MEN AT WORK NIU Department of Mathematical Sciences


What is a FAQ file?
A collection of "frequently asked questions". There are hundreds of FAQ files on various subjects out there. This one is for the users of the NIU Math computer system.


I sent a letter to 45 people and it came back...
You probably received a "bounce" because one or more addresses was wrong. If you look carefully at the error message, you will see "user unknown" and/or "host unknown" next to some of the recipients. Correct those and resend a copy only to those people. Everyone else should have received the first letter. If it's something very important and you want to make sure, ask the system manager to check the logs.

I sent a letter to a valid address and it came back...
There are two possibilities: the computers may have decided that the "host" part of the address is wrong ("host unknown", or "never heard of ... in domain ..."; or the username part was not accepted. In the latter case, the recipient's username may have changed, or he may have left his institution without setting up forwarding.
In case of a "host unknown", it may be that the recipient's network is being reorganized, but it could also be a temporary glitch in the so-called domain nameserver system, caused by slow network or some other problem. Try again in a few minutes. Either way, you should report the problem to the system manager.
One other possibility is that you are trying to mail something to a CompuServe user. CompuServe usernames have a comma in them, which is an illegal character in the rest of the e-mail world. Replace the comma with a period and try again.

How do I mail a TeX file to someone?
TeX files are ordinary ASCII files and can be sent in a normal letter. A command such as
mail -s "Here is the file" < myfile.tex
will do it. Or you can of course start your favorite mailer, compose a new message, and tell the editor to read in the TeX file straight into the letter.
If you are including other files in the main TeX file, or using non-standard TeX styles such as "preprint12", you have to mail them as well.

However: as much as we hate attachments here, there are a couple of good reasons to send TeX files as attachments. Of course you will need a fairly modern mailer for that.

To avoid problems with typesetting at the other end, you may want to convert the file into PDF and mail that file instead.


When I got out of X-Windows, my keyboard started making noises!
Type click -n at the Unix shell prompt.

After I got out of X-Windows, my screen shows everything in pink!
(or green, or yellow...) Type clear_colormap at the Unix shell prompt (and this shouldn't be happening on the newer machines).

Why am I getting messages about "colormap entry"?
This happens when too many color-intensive applications are trying to use the palette of screen colors. Netscape is particularly bad about this. Try starting Netscape after the other programs.


I keep getting a message about "copy file too large"
Try printing it with the command lpr -s filename. Do not remove the file until all output has come out of the printer.


First paragraph of my sections is not indented
That's intentional, and a common typesetting practice. If you feel it looks bad, add \usepackage{indentfirst} to your document's preamble.

Last modified: 7/21/2011 by