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


								Apr 24, 2001

              EECS Instructional Computing - Review and Plans
		                 Spring 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) EECS CD for Students

     A new CD of public domain software for EE and CS students became available 
     on Feb 1.  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.

     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 promised in January to provide 
     their own Java CD to be distributed free along with our CD [Despite many
     requests, we have not received them - April 2001].

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

  3) Pioneering use of laptops by CS classes
     8 IBM ThinkPad docking stations are now installed in 117 Cory, for use
     by CS160 and CS169 students.  With a grant from Intel last August, Profs 
     Joseph and Demmel obtained 8 new monitors/keyboards/mice as well.  CS169 
     students have been issued the laptops and wireless ethernet cards.  Some 
     CS174 students (Prof Canny) may also use laptops in the labs this Spring.

Current Issues Related to Instructional Computing:

  1) Support for laptops in Instructional labs
     We wish to provide network support for student-owned laptops in and near
     EECS Instructional labs.  Eventually, we may also coordinate network
     access for students in the lecture halls across campus.

     We will provide several wired network connections for laptops in our labs 
     during Spring 2001.   117 Cory already has several such connections.  One 
     or two CS classes now lent wireless devices to students for the duration 
     of the course.  Some details are posted in /share/b/pub/

     We will consider providing wireless network to a limited number of
     Instructional users in Fall 2001.   A student would have to buy a 
     compatible PCMCIA card and allow our staff to enter a packet encryption 
     code that is needed for our network.   Instruction would have to purchase 
     and install the wireless hubs.  The main barriers to this are the 
     administrative cost of enabling each card ($180 each) and the limited 
     wireless bandwidth.

  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.   30 seats (330 Soda)
     will be vacated in Fall 2001, and as many as 130 seats (271, 273, 275,
     277 Soda) will be vacated later, 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).
     Current lab allocation is summarized in

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

  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:

     - downloadable software (
     - provide "ssh" for free, for MS Windows, UNIX and MacOS
     - obtained donation of Visual C++ and J++ for students to take home
     - new Instructional software CD 
     - IS&T "Connecting@Berkeley" CD
     - network ports for laptops will be installed in some labs

  4) Improvements Needed in 310 Davis 
     310 Davis has been reserved for CS61A for the last 3 years.  Instruction
     has invested $20,000 in new network and security features and $50,000 
     for new computers (see
     But 310 Davis lacks 24-hour bathroom access, is run-down and is often 
     overheated.  Bathroom access into Davis Hall will be possible when a new 
     cardkey reader is enabled (in October?).  PD&C has quoted $39K to install

     Additional improvements needed: carpet, paint, drop ceiling.

  5) 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 for Spring 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.

  6) 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)
     - 25 PCs to replace old PCs in 111/117/199 Cory
     - 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)

  7) May 2001

    - We have purchased a new Sun Enterprise 420R server (4 450MHz cpus,
      4 GB RAM) to share the load that quasar.cs and pulsar.cs have borne
      (271 & 273 Soda, CS classes).  Insatllation: Summer 2001.

    - There is no immediate plan (grant or funding) to replace the Intel
      PCs in 275 & 277 Soda.  We are likely to lose those labs in Aug
      2002, so I'm hoping to maintain the PCs until then.  We are
      replacing all the keyboards, which are filthy from 4 years of use.           
    - In Aug 2002, we will move into 4 new labs in Hearst Mining.  I
      anticipate getting 120 SunRays and 2 E450 servers or equivalent 
      from Sun, via discount or grant, for Hearst.

