EECS Instructional Support, University of California at Berkeley
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                   University of California at Berkeley
         Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
                   Instructional Systems Support Group


           Report on EECS Instructional Computing Facilities
                          Fall Semester 1996

by: Kevin Mullally, Manager of EECS Instructional Systems
    Ferenc Kovac, Manager of EECS Electronic Support

For a desciption of the current status of Instructional UNIX labs and
file servers, please read /share/b/pub/EECS.facilities (also accessible as

For decriptions of additions and changes to software availability, please
read /share/b/pub/Instructors.Guide, /share/b/pub/ and other specific
files in the /share/b/pub directory (also accessible as

Our WWW home pages are:

PCs and Lab Changes in Soda
  Instruction will install new Pentium PCs from Intel in Soda Hall 
  labs in the first weeks of the semester.   Earlier plans to install NT on 
  these systems have changed.  We are now investigating which UNIX would
  best suit our needs.  Operating systems under consideration include BSDI, 
  FreeBSD, Solaris and Linux.  The deciding factors are:  does the 
  operating system run on the hardware we have been given (Intel bundles a 
  variety of disk, video and network interfaces); do the application programs
  we need run on the operating system; can we afford the licensing fees, if 

  1) 283D and 283E Soda: _may_ have additional network
     connections installed so that Pentium PCs running 
     UNIX  couild be installed there, for Instructional
     use.  I do not yet know if this networking is possible.

  2) 564 Soda: will be converted into an Instructional
     multimedia authoring facility for instructors and TAs.

  3) 330 Soda: HP wkstns for 1st year grads have been 
     moved to other rooms (466,566 and 592 Soda).

  4) 330 Soda: Pentium PCs running UNIX will be installed 
     for general Instructional use.

Change to Modem Access - Home-IP password required
 Starting  August 26, aaccess to all EECS modems will require a password. 
 This is the same procedure that IS&T implemented in June 1996.  More 
 information is available at

New Cardkey Procedures
  This semester, we are tring a new procedure for enabling cardkey access to
  the labs quickly.  Students who do not have an EECS cardkey should go to  
  391  Cory  (8:30am-noon,  1pm-4:30pm) to sign up for a new cardkey. 
  Students who already have an EECS cardkey can go to either 391 Cory  or 
  387  Soda.    We  are trying a new procedure for enabling the cardkeys,
  and we hope to enable  all  cardkeys  within  2  working  days  of  the
  request. Initially, we will work from class enrollment lists.  Instruc-
  tors are encouraged to send updated lists to 391 Cory  as  the  enroll-
  ments change.

September 1996
  09/06 - Cochise crashed.
  Cochise.cs froze up in the afternoon and needed to be rebooted.  We are 
  watching for evidence of a bad disk as a possible cause  but this is 
  inconclusive so far.   The 1GB Seagate disks on Franklin and Cochise have 
  had an increasing failure rate since last Spring.

  09/09 - printer problems.
  We had a series of problems that caused the 2 printers in 274 Soda and the 
  printer in 105 Cory to be offline on Saturday and Sunday.  One of the two 
  printers in 274 Soda printers was working again by 7pm on Sunday.  There 
  were hardware problems with 2 printers and, by bad coincidence, there were 
  also problems with the spooling software, which the sys admins fixed on 
  Sunday.   The failure rate for the printers has increased over the last 2 
  semesters and the printers are overworked.  We are working on a printer 
  quota software suite that should be ready soon.  We'll use that to limit 
  usage and to discourage waste and inappropriate use.  We will also consider
  buying a third, more robust printer for the second floor of Soda.  Budget
  is an issue: an HP5SiMx costs about $5000.

  09/21 - Franklin.cs was rebooted.
  Some extremely CPU-intensive user processes brought franklin to a crawl, 
  all but disabling NFS.  As a result, 152 students were bogging down, and 
  the Instructional Indy's were unusable.  Also, IS&T reported that Franklin
  was making unnecessary requests to one of its name servers.   So, Franklin
  was rebooted at about 2pm on Saturday afternoon and the problems ceased.

  09/26 - printer problems, continued:
  Instructional printer performance has suffered from hardware failures and 
  unexplained problems in the spooling software.   We are working on both, 
  and the staff is being vigilant about correcting software problems when 
  they occur.

  We are working on a couple of changes that should help; we will try using 
  the latest lpsched spooling daemon on an HP-UX 10.x system, and we will 
  turn at least one printer into a serial printer to bypass the network
  spooling software altogether.

October 1996
  10/15 - Po was rebooted to clear hung processes.  Po had been running
  smoothly for 80+ days.

  10/17 - Pasteur (Instructional mail server) became overloaded with mail
  processes and was rebooted, causing intermittent interruptions to mail 
  service for an couple of hours.  The mail spool directory was full.
  Excessively large mail spools (over 1MB) were moved and the users were
  given 24 hours to reduce them, or the staff would delete the spools.
  We inserted a new command in the standard login script that most students
  run (/share/b/bin/instructional.cshrc) that warns users if their mail
  spools are too big.

  10/25 - Cochise crashed in the middle of the night and the /home/bb
  filesystem did not remount automatically.  It was manually tested and
  remounted at about 3am.

November 1996
  11/20 - Franklin and Cochise were both rebooted in the late afternoon
  to clear problems with their automounters.   Downtimes were only about
  5 minutes for each reboot.  Unrelated to that, console logins were denied 
  at about 1/3 of the HP workstations for a few hours in the morning.  This
  was repaired by midday.

  11/22 - Pasteur, the Instructional mail hub, was down for a few hours 
  during the niht and was restored to service by 10am.  The mail spool
  directory had filled up.

(end of document)