The University of Arizona


Using CS Lab Help and FAQ Pages

Sources for help

There are many helpful web pages supplied by the department. For information about accounts, email, the snapshot utility on lectura, connecting to the department from home, etc., go to the department home page, i.e., and click on Resources in the upper right quadrant of the page. There are links to Help Pages and a Knowledge Base that you will find useful. Finally, CS technical staff can be reached by email.

Help Pages

The CS help pages, i.e.,, are becoming less useful as students look for quick and concise answers to questions regarding use of the CS computing facilities. CS Help Pages tend to be more lengthy and elaborate, and are perhaps more appropriate for policy statements, rules, and procedures rather than quick answers to common computing problems.

To supplement our Help pages, CS has instituted a Knowledge Base program with answers our most frequently asked questions.

Knowledge Base (aka FAQ)

It is rare for CS Lab support personnel to be asked a unique question. When we sense a particular question frequently being asked of Lab staff, we will place it into our Knowledge Base. Students are advised to try searching this medium before emailing "lab at cs dot arizona dot edu".

If you do not find an FAQ article to be acurate or useful, let us know how we can change it for the next user.

Lab email

Email to "lab at cs dot arizona dot edu" should be used as a last resort when all user efforts to solve the problem has failed.

The Lab staff handles most technical problems within the CS department, but not all. In particular, they make sure computing equipment is functioning properly and answer questions concerning basic access and use. They do not answer questions specific to programming--especially for class assignments. Nor are they equipped to handle email responses on weekends and evenings.

The biggest mistake users make in sending Lab staff email trouble reports is inadequate description of the problem. Telling us exactly what it is you are doing, what system(s) you are on, what is the error message you are getting back--and when, will usually get you a useful response from lab. Reproducing the problem is 90% of the solution.

Last updated May 10, 2010, by John Luiten
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