EECS Instructional Support, University of California at Berkeley
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                        College of Engineering
            EECS Instructional & Electronics Support Groups


								Jan 11, 2002

              EECS Instructional Computing - Review and Plans
		                 Fall 2001

References about Common ISG and ESG Services:
    Instructional WEB server, links to class home pages, student home 
    pages, information about Instructional UNIX accounts, modem access, 
    cardkey access, computers and labs, software.
    Electronics Support WEB server, links to information about 
    electronics labs, AV services and Windows NT services.

Recent improvements to Instructional labs:

  1) Grants for new EE Mixed Signal Systems Lab and Agilent test equipment
     Ferenc has received a grant from National Semiconductor Foundation
     ( to improve and
     equip over 3400 square feet of instructional lab space in Cory Hall 
     in the vicinity of room 143 Cory.  This new Mixed Signal Systems Lab 
     will be used for senior level design courses dealing with embedded 
     systems, digital design, and mixed signal (EECS150, EECS192).  Details: (IE only).

     Ferenc has requested a grant from Agilent (
     for 4395A Network Analyzers, Semiconductor Parameter Analyzers, PCI HP-IB 
     cards, ARB/Function Generators, and a 4-channel Inifinium Scope for 
     EECS105, EECS140, EECS141, EECS143, EECS199/299 and EECS113.  See for details.

  2) new PCs for CS150

     67 new DELL PCs were donated by Intel in June 2001 and are deployed for
     CS150 in 349 Davis and 204B Cory.  In Spring 2002, they will be deployed
     for CS150 in the new Mixed Signal Systems Lab in 143 Cory.

     The previous PCs used by CS150 have been installed in the Windows drop-in
     labs in 111, 117 and 199 Cory, replacing even older Pentium II systems.

  3) new DELL servers for CS classes

     A new DELL PowerEdge 2550 and 2 new 1550 servers were donated by Intel 
     in June 2001 and are deployed in our Soda Hall machine room.   The 2 
     1550s are login servers running UNIX.  CS186 is using one ("rhombus") 
     for its revised database curriculum (using Postgres).   The 2550 will 
     become a new, faster "mamba" UNIX fileserver, and the current "mamba" 
     (a DELL Poweredge 2300) will be re-deployed as a Windows2000 Terminal
     Services system for faculty and TAs to use.

  4) New Sun SPARC servers

    We purchased 2 new Sun Enterprise 420R servers (4 450MHz cpus, 4 GB RAM) 
    to share the load that quasar.cs and pulsar.cs have borne (271 & 273 Soda,
    CS classes).    These 2 servers (star.cs and nova.cs) are being deployed
    in our Soda Hall machine room.

  5) Windows2000 domain conversion

     The Windows NT INSTRUCTIONAL domain has been retired, and the computers
     and user accounts for the Instructional labs are now in the departmental
     EECS Windows 2000 domain.  That means that there is just one Windows
     domain and password service in the dfepartment.  

     However, Instruction continues to use its own file server (Fileservice)
     rather than Coeus for the home directories of its user accounts, and 
     Instructional users will not use the departmental "imap" email server or 
     be issued "@eecs" email addresses.   Instructional users can use their
     UNIX accounts for "@cory" email addresses using our "pasteur" email server.

  6) EECS Instructional and Sun Java CDs for Students

     Instructional staff have worked with several CS faculty to assemble this
     collection of free software that is commonly used by students.  Students
     can install them on their home computers.  Instruction has initially spent 
     $1000 to have 1000 CDs burned, for free distribution to our students.  The 
     CD includes things that are not on IS&Ts Connecting@Berkeley CD but are
     already freely available: TereTerm SSH and some variants, scheme, spim, 
     emacs, MacX, GNU and CynWin compilers.  
     Sun Microsystems has donated their own Java CD to be distributed free 
     along with our CD.

     Distribution is from 387 Soda, 333 Soda and 345 Davis (the SelfPaced 
     Center).  It replaces the floppy diskette that was the previous source 
     of software for home use.

     This should encourage use of home computers to help offload the increasing 
     demand for our labs.

  7) Improvements in 310 Davis  (CS61A)
     During Summer 2001, Instruction funded a new paint job and the replace-
     ment of the wornout rug with new floor tiling.   Previously, we invested 
     $20,000 in new network and security features and $50,000 for new computers 
     Nighttime bathroom access into Davis Hall is now possible; the new card-
     key reader to the back entrance (310A Davis) has finally been installed.
     We are waiting for the installation of a gate to secure the storage area
     the 310A Davis, will become a hallway into Davis Hall.  

