SIPB grumpy fuzzball
SIPB Documents
SIPB's new documentation page is on its new website, at
Many of the documents here are outdated.
The Student Information Processing Board is devoted to helping the MIT community utilize the Institute's computer facilities with ease and efficiency. Since we know how dry and badly written the average user's manual is, we write and maintain many documents on our own. This documentation is freely provided to users in the form of online and printed manuals, UNIX man pages, and emacs info files, in addition to the documentation available in our office. The source for almost all of this documentation is available online under the directory /afs/, and is redistributable under certain conditions; all these documents are copyright by the SIPB. Although the following guides are mainly of use to Athena users, SIPB documents are known to be used at universities other than MIT. Hardcopies of these documents are available for free in the SIPB Office, W20-557, and online versions are also available via Athena's online "help" facility, by selecting the main-menu item "Documentation Archives".
DVI files? What are those? What's XDVI? (DVI Version)
XDVI is a program to view DVI files, a common output format from Latex et al.
Inessential LaTeX (PDF) (DVI version) (somewhat-dated HTML version)
A guide to using LaTeX, a typesetting program for writing books, papers, theses, etc.
How to Choose a Good Password ( DVI version.)
A one-page list of guidelines and suggestions on how to choose secure passwords, and why you should.
An Inessential Quick Reference to Athena ( DVI version.)
A one-page reference to the most basic information about Athena, including logging in, reading mail, and getting help.
An Inessential Guide to Athena ( DVI version.) (PDF) (PS)
A large guide on how to get the most out of your Athena account, from reading mail, to using AFS, to sending zephyrs.
Inessential AFS ( DVI version.) (PDF) (PS)
A guide to understanding and working with the Andrew File System.
Making your Ubuntu or Debian box Athena-ish
A guide to integrating an Ubuntu or Debian GNU/Linux machine into the Athena environment, running Athena services such as Kerberos, AFS, zephyr, and printing.
Getting Started with PGP on Athena
A quick guide to using PGP security on Athena.
Inessential MATLAB (DVI version) (PDF)
A guide to using the MATLAB software package on Athena.
Java Class Notes
These are the electronic slides that were used in SIPB's popular java class.
Filtering Your E-Mail On Athena
A quick guide to filtering your e-mail on Athena's common e-mail clients.
NetNews: A One-Page Guide to the Usenet (DVI version )
A one-page reference to reading NetNews.
Using Discuss (DVI version)
A guide to using and enjoying the Discuss bulletin board system on Athena.
Inessential Bitmaps ( DVI version.)
A guide to drawing and displaying XBM bitmaps and other graphics.
Inessential Zephyr ( DVI version.) (PDF)
A guide on conversing with other users with the Zephyr message system on Athena.
Inessential Refrigerator Restocking (Internal DVI version, inquire at SIPB)
A guide on how to restock a soda fridge. It isn't as hard as you make it look.