Hercules is a UNIX server locked away in the university's server room in the Administration building. It's operating system is a distant cousin to Mac OS X. If you could get to it physically, you'd find it had a nice graphical user interface and that you could work with it almost like the desktop computers you use everyday. You can't though. First, it's meant for dozens of people to use at once. Second, it's locked up. Instead, the easiest thing to do is to connect to it with a text based terminal emulator and make it do things with its command-line interface.
All computers have a command-line interface, even your Windows computer. Try this in Windows:
echo off for /L %G in (1,1,5) do echo Hello! echo on
Don't worry. That's the last thing you'll have to do on the Windows command-line all semester.
The most popular Windows program for getting command-line connections to UNIX computers like Hercules is called PuTTY. Don't ask me what it means. (Here's the programmer's introduction.)
Here are some links that will show help you install and configure it:
It is possible, but difficult, to send files to and from a UNIX server using command-line instructions. To make it easier, you can install a tool with a graphical user interface. The UofR provides a customized version of WinSCP for you to use.
You can use the TeraPrint command to print certain files from Hercules on a local printer.