SIPB and /mit/sipb: who? what? when? where? why? how?

SIPB (pronounced ``Sip-bee'') is the Student Information Processing Board, a student group concerned with computing at MIT. We administer several machines and an AFS cell, maintain a large body of software on Athena for your convenience, provide Usenet access to Athena, are available for telephone (253-7788) or in-person (W20-557) consulting at almost any time of day or night, have one-of-a-kind meetings Monday evenings at 7:30 pm, write documentation (like this guide), hack, and generally have a good time. We also act as an advocate for student computer users and student computer access on campus.

SIPB maintains a locker, /mit/sipb. To access the programs and files in it, type add sipb at the Athena prompt. This locker is the place where SIPB-written or modified programs and documentation can be found. The source code for most of the programs in /mit/sipb can be found in the /mit/sipb/src subdirectory. We hope that people will find the programs useful and the source code instructive.

Athena provides Intel stations running Linux for use by the community. All SIPB programs are compiled for use on these platforms.

Another locker which SIPB offers is /mit/outland. It is not supported, and while it contains many nifty programs, you should not depend on any of them, as they may not necessarily be available or completely debugged. We encourage you to look at it despite this, since it contains many neat programs that SIPB doesn't have the resources to officially support.

There are many other addable lockers with interesting and useful programs in them; it is not possible to catalog all of them here. We can only suggest you ask your friends who might know where the interesting ``hacks'' are stored, or ask us if you have specific questions. However, there is a short list of some useful lockers presented later in this document.

Problems or questions with SIPB programs should be sent to, except for problems with Usenet news programs, which should be sent to

Luke Faraone 2012-01-11