This page provides instructions on how to set up your computer accounts and email so that you are ready to work in this course.

Setting Up Piazza

Piazza is an online discussion forum and, aside from scheduled office hours, is how you will get help from course staff. You will use Piazza to ask questions, the staff and/or other students will use Piazza to answer them. The staff will also make any announcements about the course on Piazza. So Piazza is your lifeline, check it frequently and learn to use it right away.

Here is the sign-up link for this term's Piazza discussion forum:

Setting Up Your Computer Science Department Account

All students in this course must have a Computer Science Department account. This account will match your CWL, and will be [your CWL] You will use your CWL username and password when handing in labs, problem sets, and exams.

If you are using a personal computer for the course, follow the instructions on this webpage: It is VERY IMPORTANT that you forward BOTH your CWL email and your CS department email to an email account that you read regularly. You will be receiving autograding reports to that account and you will want to receive them quickly. Ask a TA during your first lab if you need help.

Installing DrRacket

The programming tool we use in CPSC 110 is called DrRacket.

If you are using a personal computer for the course, then you can download the version of DrRacket used in the course from Install the version of "Racket" (not "Minimal Racket") appropriately depending on whether you are using a Mac, Windows, or Linux computer. You should install a "BC" version if available for your computer. If you have never installed software on your own computer before, ask for help on Piazza.

Configuring DrRacket

Once you start the newly installed DrRacket on your computer, you will need to adjust some of the settings.

Language Settings

Once DrRacket has started, go to the lower left corner and select Choose Language. Under Teaching Languages, select Beginning Student. Then on the lower left of that window, select Show Details. For Constant Style, select the bubble with true false empty. Then press OK.

SPD Handin

You will need to install the course plugin that will allow you to submit labs, problem sets, and exams. To install the plugin:

    1. In DrRacket, go to the File menu and then select Install .plt File.
    2. Select the Web tab, and use this url:
    3. Once the file has been installed (should take ~1 minute), restart DrRacket.
    4. In the top bar, beside the Check Syntax button, should be a new option - SPD Handin. You many need to resize the Dr. Racket window in order to see the new SPD Handin button. You must test the plug in as described in the following steps.
    5. Download the test file, and open it in DrRacket. Change the first ??? in the file to your CWL. Then press the SPD Handin button, enter your CWL and the password you used for that account. If you get an error messages correct them and try again until you get a Handin Successful message. Please note that you need to use your CWL username, not <your CWL>
    6. Now check your email. The handin system will send an autograding report to your CWL email. If you do not see this e-mail, check in your spam, and whitelist Make sure that you receive this email, you will want to receive your autograding reports while working on labs and problem sets. If you get any errors, or you do not receive an e-mail, then please ask a TA for assistance.
Style Rules

One of the rules that will be enforced throughout the term is that every line in the files you submit must be less than 80 characters. To make this less of a pain, DrRacket has a built-in feature for detecting when a line goes over 80 characters. To enable it:

    1. Open DrRacket
    2. Open the Preferences window (on Windows this is under "Edit" and on MacOS it is under "DrRacket")
    3. Click Editing
    4. Click General Editing
    5. Check the box that says "Maximum character width guide" and change the number beside it to 80
    6. Also check the box that says "Show line numbers"

Configuring edX Edge

Your "textbook" including lectures, labs, problem sets, reference material, videos textbook and other resources will be provided on edX Edge. Please enroll in the 2021W1 version of the course:

To check whether your edX account is linked to your UBC CWL, click on the arrow next to your username (on the top right), then Account.

Scroll to the bottom to Connected Accounts. The option next to University of British Columbia will indicate whether your accounts are linked or not.

If the option is Link, then click on that and follow the instructions to link your CWL to your edX account. If the option is Unlink, then you do not need to do anything further.

And, once again, if you have any problems... ask for help on Piazza.