     Additional improvements needed: 
      - air conditioning (PD&C has quoted $39K to install A/C)
      - ceiling-mounted LCD projector (about $6K)
  8) Pioneering use of wireless devices by CS classes

     EECS Instruction continues to support 50 IBM Thinkpad 570E laptops and
     wireless connections for CS169 that were obtained by Prof Landay and 
     Joseph in Fall 2000.   In addition, we will support Clio wireless handheld 
     computers for a class taught by Prof Canny.

     Some details are posted in /share/b/pub/

Current Issues Related to Instructional Computing:

  1) Support for laptops in Instructional labs
     We plan to provide wired network support for student-owned laptops in
     EECS Instructional labs.  We plan to provide several wired network 
     connections for laptops in our labs and have a few in 117 Cory now.
     (See /share/b/pub/

     We cannot provide connections to the EECS wireless net for students who 
     are not issued them as part of a class; the cost and the limited 
     bandwidth on the EECS wireless nets are the problems.   
     However, the new campus AirBears wireless net is now accessible by all 
     students and is centrally managed by IS&T (
     I would like to deploy their hubs in our labs by Fall 2002.

  2) Inceasing enrollments vs decreasing lab space:

     To accommodate increasing enrollments in all UC campuses the Office
     of the President have announced a program called "Tidal Wave II". 
     UCB enrollment will increase by 4,000 students (15%) in the next 
     decade.  (references: and

     At the same time, there are plans to convert Instructional lab space
     in Soda hall for use by new faculty research.   As many as 160 seats 
     (330, 271, 273, 275, 277 Soda) will be vacated in Soda over the next 
     few semesters, when equivalent space will become available in the 
     refurbished Hearst Mining building.  (References:,

     Constraints against moving Instructional labs out of Soda include:

     - Currently, EECS Instruction is allocated only 115 seats in HMMB.  
       We would need 160 seats to match 271, 273, 275, 277 and 330 Soda.

     - We need a new lab for CS152 (about 15 high-end Pentium systems),
       who may be displaced from 119 Cory to accomodate the growth of EE
       lab classes (EECS150, EE100, etc).

     [Dec 2001 update: Instructional labs will stay in Soda and CITRIS-related
     research projects will move into HMMB instead.  Insrtructional funds that
     were reserved for HMMB expenses will be reallocated to upgrade the 
     computers and furniture in several existing Instructional labs.]

     In addition, EECS Instruction will assume support for CS3 (400+ students)
     in Spring 2002 (see "349 Davis", below).

     Instructional lab allocation:

     Analysis if Instructional space usage and needs:

  3) Enabling Students to Work from Home

     One way to ease the space crunch is to make it easier for students to
     work from home and via mobile laptops.   Increasingly, dorm rooms and 
     apartments are wired with high speed networks.

     Some initiatives:

     - SUN Java CD (
     - EECS software CD  (
     - IS&T "Connecting@Berkeley" CD (
     - downloadable software (
     - provide "ssh" for free, for MS Windows, UNIX and MacOS
     - network ports for laptops will be installed in some labs

  4) CS3 moving to 349 Davis in Spring 2002

     EECS Instruction will assume responsibility for 349 Davis from the IS&T 
     Workstation Support group in May 2001.  
     Over the summer, we will upgrade the network ($2K) and install Windows 
     PCs for EECS150 (Fall 2001 only).  CS3 will be displaced from 175 
     LeConte in December 2001 and will move into 349 Davis in January 2002.  
     See for more information.

     Profs Sequin and Clancy arranged the space swap for CS3.  At first, 1109 
     Etcheverry, supported by IS&T, was considered for CS3.  But there were 
     several problems with that: 

	- IS&T would only support MS Windows
	- CS3 software (Gambit) doesn't run well on Windows 
	- There would be no integration with the EECS Windows domain
	- IS&T would not provide 24x7 usage of the lab

     So we requested 349 Davis instead.  349 Davis is located between 2 labs
     that EECS already maintains (310 and 345 Davis).  The current users of 
     349 Davis (E77, MSE classes) will get 1109 Etcheverry.

     We have ported the CS3 sofware from Macs to UNIX so the class can use the 
     same kind of computers (SUN Solaris) that CS61A and other CS classes use.
     CS3 and CS61A will be able to use each others' labs (310 and 349 Davis).  
     CS3 will get a 24x7 lab and remote access from dorm rooms, etc (via ssh, 
     Exceed) for the first time.

