To complete the homework assignments, you will need to remotely access a specific EECS machine through SSH. This will require you to use some sort of SSH client, such as the built-in Macintosh client, PuTTY or SSH Secure Shell, which is available freely to U of M students through ITD's BlueDisc program. I will demonstrate the necessary steps to connect using SSH Secure Shell.
Whether you're using Windows or Macintosh OS, you'll probably need to use a VPN client to log into Michigan's network. The university provides such software for free, which can be downloaded from http://www.itcom.itd.umich.edu/vpn/. To use this software, simply install it and log into the network by selecting the first profile "UMVPN - All Traffic" and clicking "Connect".
You should now be able to use an SSH client to connect to the SI computers. Directions for both Windows and Macintosh follow.
SSH Secure Shell has two components, a file transfer client (pictured left), and a shell client (pictured right). The shell client is the only one you really need, but the file transfer client is useful if you want to create the files on your own computer. In either case, click "Quick Connect" to get started.
Then a window will pop up asking you for connection information. In the "Host Name" box, enter rod.eecs.umich.edu (this may not work before the class starts) and in the "User Name" box, enter your uniqname. When you've finished this, click connect. A window will pop up with a user agreement, followed by a window prompting you for a password.
After you get through all the dialog boxes, you should have something like the above. At this point you are logged in and ready to start working. You can interact with the shell as you would with any Unix shell.
If you're using the Mac OS, you're lucky because it's built on top of Unix, so you don't need to download any 3rd-party client. To connect, simply open a terminal and type ssh email@example.com (where your own uniqname is substituted). You will then be prompted for a password and after successfully entering it, you should be logged in and should be able to interact as you would with any Unix client.
If you want to transfer files, you can do so using the sftp or scp commands or alternatively, you could use a file transfer client like Fugu.