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

								June 1, 2000

              EECS Instructional Computing - Review and Plans
		                  Spring 2000

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 and Fall semester issues:

Current Issues Related to Instructional Computing:

  1) Ferenc is currently in search of replacements for 2 staff positions that
     were vacated due to a retirement and a resignation.   Kevin in looking
     for a replacement for a PAIII staff position.
  2) NT workstations for 117 Cory
     Kevin has submitted a grant request to HP to replace the old HP work-
     stations in 117 Cory with Pentium systems by Aug 2000.

     This will alleviate the conflicts for NT seats for labs in Cory Hall.
     Because users can login to UNIX servers from NT workstations but not 
     vice versa, our labs are most versatile when they have NT installed. 
  3) Intel "Nomadic" Lab (117 Cory)
     Profs Joseph and Demmel have mentioned that we may need to provide a 
     lab for 3-8 laptop docking stations with monitors for groups of 5 
     students.  The laptops would be used by grad courses in Spring 2000 
     and by CS160 and CS162 in Fall 2000.  The laptops are apparently part 
     of a $200K grant from INTEL, but I don't know how the funding will be 
     spent or what the curriculum goals are.
     We plan to mount them in 117 Cory along with new PCs and share the 
     monitors so that the room gets dual use (wkstns and laptops).  It 
     would continue to be a general access lab for all Instructional users.

  3) More DEC Alphas in 199 Cory

     Kevin will make a grant request to DEC/Compaq for 7 more DEC Alpha work-
     stations (UNIX), to replace aging HP workstations in 199 Cory.  199
     Cory will be our only UNIX workstation lab in Cory Hall.  The Alphas
     are widely used by classes running HSPICE and other CAD applications.
  4) Sun Rays Replace old HPs in 271/273 Soda

     66 SunRays and server software have been donated by Sun, thanks to Prof
     Culler. (See  Fred Archibald has 
     installed a new ethernet switch that is needed by the SunRay cluster.  

     35 SunRays have been running in 271 Soda since January, and the rest are
     being installed in 273 Soda in April and May.  The SunRays are replacing 
     the 60 old HPs in 271/273 Soda which are slow, can't run HP-UX 11.0 and 
     are dying fast.  The SunRays are low maintenance and quite reliable.  We
     have received excellent techical support from Sun.
     Prof Culler has also donated the Sun E5000 server for the SunRays as
     well as a second E5000 that is used by EE141 to run MicroMagic.

  5) Enabling Students to Work from Home
     Students have commented that NT-based software is inconvenient because 
     they can't run it all from home, as they can with UNIX by logging into 
     the UNIX servers.  We have taken several steps to promote coursework on 
     home computers:

     - beefed up our UNIX cpu server capacity
     - published "connectivity" instructions 
     - set up a secure software download site 
     - provide "ssh" for free, for MS Windows, UNIX and MacOS
     - Prof Clancy provides a floppy disk with free editors and 
       compilers (GNU and scm) for CS Lower Division classes
     - IS&T provides standard applications (Office, IE, Netscape, etc) 
       on their "Connecting@Berkeley" CD.  
     - tested student versions of Xilinx, PSPICE, Matlab that they can buy
     - obtained a donation of Visual C++ and J++ for students to take home

     Microsoft Research agreed to a program in which we would distribute
     free copies of their C++ and J++ compilers to students in selected CS
     classes, for students to install on their home computers.  Microsoft
     agreed that, because this leverages off of the existing computers that
     students own, it is a very cost-effective way to enable the use of 
     these programs at home.

     Microsoft does have a Campus Agreement plan that would let students buy
     other products at a discount, but EECS would have to pay an annual fee 
     for *every* FTE and student in the dept 
  6) Improving 310 Davis 
     310 Davis has been reserved for CS61A for the last 2 years.  But it 
     lacks a bathroom, is run-down and often overheated.  Bathroom access 
     into Davis Hall will be possible when a new cardkey reader is enabled
     (in May?).   PD&C has quoted $39K to install A/C (Ruth is reviewing 
     that now).   

     We have initiated a grant request to Sun to replace the old HP work-
     stations in 310 Davis with a new SunRay cluster (as in 271 and 273 Soda) 
     by Aug 2000.
     We have scheduled with the IS&T networking group to replace the aging
     network in 310 Davis with 100mb switched ethernet over the summer.  
     100mb switched is required for the new SunRays.
     Additional improvements needed: network, carpet, paint, drop ceiling.

  7) Southside Lab
     OCF & ASUC are planning to set up a general access UNIX lab in MLK 
     at Sproul Plaza.  Devin has met with Prof Papadimitriou; they may 
     use the old NOW Sun computers and EECS may help with network costs.

