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


								Feb 1, 2005

              EECS Instructional Computing - Review and Plans
		              Fall 2004


	Current Initiatives
	Recent Improvements
	Budget Priorities
	Further references
	Notable Events

Current Initiatives

    1) Vodaphone Wireless Lab

       111 and 117 Cory are being converted into a new lab for courses in 
       wireless techlologies.   EECS has received a large grant for this new 
       curriculum.  The classes will include: EECS117, EECS217, EECS221A, 
       EECS226A, EECS224, EECS225x, EECS229, EECS290, EECS298, CS294.   The
       lab is managed by Ferenc Kovac and may be shared with research groups.
    2) NetApp fileserver and Overland AIT-3 Tape Library

       IDSG and NetApp donated an older NetApp file server to Instruction.  
       Instruction purchase a new Overland AIT-3 Tape Library ($11,900).

       The NetApp has 1.5-TB of active disk space.
       The Overland PowerLoader has 3.8-TB storage capacity.

       The NetApp will may allow us to:

	- retire our old Win2K home directory server ("Fileservice")
	- increase disk quotas for our long-term 'named' accounts
	- share a single home directory between UNIX and Win2K accounts

       Dual tape drives raise the transfer rate to 86-GB/hour and permit tape 
       duplication for off-site storage.  Based upon our current rate of use, 
       we need a tape capacity that is about 3 times that of the disk capacity 
       to archive daily dumps for an entire semester.  So we will probably 
       also need to use some disk space for the incremental dumps.

       The NetApp will be phased into service.  We will have to implement the
       disk-to-disk backup scheme to provide timely daily archiving for the 
       increased disk capacity.  We will probably use one of our current home 
       directory servers for that.  

    3) Intel grant: new servers for Linux, rendering and Terminal Service
       We received a grant from Intel in Spring 2004 for 4 new DELL 1750
       servers.   We are running several Windows Terminal Servers on each
       of them by running vitrual Windows computers within VMware under
       Linux.   This will benefit EE classes that are primarily using 
       Windows applications. 
       We originally planned to use them to run Cadence on Linux for EE141, 
       but we found that Cadence could not run on them.  Cadence only runs 
       on an old version of Linux, and there are no drivers in that version 
       of Linux for the modern ethernet and SCSI controllers that are build
       into the motherboards of the DELL 1750 servers.

Recent Improvements

    1) The EECS network group extended the campus AirBears wireless network
       to floors 1-3 in Cory Hall and 2-4 in Soda Hall in June 2004.
       Students with their own wireless laptops can access AirBears for 
       free in the all Instructional labs and elsewhere on campus.

    2) EECS upgraded the Instructional Computer Graphics lab (349 Soda) with 
       14 Macintosh G5s.  These were funded joinly by the Weiner Fund, EECS 
       Instruction and faculty donations.

    3) EECS Instruction purchased 2 new SUN V440 servers to improve the
       computing resources for classes such as EE141 (Cadence) and CS186 
       (databases).  These servers are called "pulsar.eecs" and "quasar.eecs".
       We traded in the older "pulsar" and "quasar" (Sun E5000s) and "mingus",
       our HP N-class server.  These older servers were at least 5 years old.

    4) 'named' accounts on Windows

       Instructional 'named' accounts are now created on Win2K as well as on 
       UNIX (started in Feb 2004).  Students who qualify for these accounts 
       include all EECS ugrad and grad majors, as well as students in many 
       EECS classes.  The 'named' account is potentially a student's one and 
       only Instructional account.  For EECS majors, it does not expire each
       semester.  (We do still create specialized 'class' accounts for some
       classes, notably the CS Lower Division and several EE lab classes).

       Instructional 'named' accounts have been on the Instructional UNIX 
       systems for over 15 years, but we have only created 'class' accounts
       on Windows until Feb 2004.  The Instructional and IDSG groups needed
       the time to establish procedures for coordinating our user entries in
       the shared departmental Windows database.
       Some of the benefits to this include:

       *  Our Windows computers are now available to many classes (notably 
	  EE upper division) that were formerly limited to UNIX.  They need
	  this because their CAD software is increasingly available on Windows 
	  and we have reduced the number of UNIX seats as our lab space has 

       * These Instructional users will no longer be dependent upon UNIX 
	 labs.  They can still login to UNIX from Windows labs if needed.