Notable events this semester: 
  Aug 17 - Dump Schedule
	Torus:  /home/tmp2 Monday, August 20 (off line 8 am - 10 am).  
		Files will be removed after they are dumped to tape.
	Mamba: full dumps Wednesday, August 22 (off line at times all day).
		Class accounts (cs61{abc}) will be archived to tape and
  Aug 17 - End of Semester information 
  Aug 04 - HSPICE licenses on cory.eecs and 199 Cory will be renewed by Aug 27.
  Aug 03 - Logins and WEB sites for UNIX accounts were down from about 
	8am-1pm , 2:30-3:30pm.
	This was due to the scheduled work that is described below under "ALL 
	UNIX accounts will be unavailable Fri morning".
	The network addresses of several critical Instructional servers were
	changed at about 8am, and that caused most of our other computers to
	lose the connection to the servers until we could revise and reboot 
	those computers.
	From about 2:30-3:30pm, UNIX logins stoped working again in Soda Hall.
	You could login from 199 Cory or from another account (at home, etc) to 
	Cory Hall servers such as po.eecs and cory.eecs.
	We did not expect the interruption to last so long, but we apologize 
	for not forewarning our users more thoroughyl
  Aug 02  - Pulsar & Quasar were unavailable this afternoon;
  Aug 02  - ALL UNIX accounts will be unavailable Fri morning
	From about 2-3:30pm, logins failed on Pulsar, Quasar and the SunRay
	systems in 271 and 273 Soda.   This interrupted CS61A and CS61C 
	scheduled labs.
	From about 2-5pm, many of the workstations in 277 Soda (drop-in lab)
	were out of service.
	This was due to planned network maintenance in 277 Soda that indirectly
	and inadvertently affected Pulsar and Quasar, which serve the SunRays 
	in 271 and 273 Soda.  We unplugged an unlabeled cable and cut off the 
	password server on the subnet that Pulsar and Quasar use.  It took us 
	a couple of hours to get most of Quasar's Sunrays working again 
	without having to reboot Quasar.
	We are re-assigning many of our computers to new network addresses in 
	preparation for new 100-mb networking switching equipment that we must 
	install before the Fall semester.   This new equipment will replace 
	10-Mb networking that is currently in use in 275 and 277 Soda as well 
	as an older 100-Mb switch.
	On Friday from 8am-10am, we will re-assign several server addresses,
	including mamba.cs.   Mamba is the file server for all UNIX home dirs,
	so logins and access to the home dirs will be interrupted during that
	time.   Mamba, Pulsar and Quasar will be rebooted.
  Jul 17  - Network failure: UNIX homedirs, WEB pages, email were off-line
	At about 10am on July 17, a large network switch failed in Soda Hall.
	Subnets throughout the building were cut off.
	Instructional symptoms: 
		- no UNIX home dirs or WEB pages
		- unable to login or work in UNIX accounts
		- can't login in labs in 271, 273, 275, 277 Soda
		- incoming email is being stored on our server 
		  but you can't read it
	(3:30pm) Mamba is back (home dirs), email is being received again.
	Students can login again in 273 and 275 SOda and in 199 Cory.
	Pulsar and Quasar and the SunRay labs in 271 and 273 Soda are still
	off-line.  The network staff are still working to replace the faulty 
	equipment. They predict that this will take the rest of the day 
	(perhaps fixed by 5pm).
  Jul 7  - mamba.cs (UNIX homedirs) will be down Fri, 9:30am-10:30am
	We are completing the re-installation of the operating system that was
	started on Tuesday July 3.
  Jul 2  - mamba.cs (UNIX homedirs) was down Sun, 1pm-10:30pm
  Jul 2  - mamba.cs (UNIX homedirs) will be down Tue, 6:30am-9am
	Mamba.cs hung up again on Sunday afternoon.
		- no UNIX home dirs or WEB pages
		- unable to login or work in to UNIX accounts
	We plan to have it down from about 7am-9am on Tue July 3 to 
	reinstall the operating system, which seems to currently have 
	an irreversible bad patch installed.
  Jun 21  - mamba.cs (UNIX homedirs) was rebooted Thu 3pm
  Jun 19  - mamba.cs (UNIX homedirs) was rebooted Tue 2:15pm
  Jun 17  - mamba.cs (UNIX homedirs) was rebooted Sun 6pm-7:45pm
	Mamba.cs has hung up 3 times in the last week.  While it was down, 
	UNIX home directories and WEB pages were unavailable.  We suspect
	that there is a bad disk driver and will update that software.
  Jun 11  - mamba.cs (UNIX homedirs) hardware failure, was down Sat 5pm-Mon 5pm
	Mamba.cs crashed with a disk failure on Sat June 9.   It could not be 
	repaired until Monday afternoon.  Instructional UNIX home directories 
	and WEB pages were off-line until then.   Incoming email was forwarded 
	or stored locally as expected, although uxers could not be read or
	send email via the Instructional email server (pasteur.eecs) until 
	Mamba has been repaired.
  May 01  - "too many users" error on cory.eecs and DEC Alphas in 199 Cory
	Logins were refused ("too many users") on cory.eecs and the DEC 
	Alpha workstations in 199 Cory, from midnight until noon on May 1.  
	The operating systems licenses had expired and were renewed.
