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


								Sep 12, 2004

              EECS Instructional Computing - Review and Plans
		              Spring 2004


	Current Initiatives
	Recent Improvements
	Final Year for Nomadic laptop loan program
	Lab Space Allocations
	New Equipment installed in FY 2003-2004
	Budget Priorities
	Further references
	Notable Events

Current Initiatives
    1) new in June 2004:
       The EECS network group has extended the campus AirBears wireless
       network to floors 1-3 in Cory Hall and 2-4 in Soda Hall.

       EECS will upgrade the Instructional Computer Graphics lab (349 Soda) 
       with 14 Macintosh G5s.  These are being funded joinly by the Weiner
       Fund, EECS Instruction and faculty donations.

       EECS Instruction has purchased 2 new SUN V440 servers to improve the
       computing resources for classes such as EE141 (Cadence) and CS186 

    2) '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

    3) Improved email services

       The Instructional email server was moved to a more powerful server
       ("Imail") in January 2003.   It now provides a secure SSL-based IMAP
       service as well as the traditional UNIX NFS-based mail service.  This 
       is a step in our conversion from NFS-based to IMAP and WEB-based mail 
       services.  Anti-spam filtering is now running.  Email is rejected if 
       it is from a non-existent or blacklisted address.

       The Instructional email server ("Imail") will soon have a WEB site
       for individuals to read and post email, set email forwarding and 
       set email filtering.  This will make it easier for users to manage
       their email and to decrease spam.

    4) 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.
    5) NetApp fileserver 

       IDSG and NetApp donated a NetApp file server to Instruction in Fall 
       2003 (postponed from Summer 2003).  The NetApp has terabytes of 
       storage and is fully redundant.  It 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

       The NetApp will be phased into service.  We will have to implement a 
       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.  We have purchased a new tape library ($12K)
       for the NetApp.

    6) 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
       will set up a new server ("last-semester.cs" or etc) that is a snapshot
       of the environment at the end of the semester, and make that available
       to instructors during the next semester.

Recent Improvements
    1) 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.

    2) 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

    3) Intel grant: new servers for Linux apps
       We received a grant from Intel in Fall 2003 for 4 new DELL 1750
       servers for application software such as Cadence on Linux (EE141).
       We did not receive new PCs for 349 Soda (CS184, CS284, CS294).

    4) 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 Spring 2004.
       It is free to all students in EECS classes.  

    5) AirBears in Instructional labs

       Instruction funded the installation of several AirBears access points.
       AirBears is the campus-wide wireless network.   Students with their
       own wireless laptops can access AirBears for free in the vicinity of
       the Instructional labs in Soda, Cory and Hearst Field Annex.

    6) 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: 
       100 pages per course credit, and 100 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

    7) 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.

    8) Labs moved to Hearst Field Annex (HFA)
       Two Instructional UNIX labs (for CS3 and CS61A) and the CS SelfPaced 
       Center moved to Hearst Field Annex (HFA) building C for the start of 
       the Fall 2003 semester.  HFA is between Barrows Hall and Bancroft Ave.  
       We have been displaced from Davis Hall to accommodate construction of 
       the new CITRIS building (see  
       CS3 and CS61A labs will remain in HFA for at least 2 years, then be 
       relocated again to new facilties, probably in Evans Hall.

Final Year for Nomadic laptop loan program
   Since August 2000, Instruction has maintained the 79-odd "Nomadic" laptops 
   that were obtained by Prof Landay and are used by CS160 or CS169.  Prof 
   Landay's research group was collecting a $50 fee from each student to cover 
   the cost of insurance.  The laptop warranties expired in 2003, and we have
   decided not to continue the insurance.  So the students are now required to 
   pay only a deposit.  
   Our request for a self-supporting laptop usage fee was rejected by COE in
   Spring 2003.