  8) 264B Cory upgrade

     Additional NT computers will be added to 264B Cory for use by EE1 and
     other classes.  This should open up more computers to other classes
     for drop-in access on the first floor of Cory.
  9) 125 & 127 Cory usage

     These 2 rooms are shared by EE125, EE128, EE192 and EE290G.  The
     robotics arm in 127 Cory takes up lots of space - that lab has held
     16 workstations in the past.  However, the equipment is still needed.

  10) Projects lacking lab space...

     - Prof Lee would like to establish a new lab for Embedded Systems
     - Prof Zakhor would like to establish a dedicated multimedia test 
       lab for classes such as EE290T and EE298.
     - Prof Lau would like to establish a wireless communications lab
     - Prof Chang-Hasnain would like to revive the EE135 lab.
     - Prof Bokor would like to establish a demo lab for optical engineering
     - CS3 could be asked to vacate 175 LeConte, although that is not a
       current threat.  However, we have no lab into which they would fit.
     - 10 more 2-processor PCs as in 349 Soda (Prof Sequin, Sp 1999)
     - another lab of 30 Solaris systems for CS61B (Prof Yelick, Sp 1999)

     Current lab allocation is summarized in

  11) INTEL Grant request

     We intend to request new PCs from INTEL for 123 Cory (CS150), 218 Cory
     (EE143), 564 Soda (multimedia authoring lab) and an Exchange server.

  12) Projects lacking funding...

     - air conditioning in 310 Davis for CS61A ($40K)
     - upgrade net in 310 Davis ($20K)
     - new carpet, paint in 310 Davis ($10K)
     - upgrade net in 275/277 Soda UNIX labs ($8K)
     - Millenium cluster for Instruction (Prof Wilensky, Sp 1999)
     - servers & classroom systems for capturing lectures (Prof Rowe, Sp 1999)
     - upgrade of 2-processor PCs in Cory for CS152 (Prof Kubi, Sp 1999)

Notable events this semester:

  (May 01) Last weekend: Network problem in Soda; logins blocked on cory.eecs

	- The multiuser license for cory.eecs expired on Sat Apr 29.  That 
	  prevented logins to cory.eecs.  It was corrected at about 9am on 
	  Mon May 1.  The other Instructional UNIX computers were available.   
	- There was a network problem in Soda Hall on Sat and Sun (Apr 29/30)
	  that blocked some access in and out of Soda Hall.

  (Apr 25) the C119Z NT server was down from about 11:10am-11:40am
  (Apr 24) the C119Z NT server was down 3 times between about 1:40pm-2:30pm

	- cause: newly installed application crashed the system...
	- updated service pack and rebooted
	- CS152 gets WorkView off the W:\ drive on C119Z
	- EE225B gets the Corel Library and disk storage off drive Z:\ on C119Z

  (Apr 15) the C119Z NT server was down from about 11:30am-1:15pm.

	- CS152 NT accounts could not access WorkView (on the W:\ share)
	- some EE225A and EE290T NT accounts and files were not accessible
	- we had to reboot to clear a the RAID contoller of a bogus disk error

  (Apr 12)  pasteur.EECS (email server) has been repaired. 

	A disk failed; the following services were unavailable at times
	between 4am and 4:30pm today (Apr 12):

	* Instructional POP/IMAP server.
	* /var/mail; PINE; Unix mail reading.
	* `submit' for class assignments.
	* NIS/YP (Changing passwords).
	* Some UNIX logins, some of the time.
	* HP/Alpha logins may be slow or may hang. (Try hitting ^C
	  but don't reboot the machines!)
	Some services that were still OK:

	* Your mail will be delayed, not lost.
	* Solaris logins in Soda Hall should still be OK.
	* Davis 310 HP logins should still be OK.
	* Windows NT systems in Cory and Soda should still be OK.

  (Apr 07) MAMBA.CS was down on Fri Apr 7 from about 4:00-5:00pm

	Home directories for CS 'class' accounts and many 'named' accounts 
	were off-line during that time.

	We installed several operating system patches that, amongst
	other things, have improved the RAID disk performance.

 (Apr 05) MAMBA.CS was down on Wed Apr 5 from about 8:50-9:15am

	Home directories for CS 'class' accounts and many 'named' accounts 
	were off-line during that time.

	We ran a "file check" on the disks to correct some errors we've 
	been having during nightly system backups.