       * These Instructional users may not need an additional Windows 'class' 
	 account just to access Windows software.  This will reduce the number 
	 of class accounts we have to create each semester.

       * For EECS majors, the Instructional accounts on Windows will remain 
	 active as long as they are here.

       For more information about the Instructional computer accounts, see

    5) Previous semseter achives on-line

       CS faculty often need to review student files from the previous 
       semester to resolve grading conflicts, etc.  This has always been 
       difficult once we have archived the data to tape and deleted it 
       from the disks.  So we have set up a new server called "timewarp.cs" 
       that is a snapshot of the environment at the end of the semester, 
       and make that available to instructors during the next semester.

    6) hanging gardens in Soda labs

       Thanks to the efforts of Jeffrey Varga and other members of the CSUA,
       the second floor Instructional labs in Soda Hall now have an arboreal
       grace, due to the silk plants they recently installed.  Jeffrey 
       patiently sought the approval of the department bureaucracy and 
       presented a convincing case for this.   Our labs now rival the 
       ancient Gardens of Babylon as one of the wonders of the world.

    7) free Microsoft sofware for EECS students at home

       Free Microsoft software downloads are now available to students in EECS 
       classes (started in June 2003).  Microsoft donated a file server and 
       software licenses so that EECS students can obtain copies of Windows,
       Visual Studio/.NET compilers and other applications.  This service 
       helps our students by allowing them to do assignments using Microsoft 
       software on their home computers.  It helps the department because it
       will reduce the demand for access to Win2K computers in our labs.  
       The procedure starts at

    8) InstCD v 4.0 
       The fourth version of the Instructional Software CD has been prepared.
       It has a new version of the "Stk" program that CS Lower Division
       classes use to implement "scm", as well as updates to several share-
       ware applications.  We will have 1000 copies made in Fall 2004.
       It is free to all students in EECS classes.  

    9) Lab Fee for Excess Printing
       We have started a policy of enforcing printer page quotas.  We were 
       approved by COE to charge students for printer use beyond a free quota 
       that is based upon the classes they are in.  Our goal is to control 
       costs (not to make money).  Instruction has a 5% budget cut this year, 
       and other student labs on campus (IS&T, Res Halls) already impose 
       printing fees.  Our current quotas for free printing are computed as: 
       25 pages per course credit, and 25 additional pages if you are a CS 
       or EE undergraduate or graduate.  We will charge $12 for an additional
       200 pages.  The quotas are reset each semester and purchases are not 
       refundable.  Students can check their quotas and authorize us to bill 
       them for more pages via

   10) CAD Tools Software 

       Synopsys purchased Avanti! last year and now provides 3 major CAD tool
       packages that are used in EECS:  SYNOPSYS, TCAD and HSPICE.  Instruction
       has purchased licenses for all of these via the "University Bundle".
       We are sharing these licenses with researchers such as the Device Group.

Budget Priorities

  Instruction will sustain a 12% budget cut ($60K less) in FY 04-05.  We will
  reduce staffing to save about $30K in salaries.  We hope that our new print
  quotas will reduce the cost for printing by as much as $30K.  Other savings
  will come from a reduction in the updating of items such as computers, lab
  equipment and lab furniture.

  Current needs that may be deferred include:

  - 20 new chairs for labs ($6000)
  - 1 new multi-processor CPU server for CAD applications ($45000)
Further references

Notable Events

  Dec 27 - Mail services will be down Dec 30th from Noon-4pm

	Imail will be unavailable Dec 30th from Noon-4pm while the system
	is upgraded.
	This downtime will affect the following services:

		logins to UNIX ("NFS server imail not responding... ")

	Email will not be lost just postponed while the upgrade occurs.
	Since the mail server will be down any email you send us will also
	be delayed until the upgrade has been completed.
  Nov 19 - Security alert: Internet Explorer Active scripting is disabled

	Users of Internet Explorer may be prompted repeatedly for permission 
	to run scripts on the page.   This is because the sys admins have 
	disabled the "Active scripting" feature of Internet Explorer on most 
	EECS Instructional Windows computers because of a security flaw for 
	which there is no patch yet.

	Users are advised to use a different WEB browser (Mozilla, Firefox 
	or Opera) to avoid this.