   We will not be able to maintain or replace each laptop as they fail, and 
   there is no program for funding replacements.  So the "Nomadic" program of 
   laptops for CS160 and CS169 will end in May 2003.

Lab Space Allocations
  The shared labs are for classes without reserved labs. Sharing a lab is the 
  most efficient use of the space, but the number of shared computers for EE 
  classes has been reduced this year.

  In August 2003, 117 Cory (14 seats) has changed from a shared to a reserved 
  lab (for EE100, which was displaced from 120 Hesse Hall).  In December 2003,
  111 Cory (14 seats) was changed from a shared a reserved lab (for the new
  Vodafone lab).

  To regain some shared seats, we will open up 105 Cory (30 seats) to shared 
  access during evenings and weekends.  But EE20N will continue to have 
  exclusive use of the lab for 50 hours a week, so there is a net loss of
  access to shared seats.

  As a result, the ratio of students to shared seats is very high:

  Classes that use shared labs:
  EE classes, Spring 2004 (105,199 Cory) 	= 28 students per computer
  CS classes (271,273,275,277 Soda)		= 13 students per computer

  Classes that use reserved labs:

  EE classes (105,119,125,140,204B,353 Cory)	= 5 students per computer
  CS classes (330, 349 Soda)			= 8 students per computer
  CS classes (C30, C50 HFA)			= 8 students per computer

New Equipment installed in FY 2003-2004

  - NetApp file server (for Instructional UNIX/Windows accts) (donated by IDSG)
  - new Overland AIT-3 Tape Library (for NetApp home dir server) ($11,900)

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

    The dual 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.

Budget Priorities
  Instruction has overcome a $60K deficit from FY 01-02 and ended with a
  $20K surplus in FY 02-03.  We reduced our expenses by hiring one fewer
  student staff member and no new large equipment purchases.

  Current large purchase priorities include:

  - 20 new chairs for labs ($6000)
  - 14 new PCs for 349 Soda Graphics lab ($45000)
  - 4 new SUN 2-cpu SunBlades for graphics "render farm" ($10000)
  - 1 new multi-processor CPU server for CAD applications ($45000)
Further references

Notable Events

May 18 - Computer downtime Fri May 28; Cory Hall closes May 28 5pm - June 1 8am

  On Fri May 28, computer systems will be down at times throughout EECS.

  On Friday afternoon, tests of the UPS in the the Soda Hall machine may 
  cause the Instructional systems to lose connection to the /usr/sww, 
  which stalls UNIX logins, etc.  

  At 5pm on Friday, Cory Hall will be powered down and locked (until 8am
  Tuesday June 1) for work on the transformers.  Our major servers will 
  be switched over to an alternate power source and will continue to be 
  available, but there will be some downtime around 5pm.

  These servers will be available throughout the Memorial Day weekend:		WEB server		Email server	Windows home dir server		UNIX home dir server		UNIX login server
  	nova.cs, star.cs, torus.cs 	UNIX login servers
  	h30.cs, h50.cs		 	UNIX login servers

  The computer labs in Cory, Soda and HFA C will be locked.

  Many Instructional accounts will expire at 9am on May 28.  (See
Apr 21 - Imail server and UNIX logins were out of service, 9:30-9:40pm

  At about 9:30pm, the Instructional email server (imail.eecs) froze up
  and was rebooted.  It was back up in about 10 minutes.  Besides lack
  of access to email, a major side effect of this is that UNIX logins
  were stalled.   See below for a description of the symptoms.

  The cause of the problem was a database server malfunction that 
  overwhelmed the system resources.
Apr 12 - Campus-wide power outage interrupted computing (2:30pm-4pm)

  At about 2:30pm, a fault occurred that cut electrical power to 65 
  buildings on the Eastern side of campus, incuding Cory, Soda and
  Hearst Field Annex.   The power came back in stages over the next
  30 minutes or so, but several servers in the department took longer.