  (Mar 31) Some UNIX systems were restricted today, 7am-5pm: 

	Logins to these Instructional UNIX computers were blocked while 
	maintenance work was done on the departmental "SWW" servers:		199 Cory (Alpha and HP workstations)		273 Soda (HP workstations)		271 Soda (Solaris SPARC Sunrays)	117 Cory (HP workstations)

	You were still able to use -		275 and 277 Soda (Solaris X PCs)		310 Davis (HPs workstations for CS61A)	(Instructional email server)	 (Instructional WEB server)
	Logins were also be denied at most other UNIX and NT computers 
	in Soda and Cory Halls.

	Logins to Instructional NT computers were not affected.

  (Mar 24) Network failure Thu evening caused logins to freeze; fixed by 8am.

	Between about 10pm on March 23 and 8am on March 24, 
	a network failure in Cory Hall caused these symptoms 
	for Instructional computer accounts:
	 - login sessions froze, typically while displaying 
	   error messages such as "NFS timeout" and "no home
	 - could not access mail from
	 - could not access WEB site
	 - no response from cory.eecs, parker.eecs, mingus.eecs
	 - no response from Fileservice (NT file server)
	Instructional staff checked all labs to be sure users
	were properly logged out after the problem was fixed.

	The problem: "The Gigabit router interface that serves 
	the Cory nets stopped forwarding traffic to the switch 
	infrastructure."  This affected many Instructional and 
	non-Instructional computers in the department.  

  (Mar 24) Soda Hall lab ventilation under repair 

	The ventilation system on the second floor of Soda will be worked on 
	next week.  Unfortunately, the uncomfortable conditions will probably 
	not be solved until then. 

  (Mar 10) 5pm+: NT homedirs from \\fileservice are unavailable

	This affects the NT accounts of EE classes and CS150, CS152.

	The error messages seen by users when they logon are typically
	"roaming profile not available..." or 
	"Not enough server storage is available to process this command."

	The staff who maintain \\fileservice have been notified of the problem.

  (Mar 10) (5pm-8pm): access denied to home dirs from mamba, email to pasteur 
	and some www-inst pages

  (Mar 09) (6pm-7pm): access denied to home dirs from mamba, email to pasteur 
	and some www-inst pages

	On Mar 9, the home directories on mamba.cs stopped exporting to other 
	computers after a reboot following the scheduled installation of 
	standard operating system patches.  On March 10, mamba.cs failed to
	reboot properly after the scheduled installation of a new tape drive.

	These events denied access to those home directories by users at other
	conputers, by the mail server (pasteur.eecs) and by the WEB server 

	Logins, the mail server and the WEB server were all stalled.

 	Some software on mamba.cs was reconfigured and mamba was rebooted.
	Service will restored by 7:05pm on March 9, and by 8pm on March 10.

  (Mar 08) EMAIL SERVER (pasteur.eecs) was rejecting incoming mail from about 
	1am-9am because a disk filled up on the server.

	When a server refuses to receive email, most computers that send 
	email save the message and periodically try to resend it.

  (Jan 31) File server SAIDAR was down WED FEB 2 from about 9:00-9:30am
	for scheduled maintenance.

	Cory Hall logins and access to some home directories were stalled 
	during that time.   You can type the UNIX "df" command to see if
	your home directory is on saidar.eecs.

  (Jan 30) EMAIL SERVER (pasteur.eecs) was down from 2:05pm-2:20pm
	for maintenance; email was delayed but not lost

  (Jan 26) viper.CS.Berkeley.EDU is down until further notice, 
	having suffered a catastrophic motherboard failure. No timeline 
	for obtaining replacement parts has yet been established.

  (Jan 19) (11-11:20am) There were problems on Instructional nets: 
	"NFS timeout" and stalled computers

  (Jan 05)  SECURE 'telnet' is REQUIRED on cory.eecs starting Jan 10, 2000.

	As of January 10th, 2000, cory.eecs will NO LONGER ACCEPT normal
	'telnet' connections.  You MUST acquire a ssh client to connect
	to cory after this date.  Please see the following web page:

  (Jan 01) /usr/sww down on cochise.cs, parker.eecs, quasar.cs

	A power failure on Dec 31 (NOT Y2K-related) took out alcyone.cs, the
	server for the /usr/sww for all HP-UX and Sun SPARC systems in EECS.
	This has affected cochise.cs and parker.eecs (HP-UX) and quasar.cs
	(Sun SPARC).   
	Symptoms include delays during login and unexpected "command not found"
	errors.  We hope this can be fixed soon.

	You can still login to Cory.eecs, po.eecs and torus.cs.  They are not 
	affected because they are using different servers for /usr/sww  .

	This was fixed at about 3pm on Jan 1.

