Department of Engineering

IT Services

Computing-related Information for CUED Teaching Staff

Computing Facilities

Available machines

The teaching system mostly comprises dual-boot machines (they can be Linux or Windows), though some are Linux-only or Windows-only. Some of these machines can be used by students without them needing to be on-site. See our Offsite Access page.

Available languages and document preparation packages

Python is the main programming language taught. The Part 1 students are also introduced to Matlab/Octave and C/C++. Setting coursework that requires students to use other languages is not recommended unless the students are well prepared. Short courses on C++ and fortran are sometimes available during October. The Languages page lists available programming languages.

All students are introduced to Creo. The Programs page has links to lists of other programs available.

The Linix Teaching System has LaTeX and LibreOffice for document preparation. Many (though not all) students have access to PCs and Macs in their colleges.

Setting up experiments

  • 'start' set-ups - The start facility on our Linux machines provides an easy way to run computer-based sessions. Files can be copied, menus set up and applications started to suit your course. See The "start" command on linux for information about how to set the facility up.
  • Teaching-related files - These go under /export/teach. Linux-specific teaching-related files go under /export/teach/linux.
  • Unix Groups - Students can be put into "unix groups". This means that a group of students can share certain files without other groups having access to those files. Mail user-admin with your requirements (the groupings and the amount of disc space they might require).
  • Shared Filespace - Folders can be created under /homes/groups that can be accessed only by students in particular unix groups. This is useful for group project work. Mail your requirements to helpdesk
  • Booking Sheets for lab/marking sessions - Noticeboards like those for IIA experiments in the EIElab can be replaced by web pages. See the CUEDle page.
  • Fast Feedback - A feedback icon can be provided as part of the start set-up to give users an easy way to offer feedback via our Fast Feedback Facility.

Booking computers

In order to avoid timetable clashes and unexpected loading on the computer system, a booking system exists for those running computer-based courses during term time.

Courses should be booked via the DPO manager. The ICS group should be advised of computer loading/software requirements. Copies of the proposed DPO, and EIE and timetables for the coming term are posted in the DPO.

For conference bookings see the Use of CUED Computing facilities by conferences page.

Installing courseware

  • Programs - Mail helpdesk in good time if you have a teaching-related program that needs installing. The point of contact for licensing issues is helpdesk.
  • Documentation (Lecture Notes, etc) - Use Moodle if at all possible.

Lecture Theatres

The main lecture theatres have PCs and projection equipment. Contact Audio Visual Service for details. The PCs have some presentation software installed. By default the machines are likely to start Windows.

Under Windows there's an icon to log into the x-access machine. This will bring up SuSE Unix which by default will boot into gnome (as on the DPO terminals). Users can however use KDE etc. if preferred.

If you use a WWW browser, it's suggested that you use the Clear private data option (in the Tools menu) at the end of the session.

Note that the Lecture Room machines have 1024x768 displays (the best the projectors can display) whereas the DPO's screen are mostly 1920x1080. See the Lecture Theatre/Room PCs page for further information.

Teaching Office Information

Note that you'll be able to access past papers, etc., but supervisors and demonstrators of your courses might not be able to. If they're not CUED teaching staff they may need to contact teaching-office to be added to the right lists.