  Apr 26 - Mamba was down last night
	Mamba has stopped exporting NFS twice since Wed night.
	Symptoms include:
	  - failed logins
	  - "NSF server" timeout error messages in current logins
	  - email unavailable if stored in your hoem direcory (INBOX)
	Apr 25, 9:45pm-10:10pm:
	The first incident started at about 9:45pm.  We had to reboot 
	it to clear it, and it was working again at 10:10pm.  An earlier
	symptom of the pending problem may have appeared when we ran 
	"quotacheck /export/home/gg" to update quotas on that filesystem 
	at about 9:30pm, and the command failed to complete.  This seemed 
	to be a software glitch.
	Apr 26, 12am-8am:
	The second incident started at about midnight.  We rebooted 
	mamba.cs at 8am, and also had to reset the "rpc" processes on 
	the email server (pasteur.eecs) to clear its residual confusion 
	over the disappearance of the home directories.
  Apr 15 - Instructional UNIX systems were down from 7am-7pm
	At about 7am this morning (Apr 15), the air conditioning failed in
	several Soda Hall machine rooms and caused several departmental
	servers to overheat and shut down.    These included coeus.cs,
	themis.cs and alcyone.cs.  Also, the Instructional labs on the 
	second floor of Soda were further cut off because their network 
	switches were shut down.  Services were restored at about 7pm.
  Apr 09 - WinNT/2K network downtime: Fri 4/20 9pm - Sat 4/21 9am
          new WINS servers for EECS domains
	EECS is phasing out four of the current WINS servers (,,, and replacing them with (primary)  (secondary)
	Most computers in Cory and Soda Hall will be changed automatically
	(via DHCP) or by their sysadmins.
	If you have set the WINS servers of your home computer, you should
	change to the new servers before July 1, 2001.   After that, the old
	servers will be gone and your computer will fail to locate computers
	in Cory and Soda Halls using the "\\" syntax, such as "\\mamba".
	WINS servers are used by MS Windows computers to determine information 
	about accounts and computers in NT domains.  An EECS WINS server gives 
	a computer a reference to the departmental domains (INSTRUCTIONAL, 
	RESEARCH, EECS, etc).  The WINS servers are set in the Networking 
	window in the Control Panel (applies to Microsoft Windows only).
	Please see
	for more information.
  Apr 04 - SSH "different host key", "eavedropping" and "hijacking" messages 
	from quasar.cs, dv310.cs
	The operating systems and SSH "host keys" were reinstalled last week on
	The first time you login over the network using 'ssh', you will be 
	warned that there is a new 'ssh' host key, with an alarming message 
	such as
   	| SSH received a different host key from what was 
	| registered for this host.
	| Someone could be eavedropping on you right now.
	| It is also possible that the host key has just
	| been changed.  Please contact your system
	| administrator.
	Other alarming phrases include "man-in-the-middle attack".
	We (sys admins) did change the host key, so you can answer "yes"  or 
	select the "Accept and Save" option (depending upon what SSH program 
	you are using) and proceed with your login as usual.
  Mar 22 - (8am-11am) email delays, UNIX connection timeouts, printing failures
	There were delays reaching the email server (pasteur.eecs) and some 
	Instructional home directories on the UNIX servers this morning.
	Incoming email was queued and was eventually delivered at about 11:15am. 
	Some users may have seen "NFS timeout" error messages.
	We had to reset some server software and completely reboot "po.eecs".
	Printing was unavailable in 111, 117, 119 amd 199 Cory while "po.eecs"
	was down (10:30am-11:15am).
  Mar 19 - cory.eecs (runs HSPICE licenses and www-inst) was down from about 
	6pm Sun - 9:15am Mon 
  Mar 17 - Cory Hall Power Shutdown: Mar 26/27, 6pm-6am        CANCELLED
	All Instructional computer services will be unavailable during this
	time, because these critical Instructional servers are in Cory Hall: 	- WEB server 	- WEB server		- Email server 		- UNIX login server		- UNIX home directories
	   \\FISHER				- NT domain controller
	   \\FILESERVICE			- NT home directories
	   \\NTSWW1				- NT application server
   	-> All electrical equipment in Cory Hall must be shut off before 5pm.
	-> All students and staff must stay out between 5pm and 6am.
	This is to allow new connections to the AC power supply as part of
	the major renovation on the fifth floor of Cory Hall, for the new
	Donald O. Pederson Electronic Systems Design Center.  For more
	information, see
  Mar 01 - Apache WWW server upgraded to 1.3.19 on www-inst.eecs. 
  Feb 28 - http://inst is now a shortcut for http://www-inst
  Feb 19 - mamba.cs (UNIX fileserver) was rebooted at about 10am, was down 
	for 10 minutes
  Feb 18 -  SSH2 being installed; changes SSH warning messages
	We have updated the "ssh" programs to support SSH version 2 on these 
	UNIX login servers		
	You can now login to these systems using either SSH version 1 or 
