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

May 24, 1999

              EECS Instructional Computing - Review and Plans
		                Spring 1999

References about Common IESG 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.

Improvements We've Made in 1998-1999:

  + new NT fileserver (NTSWW, Fileservice) (grant from Intel)
  + new UNIX fileserver (Mamba) (grant from Intel)
  + 105 Cory - new lab for EE20 (grant from Intel)
  + 353 Cory - new lab for EE141 (grants from Rockwell and Intel)
  + 119 Cory - new lab for EE290G, CS152 (grant from HP)
  + 349 Soda - new lab for CS184 (grant from Intel)
  + 199 Cory - new general access lab (grant from DEC)
  + scanners and OCR available in 111 & 119 Cory, 333 Soda

Pending Grants/Purchases:

  + (20) Intel PCs for EE141 lab (353 Cory) (grant from Intel)
  + new HP-UX 11.0 login server (grant from Hewlett Packard)
  + 100-MB ethernet cards for 20 DEC Alphas in 199 Cory (purchase)
  + RAM for PCs in 2xx and 330 Soda (up them to 128MB) (purchase)
  + 100MB network hubs for Soda Hall labs (purchase)
  + workstations to replace old HPS in Soda and Cory Hall (grants)

Feedback from 1999 Faculty Retreat:

  Feedback from students and faculty after the 1999 Retreat has  helped
  to  guide  the  plans  for  the upcoming fiscal year.   Here are some
  problem areas and plans for improvement:

  1) Instructional networks are perceived as slow.

       We will upgrade the 42 and 43 subnets in Soda Hall  to  10/100MB
       hubs. The NT and SolarisX86 PCs will run at 100MB, but the older
       HP workstations have 10MB cards and it will not be cost-effective 
	   to upgrade them.

       Cory Hall nets typically run at 100MB now.  The DEC and HP  UNIX
       workstations  have  only  10MB cards.  We will purchase 100MB
       cards for the DEC Alphas if possible.

  2) Instructional needs more power in its UNIX login servers.

       We have received a new dual-Pentium server and RAID  array  from
       Intel that we'll install in June.  It'll have about 40GB of home
       dir space for CS classes, allow network logins,  run  SolarisX86
       and Samba.

       We submitted a grant request in April to HP for  a  4-processor,
       4-GB  HP-UX  server  to  replace  Parker/Franklin/Cochise/Snake.
       It'll be for general logins, software debugging and CAD applica-

  3) Older Instructional UNIX workstatations need to be upgraded.

       We intend to purchase more memory for the PCs in Soda  Hall  and
       to make grant requests to Digital, HP and Intel for new worksta-
       tions to replace the old HPs in Cory and Soda Halls.

Lab Space:

  Discussions about finding new Instructional lab space have occurred
  amongst faculty and staff in CS, EECS and the College of Engineering.
  The current status is that there is no space available elsewhere for
  lab space that is equivalent to one of more lab on the 2nd floor of
  Soda.   As EECS classes expand, we will have to make better use of
  our existing space.

  An analysis of Spring 1999 usage of Instructional labs in Cory, Soda 
  and Davis Halls can be found under

  It concludes:
   - 310 Davis is underutilized because it lacks a restroom and A/C
   - 117 Cory is underutilized because the 21 HPs are old and slow
   - 275, 277 and 330 Soda have 90 PCs that need 96MB more memory 
   - 271 and 273 Soda have HPs that need more 32MB more memory
   - About 30% of our UNIX users connect over the net, so we need
     more powerful login servers and more software for doing 
     assignments on home computers.
  We will seek funding and equipment grants to address these problems.
  Previous plans to move several Instuctional labs from Soda Hall  have
  been postponed indefinitely.

  Some conclusions about the current computer usage:

  1) We should aid and enhance network access to our computers for home

     About 31% of all our UNIX logins occur from over  the  net  from
     non-UCB  ISPs, the Res Halls and UCB modems.  To improve network
     login security, we offer a free version of SSH for home  use.  We
     have  set  up  a  password-protected WEB site for viewing course
     materials, downloading and executing course software.

     Instruction maintains  several  DEC  UNIX,  HP-UX  and  SolarisX86
     "login   servers"   (cory.eecs,  po.eecs,  parker.eecs,  torus.cs,
     franklin.cs).   We have submitted a grant request to  replace  the
     aging HP-UX login servers with a powerful SMP HP server.

     Several important campus computer  services  (such  as  the  Agate
     USENET  server)  are  restricted  to addresses only,
     which blocks the ISP users.  This  method  of  access  restriction
     will eventually be removed; both EECS and IS&T are developing Cer-
     tificate services that can  be  used  to  authenticate  our  users

2) 310 Davis must be improved, for better utilization.

