Computing at Home

CSE 142/143


This document should help you get set up for working on a home computer.  You'll need to install the following software:
  1. The Java SDK from Sun
  2. Jeva: a Java interpreter
  3. BlueJ: a Java development environment
  4. Local CSE142/143 libraries
We're not particularly religious about which development environment you use.  You can do many of the assignments in this class with very simple tools -- see the end of the document for a low-tech (yet surprisingly powerful and useful) approach -- or with other Java 2 programming environments like JBuilder, CodeWarrior, and so forth.  You can't use Microsoft J++; however; although it is a well-designed Java environment, it has not been updated in several years and does not support the current version of the the Java language and libraries.

If you want to work at home, you are on your own to some extent in terms of getting stuff set up. Ask friends, read documentation, post a question on the bulletin board, ask us -- but we can't be guaranteed to have an answer. Ultimately you're on your own with your home computer. The lab is always available as a fallback.

Regardless of the development environment that you use, the code you turn in should only rely on the standard Sun Java libraries, and libraries that are distributed by us. Your code should not rely on "wizards", special libraries that might be provided with your environment, or code that comes from the Internet or friends.  The programs you give us will be compiled and run using our set-up.

Java SDK

You must first install the Java 2 Platform from Sun Microsystems.  It's the Standard Edition, version 1.3 or to be precise, 1.3.1_03 -- Sun keeps releasing bug fixes with new numbers.  There is a later version, 1.4.  Please do not use 1.4 at this time.  It is quite new, and apparently has some incompatibilities with other software that depends on the Java SDK. 

Go visit the Java2 home page (really, the page where  you can download the SDK1.3 from). Currently, the Java 2 SDK can be installed and run on Windows 95/98/NT/W2000, as well as a variety of Unix variants, including Linux and Sun/Solaris. Java 2 version 1.3 is included with Mac OS X, so you should be able to run the course software on OS X without having to install Java 2 first.  Java 2 is not available for the classic Mac OS (OS 9 and earlier).

The distribution is big, roughly 31MB, so if you're connecting by slow modem, it's going to be a pain. DSL or CableModem users should have an easier time. The CD provided with the Riley textbook includes the Java 2 SDK. To install, double-click on the j2sdk-XXX.exe installer program that you downloaded from Sun, or that's on the Riley CD, and then follow the instructions. A couple of notes:

Jeva and the Remaining Software

Here are instructions for installing the remaining courseware.  This is the same setup that is installed in the UWired general labs, including MGH and OUGL.
  1. Be sure you have already installed the Sun Java 2 JDK first (see above).
  2. Create a folder for the CSE142/CSE143 files.  In these instructions, we'll assume it's named C:\CSE. You can use any other folder as long as the name of that folder, and any containing folders, do not have spaces (i.e., don't put your files in C:\Program Files, for example).
  3. Open C:\CSE and create two folders inside named tools and lib.
  4. Download the following files and place them in C:\CSE\libuwcse.jar  jeva.jar
  5. If you're running on a Windows system, download the one of the following files that corresponds to the course that you're taking and place it in C:\CSE\toolsjeva-142.bat  OR  jeva-143.bat.  If you're downloading to a Unix system, then download one of the following files instead:  OR; after downloading you'll need to edit the JEVADIR environment variable setting in the .sh file to match where you installed your course software (whatever your equivalent of C:\CSE is).  If you're downloading on Mac OS X (earlier Mac systems don't support Java), then download the appropriate Unix .sh script; if you'd like to enable double-clicking on its icon to run it, then rename it to have a .command extension.
  6. Try to run jeva-142.bat (or jeva-143.bat) by double-clicking on it.  [Note: your Windows configuration may hide the .bat extension.]  If it works, giving a prompt like "JevaESCLI-0>", great; type control-C to exit or click the close button.  If it doesn't work, but instead prints out messages about being out of environment space (as it did when I tried to run it under Windows 98), then right-click on jeva-142.bat (or jeva-143.bat), select Properties, click on the Memory tab, set Initial environment to 1024, and click OK. Retry running jeva-142.bat (or jeva-143.bat); it should give a nice Jeva prompt now.


  1. Be sure you have installed the Sun SDK first.  You don't need to have Jeva installed already, however.
  2. BlueJ is available from  Download the latest BlueJ version (currently 1.1.6) from their distribution page. The download is around 1MB, so it's reasonable to download even over a modem. The bluej.jar file can be placed anywhere.
  3. Double-click bluej.jar to install BlueJ.  You can install this anywhere; for the rest of these instructions, we'll assume that you're installing it in C:\CSE\tools\bluej.  There may be a bug in the installer that prevents the browse button from working properly; if so, you'll have to manually enter C:\CSE\tools\bluej in the field for the install directory name.  You also have to say where you installed the Java JDK, e.g., C:\jdk1.3.1.

Special Libraries for CSE142/143

  1. You must have the Sun SDK and BlueJ successfully installed before continuing.
  2. Open C:\CSE\tools\bluej and click on bluej.bat to start BlueJ.  (If you get an out-of-environment-space error, repeat the technique from step 6 above to increase the .bat file's environment space.) You need to tell BlueJ where it can find the CSE142/143 library file.  Do the following:
    1. Choose Tools>preferences and click on the Libraries tab in the dialog box that opens.
    2. Click add and then navigate to and select the file C:\CSE\lib\uwcse.jar. Click open (or double-click on uwcse.jar), then click ok.
    3. Click ok once more and then quit BlueJ.  Restart to use the new libraries.
The course software should be installed at this point.  If you'd like, you can create shortcuts to files bluej.bat and jeva.bat, which you could put in more convenient places, like the desktop.  Be sure to create shortcuts; don't move the .bat files themselves. If you move them, things are likely to break.

Textbook Libraries

As you read the textbook, you may come across references to special Java libraries and sample code that the textbook authors have created.  You do not need these for CSE142/143.   Please do not use them for assignments that you turn in.  Of course, you are welcome to study the code samples in the textbook.  As you do, please keep in mind that they may use features or libraries which will not be discussed in our course.

Old School

If you install the Java SDK on your home machine, you can actually build really interesting programs without any extra software. The SDK comes with a compiler, javac that you can use to compile programs, and a functional debugger, called jdb. You'll want to use a good editor to write your programs, the best of which is emacs (read more about emacs). There is a better (faster) compiler available called jikes, from IBM. The advantage of using this approach is while it may not be quite as easy as an integrated environment, you'll learn to use some tools that you can use in many other contexts as well.

Last updated 04/02/2002 09:07 PM