRL- is used to indicate the use of the ``control'' key. For example, CTRL-A means press the ``control'' key and then (while still pressing it), press the character ``A''. Also, CTRL-X1 means press the ``control'' key and then (while still pressing it), press the character ``X'' and then (after releasing the ``control'' key) press the character ``1''. The sequence ESC- means pressing and releasing the ``Escape'' key. For example ESC-v means press the ``Escape'' key, release it and then press the character ``v''.

In this exercise you are asked to create your own Home Page on the World-Wide-Web. In order to so, you need to create a file called Home.html in your own directory under the WWW directory subtree. As explained in the lecture on of 9/23/97, your ``public'' subdirectory is /cs/www/html/temp/cs101b1/login, where login is your UNIX username. For example, if your login is ``jsmith'', then your directory should be /cs/www/html/temp/cs101b1/jsmith/.

The grade for this problem will depend on how much work you put in making your home page elegant and interesting to others. You will need to go through the following steps:

TOMUS is an on-line database of all the libraries of Boston University, which contains over one and a half million volumes and over two and a half million microforms. In this exercise you will learn how to use this facility, which, undoubtedly, will be very useful to you in the future. Using TOMUS you can ask questions like ``Give me a list of all the books about Jazz'', or ``Give me a list of any work by or about Beethoven''. In order to start a session on TOMUS, type telnet tomus at the Unix prompt and then at the login prompt type library. You do not need a password here. You will be asked about the kind of terminal you are using. You should choose V and confirm it when it asks for a confirmation by typing y. You will be presented with a Menu of commands that you can give to the library program. This the Main Menu. You can pick any command by typing the letter next to the command. From here on follow directions given by the program. At any point you can get to the main menu by starting a new search which can be done by typing n or by pressing the Esc key. You can end your interaction with TOMUS by typing d at the main menu. This will put you back at the Unix prompt.

Note: The solution to this problem is simply a short writeup (i.e. on a piece of paper) with answers to the above 4 questions. For more information about Tomus, check the course supplementary readings.

Created on: 1997.08.01
Updated on: 1997.09.02
Maintainer: Azer Bestavros