	version 2 client software ("ssh", "scp") on your remote computer.  
	SSH version 1 is still common on EECS computers.   We will install
	SSH version 2 clients on all Instructional UNIX systems soon.
	On those systems:
		/usr/local/bin/ssh  is now the same as 'ssh2'
		/usr/local/bin/ssh1 is the previous default 'ssh'
		/usr/local/bin/ssh2 can logon to SSH 1 or SSH 2 servers
	The same is true for the other SSH programs, such as
	When you first use SSH v 2  on UNIX, it creates a new ".ssh2" directory 
	in your UNIX home direcrory.
	If you use a new SSH v 2 client to login to a computer that only
	has the SSH v 1 server, you will see this alarming warning:
	   warning: Executing /usr/local/bin/ssh1 for ssh1 compatibility.
	   Host key not found from the list of known hosts.
	   !! If host key is new or changed, ssh1 protocol is vulnerable to an 
	   !! attack known as false-split, which makes it relativily easy to 
	   !! hijack the connection without the attack being detected. It is 
	   !! highly advisable to turn StrictHostKeyChecking to "yes" and 
	   !! manually copy host keys to known_hosts.
	   Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? 
	Just answer "yes" and continue as usual.
	SSH 2 corrects bugs in SSH 1.  SSH 2 also has 'ssh' and 'scp' for 
	Microsoft Windows, which will finally provide a better utility than
	FTP for copying files from MS Windows to UNIX computers.  We will
	install that soon too.
	Please report any problems to
  Mar 05 - 4pm-5:30pm: cory.eecs was down while we modified NFS
  Feb 13 - "NFS server not responding" errors
	We have been experiencing periodic delays during UNIX login sessions 
	this week on cory.eecs (aka inst.eecs).  Typical error conditions 
	include delayed responses of up to several minutes and error messages 
	such as
	  NFS3 server mamba.cs not responding still trying
	  NFS2 server pasteur.ees not responding still trying
	  NFS2 server asterope.cs not responding still trying
	(Feb 22) We just found and corrected a mis-configuration for the 138 
	subnet connection to the server (it is on 2 subnets), and the errors
	seem to have stopped.  We're keeping an eye on it.
	(Mar5) The errors hadn't stopped, so we reconfigured cory.eecs to use 
	the 'tcp' protocol instead 'udp' (the default) for its NFS client
	connections.  The automounter on cory.eecs does not support 'tcp', 
	so we reverted to using static mounts as configured in /etc/fstab.  
	Cory.eecs was down from about 4pm-5:30pm for while we worked on this.
	'tcp' is a more robust protocol and can let us tune the traffic by 
	changing data block sizes, etc.  This change seems to have corrected
	the problem.
  Feb 08 - INSTRUCTIONAL NETWORK DOWNTIME Wed Feb 14, 6:30am-9am 
	New network equipment will be installed for the 134 net in Cory Hall.
	Computers & labs affected:
		Pasteur.eecs  (email server)
		cory.eecs  (UNIX login server)
		inst.eecs  (WEB server)
		140, 111, 119, 199, 127 Cory (workstations)
		Fischer   (NT password server)
		Fileservice   (NT home directory server)
	Logins may freeze or fail with error messages such as "Login denied", 
	"NFS timeout" or "Domain not found". 
  Feb 05 - EECS Instructional Software CD is now available
	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.)
	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 CD per student please (currently an honor system)
	Instructional CD WEB site:
	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 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
	----------------------------	---------------------------------------
  Feb 02 - Pasteur, Po and Saidar were unreachable over the net (9-9:45am)
	At about 9am, three of our UNIX servers in Cory Hall became unreachable 
	from other buildings (Davis, Soda) after a planned change was made to 
	the network configuration.   The problem on those 3 servers was 
	corrected by 9:45am.
	These services were affected:
	- the Instructional email server (pasteur.eecs)
	- /home/tmp server (po.eecs)
	- /share/b and instructor home dirs (saidar.eecs)
	- logins in 199 Cory 
  Jan 10 - Your UNIX home directory may have changed
	There has been a general re-arrangement of home directory file systems
	for the Instructional UNIX accounts.  You can determine what your home
	directory is with the UNIX commands
		cd; pwd
	Home directories were moved from:
		/home/b to /home/aa or /home/bb
		/home/c to /home/aa or /home/bb
		/home/d to /home/aa or /home/bb
		/home/f to /home/bb
		/home/jj to /home/cc
		/home/kk to /home/cc
	This was done to provide more free disk space.  We raised disk quotas
	last semester; Instructional named accounts now get 20MB, or 40MB for 
	EE and CS grads.
	We searched for some configuration files that contained the old home
	directory name and changed some of them.   These included:
	You may also need to change old references in other files within your 
	home directory, such as
		.vacation		email filter files
		.forward		CGI scripts under public_html
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/Spring_2001