  5) New Computers and Equipment Needed

     - 2 ceiling-mounted LCD projectors (273 Soda, 310 Davis)
     - 10-20 wireless ethernet hubs for laptops in labs
     -  8 PCs for firewalling some labs (to control laptop plug-in use)
     - 20 PCs to replace DEC Alphas in 199 Cory
     - 16 PCs to replace HP Vectras in 119 Cory
     - 70 UNIX systems (or new monitors & kbds) for 275 & 277 Soda
     - 120 SunRays and 2 servers for Hearst Mining (Fall 2002)

Notable events this semester: 
  Jan 03 - UNIX logins will fail because of server maintenance, Jan3-7

    Instructional servers will be down for dumping and maintenance.
    UNIX logins will fail when some of these servers are down:

    server:       approx. down time             affects these:
    ------------  ----------------------------  ------------------------------
    quasar, star  Wed 1/02             9am-6pm  271 Soda; MMI (ee141)
    pulsar, nova  Wed 1/02             9pm-6pm  273 Soda
    torus.cs      Wed 1/02             9am-6pm  /home/tmp2; /share/b
    SCOTLAND      Wed 1/02             9am-6pm  IIS server; NT class accounts
    pasteur.eecs  Thu 1/03             9am-6pm  Instructional email server
    mingus.eecs   Thu 1/03             9am-6pm  Cadence, CAD WEB site
    mamba.cs      Thu 1/03 & Fri 1/04  9am-6pm  UNIX home dirs*
    saidar.eecs   Thu 1/03 & Fri 1/04  9am-6pm  /share/b
    FILESERVICE   Thu 1/03 & Fri 1/04  9am-6pm  NT home directories
    po.eecs       Mon 1/07             9am-6pm  passwd changes, /home/tmp
    cory.eecs     Mon 1/07             9am-6pm  inst.eecs HTTP server; HSPICE
    dv310.cs      Mon 1/07             9pm-6pm  310 Davis
    C119Z         Mon 1/07             9am-6pm  NT WORKVIEW (cs152); ee290t

  Dec 31 - /home/bb and /home/gg were unavailable 
	   on cory.eecs and http://inst.eecs

	Monday 12:20pm - /home/bb and /home/gg were not mounted on cory.eecs
	and http://inst.eecs for the last 24 hours because of some network 
	interruption.  At 12:20pm today we rebooted http://inst.eecs and 
	cory.eecs to correct this.

	Before we corrected the problem, users whose home directories are on 
	/home/bb and /home/gg saw these errors:

	  1) "home directory is /" error message when logging into cory.eecs.
	  2) "permission denied" error when connecting to personal WEB page on

	Temporary solutions were:
	  1) login to quasar.cs or po.eecs until cory.eecs is fixed.
	  2) view personal WEB page on

  Dec 03 - network problems, 7pm +
  Nov 28 - network problems, 7pm +

	Monday Dec 3:
	This is happening again.  Network support staff have been called.

	Monday Nov 28:
	Starting at about 7pm EECS networks began exhibiting delays
	that causes login sessions to hang up and prevents access to 
	various servers, home directories, WEB pages, email, etc.   

	The networking staff replaced a module in a Nortel router in Cory 
	Hall to fix it.  The problem seemed to reoccur intermittently 

	- unable to do much of anything on computers wihin Cory Hall
	- unable to access pasteur.eecs the Instructional email server 
	  (all UNIX login sessions do that)
	- session hangs up if you try to 'ssh' into a ".eecs" server
	- unable to read WEB pages from the 
	  WEB server
	- lots of annoying "NFS timeout" error messages on your screen

	  1) "home directory is /" error message when logging into cory.eecs.
	  2) "permission denied" error when connecting to personal WEB page on

  Nov 18 - network failure to Soda Hall

	EECS network staff reports:
	Sometime before 8am, the Gigabit link to most of the nets is CS failed
	on the EECS Nortel BCN router. Most CS nets were cut off from Cory and 
	the rest of campus as a result. This appears to be the same intermittent
	problem we have had for 1 year on this hardware platform.  We are moving
	to replace these units with more current hardware as quickly as possible. 
	I regret the inconvenience this has caused.

	Soda Hall was down again around noon-3:40pm amd again around 7:30-9pm.
	Network staff replaced some equipment during the final outage.

	The servers in Soda that all Instructional UNIX accounts use include 
	mamba.cs (home directories) and the UNIX /usr/sww.   Symptoms to 
	Instructional users included

	- unable to login or work in UNIX accounts 
	- "command not found" or stalled commands 
	- unable to access WEB sites from

  Nov 16 - Slow network performance

	We have had reports from students of slow network performance this 
	week.  Here is the explanation, from the EECS network staff:

	We have been plagued with some DOS [ICMP] attacks for several days 
	that seem to occur often in the evening. These are manifested by a 
	packet rate of 80K pac/sec going out of the dept to campus...  Our 
	border router does no appear to be able to handle the load and users 
	see loss. We are actively working on it. I know it is frustrating.

