Rules for using the computers

We have a bunch of shared access computers that everyone has to use, and we don’t want the machines to be compromised. Here are some rules that should not be too onerous, however Rob will disable accounts that don’t follow the rules.


You should use strong passwords, and that really means sentences or phrases. It does not equate to the number of capitals or punctuation in your password.

From time to time we will run password crackers on all machines in the lab. If your account has a weak password it will be disabled without notice.

You should not share your password – that is a common way for machines to get hacked and accounts to be abused. If you need to share data, you can either change the permissions on your account or you can set up a common working area (see below).

Common working areas

Many machines have a directory like /data. Write access is typically asserted at the group level, and you may need to be added to the group to write to the directory. Let an admin know if you need to be added.


Please do not download nr, viral nr, seed nr, or other directories to your home directory. The chances are high that (a) we have them somewhere, and (b) others will want them. If everyone downloads the databases we will run out of disk space quickly.