  Logins and email on most Instructional computers were blocked until 
  about 4pm while we waited for the servers to stabilize.  The major
  Instructional computers (including the file servers Fileservice and 
  Mamba) were kept running by their UPSes, and fortunately the outage
  was short enough that the batteries did not drain.
Mar 30  - 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.
Feb 25 - Campus-wide power outage on Wednesday evening

  Power went off on Campus on Wednesday Feb 25 for about 6 minutes, from 

  The Instructional labs and servers were brought back into service that
  night by the after-hours efforts of dedicated staff.  The UNIX server 
  "h30.cs" and the HFA C30 lab remained down until Thu at about 10am.
Feb 19, 2004 - Instructional Windows 'named' accounts are now available

  Instructional 'named' accounts are now available on Windows as well as
  UNIX.  Students who are eligible for 'named' accounts include EE and
  CS majors (ugrad and grad) and students in many EECS classes.  

  199 Cory and 330 Soda are general access Instructional labs with PCs.
  You can request a 'named' account by logging in as '<B>newacct</B>' 
  (password 'newacct') in 199 Cory, 273 Soda or via 'ssh' to  If you already have an Instructional 'named'
  account on UNIX, you can run 'newacct' again to get a matching account
  on Windows.
  Note that several classes only get 'class' accounts, and some of those
  are only on UNIX.  To see the type of accounts that are given to a
  class, please search for it on

  For some technical tips about using your Windows account, please see
Feb 17, 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 
Dec 2002 - Non-SSL IMAP Support on imail.eecs has ended

  Non-SSL IMAP on imail was disabled on Dec 2, 2003.

  Now, imail.eecs only accepts IMAP connections that are using the SSL
  security protocol.  This affects people who have setup Netscape,
  Mozilla, or any mail program using IMAP, but did not check the SSL 

  Please see
  for information.
Sep 12 - off-campus network access reduced because of attacks

  The UC Berkeley campus network security (SNS) group has announced that
  as of 12:00 noon, Friday, September 12, several network ports used by 
  Windows are being blocked at the campus border.  The ports that are
  blocked are TCP/135, TCP/139, TCP/445, TCP/593, UDP/135, UDP/137, 
  UDP/138, and UDP/445.  The impact of these blocks is that several 
  Microsoft services including file sharing, access to Exchange mail 
  servers, and remote desktop access will not function across the border 
  of the campus network.  This is necessary to stop the spread of several 
  fast-moving and destructive viruses.

  At home, you may see error messages in Windows such as

    "Access denied"
    "The network path was not found"
    "Unable to connect because the RPC server is unavailable"

  when you try to access computers on campus.  
  This does not prevent access to any campus WEB sites.

  Logins into UNIX systems are uneffected.  So to transfer files between 
  your Windows computer at home to your Instructional Windows directory
  on Fileservice, you can use your UNIX account as a transfer point:
  1) Login to UNIX (such as with SSH Secure Shell
  2) Use the SSH Secure File Transfer program to copy files between your 
     Windows PC at home and your UNIX account
  3) Use the UNIX "smbclient" command to copy the files between your 
     UNIX directory to your Windows directory.
  Please see
  for examples of how to do this.

  If you use a PC running Windows, it is critical that you apply patches
  regularly to protect yourself.  Microsoft will automatically check your 
  computer and install patches from

  SNS's IT Security Resources page lists additional ways to get help:

  For more information about the problem from Microsoft, see:

  For more information on securing your computer, see:

  For more information on email viruses, see:
Fall 2003 - Forgot your password on the Instructional computers?

  <u>For named accounts:</u>

  Login as 'newacct' (password 'newacct') 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'.

  <u>For class accounts:</u>

  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 the Spring 2002 Managers' Report

  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.   
Symptoms when UNIX email or home directories are missing:

  - "home directory is /" error message when logging in
  - 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 

  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.

  See for current notices.

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: ~iesg/public_html/reports/managers/Spring_2004