  Oct 30 - Campus-wide power surge at 2:30pm crashed some computers
  Oct 31 - Soda Hall cooling failure crashed some EECS servers

	At 2:30pm on Oct 30, a campus-wide power surge caused some computers 
	to crash.  We believe that the critical Instructional computers were 
	not affected.

	At 6:30am on Oct 31, staff had to shut down several critical EECS
	servers becuase of a cooling system failure in Soda Hall.   The
	servers were back up by 8:30am.
	The servers included the UNIX /usr/sww.   Symptoms to Instructional
	users included

	- unable to login or work in UNIX accounts (if shell is on /usr/sww)
	- "command not found" or stalled commands that tried to use /usr/sww
	- stalled CGI programs (if they use /usr/sww/bin/perl)

  Nov 15 - Mamba froze and was rebooted, 3:55pm-4:10pm
  Oct 28 - Mamba froze and was rebooted, 3:20pm-4pm
  Oct 25 - Mamba froze and was rebooted, 3:50pm-4pm

	The Mamba UNIX file server had to be rebooted because of an
	error with the quota system on the file server.  This symptom
	sometimes occurs when quotas are added or updated.  

	- no UNIX home dirs or WEB pages
	- unable to login or work in UNIX accounts

	We have applied patches and updated the drivers.  That decreased 
	the events, but it still happens about once a week.  We have a 
	new computer that will become "Mamba" in January.  It has a newer 
	disk controller and other hardware, which we hope will solve the 

  Oct 31 - Nova and Star: new servers for SunRays in Soda

	You may have noticed that the SunRays in Soda now login to these new
	servers instead of quasar and pulsar::

		271 Soda = nova.cs
		273 Soda = star.cs

	The new servers are more powerful.

	Nova and Star are Sun E420s with 4 450-MHz UltraSPARC-II cpus 
	and 4-GB of RAM.
	Quasar and Pulsar are a Sun E5000s with 12 168-MHz UltraSPARC cpus 
	and 3-GB RAM.

	Quasar and Pulsar still allow logins using 'ssh' from over the network
	and run all the same software.  Quasar still runs 'max' and 'sue' used 
	by EE141.

	Nova and Star also allow logins using 'ssh' from over the network.

  Oct 15 - Quasar was rebooted, 9:30am and 5pm

	Quasar became very slow twice today, so we rebooted it twice to clear
	the symptom.  We are investigating the cause of the problem.  The
	Quasar SunRay software has a memory leak and the SunRays in 271 Cory 
	reboot very slowly.  We are waiting for SUN engineers to diagnose this.

	Pulsar, with a similar setup, is not having the same problems.

  Oct 15 - Instructional email was broken, 3pm Sun - 9am Mon

	A log file on the mail server (pasteur.eecs) filled up and the server
	rejected incoming mail.  The sending computer usually caches such
	messages and resends them as few hours later. All of the Instructional
	UNIX systems do that.
	Assigments submitted using the 'submit' program	are expected to have 
	arrived OK.  When the instructor processes the file submissions, you
	will receive a confirmation in email.  Please inform the instructor
	and 'inst@eecs' if your homework submission was not received or run 
	'submit' again if needed.

  Oct 11 - Mamba may be slow; dumps running until Saturday

	Mamba (UNIX file server) may seem to have slow access until Saturday
	Oct 13.  We are archiving a large number of user files to tape, and
	this seems important enough to justify the decreased performance.

  Oct 1 - Mingus was down, about 7pm-9pm

	The Uninterruptible Power Supply on mingus.eecs shut itself off, 
	cutting off all power to the server.   What irony.   Mingus is an
	HP N-class server with 3-GB RAM, and the reboot takes about 10 min.

  Sep 21 - Network failure, login problems, NFS errors (2:20-3:15pm)

	At about 2:20pm, the network link between Cory and Soda Halls failed.
	The sypmtoms varied depending on where you were, but in general:

	- logins to UNIX systems in Cory (.eecs) failed because the home
	  directory server (mamba.cs) and the /usr/sww filesystems are in Soda
	- logins to NT systems in Cory failed becuase the Windows password
	  server in Soda
	The link was brought back up at 250pm.  UNIX accounts were be 
	unavailable until about 3:15pm while we corrected an NFS problem
	that prevented access to the UNIX home directories.

