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College of Engineering
EECS Instructional & Electronics Support
Report on EECS Instructional Computing Facilities
Fall Semester 1997
For a desciption of the current status of Instructional UNIX labs, please
For decriptions of additions and changes to software availability, please
read /share/b/pub/Instructors.Guide, /share/b/pub/software.help and other specific
files in the /share/b/pub directory (also accessible as
For additional information, please contact us or our WWW home pages:
Kevin Mullally Ferenc Kovac
EECS Instructional & Electronics EECS Instructional & Electronics
378 Cory Hall, (510) 643-6141 377 Cory Hall, (510) 642-6952
Summary of recent events and plans:
- Rooms 330 Soda and 277 Soda have been converted to new Instructional labs
since January 1997. There are 50 new PCs on line now in those rooms, 10
more will be installed this semester. 330 Soda has a mix of Solaris,
FreeBSD and NT for various classes; 277 Soda has 30 Solaris systems mainly
- 10 PCs have been added to 111 Cory for CS multimedia classes (CS39A,
CS294-5). The PCs are running NT and have Intergraph 3-D video cards.
- Three new HP 5siMX printers were installed (in 274 Soda and 199 Cory).
- A new multimedia lab for faculty has been installed in 564 Soda, under the
ausices of Prof John Canny.
- CS61A will move to labs in Davis Hall next Fall; those labs will be
equiped with 40-60 PCs. That will free up 275 Soda for general use.
- John Canny won an Intel grant of 113 PCs and a PC server in October 1996.
69 of them are installed in 3 new labs: 330 and 277 Soda and 111 Cory.
The remaining 44 PCs will go into 310 and 349 Davis for CS61A.
- Hewlett Packard gave $250,000 worth of instrumentation for the Instructional
- DEC has been asked donate 20 new Alphas workstations by July for use by EE
classes in Cory Hall.
- Prof Newton is coordinating an Intel grant for EE research and Instruct-
- Group reorganization: With the breakup of TCS last Fall, the Electron-
ics Support Group (under Ferenc Kovac) and the Instructional Support
Group (under Kevin Mullally) have been united under a single banner,
called the "EECS Instructional & Electronics Group". The primary man-
date of this new group is to support the Instructional computer and
electronics labs. The unification of the two groups reflects the
increasing convergence of computers and AV technology in all instruc-
tional labs and allows for a more dynamic distribution of budget and
staff amongst the instructional facilities. The group will continue to
support AV equipment and recharge services as well.
- Staff notes: Monish Sharma (386 Cory), Omar Drubi (377 Cory) and Drina
Valdivia are our newest career staff members. Francisco Lopez has
reduced his hours to 15% to attend grad school. Sharon Taylor has taken
a new position in the Database Research Group in Soda Hall. Marcelino
Enriquez, formerly a part-time student, is working full-time from
January through August. We haev hired Charles Yang in a part-time to
staff the new multimedia lab in 564 Soda.
- Open position in Soda: There has been an open PAIII FTE position for
Instruction in Soda Hall since October 1996 (replacing Francisco Lopez).
We had unsuccessfully sought a multimedia expert. The addition of 70 new
PCs and generally increasing demands by CS classes for software custom-
ization have made it clear that we need a more general lab support person
in this position, so the position is being reposted. (The proposed job
decsription is on-line in
Notable events this semester
(Nov 9-10) Po was down. Po.eecs crashed early Sunday morning with a
disk failure. It was down until about 2pm on Monday, during which time
the /home/tmp, /home/f and /home/h filesystems were unavailable. After
2pm, home/tmp and /home/f could be accessed at other computers, and by
6pm rlogins were allowed again on po.eecs as well. /home/h was off-line
until Tue Nov 11.
(Oct 29) Parker.eecs was down for maintenance on MONDAY NOV 3 from 4pm-11pm.
We reinstalled the operating system to prevent the periodic crashes.
Unavailable during that time:
http://inst.eecs, Mathematica, TMA SUPREM,
OpNet, MDS, XILINX xact
Parker.eecs had been crashing frequently since Sunday Sep 28. Parker.eecs
is the server for http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu as well as for the
password service to the HPs in 105 and 199 Cory. When parker.eecs goes
down, users may not be able to login to those workstations.
We believe this was another example of incompatible kernel patches in HP-UX
10.20, similar to the problem we solved on franklin.cs (see below). So, we
reinstalled the un-patched version of HP-UX 10.20 on parker.eecs as soon as
possible during the week of Oct 27-31.
(Oct 25) Franklin.cs was freezing up regularly from mid-September until
October 17. Franklin.cs is the UNIX file server for some Instructional
home directories and software. We believe that we corrected the problem
on Oct 17, and the symptom has not reoccurred since them [written Oct 25].
We investigated and ruled out possible causes, including a bad disk or
disk controller and out-of-date disk firmware. HP tech support was unable
to identify the cause, although we agreed with them that the next likely
cause was an operating systems software bug (incompatible kernel patches).
We noted that cochise.cs, which has the same HP-UX 10.20 installed but with
no kernal patches, has not had this problem.
So, we reinstalled the un-patched version of HP-UX 10.20 on the evening of
Friday, Oct 17, and the problem seems to be solved.
(Aug 18) New HP window manager (CDE); how to get "xdm".
We have upgraded the HP workstations to HP-UX 10.20, which replaces the
HP-Vue window manager with "CDE". CDE no longer uses the old .novue file
to force the window system to read your .xsession file. .novue was what
caused an alternate window manager such as twm to run instead of HP-Vue.
Now, to get "xdm", you need to add this line to to a file in your home
directory called .dtprofile:
.dtprofile is created the first time you login under CDE. The file is empty
(only comments) when it is first created. You can add the SESSIONTYPE line
with any text editor. Our Solaris x86 and DEC UNIX workstations also have
CDE and use .dtprofile, so there is finally a standard way to configure the
window options on these different types of UNIX computers.
(Aug 18) How to access the EECS modems and home IP:
1) Get a password for the modems by using the on-line service
2) Students enrolled in EECS classes automatically have dialin
access to 642-6679, 642-0070, 643-9600
3) See http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/modems.html for more info.
(Sep 09) The top level of /home/tmp and /home/tmp2 is no longer world
writable. Run /share/b/bin/mkhometmpdir on po.eecs or franklin.cs to
create a writable subdirectory for yourself in /home/tmp or /home/tmp2.
The subdirectory will be named after your login. You will not be permitted
to have a directory on both filesystems; whichever one you create first will
be the one you use for the semester. Please read /share/b/pub/disk.quotas for
(end of document)