Only system administrators should reboot the machines.
Reasons for this policy include:
The basic idea is that if a machine needs rebooting then there is a problem that the system administrators need to know about so that they can prevent its occurring again.
Before contacting the system administrators you should:
As students in the Computer Science Department, you should learn to discover solutions to your own problems before asking the system administrators. If you can't find an adequate solution after trying these methods then the system administrators will be happy to help you.
Google is one of your best resources for finding answers to your questions.
There is also a club on campus known as the BYU Linux Club. They are experienced in using Linux and their leadership is always willing to help. You can find their website at linuxclub.cs.byu.edu.
Eric S. Raymond wrote a helpful set of instructions for getting your question answered; it is called "How To Ask Questions The Smart Way". We strongly suggest that you read it. This is a good resource, but it is not in any way affiliated with our department, and they are not a helpdesk for the CS Department here at BYU.
Problems that system administrators don't know about, or can't reproduce, can't be fixed. When you submit a ticket to the system administrators, you should give them the following information:
Warning: DO NOT GIVE US YOUR PASSWORD!
Do not give anyone your password. We don't need it to access your account, and we can always change it if we think that your password is the problem.
If you need to reset your password, then you must submit a support ticket at support.cs.byu.edu (for verification purposes, include your Net ID, ID number, and birth date)
Do not reboot the machine! Simply send them a ticket and, if possible, lock the console of the machine.
The administration of the CS Department gets a lot of comments and suggestions. Though the system administrators enjoy feedback, and especially appreciate well-thought-out ideas, they do not make the decisions which determine the policies of the department. The best way to make a change in the department policies is to ask a professor to present the idea to the department administration. If you insist on bringing the idea to the relatively powerless system administrators, please follow these rules. If they haven't heard your idea a dozen times before, they might pass it on to their boss.
Before you give such comments or suggestions:
If the system administrator with whom you are speaking gets defensive, looks annoyed, or appears busy, then your suggestion will probably not be well received and you should find a more effective method of getting your ideas heard. Topics which are sure to annoy the system administrators include (but are not limited to):
We have tried to answer these questions in our online documentation, and are not empowered to change the network at a user's request. You should discuss such things with the Department Chair.