  Sep 14 - UNIX home directories (mamba.cs) were off-line, 10-10:20am Fri
  Sep 13 - UNIX home directories (mamba.cs) were down for 20 minutes twice today

	Mamba.cs had to be rebooted twice on the afternoon of Thu Sep 13.

	- no UNIX home dirs or WEB pages
	- unable to login or work in UNIX accounts

	The problem is that the NFS export of one or more filesystems stops
	and cannot be restarted without rebooting.  We have determined that 
	the problem seems to be a bug in the disk quota service.

	At 10am on Fri Sep 14, we installed the latest Solaris X86 
	software patches on mamba.cs in an effort to correct this.  
	Mamba.cs was off-line from 10am-10:20am.

  Sep 12 - Instructional servers were down from about 8-8:10am and 10:30-10:50am

	...during machine room maintenence work to install a new UPS.
	The first outage was intentional, the second was an accident.
	The dv310.cs server (CS61A in 310 Davis) was down until about 9:30am.
	Same symptoms as below ("UNIX logins were interrupted").

  Aug 31 - UNIX logins were interrupted this evening

	Between about 9pm and 11pm on Aug 31, the failure of air conditioning
	in Soda Hall caused departmental servers, inclusing the UNIX /usr/sww
	filesystems, to shut down.

	Instructional symptoms: 

	- no UNIX home dirs or WEB pages
	- unable to login or work in UNIX accounts
	- can't login in UNIX labs in 271, 273, 275, 277 Soda
	- can't login in UNIX labs in 310 Davis, 199 Cory
	- can't login to UNIX servers (sory, quasar, dv310, etc)
	- incoming email is being stored on our server but you can't read it

	(11:30pm) Mamba is back (home dirs), email is being received again.

  Aug 31 - EECS Instructional CD and SUN Java CD are now available

	Conditions of use:
	* student is
	  - an EE or CS major
	  - OR is enrolled in an EE or CS class
	  - OR is authorized for cardkey access to an EECS Instructional lab
	* student uses software for EECS coursework, not for commercial gain
	* only one of each CD per student please.  NOT FOR RESALE.

	Instructional CD:
	The "EECS Instructional Software CD" version 1.0 is now available from
	387 Soda and the CS SelfPaced Center.  This CD contains a collection 
	of public domain software used in EE and CS couses.  It is provided 
	free by EECS Instruction for students to use on their home computers.  
	(It replaces the floppy diskette that was available at 387 Soda.)

	Students in EECS classes can also download the Instructional CD software
	from a new WEB site, prepared by EECS Instruction (thanks, brg!). 
	There is an image of the entire site that you can download and burn 
	onto a CD, or you can download individual software packages.  See</a> for details.

	Software included (for MS Windows, Linux and/or MacOS):
	----------------------------	-------------------------------------
	Adobe Acrobat Reader		Apple  Macintosh Programmers' Workshop
	SCM, DrScheme, MacGambit	Ghostscript
	Emacs				Java Development Kit (download only)
	MacGzip				Stuffit Expander for Macintosh 
	MIPS development tools		Cygwin for Windows
	Netscape			Microsoft Windows Installer
	Perl, MacPerl, ActivePerl	eXceed (download only), MacX
	STk				Info-ZIP for Windows 
	SPIM				Tera Term SSH
	----------------------------	-------------------------------------
	SUN Java CD:(4 CDs)
	The "SUN Java Jumpstart CD" set is also available from 387 Soda and 
	the CS SelfPaced Center.  This CD contains a collection of Java 
	programming utilities.  SUN Microsystems has donated these CDs to 
	EECS for students to use on their home computers.  
	Software included (for for MS Windows, Solaris SPARC & X86, Linux):
	JavaTM  Development Kit Family:
		JavaTM   2   SDK,  Standard Edition v 1.3
		JavaTM   2   SDK,  Standard Edition v 1.2.2 [Downloads]
		JavaTM   1.1.8  -  Documentation

	Other JavaTM Products and APIs:
		JavaTM   Access Bridge 1.0
		SDK, JRE, JavaBeans, Java Media, APIs, Jini, Jiro, code samples

  Aug 30 - (2:30pm) UNIX logins interrupted for about 10 minutes

	Pasteur (email server) needed a reboot; while is was down, logins
	on the Instructional UNIX systems may have frozen or become very
	slow.  The reboot took about 10 minutes.


For additional information, please see or
contact us.

  Kevin Mullally, ISG Manager		    Ferenc Kovac, ESG Manager
  EECS Instructional Support Group          EECS Electronics Support Group
  378 Cory Hall, (510) 643-6141             380 Cory Hall, (510) 642-6952        
source: /share/b/pub/reports/managers/Fall_2001