     CS61A is assigned 310 Davis (38 HPs) for  lab  and  drop-in.   310
     Davis  is  underused for drop-in, perhaps because it lacks a bath-
     room.  We'll work on a renovation project this summer to install a
     single  lavatory  there  or  to arrange cardkey access to existing
     bathrooms in Davis Hall.  310 Davis needs other work  (better  air
     conditioning,  a  new  rug,  paint,  etc)  and  maybe a campus Cap
     improvement funds can be found to do that this summer.

3) The old HP UNIX workstations in Cory should be replaced.

     They are underutilized because they are old and  slow.   Neverthe-
     less,  they are available for overflow from any other UNIX lab, as
     they can be used as Xterminals to other systems.

4) NT drop-in labs are well used.

     The drop-in NT lab in 330 Soda was heavily used by CS169 and CS184
     this  Spring.  We added 12 new NT systems for CS184 in 349 Soda in
     March, which relieved the crunch in 330 Soda.

     The NT drop-in lab in 119 Cory was heavily  used  by  CS152.   111
     Cory  was  overflow  for  CS152, as well as for several EE classes
     that use NT but have no dedicated lab in Cory Hall.

New Software:

  + Upgrade UNIX workstations to DEC UNIX 4.0e and SolarisX86 2.7.

  + Revise the 'grading' suite of programs used on the UNIX systems.

  + Establish password protected (SSL) WEB server for utilities such as:
         - class lists and email lists for instructors
         - download sites for class software
         - a new "due-dates" utility for posting assigment due-dates
  + The Instructional HP-UX systems in Soda Hall are once again mounting
    the /usr/sww partition that the rest of the department is using.  We
    had been using our own copy, which had drifted out of synch with the
    department version and was causing problems with GNU applications.
    Documentation about the UNIX software is on-line under
  + The NT Software Warehouse partitions from Soda (\\gallia) and Cory
    Halls (\\ntsww1) have been merged onto a large new "Wolfpack" server.
    The new share is called \\ntsww, under the juristiction of the new
    IDSG group.   Documentation about the NT software is on-line under 

New Computers:

  UNIX file server:  We will install a new SolarisX86  server  in  Soda
  this  summer,  to  replace the old Franklin and Cochise file servers.
  This will increase the disk space for CS home directories and  appli-
  cations from about 28GB to over 50GB.

  NT file server:  The Fileservice NT server was brought  into  service
  in  Spring  1999, and will provide additional disk space for Instruc-
  tional use.

  UNIX login server:  We have made a grant request to HP  for  a  large
  N-class 64-bit login server, to replace Franklin, Cochise and Parker.
  353 Cory, 204 Cory:  We have made a grant request to INTEL for PCs to
  fill  in  and  upgrade  the systems in these labs.  The grant has not
  been approved yet (May 1999).

  349 Soda:  (12) new dual-Pentium systems were installed in March 1999. They
  came with Evans & Sutherland 3D graphics cards.  These were donated by Intel 
  and are running Windows NT and OpenGL for CS184.

  (12) new Voodoo Banshee graphics cards were donated by 3DFX in March 1999.
  These will be available for CS184 once the vendor supplies a software driver
  for Windows NT.

New Cardkey System In Cory:
  New cardkey readers have been installed in Cory Hall.  Alex Para is the 
  project manager. They require a different type of cardkey than is used in
  Soda Hall, so users who have acccess to both Soda and Cory Halls need 2 
  different cardkeys.   Users are charged $10 ($5 refundable) for the new 
  Cory cardkeys.  Soda Hall is expected to convert to the new system by 
  Jan 1, 2000.  

Notable events this semester:

  (Apr 28) network failure in Cory prevented most logins

	Starting at about 9:45pm on Tue Apr 27, a network failure in Cory Hall
	prevented access to Cory Hall file servers
	and this WEB site (www-inst.eecs).

	It prevented logins to most Instructional UNIX and NT computers in
	Cory, Soda and Davis Halls.

	The problem was fixed at about 8:40am on Wed Apr 28.

  (Apr 07) email, password and login disruptions on Wed Apr 7

	The Solaris servers quit mounting filesystems at about 1:45.
	Everything was back up by 3:45.
  (Apr 02)  email, password and login disruptions on Thu Apr 1 

	Happened on April 1, but it was not a joke...
	Instructors have been notified by email.

		email:  Thu Apr 1 (noon-6:30pm); Fri Apr 2 (8-9:30am)
		logins: Thu Apr 1 (noon-6:30pm)

        	Email not delivered, or bounced with "user unknown" error.
  	 	(The "submit" program uses email to turn in assignments.)
        	Logins denied; current login sessions became unusable.

