three ballons

Please familiarize yourself with the contest environment by downloading the latest CD ISO image. If you have a suggestion to improve program development environment or contest operations, please let us know. We need your comments by 1 September 2005 to have a chance to incorporate them before the 2005 contest. Send your comments by e-mail to


The contest will be run on a GNU/Linux operating system. This makes it easy to practice with the actual contest environment. And it will make it faster and easier to ensure all programming teams will have the same environment. The world finals will also be conducted using a GNU/Linux operating system. We have prepared a contest CD based on the 8 April 2005 release of Knoppix 3.8.1. You can explore the contest environment by simply booting from the CD. When you exit the system and remove the CD, the computer is unchanged. Also, you can install the system from the CD to an Intel-compatible computer in a few minutes. The CD contains a lot of freely available software useful for developing Java and C++ programs.

At the contest each team must supply their own computer. We will install the system on the computer, thus destroying the pre-existing operating system and any data on it. Bear this in mind when you choose a computer to bring. Please install the system on the computer you intend to bring to ensure that the contest environment works properly on your hardware. The computer hardware required for the contest is as follows:

Be sure to check out your hardware with the contest system. Computers come with wide variation of components and not all are supported by the contest environment. Make sure networking works.

You also need to bring a monitor capable of 800600 resolution.

Please download and test the contest CD. A CD ISO image is available. Simply burn the image to a CD.

Languages on the CD

Development Tools


The printing of program listings will be supported at the programming contest. Listings will be delivered to the teams (contestants may not pick-up their own output). It is not possible to ensure that receiving printouts will consistently be fast. Please plan accordingly. Teams may not bring and use their own printers during the contest.

To print a file, type

pcpr filename
at the command line. Printing any other way is not supported.

By the way, printing is adminstered by CUPS.


Reading and writting to a floppy is possible by first mounting the device by clicking on the floppy icon on the desktop of the contest environment.

Contest Administration

Submiting and judging problem solutions will be performed using PC2. Version 8.6 is installed on the contest CD and has local documentation. In particular, instructions for use of PC2 by a team is available on the WWW and is installed locally on the contest CD.


  1. With a Dell Optiplex computer there is an error message about video mode and after booting all the icons and windows appear too big in X.

    The solution requires a BIOS change: the value for Integrate Devices/Onboard Video Buffer should be changed from its default value of 1 to 8MB.