Instructions for using the CS1 Helpline

  • If you have a problem with the practical work or systems, you can send a message to a special email alias:
  • Somebody will answer your message in due course --- a day or two maximum, hopefully much sooner.
  • The helpline is operated by a mixture of demonstrators, tutors, and additional Java experts.

Using the Helpline Graciously

Please obey these rules when calling on the helpline:
  • The helpline can provide help only with CS1 coursework and related use of the systems. It can't help you with questions about email configuration, connecting to your favourite internet site, etc. (Use newsgroups for that).
  • The helpline is not an excuse not to think! Always try to work out the answer for yourself first, send a message only if you are really stuck.
  • If you have a problem with your program or the systems, always send a complete description of how the error was caused, not just the text of the error message. Include a fragment of your program if appropriate.
  • To avoid deadline deluge, we make a cut-off point of 4 hours before a deadline for the last email questions to be submitted concerning the exercise for that deadline. Please remember this rule, and the next one.
  • There are no guarantees: we cannot guarantee that your question will be dealt with on a short timescale. The turnaround may get longer if the traffic gets higher. If you want urgent help, go to the Appleton Tower lab and see a demonstrator in person.
  • Be polite.
    Only send sensible questions.
    Don't waste the helpers time by sending junk or ``humorous'' messages.
    Always use the mail alias and not the personal email addresses of the helpline staff (unless they personally invite you to mail them directly).