Frequently Asked Questions

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Organization of your studies

What courses do I have to take?

The answer to this question, of course, depends on you major, your minor, and which semester you are in. You can find model study plans on the website of the SfS:

We also have a non-comprehensive list of courses here.

In addition to the courses mentioned there, you are also required to take so-called key qualification courses. See the Studienordnung of your program for details. Inspirations for possible key qualification courses can be found in the Course reviews.

How do I enroll in...?

The ISCL B.A. program

You can find the formal requirements on the SfS website. However, in reality, no one checks for the English language requirements. The ISCL B.A. program is zugangsfrei, which means that you do not have to apply for it. You simply enroll at the University of Tübingen and specify Computerlinguistik as your major.

Technical support

How can I connect to the SfS server from my home computer?

You can connect to the SfS server (urobe.sfs.uni-tuebingen.de) not only via the computers at the SfS, but also remotely over the Internet. This is a prerequisite for accessing your SfS e-mail account, your home folder, certain applications and resources provided by lecturers.

In order to connect to Urobe, you need to be within the university network. This is automatically the case if you

  • are working on any computer of the university
  • are using the Internet connection of a dormitory which uses the university network.

Otherwise, you need to connect to the university network using a VPN connection. Setting this up is a bit complex, so there is a page of its own for it: VPN.

As soon as you are connected to the university network, open a terminal window and type:

ssh username@urobe.sfs.uni-tuebingen.de

Replace username with your username on Urobe. If you omit your username and the @, your computer will automatically send your local username to Urobe. If you do not have the same username on your computer as on Urobe, always use this command with the prefix username@. Next, you will be prompted for your password, which will not be shown while you type it.

Now you should see a new prompt like username@urobe:~>. This is the very same prompt you see when using a computer at one of the labs. However, you cannot start applications with GUIs, such as DrJava or Firefox, from this prompt. There is a way to enable GUIs when connecting to Urobe from a remote computer but the speed depends on your internet connection. (e.g., DSL 2000 is too slow to be really useful.) Just use the -X option with the ssh command:

ssh -X username@urobe.sfs.uni-tuebingen.de

To terminate the connection, hit Ctrl+D (=EOF) or type logout. You should then see a message stating that the connection to Urobe has been closed.

How can I access my SfS e-mail account remotely?

With an e-mail client

You can set up your e-mail client at home, or wherever you are, exactly like you set up Thunderbird at the SfS. That is:

Incoming erver: urobe.sfs.uni-tuebingen.de
Incoming server type: IMAP
Username: <your SfS username>
Password: <your SfS password>
Secure connection: SSL encryption
Outgoing server: smtpserv.uni-tuebingen.de

The catch: You need to be connected to the university network each time you use the account.

By forwarding e-mail to another account

You can also have all e-mail to your SfS address forwarded to another e-mail account of yours. Ask Jochen Saile to set this up for you.

Urobe, Penthesilea? Who are they, what do they do?

Back in its old days, the SfS was using computing technology by Sun Microsystems. This technology was running Solaris as Operation System on special hardware. Hence, the server was also running this system and they decided to call it Penthesilea. It did a lot of jobs, including being the e-mail server and the server for people to login from outside the SfS network and thus also the machine on which one could run programs remotely from home.

Penthesilea grew a beard and the beard became gray, so it was obvious that it needed a successor. This successor now is Urobe and it runs Linux. It is hosting the (new) mailboxes and it is there for you to login from the outside. On Urobe, you should have everything you have on the pool machine – excluding screen and keyboard.

At the time of writing (2008-11-18), there are quite some mailboxes still living on Penthesilea. Both machines can be accessed from the University Network only (use VPN from home!).

How can I connect to the wireless Internet inside the University with my own Notebook?

There are three wireless networks at the University:

  • 802.1x, which is the best and easiest method to get internet access. Click on the internet connections icon in your operating system's main panel or task bar, and select 802.1x. If you get error messages on Windows, tell your computer to continue and ignore them, even if they appear several times. At some point, you will automatically be prompted for your ZDV login information. ZDV usernames usually start with zx... and are issued, together with a password, to every student upon enrollment at the University. If you are having problems, please contact the ZDV support at hotline ät zdv döt uni-tuebingen döt de.
  • Belwue, which connects you to the wireless network, but doesn't authenticate you. You have to establish a VPN connection to do that.
  • Guest, which is accessible to everyone, but doesn't get you very far in terms of an internet connection.

Why can't I send e-mail from within the university network?

By default, e-mail clients send mail to port 25 of an SMTP server - such as smtp.web.de. If you're using WEB.DE with an e-mail client (as opposed to using the Web interface), this port is blocked by the university network in order to make it harder to send spam. Two solutions exist:

  1. Tell your e-mail client to always use smtpserv.uni-tuebingen.de for sending e-mail. There is no problem in principle with using an SMTP server that doesn't "match" your sender address. However, for certain domains, certain spam filters may not like this. (In particular if the domain of your sender address is administered by someone who thinks SPF is a good idea.) Thus, this solution slightly increases your risk to end up in your recipient's spam folder.
  2. Many SMTP servers allow using port 587 instead of 25, and port 587 is not blocked by the university. Some e-mail clients, such as Thunderbird, have a separate option to specify the port. Others, like Evolution, accept appending a colon and the port number to the name of the SMTP server - like this: smtp.web.de:587.

I don't find my question answered here. What do I do now?

Write an email to our mailing list: fachschaft ät mailman döt sfs döt uni-tuebingen döt de. There is a high chance someone will reply to it.

Alternatively, you can post your questions to the Fachschaft Forum, but it has been rather inactive for a while. ISCL students are kindly asked to join the students mailing list and post their questions there. For the innocent: Wikipedia explains how mailing lists work.