  (Jan 1999)  UNIX email and restrictions on "pasteur" POP server
	In June 1998, new security restrictions were implemented on the 
	pasteur.eecs mail server.  Here are some restrictions and usage 
	tips when using POP or IMAP:

	What's a mail server?

		"" is the EECS Instructional email 
		server.  On the Instructional UNIX systems, programs such as 
		"pine" and "mailx" access Pasteur directly.   On NT and Mac 
		systems, programs such as "Eudora" can read your email from 
		Pasteur using the POP or IMAP protocols.  In Eudora, you 
		enter "" as your mail host and 
		enter your UNIX account name as user name.  You can also 
		enter anything you want in Eudora as your own computer name,
		which is where replies to your outgoing mail are sent.  See 
		below for restrictions on that.

	Setting your computer name:

		Pasteur requires that you configure your own computer name to 
		be an EECS or CS computer, such as "".
		You do this in your POP client (Eudora, etc), so that the 
		"From" line in your outgoing mail says that you are using an 
		EECS or CS computer.

		Otherwise, our POP server will reject your requests to connect
		to it and download your mail.  This is an added security 
	Your .forward file:

		...may not work like it used to.  Specific problems:

		1.  The following filter programs are the only ones 
		supported: filter, procmail, slocal and vacation.  If 
		there is something you need to run, contact root@cory

		2. .forward files may not be symbolic links

		3.  If you use procmail and your .forward file looked 

		"|IFS=' '&&exec /usr/sww/bin/procmail -f-||exit 75 #login"

		it needs to be changed to:

		"|/usr/sww/bin/procmail -f- #login"

		4.  '||', '$' and '&&' are no longer valid in .forward files

	For more information, please see /share/b/pub/,
	send email to
	or visit 384/386 Cory or 333 Soda.

  (Jul 1998) New Instructional UNIX password service

  PO.EECS: new computer
	Po.eecs will become a new computer at about noon on Fri Jul 17.
	Po.eecs has the master password file, and you have been told to
	login there to change your password.  Po.eecs is now a DEC Ultrix 
	system; it will become a Solaris X86 system.  The benefits are:  
	faster computer, new password server software.

	Your current 'login' password will still be valid after this change.

	On Fri July 17, Po.eecs may be down (off the net) at times.
	From Thu July 16 - Mon July 20, we may prevent any password changes.

  The New Password Service
	The new password software is called "NIS+".  It will allow users at
	the Solaris X86 PCs to change their passwords without logging in to 
	po.eecs.  Users on the HP, DEC and SGI systems will still have to 
	login to po.eecs.  But in all cases, you won't get "password file is 
	busy" messages any more, and the changes will take effect within 5-10 
	minutes instead of 40-60 minutes.  NIS+ has better efficiency and 
	security features than our current password service.

	For more technical info about NIS+, please type "man nis+"  on any of 
	our Solaris systems (for lists, please see

	In addition to the 'login' password that you now use, NIS+ uses a 
	second 'secure RPC' (also called 'secret key' and 'NIS+ credential')
	password.  The default 'secure RPC' password for all users is "nisplus".  

	When logging into one of our Solaris X86 computers, you may see a
	warning message such as 

	    This password differs from your secure RPC password.
	    Password does not decrypt secret key for unix.291@Inst.nisplus.

	This is not a problem, but it will be an advantage to you to make your
	'secure RPC' password be the same as your 'login' password.  You can
	do that by typing logging into "po.eecs" or "torus.cs" and runing the
	Solaris X86 command "chkey".  For example:

	    % chkey -p
	    Updating nisplus publickey database.
	    Generating new key for 'unix.3232@Inst.nisplus'.
	    Please enter the Secure-RPC password for jdoe: nisplus
	    Please enter the login password for jdoe: {jdoe's password}

        This sets the 'secure RPC' password to match the 'login' password,
	so you won't have to type it when you change your password, shell or
	'finger' information on a Solaris X86 system.  We plan to install 
	"wrapper" programs for the UNIX 'passwd', 'chsh and 'chfn' programs 
	to automate the entry of the 'secure RPC' password, but you may still
	see messages about it when you use these programs.  Please notify 
	'root@cory.eecs' if you have difficulty using these new programs.

  Use 'ssh' for better security:
	Users on other UNIX computers will still need to run those commands 
	on po.eecs.  For added security, we recommend that you login into 
	po.eecs using the "ssh" program rather than rlogin or telnet.  
	"Ssh" is available on our UNIX computers and is used like "rlogin":

	  ssh po.eecs -l {your_login}

	"Ssh" is commercial software that unfortunately is not available for 
	free.  It can be purchased for PCs and Macs: please see for details.


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_2000