	For information about the security flaw, please see
Nov 6 - UNIX logins were stalled from about 3pm-8pm

	A disk failed on moebius.cs, one of the servers that authenticates 
	passwords and exports the /share/b and /usr/instsww file systems to 
	the EECS Instructional UNIX computers.  Logs indicate that syptoms 
	started as early as 3am, when moebius.cs stopped allowing other 
	computers to access its disks.  But users probably didn't notice that
	because there is a backup server for moebius.cs, and it responded when 
	moebius.cs failed to respond.

	However, at about 3pm the email server (imail.eecs) failed to re-
	connect to either moebius.cs or its backup server, and that caused
	imail.eecs to stall.  Because imail.eecs exports a mail spool disk
	to all of our UNIX systems, the loss of imail.eecs interrupts user 
	activity on all our UNIX servers ("NFS timeout: waiting for...")
	Please see below for a description of the symptoms.

	We restored most systems by 5:30pm, and all of them by 8pm.  Because
	it was a weekend, staff was not on site at the time of the failure.

	This is the same server disk that faulted on Oct 1.   Although it
	seemed to recover fully at that time, we have tried to replace it.
	However, the server is 7 years old, we cannot find a replacement
	disk.  So we have left the faulty disk off-line, and we will replace
	the entire server at a time when we can disable all logins for a 
	couple of hours (perhaps over the Thanksgiving holiday).
  Nov 4 - Mamba (UNIX file server) was down from about 11:20-1:20pm 

	Mamba froze up at about 11:20am and was rebooted.  It happened again 
	at about 12:30pm.   This time, we rebuild a RAID-1 (mirror) of the 
	operating system disk for insurance.  There was an indication 
	(inconclusive) that the operating system disk caused the first crash.

	Mamba holds the Instructional UNIX home directories.  Please see below 
	for a description of the symptoms when mamba.cs is down.
  Nov 3 - remote logons to Windows accounts

	You can logon to your Instructional Windows account from other computers
	using the Terminal Services utility.   You need the Terminal Services
	or Remote Desktop Connection client program on your computer to do this.
	It is included in newer versions of Windows.  You can download this 
	client for free from Microsoft at
 	It is also available from "C:\mstsc files\" on the computers listed 
	below.  We have enabled these lab computers for remote logons:

	IP Address    (WINS hostname)
	------------  ---------------  (199-2)  (199-3)  (199-4)  (199-5)  (199-6)  (199-7)  (199-8)  (carter)  (ella)  (motian)  (previte)  (tatum)  (tyner)  (wes)

	Note that you need to use the IP address from a computer outside of 
	EECS, because the WINS hostnames are only meaningful locally on the 
	EECS subnets.
	PLEASE LOGOUT BY SELECTING Start->Shutdown->log off rather than by 
	clicking on the X at the upper right corner.  Otherwise, you will 
	only put your remote logon to sleep and therefore block others from 
	This service is not as efficient as remote logins to UNIX computers.  
	Each computer will allow only three remote users at a time.  
	For more information, please see
  Oct 16 - mamba.cs (UNIX file server) was down from 11:15pm-1:15am

	Mamba.cs, the Instructional UNIX home directory server, crashed at
	11:15am on Sat Oct 16 and was restored to service at about 1:15am
	on Oct 17.   The crash was the result of an effort to restart the
	disk quota server on mamba.cs, which had become unresponsive.

	Please see below for a description of the symptoms you might have
	when mamba.cs is down.
  Oct 6 - Network to Soda and Cory Halls broke at 11pm, restored at 7:30am

	The network connection from Cory and Soda Halls to the outside world
	broke at 11pm on Oct 6 and was restored at 7:30am on Oct 7.  This
	prevented access to EECS computers, WEB sites and logins from outside
	of Cory and Soda Halls, such as for users on Hearst Field Annex C and
	the servers h30.cs and h50.cs.
  Oct 1 - UNIX logins were frozen at times between noon and 2:20pm 

	One of our servers had a disk failure at about noon.  It is our
	primary server for both the UNIX passwords and the UNIX /share/b
	filesystem.  Some computers (such as h50.cs) did not fail over
	to the redundant server right away, and that caused UNIX logins 
	on those computers to freeze.  The problem was corrected by 1pm,
	then reocurred and was corrected by 2:20pm.
Sep 15 - HSPICE, TCAD and Synopsys licenses expired; will be renewed Sep 16

