FAQs will be posted here. Keep checking this page.
ZoomThe lectures for this class will be delivered through Zoom. We will post recordings of the lectures which will be accessible with your Andrew credentials for the duration of the semester. As per our course policy, downloading the lecture recordings is prohibited. Office hours will also be held via Zoom. See below for more information.
Please follow the steps below to set up your Zoom account and your Zoom client. Do this well ahead of the lecture time and office hours, and if you face difficulties, post on Piazza or email us at the course mailing list for help.
Setting up your Zoom account
- Click "Sign in" at http://cmu.zoom.us/ to setup
- If you get a notification about adding your account to "EEemail@example.com" choose Yes
- Set your name at https://cmu.zoom.us/profile
- Go to https://cmu.zoom.us/account (and verify your email if needed). You should see that your Account Type is "Education" and your Account Name is "EEfirstname.lastname@example.org"
Setting up your Zoom Desktop Client
- Make sure you have completed the account setup above first
- Download the Zoom client for your OS at https://www.cmu.edu/computing/services/comm-collab/web-conferencing/zoom/how-to/launch-zoom.html
- For OS X: Give Zoom Accessibility access in Privacy and Security preferences of your Mac (to enable screen control if needed to, for office hours). You'll need to restart Zoom after doing so. See https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360016688031-Using-the-Zoom-Client-and-Zoom-Rooms-with-macOS for details.
- You must install the Desktop client, and not just use the web client.
- Select "Sign in via SSO"
- Fill in your company domain: cmu.zoom.us
- You will be redirected to the Andrew authentication page. Use your credentials and you will be redirected to your Zoom client.
- Join a test meeting (https://cmu.zoom.us/test) to check the software and audio. Be sure to test you can write to and read from the chat, and use the 'Yes', 'No', 'Raise Hand' buttons in the Participants window. Make sure to also test your microphone in order to be able to ask questions during the lectures and office hours.
Zoom lectures: The Zoom link for lectures is available on Canvas under the 'Home' tab. You must be authenticated to your CMU Zoom account to join. Please make sure you have followed our instructions to ensure that Zoom is properly installed and configured on your system, and use the course mailing list or Piazza to resolve any issues.
Recordings: After the lecture we will be posting lecture recordings through Canvas, under the 'Panopto Recordings' tab. As per our course policy, downloading, screen-capturing, or making a local copy in any other way of the lecture recordings is prohibited. If you cannot see the slides during the lecture, please work with us thru Piazza to fix that.
Office Hours: To provide one-on-one time with the course TAs during Office Hours, we will need you to join a queue to ask your question. We will be using Office Hours Queue (OHQ) to form a queue, and Zoom for your interaction with the TAs. Please read the following instructions carefully.
- Submit your question on https://cmu.ohqueue.com/ (Queue: 18-746)
- NOTE: It must be https, not http
- Login using your Andrew credentials
- You will only be admitted from the Zoom waiting room if you post a question on OHQ
- We will admit students in the order shown in the "office hour queue" page (triaging may be done if there are too many students)
- If you have a Piazza post with your question, include the post number (e.g., @123) in your question description in OHQ. Make sure your question in OHQ isn't just a post number -- you must type at least a summary of your question. And remember: public posts MUST NOT have code or your solution.
- Make sure you have tested your microphone before joining!
- You can test this even when office hours are not. Click the i in the upper left hand corner to check the meeting information.
- You should see a dialog that says "18-746/15-746 Storage Systems Office Hours".
Tips for productive office hours
- Prepare for office hours and have screenshots, your screen with code ready to share, your student VM up and running.
- Expect to have ~5 mins with the TA if other students are waiting.
- Do not expect TAs to debug your code or be able to interpret poorly-structured code. This is graduate-level class, and it is our expectation that you will write your own tests, experiment with approaches, and debug your code.
Gen.Q1: The project does not compile and I cannot run any tests.Please follow the direction in the “Using Amazon Web Services” section to spin up an AWS instance with the development environment.
The project setup should work within the AWS instance that we provided for the project, and you should have no expectation that it will work anywhere else. If you are trying to run it anywhere else, it probably won’t work and, even if it does, you must ensure your code works in the AWS instance as the instructors will use it to grade your work.
Gen.Q2: What is the autolab website for 746?The autolab website is autolab.pdl.cmu.edu.
Gen.Q3: Do we get any grace days? How many?You have a total of three grace days (i.e., unpenalized late days) for the entire semester. Each checkpoint has a due date and an end date. Grace days can be used to avoid late penalties for submissions past the due date. No submissions are accepted after the end date.
Gen.Q4: How many submissions do we have per checkpoint? Autolab shows infinite submissions remaining.You are allowed 25 submissions per checkpoint. Any additional submission after the first 25 submissions will incur a penalty of 10% of that checkpoint grade. Autolab shows infinite submissions because we do not impose a hard limit, but rather have a penalty per submission. You can easily check the number of submissions you have already made by scrolling down the checkpoint-submission page, as well as looking at your handin history via 'View Handin History' on the left panel.
