Foreword to the Fifth Edition
Welcome to TFM. This is the fifth edition of the third guide to the Faculty of IT computer systems written by the Programmers' Society. It's now been around for 13 years, and this is the first new edition since 1997.
Since then, pretty much everything has changed. SoCS has become UTS:IT and has changed buildings. The subjects have changed and the degree has changed name. Policies on everything from modem use to account creation were updated by the Faculty's resident gaggle of rabid system administrators. Languages which were once a UTS fixture, such as Miranda, are now no longer so much as mentioned.1 The TFM 2003 Crew has tried hard to get everything up-to-date, but you might want to check TFM's Website, listed below, to make sure that the code you're copying from the manual won't, proverbially speaking, kill your dog, skin your cat, and cause you to run naked down Pitt St. (At least, I'm told this is a proverb.)
TFM was previous edited entirely using Vi . Now it's edited using Vi and a motley collection of other text-based editors that novice users can't figure out how to exit from. We're still not sure why we do it this way, but the obscure language combined with the textmode editor does mean we can work on it while we're supposed to be doing Useful Work2.
The Programmers' Society, of which you are, or should be, a member, is a loose group of coders and other right-minded peoples with a shared interest in UNIX, programming, and teaching. We provide a social environment, assistance with problems in our areas of interest, and resources for student projects, and we still have enough time to fight over which mail client to use on our mailing list3
Thanks to the unceasing efforts of your editors, this manual is also available on the Web, at http://www.progsoc.org/tfm/.
Any comments, particularly on TFM, particularly if you're volunteering to help with with the re-write for next year, can be directed via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, The List at email@example.com, or to the writers of each section4.
TFM's ``It's been 7 years! Let's change everything!'' editor, who feels more like a sub-editor to Piers ``writing dynamo'' Johnson, whose copious and informative writing still fills the majority of these pages.
Foreword to the Fourth Edition
Welcome to TFM. This is the fourth edition of the third guide to the School of Computing Science computer systems written by the Programmers' Society. The original edition, the Sun User Guide (1990), was a reasonable first attempt at providing students with the necessary documentation to effectively use the computer systems at UTS. After five complete rewrites and a lot of creative editing, we hope TFM satisfies your want for such information.5
TFM is edited using Vi and typeset using LATEX , nobody seems to really know why --- masochism, we expect. But it does mean we can do it instead of assignments, using the Suns of SoCS.
ProgSoc is a special interest group loosely affiliated with the UTS Union (we would like to be closer, but they aren't interested unless we're prepared to have a barbecue); it includes current and ex-students and staff of UTS. Our constitution orders us to learn and disseminate knowledge about the programming and application of computers. In particular, being net.junkies ourselves, we are compelled to increase the awareness of information resources available on the bounteous (largely anarchic) Internet. We are also here to provide assistance and, where possible, resources for our members' projects and activities.
In 1994, ProgSoc installed the machine donated by Sun Microsystems, called ftoomsh.6The machine is administered and available for use by ProgSoc members.
Last year, we welcomed some of you at orientation. We'll probably do it all again this year. Or to already have done so by the time you read this. We also intended to put this document, TFM onto the Web by converting all its content into HTML. Someone must have wished me7 luck, because it was done, and may be found at http://www.progsoc.uts.edu.au/tfm/.
If you find any part of TFM offensive it is in all probability a joke. You may, of course, complain to us if you want. If you find any of TFM funny, then it is obviously offensive and you're a sick puppy. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
This year's emboldened ProgSoc Publications Officer8
Back to table of contents