	  All Instructional users logging into UNIX systems in Soda, Davis
	  and Cory labs.  A few systems were unaffected, but it was 

	  Our email server (pasteur.eecs) denied incoming mail for a little
	  while on Wed Mar 31.  The problem was actually with the password
	  service on pasteur.eecs; it was failing, so some mail was bounced
	  back to the senders.   We regret any alarm this may have caused!

	  So we stopped delivering incoming email to your mail spools and 
	  cached it instead, for later delivery.  You may have received 
	  delayed messages once we resolved the problem, at about 6:30pm
	  on Apr 1.
	  In the effort to repair the malfunctioning password service, we had
	  to rebuild the password databases on all 4 of our password servers.
	  The result of the temporary absence of the password service was that
	  active login sessions often became frozen, and nobody could start a
	  new login session.   The sys admin staff later made sure that 
	  unattended logins were closed on all the workstations.

	  Full services were restored at about 6:30pm on Thu Apr 1.

	  We do not suspect that this was caused by the "Melissa" virus or
	  any other malevolent source.
  (Mar 30)  Worrying about the Melissa Virus?

    ==> What It Is

	This virus has received lots of press coverage.  It spreads via MS Word 
	macros read using Outlook.  It can be activated if you have Outlook 
	installed on your system, even if you are not reading mail with Outlook.
	The macro infects the template file and spreads to other 
	users, which can overload mail servers.

    ==> Prevention

	If you receive email with a "list1.doc" attachment or a subject 
	"Important Message From ...", don't open the attachment or any macro 
	in it.  It is likely to be from someone you know, because the virus 
	spreads by using others' Outlook address books.  Be suspicious of 
	email with Word attachments/macros that might be mutants of this virus. 	Contact the sys admins (root@cory.eecs, labfix@eecs) if you think you 
	have received a Melissa virus in email.

    ==> More info

  (Mar 22)  /usr/sww was updated on Franklin.cs and HPs in 271/273 Soda

	On Mar 22 (during Spring Break), we replaced our copy of /usr/sww for
	HP-UX with the actual /usr/sww that is mounted to other HPs in Soda and
	Cory Halls.

	Our copy had become out of date, and this immediately updated several 
	software packages that have been problems, including gdb and the 
	Cadence license server.

	Please notify root@cory.eecs if you discover any problems with HP 
	software on/usr/sww.

  (Feb 01)  /home/tmp2 going offline for 2 hours today (02/01/99) at 4pm

	 Home tmp2 is getting a hardware upgrade. Currently it resides on a
	2 gig partition, but after 6pm today we hope to have a 4 gig partition
	available for you.

  (Jan 27)  UNIX window managers: CDE and XDM 

	There are 2 typical appearances of new Instructional UNIX accounts:

	1) CDE has icons on a "dashbaord" and a Microsoft-like file manager.
	2) XDM starts with a simple, single 'xterm' on a black background.

	The way to switch between them is to add or remove this line to a 
	file in your home directory called .dtprofile:


	<I>.dtprofile</I> 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.  New accounts usually run
	CDE (have no "SESSIONTYPE=xdm" line in <I>.dtprofile</I>).  Accounts
	that are renewed may be set to run XDM; you can change back to CDE
	simply by removing the ""SESSIONTYPE=xdm" line.

  (Jan 27)  Extra disk space in /home/tmp, /home/tmp2 directories
	Need some extra disk space for your UNIX files?  We provide temporary
	disk space that you can use for files related to your assignments, 
	which is deleted at the end of the semester.  You may use one of 2
	disk areas for this: /home/tmp or /home/tmp2 (/home/tmp is on a file
	server in Cory Hall, /home/tmp2 is on a file server in Soda Hall).

	To use one of these:

	Run /share/b/bin/mkhometmpdir on po.eecs (for /home/tmp) or 
	torus.cs (for /home/tmp2) to create a writable subdirectory for your-
	self. The subdirectory will have the same name as your login.  You can
	only have a directory on one of these filesystems; whichever one you 
	create first will be the one you use for the semester.  Please see 
	/share/b/pub/disk.quotas for related information.

  (Jan 11)  saidar & cory down 2:45 pm - 5:15 pm

	saidar and cory were down for a firmware upgrade.
	cory was also patched and had its kernel upgraded.
	both servers are now back and in fine fettle.
	enjoy.   -brg

  (Jan 01)  How to access the EECS modems and home IP

	1) Get a password for the modems by using the on-line service using
	   'telnet'  (see )

	2) Students enrolled in EECS classes automatically have dialin
	   access to 642-6679, 642-0070, 643-9600  (see )

3) See for more info.


For additional information, please see
  or contact us.

  Kevin Mullally, Manager                   Ferenc Kovac, Associate Manager
  EECS Instructional & Electronics          EECS Instructional & Electronics
  378 Cory Hall, (510) 643-6141             377 Cory Hall, (510) 642-6952        
 source: /share/b/pub/reports/manager/Spring.1999