Gen.Q5: Will we be graded on code quality for the checkpoints? Do we have a code style guideline?You should always keep your code in good style, which is generally the requirement of CMU courses (and all jobs in the real world). The style for checkpoints will be inspected and graded after the entire project is completed. In general, you should follow 15213 guidelines for code style.
Exceptions to the 15213 guidelines:
- You can leave print/debug statements for checkpoint 1 and 2 of the projects, as we understand it can be useful in the later stages. They should be removed for checkpoint 3.
- We won’t enforce the adherence to 15213 guidelines for checkpoint 1 of myFTL project, as this FAQ item is added after the submission deadline. For checkpoint 1 of myFTL project only, we won't be following a strict checklist to grade your code, and you should not worry too much about the code style as long as you keep it modular, clean (for example, clean unused code blocks) and well-documented. But, note that your ability to debug and our ability to help in extreme circumstances will be significantly reduced by poor code quality.
Gen.Q6: What is the password for the user account in the AWS instance? I want to install a package.We do not provide sudo permission for students in the project VM. There are ways to install packages without root privileges if needed. If you insist on using third party tools or library in your code, you adopt any risk of your code not working when it is submitted to Autolab. Please make sure it will pass the tests on Autolab, so that you are not surprised by your score.
Gen.Q7: How can we find out more about a particular aspect of the lab?Have you carefully read the handout? :)
Gen.Q8: I can’t access to the course materials on the web page (“Access forbidden”).Course materials are only accessible within the CMU network. You need to use CMU’s VPN services when accessing from off-campus.
Using Amazon Web Services (AWS)Read the following guide before starting on any project development, and make sure your AWS account is working.
You must ensure your code works in the AWS instance as the instructors will use it to grade your work.
aws.Q1: Setup and Billing
- Create an AWS account here if you don't have one already. Make sure you use your Andrew email address when you create your AWS account
- Once you have created your AWS account, please go ahead and join AWS
Educate. To do that, click here
and select "Join AWS Educate today", then "Apply for AWS Educate for
Students". Join AWS Educate only if you have not done so previously for
a different class. Designate that you are a student, and fill the form
that comes up.
Note: Some of you may also be taking the 15-619 (Cloud Computing) class concurrently, and your Andrew email might already be tied to it. If that’s the case, use a different email address (e.g., @cs.cmu.edu, @cmu.edu, @gmail) to create a new AWS account. You don't need to do so if you have taken 15-619 in a previous semester.
- If your account is new, it comes with 750 hours/month (for 12 months) of free instance time. You need to use the "Free-Tier" instances in order to take advantage of that promotion.
- If you need AWS credits for the course, enter your Andrew ID in this Google spreadsheet. If you are registered with the class we will be emailing you a $50 voucher. You can start using AWS without the voucher, since Amazon will not bill you until the end of the month.
- To monitor your billing and usage, sign in to your AWS account, click on the drop-down menu with your account name and click on "My Billing Dashboard".
aws.Q2: Starting your AWS instance
- Sign into your AWS account.
- Click on EC2 under "Compute Services" to be taken to the EC2 Dashboard.
- On the right corner of the top bar, click the second drop-down menu from the right to select the datacenter you will be using. Select "N. Virginia".
- In the sidebar on the left, click on "AMIs" under the "Images" group.
- Click on the drop-down menu under "Launch" and select "Public images".
- Use the bar to the right of the drop-down menu to search for '746-update10-devCopy'. Double-check that the image owner is '169965024155'. This is the VM image for the course. Use the refresh button at the top right if the image doesn't show up right away.
- Select the AMI, and click "Launch".
- Make sure the "t2.micro" instance type is selected (which is also Free-tier eligible, if you are using a new account that benefits from that promotion).
- Click "Review and Launch".
- On the next screen click "Launch".
- In the first drop-down menu select "Proceed without a key pair", and check the checkbox. To access the instance, you will need this key. (If you get "access forbidden" message, make sure that you are on campus and using CMU-secure wifi, or you are connected to CMU VPN.)
- Remember to run "chmod 400 746-student.pem" to ensure your key pair file carries the right permissions
- Make sure the path passed to the -i option points to the 746-student.pem key pair you downloaded from the course website
aws.Q3: Securing your AWS instanceIt is a good idea to change the key you use to login to your AWS instance, and stop using the 746-student.pem which the AWS template comes configured with. To do so, we provide a simple script: make_secret_key.sh which will generate a new key and use it to replace 746-student.pem on your instance. Note that if you terminate your instance and create it again from the template image, you will have to run this script again.
aws.Q4: Terminating your AWS instance
When you are done using your VM, you can stop it or terminate it. You can stop your VM by running the shutdown command from within Ubuntu, or using Actions → Instance State → Stop.
Be warned that when your VM is stopped it still consumes resources, which will lead to usage charges for EBS storage (and you may run out of your credit faster). Instead of stopping your VM, make sure to copy out your source code when you're done, and then terminate your instance. You can do that via Actions → Instance State → Terminate.
Last updated: 2021-09-08 01:51:11 -0400