Intro. to Programming Workshop - 1


This series of posts will be summaries of the content covered in the free Introduction to Programming Workshops to help first year computer science students get acquainted with Java. The workshops run as part of the SUITS Tech Talk programme and future workshops will be advertised via our Facebook page and newsletters.


Setting up Java


To check whether you have a recent version of Java installed. Open Command Prompt and type java -version. If it returns a version number greater or equal to 1.7.X then continue with the next step! Otherwise, download the latest Java Development Kit (JDK) at

Note: If you are unable to use the javac command, then please ensure you have a JDK installed and that its bin folder is in your System Environment Variables Path.
To add the bin folder to your 'path', first identify where your JDK is installed (usually "C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_40\bin", but will vary depending on version). Then, visit the following website for a guide on adding environment variables:

Mac OS X

Follow same step as Windows using Terminal instead of Command Prompt


First, update your package lists by typing sudo apt-get update inside a new Terminal.
Second, check whether you have a recent version of Java installed by typing java -version. If it is missing or older than 1.7.X, type sudo apt-get install default-jdk. Otherwise, you are good to go!

Arch Linux

Simply open a new Terminal and type java -version to check whether you have Java installed. If you need to install Java, type pacman -S jre7-openjdk.

A word on Eclipse and IDEs

The INFO1103 course this year will not be using Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) nor Eclipse. Instead, a text editor well suited for programming should be used instead.

Here is a list of popular text editors for programming and their download links:

Connecting to your Network Drive

Each student taking a course in the Engineering/IT faculty will have a personal network drive which they can access from outside the university. It will require setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to the university.

Here are the simplified instructions for installing the VPN:

  1. Enter your UniKey and UniKey password into the form at:
  2. Follow prompts to install the Cisco VPN
  3. Run the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client if it isn't running already
  4. Type into the Connect field:
  5. Select Sydney_University_VPN under the Groups drop-down menu
  6. Login with your UniKey credentials

You are now connected to the VPN (not the network drive yet)!
To connect to the network drive, follow the instructions under the respective sections at:

Note: Remember to disconnect from the VPN when you have finished working with the network drive or other VPN-requiring tasks.

That concludes this week's Workshop!

If you still have any queries or comments, please don't hesitate to email me at:
[email protected]