Using Scheme in 6.001

Supported Options

The following systems are supported for 6.001:

All these implementations (including editor, debugger, etc.) are virtually identical. Feel free to do assignments partially in the 6.001 Lab, where you can work with the Lab Assistants, and partially on your own machine. You can also save your work in progress on a floppy disk or in an Athena locker, come to the 6.001 lab, and get help from the lab assistants based on your work. (See transferring files between the 6.001 Lab and Athena.)

If you have a PC capable of running Scheme, we suggest that you install Scheme on it, since it will be convenient for you to work at home a lot of the time. You should feel free to use the lab, in addition, at any time -- because you would like help from the Lab Assistants, because you want to work in a room with your fellow students, or just because you want to enjoy the beauty and comfort of scenic 34-501. But you should realize that the lab is often very crowded just before projects are due.

Note: The Scheme system supported in 6.001 for Fall 2001 and subsequent terms is Scheme verson 7.5.1. This is a newer version than has been used in 6.001 in previous semesters. If you have an older version of Scheme (perhaps obtained from someone who took the course previously) please update your system, since problem sets may not run on the older version.

System documentation is included with the distributions, and you can also find it here on the web.

Special note on Windows XP Windows XP Service Pack 2 removes a few files that are needed to run older programs (like MITScheme) under Windows XP. Try the instructions at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;324767 if you have difficulties.


Unsupported Options

There are several other versions of Scheme available, either for free or for a small fee:

Feel free to try these out, but bear in mind that:

  • The projects are not tested on these systems, and may not work on them.

  • If you need help from the staff, you must be prepared to copy all the files you are using to an Athena locker and reproduce the problem in the 6.001 lab using the supported system.

  • The staff will not grant extensions or waivers on problem sets that can't be done in these systems.  You have been warned.


Some problem sets for 6.001 use cryptography, and the code necessary to run these problem sets is export restricted by the US government. You will need to install a special key for on your machine for this to work, which is only available to download to machines on MITnet. Download blowfish.zip and extract the one file contained in the zip archive to c:\Program Files\MIT\Scheme\lib\blowfish.key (or equivalent for where you installed Scheme). Make sure that the resulting file is 1,040 bytes long, and not 1,056 bytes long.


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