I need to set up some handy dandy keyboard shortcuts as I am fed up with setting up various aliases each login time from scratch. what is the most convenient way to do this since I don't have the proper right to change the .profile file?
Since it looks like you don't have the ability to customize your .profile but you can write to /tmp then you could do the following:
Put all your customizations into a shell script (e.g. $HOME/myCustomizations.sh) on your local server. Something like this:
alias ls='ls -laht' export AN_ENVIRONMENTAL_VAR_I_NEED_SET=VALUE
scp $HOME/myCustomizations.sh to the /tmp directory of your remote server:
$ scp $HOME/myCustomizations.sh user@remoteServer:/tmp/
ssh into your remote server as you would normally.
run your script there.
That should get your customizations into the ksh you are running in that terminal. Admittedly it's annoying to have to scp everything over every time you want to log in and then run that script but this is likely an improvement over what you are doing now by typing everything in at the prompt after logging in. In any case /tmp/myCustomizations.sh should live until someone reboots the remote server and cleans out the /tmp directory.
Give that a shot and let me know if it gets you anywhere.