[cs615asa] Welcome to CS615, Spring 2018

Matthew Gomez mgomez1 at stevens.edu
Sun Jan 21 21:30:10 EST 2018

I haven’t been able to connect to the Linux lab in some time. Is it no
longer available?


On Sun, Jan 21, 2018 at 9:22 PM Jan Schaumann <jschauma at stevens.edu> wrote:

> Hello,
> Welcome to the Spring 2018 Semester edition of CS615 "Aspects of System
> Administration".
> System Administrators need to be able to read a lot of documentation and
> text.  By "read", we don't mean "skim quickly and tweet about it", but
> rather: "actually read and understand".  This email will be your first
> exercise in this critical skill, as it contains a lot of meta
> information and administrativa.
> You may have noticed that this class does not have a "Canvas" or
> "Moodle" online thingy; instead, it has a lovingly hand-crafted,
> artisanal, locally produced, old-fashioned course website:
> https://www.cs.stevens.edu/~jschauma/615/
> This page has all the information about the class you should need.
> Please do bookmark and read it carefully, if you have not done so
> already.  Lecture slides and homework assignments will be posted there
> as the semester progresses.
> Our primary method of communication about anything relating to this
> class will be (aside from good old in-class face-to-face exchanges)
> email.  Specifically: this mailing list.
> If you have questions, please send them to this mailing list.  (If you
> send it to me alone, chances are I will tell you to resend the same mail
> to the mailing list.)  If you see a question on the mailing list to
> which you think you know the answer, please respond on the mailing list.
> Being able to efficiently communicating via email is a crucial skill --
> you should practice it!  Often times just describing your problem to
> somebody else helps you find the solution[1].
> There is also a class Twitter account: https://twitter.com/cs615asa I
> will occastionally post (hopefully) interesting or amusing links
> relating to the general topic of System Administration there.  You are
> not required to follow this account or read anything posted there ("no,
> this will not be on the test"), but you may still find it of interest.
> The area of System Administration is very wide; we cannot cover in
> sufficient detail every single aspect.  As we go through the semester,
> we will follow the syllabus as outlined on the course website and each
> class will cover the basics of each topic.  There is no required course
> book, but a few recommended texts are listed on the website.  I may also
> share documents or texts as required reading on this list.
> For each lecture, I have linked some suggested reading on the class
> website.  You will get the most out of this class if you prepare for the
> lecture by reading the referenced materials _prior_ to the lecture.
> This will allow you to follow along and ask questions or clarify your
> understanding in class interactively.  Re-reading the material after the
> lecture is also a good idea to revisit what you have learned.  For
> tomorrow's class, I recommend that you read the following document:
> https://www.netmeister.org/book/01-introduction.pdf
> You should also feel encouraged to read up on each topic via the
> referenced reading materials and independent study.  Please share any
> interesting links or articles you come across with the class on this
> mailing list.
> Each class will have a pre-class questionnaire, asking you a few basic
> questions about the topic at hand.  This will not be graded -- there are
> no right or wrong answers, but responding is mandatory and not doing so
> will affect your grade.  I will not remind you to fill these out each
> week; please remind yourself.
> I very much encourage you to revisit the questionnaire after each class
> to see if your understanding has improved and what you may have learned.
> There will be a few graded homework assignments; some of them will be
> individual work, and some may be group assignments.  All of the
> assignments will require you to write up documentation how you solved
> the problem, as writing clear technical documentation is another
> important skill to hone.  I know that English is not the first language
> for many of you: please use a spell-checker and carefully re-read your
> documents before submission.  The same holds for your emails, by the
> way.  How you present yourself in a text medium often speaks volumes
> about the level of care and attention you might give to other issues.
> There are a few hints at [2].
> Any and all work for the homework submissions must be done by you.  You
> are always welcome to ask questions or to discuss solutions or different
> approaches, to work together on common problems, but you may not submit
> work not done by yourself.  You must not copy and paste solutions from
> other students, from previous semesters, from the internet, from your
> grandma, or from anywhere else and pretend that you did the work
> yourself.  If you do, you will receive and F and the incident will be
> reported to the Dean of Academics.
> All work for this class will be done exclusively using command-line
> tools on Unix systems.  If you are not comfortable operating on the
> command-line, then this class is not for you and I recommend that you
> drop it.  All work will be done and graded on linux-lab.cs.stevens.edu,
> on which you should already have an account.  (If you do not, now would
> be a very good time to get it.[2]  You will need it for your first
> assignment.)
> We will be using Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) in this class.
> You are not expected to be familiar with EC2, but, consistent with the
> above, all interactions with EC2 will be done using the command-line
> utilities available on linux-lab.cs.stevens.edu.
> Amazon offers a free tier of services for new subscribers[4].  In
> addition (and/or if you already have an AWS account and have used the
> free tier), you can apply for $35 worth of free credits via AWS
> Educate[5][6].  As this is a limited amount, it is important that you
> remember to terminate any running resources after you are finished with
> your assignments.  You are responsible for any costs incurred beyond
> this amount, even if they resulted out of an error or negligence on your
> part.
> From time to time, I will send thought exercises, problems, current
> issues to consider or investigate, or similar incentives for you to
> research a topic.  I expect you to put some thought into these, but they
> are not graded.
> System Administration requires a lot of self-directed learning, critical
> reading, experimentation and initiative.  You will get the most out of
> this class if you follow the examples from each lecture well beyond the
> homework assignments, which primarily exist because I have to give you a
> grade at the end of the semester.  What you take away from this class
> and what you ultimately learn is entirely up to you.
> If you have managed to read (actually read!) this far: congratulations,
> you're off to a good start.
> See you in class tomorrow!
> -Jan
> [1] https://blog.codinghorror.com/rubber-duck-problem-solving/
> [2] https://www.netmeister.org/blog/the-art-of-plain-text.html
> [3] https://www.cs.stevens.edu/~jschauma/615/linux-lab.html
> [4] https://aws.amazon.com/free/
> [5] https://aws.amazon.com/education/awseducate/
> [6] https://www.awseducate.com/Application?apptype=student
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> cs615asa at lists.stevens.edu
> https://lists.stevens.edu/mailman/listinfo/cs615asa
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