Trainer's Outline for User Training 3 - Intro to Account Management


Instructions for Trainers

Try to find out what kind of computer system/software they will be using at home, so you can give more specific instructions on uploading/downloading.

I haven't tested this as to appropriate length, so please email any comments to me at aa043.

Time Limit: 1 hour

Suggested Outline


"What we're covering in this session is how to manage the files in your personal CFN account. When you register as a user of CFN, you get an area to store your own files. This is called your home directory. We'll be looking at how to create and edit files, how to delete files, how to upload files (i.e. transfer them from your personal computer to CFN), how to download files (i.e. transfer them from CFN to your personal computer). We'll also be looking at how to change your password and how to check your quota."

A first look at the File Manager

Have the participants log into CFN using their own user ids.

[go files] to take them to their personal File Manager.

Explain to them that this is the Directory and File listing of their Personal Home Directory. Some of the directories and files were automatically set up when they registered as a user on CFN. If the users are not familiar with the concept of files and directories, you will need to take a little time here to explain it to them.

Note that the list of files and directories are set up as links. If they follow the link which is a file name, they will be viewing that file. If they follow the link which is a directory name, they will be viewing the contents of that directory (which could be more files and more directories).

Some files and directories in your account

Go through the following files and directories (created when the account was created):

signature (file)
"This file contains your email signature, which we edited last week. The contents of this file are automatically included in each email message you compose. This file is automatically created when your CFN account is created, but it does not contain anything initially. It's up to you to put something into it."

public_html (directory)
"This directory contains files that are accessible to the general public. Files that are NOT in this directory are private; only you can access them. But you might want to have information that is available for other people to see; in that case, you would put them in your public_html directory."

Have participants follow the link to the public_html directory. Their profile should be in here.

Profile.html (in public_html)
"This is where your profile is kept. Remember when you do a [go who] or a search in [go people] and a list of names is displayed, and then you follow the link on a particular name, you'll see some information displayed on screen. Your profile contains the information that is displayed for you. When your account is created, the only information that is put into it is your name and your email address. Some people have learned how to edit it and have put in more information. After you learn the HTML format, you will be able to do this too, if you want to."

Use the left-arrow key to go back to the list in your home directory.

mail (directory)
"The mail directory is where your saved mail is kept. Remember in Pine, when you type s to save a message into a folder? Well, this is where they physically are kept. If you follow the link into this directory, you will see that there is a file name for each folder in your mail. WARNING: You should not try to edit or delete or move these files around using the file manager. If you want to do things with your mail messages, go into the mail program and do it there."

"Note that, because the mail directory is in your home directory, the space you are using for saved mail messages will come out of your quota. We'll talk about quota a little later."

news (directory)
"This directory is for articles saved from news. If you are in news and you want to save an article, this is where it will be kept."

The File Manager Menu

Point out that there are two menus for the file manager: Note that the command you choose from either the mini-menu or the full menu will be applied to the selected (i.e. highlighted) file or directory.

In the following exercises, show an example of each menu for each operation.

Creating Files

Mention that there are a variety of ways to create files: exporting from Pine, saving news articles, uploading them from your home computer, saving files that you view from CFN, and creating them from scratch in the File Manager.

To practice on, have them create two or three test files:

Note that the new files created by n or by the full menu don't have anything in them yet.

Editing files

Have the participants edit the newly created files. Remind them that the editing commands are just the same as in PINE, except for ^X, ^C and ^O. Have them type some stuff into each new empty file. This would also be a good time to practice ^R to read in a text file.

Creating directories

Have the participants create a new directory. Show them both the mini-menu version (n for new, then d for directory) and the full menu version (F for full menu, choose "Create new directory"). Maybe some participants could use one, some could use the other - or they could create a couple of new directories.

Moving files

Move the test files from the home directory into the newly created directories. Use both the mini-menu (m for modify, then l for location) and the Full menu (F for full menu, choose "Move current selection")

Verify that the files have been moved by viewing the directory.

Renaming files

Rename the test files. In the mini-menu, use m for modify, followed by n for name. In the Full menu, use F for full menu, then choose "Modify name of current selection"


Note that it's tedious to perform the same operation on a number of files. Introduce the idea of tagging a set of files, so you can tell the file manager to perform the same file on all of them. For example, we will tag some files and then delete them. Type t in the mini-menu to tag a file. Point out that tagged files have a + beside them. Have them type F for full menu and point out that the operations now refer to the tagged files.

Deleting files

Have the participants use the full menu to delete the tagged items.

Have them return to their home directory and use the mini- menu to delete the test directory. [NOTE: I have found that using the delete key in the mini-menu doesn't work on all terminals.-BL]

Uploading Files (getting files from your computer to CFN)

Point out that in computerese, "uploading" means transferring a file away from you and "downloading" means transferring a file towards you. [Does this mean that the remote computer is always above you? - BL]

If possible, find out what kind of system the participants will be using and try to tailor the explanation of uploading to their specific setup.

Note that you can only do uploading over a dial-up line (if you telnet in, the uploading probably won't work). Explain (briefly) the concept of protocols. Tell them to choose the protocol that works with their communication software; mention that Zmodem is usually the fastest and they should use it if they can.

Demonstrate uploading if possible. At least show them what they would do on the CFN side of things (U for upload in the mini-menu or F for full menu, then choose an upload option). Explain "At this point, you would tell your communication program to upload a file".

Getting files from CFN to your computer

There are a number of ways to get a file from CFN to your home computer:
  1. You can download a file
  2. You can print the file if you have a printer attached to your computer
  3. You can print the file to the screen and capture it, using your communication software
To download a file, view the file and type d for download. Note that this will work for any file on CFN. You will get a menu giving a choice of download protocols. Note that this is the "reverse" of uploading - same idea but in the opposite direction.

To do 2 and 3, view a file and type P (note again that this will work for any file on CFN, not just the ones in your file manager). You now have a choice: you can save the file in your home directory (useful if you are looking at some file on CFN), you can mail the file to yourself (or to someone else), you can print the file to the screen, or you can print the file to an attached printer.

At this point, attempt printing to an attached printer, if there is one. Note that some communications programs can do this and some can't. You won't know until you try.

Other Commands to Help You Manage Your Account

Demonstrate each of the following:

Viewing your disk usage and quota [go quota]
Explain that there is a limit to how much disk space they can use in their home directory on CFN. Have them do [go quota] and explain that the first line refers to the amount of space alloted for their incoming mail (the mail in their INBOX), the second line refers to the amount of space allotted for their home directory (which includes the saved mail).

If they are getting close to (or over) their quota, they will have to delete files or mail messages to make room. Note that you should only use PINE and not the file manager to delete any saved mail messages.

Setting user options (s from Lynx)
Go to the home page. Type s for set user options. At this point, probably the only thing that users would want to change would be the option for displaying files and directories: type I for l(I)st directory style, space bar to cycle through options to "directories first", then > to save the settings.

Changing your password [go password]
Explain why it's a good idea to change your password regularly (security reasons). Also explain that passwords Mention some techniques for choosing passwords, i.e. include some numbers, punctuation, odd spelling, acronyms that make sense only to you.

Update your personal profile [go profile]
This is a shortcut to edit your Profile.html file, which we saw earlier this session. You will learn more about HTML (the format of your Profile) in IP Training 1.

Have your mail forwarded elsewhere [go forward]
Explain that users may want their email to your CFN account to be forwarded to another email address. For example, if you had an email address provided at work, you might want to get all your email there.

Set your terminal type [go terminal]
This is mostly useful if you know you will be logging on regularly from a particular terminal type. It sets the default terminal type for your account.