Sit at one of the Sun terminals. Move the mouse: the screen should come on; if it doesn't after a few seconds, press the power button in the bottom-right corner of the monitor, so the green LED is lit.
You should see a login panel: using lower case, enter your usual Physics username where indicated and then press Return but before you enter your password, ensure that the graphic on the right says ``Solaris Common Desktop Environment''. If it does not, then click and hold the Options button, and select Common Desktop Environment from the Session menu. Now enter your password and press Return.
The login panel should disappear and after a few seconds, you should see various windows appear on the screen. If you want to be able to use the Netscape web browser--which we recommend--click Accept in its License panel (a Netscape browser window will then appear, which you can minimise by clicking on the ``dot'' button at the top-right of its window). You should also mimimise the Help Viewer and File Manager windows in the same manner. You should now be left with a single Terminal window.
If you do not see a Terminal window, then you can get a new one at
any time by clicking once on the terminal icon at the bottom-right
of the screen (it should be the third icon from the right).
Click in the Terminal window so its border turns dark pink (this
indicates that you can type things into it). Terminals provide access
to what is known as the Unix command-line, or shell. A Unix
shell is a bit like the DOS-prompt in Microsoft Windows, but it is far
more powerful and flexible: it makes available hundreds of commands,
utilities and programs. The shell indicates that it is ready to
receive commands by displaying the following 2.1 prompt:
Some basic help and information about Unix
commands is available by typing
help in a Terminal window.
Mostly, however, you will not need to use the shell because we have
made available a single, integrated application for doing Python
programming called IDLE.