Computing Facilities

If all the systems are functional, we expect to have 38 simultaneous "seats" available for the course; 14 in the SGI room and 24 in the Macintosh Rooms. To ensure everyone has two guaranteed hours per week on a computer with a demonstrator present, four sessions per week will be organised for the four weeks of the course, at 16.00 to 17.30 on Monday, 15.00 to 16.30 on Tuesday and Thursday and at 14.00 to 15.30 on Friday only. You will be allocated one of these slots, but if the time proves inconvenient, you should arrange a swap with a colleague. Outside of these times, you are free to use any available computing facilities. All the computing rooms are normally open until 19.00 hours or later. Feel free to do course work at your own pace. It is advised that you make a start on the formal project during the supervised sessions in the autumn term. We do hope to have at least one supervised session available in the spring term, but only for a limited period.

Program compilers are only licensed on the Indigo workstations, and not the Macintosh systems. On the latter therefore, you will need to make a network connection to the Indigos to compile and execute your program. Program editing however can be acomplished on both types of computer.

Printing Facilities.

On a Macintosh computer, the contents of the edit-a-file window can be printed onto the HP Deskwriter printers in room 170, as described in the instructions. Alternatively, you can open the program file using the BBedit program as described elsewhere and print from there. It is no longer possible to print program listings from the Silicon Graphics systems. Colour plots however, can be submitted using the ugplot command appear on a HP Deskjet 550c located in the instrument room 337 in Chemistry.

Using Your own Personal Computer

If you have a personal computer at home that you want to use for the course, you will need to acquire a good Fortran-77 compiler. The Centre for Computing Services sell such a compiler for a PC-DOS system at a very resonable cost. Games machines and other systems do not have such compilers available.

You may wish instead to use another programming language, such as e.g. Visual Basic etc. It is entirely permissible to submit your project in such a language, but remember that you will still have to take the Fortran test.

If you are using your own computer, you will also need to devise some means of displaying and printing your calculated orbitals (project A) or your FT spectra (project B). You could also write your program on your PC and and bring it into the department for running on the systems there via a floppy disk. Since the Indigo computer does not have a floppy drive, you will have to use the Macintosh computers, which accept both Macintosh and PC-DOS formatted disks. Click here for details on how to transfer the contents to the Indigo systems.

Modem Conection

If you have a PC or Mac equipped with a Modem (a good one is the 14,400 baud US Robotics Sportster, at about £ 150), you can access the College network by dialling 071 594 6999 using suitable software. It is recommended that you try to install "PPP" type software, which enables you to use the same programs you would on e.g. the Macintosh systems in College. Seek advice from the CCS Helpdesk on how to do this.

Further Advice:

Postgraduate demonstrators will be available during the scheduled course work sessions. When they are not available (or they don't know the answer!), you can send an e-mail message to with your query.
Copyright (c) B. P. Levitt, H. S. Rzepa and ICSTM Chemistry Department, 1994, 1995.
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