	The licenses for HSPICE, TCAD and Synopsys on EECS UNIX computers
	expired on Sep 15.  We expect the renewed licenses to be available
	on Sep 16.
Sep 12- Instructional email deliveries were delayed, Fri 10pm-Sun 11am

	Email messages sent after 10pm on Friday Sep 10 
	- to addresses 
	- from EECS Instructional computers 

	may not have been delivered until about 11:20am on Sunday Sep 12.
	An error on the server caused the messages
	to be spooled on the server rather than delivered.  No messages were

	People who sent these messages may have received warnings from the
	mail server about delayed delivery.  These can be ignored.
  March 2004 - Printer usage quotas are now in effect

	Instructional UNIX and Windows accounts now have page limits on the
	Instructional shared printers in Soda, Cory and Hearst Field Annex.

	The print quotas this semester are computed at 25 pages for each
	course credit that the account is being used for.  In addition, 
	students who are EE or CS undergraduate of graduate majors are 
	given an additional 25 pages per semster on their print quotas. 
	The print quotas are reset each semester.  Unused pages will NOT 
	be credited to you in future semesters.

	If you exceed your print quota, your next print job will be replaced
	with a "QUOTA EXCEEDED" page.   That page explains that you can logon
	to to view your print quota
	allocation and to purchase additional pages.  Pages that you purchase 
	will be billed to you, at a rate of $12 (non-refundable) for 200 pages.
  Sep 12, 2004 - newest EECS Instructional CD is delayed

	EECS Instruction provides the InstCD for students in our courses.
	The CD contains a collection of public domain software used in EE 
	and CS courses.  It is provided free by EECS Instruction for students 
	to use on their home computers.  

	We have run out the old version (v3.0) and the new version has been
	delayed.  In the meantime, students can download the programs they 
	need from the on-line copy of the CD, at
Fall 2004 - Forgot your password on the Instructional computers?

	For named accounts:

	Login as 'newacct' (password 'newacct') again (in 199 Cory, 273 Soda or 
	'ssh' to  Enter your Student ID number.  Then 
	select the new "p" option for resetting your password and reprinting a 
	form.  The form will be printed the next weekday and will be available 
	in 391 Cory after 1pm.

	Named accounts look like 'gbush' or 'bclinton'.

	For class accounts:

	Go to the sys admin staff for the lab you are assigned to use.
	Bring your initial class account form or student ID card.
	There is no on-line procedure for resetting the password of a class 

	Class accounts look like 'cs61a-aa' or 'ee141-agore'.
  May 2002 - your LOST+FOUND directory

	Mamba.cs, the Instructional UNIX home directory server, crashed on
	April 29 and was down for 33 hours.   For an explanation of the 
	circumstances, please see
	A number of files and home directories were not restored to their
	proper names and locations.   When we couldn't determine where the 
	files should go, we put them a directory called LOST+FOUND in your 
	UNIX home directory.   Please see ~kevinm/LOST+FOUND/README  for 
	an explanation of how you can read these files, and ask us for help
	( if needed.

  Possible symptoms when UNIX email or home directories are missing:

	- when you try to login the screen freezes 
	- you see the error message "home directory is /" 
	- session hangs up if you try to 'ssh' into an Instructional computer
	- unable to read WEB pages from the 
	- lots of annoying "NFS timeout" error messages on your screen
	- new email deliveries will be delayed on imail.eecs 

	While the server is down, you may not be able to logout in our labs
	because you can't type any commands.  On a SunRay, even turning it
	off doesn't log you out.  The support staff check the labs after 
	events like this to be sure everyone gets logged out.  We also post 
	information about the problem at to 
	help students find out when the problem has been fixed.   So all you 
	can really do in this case is to wait until the problem is fixed, go 
	back to the lab (or login to the SunRay server for that lab) and log 
	yourself out, or let us log you out.

	We disable email receipt and relaying through imail.eecs when the
	home directory server ( is down.  No mail is 
	lost.  Computers that send mail queue messages that are not accepted
	by a remote server, and they resend the messages periodically until 
	they are received.

For additional information, please 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		|
					|	|
  UNIX, Win2K computers and software	| Win2K computers, software and
  in drop-in labs; email and UNIX 	| equipment in electronics labs,
  accounts; UNIX login servers;		| AV services.
  class and student WEB sites.		|

source: ~inst/public_html/reports/managers/Fall_2004