Computer Science House

Computer Science House

Computer Science House (CSH) is a special interest house founded in 1976 at the Rochester Institute of Technology, made up of a group of students who share an interest in computers, community and having fun. Despite its name, students from all majors are allowed to join. CSH offers many physical and virtual resources to its members and features a collection of many projects such as Drink, "SOAP", and "DAMMIT".



Every current CSH member completes a yearly major project. These projects help members to learn more about some technical or non-technical topic and help out CSH or the community at the same time. In addition to some of the notable projects listed here, CSH members have been a major factor in the evolution of the campus network and information services.


This project allows members to log in from anywhere in the world via telnet, SSH, cellphone, or a form on the house's website and 'drop' a drink. CSH currently has two drink machines and a snack machine, all of them using Tiny Internet Interface microcontrollers to interface with the network. Computer Science House's "Internet Coke Machine" was listed as #3 in a list of "The Ten Greatest Hacks of All Time" in PC Magazine, behind NASA's efforts to save Apollo 13 and the PDP-1 game Spacewar! (Segan 2008).[1]

Seminar Series

Over the years CSH has run seminars on various computing technologies to educate other members and, when possible, other students at RIT.

The Clipper Project

In 1985, several ARG (Advanced Research Group) members set out to design a 32-bit workstation for use by CSH and the RIT community. This would create one of the most powerful computer systems for that time. They chose the state-of-the-art Clipper Module from Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation (now Intergraph Corporation) as a base for their computer system.


Back in 1995, CSH had a table at a Special Interest Group for Computer GRAPHics.

The Okee Project

Porting of NetBSD to a home-grown single CPU board. The Okee CPU board was designed by an alumnus of CSH, Frank Giuffrida, to replace the CCI Tahoe 6/32 6 board CPU boardset with a single CPU board. The CPU is based around the Motorola 68040 processor.

Porting NetBSD

Members of CSH ported NetBSD to the DECStation 5000 series workstations.


CSH offers many resources including, but not limited to the following.

Network services

CSH runs its own servers. Due to its small budget, most of the servers are provided by donations. Currently there are over 20 different servers running in the CSH server room. These servers provide services such as web, mail, news, and SSH.

In addition to self run servers CSH maintains its own wired and wireless networks. The wireless network is set up using enterprise WPA with a RADIUS server as the backend. The RADIUS server authenticates users against the CSH kerberos server.

Special purpose rooms

CSH has project and research rooms stocked with tools and supplies. The Project Room contains tools for constructing objects made of wood, metal, and plastic. The larger tools in the Project Room include a table saw, a circular saw, a jigsaw, a drill press, and a cordless drill.

The Research Room is used for electronics work. It is stocked with resistors, capacitors, wire, and a mess of integrated circuits. In addition to supplies, some of the larger tools include oscilliscopes, logic analyzers, power supplies, multimeters, and soldering irons.


In addition to all of the technical work that CSH does, they also have a strong social atmosphere. Movie nights are held often, and annual events such as Welcome Back and Holiday Dinner help to spice things up.


  • CSH was Yahoo! Internet Life's most wired dorm of 1999
  • CSH participated in RIT ROCS (Reaching Out for Community Service) 2005
  • CSH has three networked vending machines


  1. ^ "The Ten Greatest Hacks of All Time". Sept. 15, 2008.,2817,2330368,00.asp. Retrieved 2010-03-24. 

External links

Coordinates: 43°5′6.3″N 77°40′3.5″W / 43.085083°N 77.667639°W / 43.085083; -77.667639

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