Computer News

December, 1994 to February, 1995


Contents


General Enquiries---------------------------------28592495

Fax--------------------------------------------------25597904

Computer Operations----------------------------28592496
(Hardware and operational problems)

Help Desk------------------------------------------28592480
(Software and general problems)

Hardware Maintenance---------------------------28592774

Dial-up Services

60-minute lines :

24-hr service lines:--------------------------------25480590

30-minute lines :

24-hr service lines:--------------------------------28592595

Night service lines:--------------------------------28597992
(6 p.m. - 8 a.m. next day)


OPERATION SCHEDULE


Computer Centre Opening Hours

Monday (8:00 a.m.) - Saturday (9:00 p.m.)
Sunday (12:00 noon - 7:00 p.m.)

Microcomputer / Workstation Rooms
Run Run Shaw Building (Room 101, 103, 104) :

Monday (8:30 a.m.) - Saturday (8:30 p.m.)
Sunday (12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.)

Run Run Shaw Building (Room 113, 210) ,
Knowles Building (Room 218) and
K.K. Leung Building (Room LG-108) :

Monday - Friday (8:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.)
Saturday (8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.)

Old Library Building (Room 134, 135, 136)

Monday - Friday (9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
Saturday (9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)

(All microcomputer/workstation rooms are closed on Holidays)
Holiday Schedule for November, December, 1994 and January,

February, March, 1995
Holiday                  Close on                    Re-open on

Foundation Day           March 16, 1995              March 17, 1995
                         (Thursday) 8:00 a.m.        (Friday) 8:00 a.m.
Ching Ming Festival      April 5, 1995               April 6, 1995
                         (Wednesday) 8:00 a.m.       (Thursday) 8:00 a.m.

(All computer systems in Computer Centre will be running unattended during 
the holidays)


Scheduled System Maintenance 

VAX 6420 (HKUCC) 
  March 8, 1995 (Wednesday)
  10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

VAX 6510 (HKULBR)
  April 12, 1995 (Wednesday)
  10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon


GENERAL NEWS

HKUWIN: A GUI-BASED (Graphical User Interface) HKUMENU

For the last few years, Computer Centre has been providing a text-based HKUMENU interface to assist users in accessing the network facilities from PCs connected to the HKU Campus Network. The text-based HKUMENU has been a useful interface in the predominantly single task DOS environment. Computer Centre has now developed HKUWIN, a GUI (Graphical User Interface) option to HKUMENU, to facilitate access to the Central Network Services and the Departmental Network Applications run under the Windows environment.

The minimum system requirements for running the HKUWIN are :

Hardware:

A networked 486PC with hard disk and 8 Mbyte of RAM (lesser configuration may still run this menu but the performance may be poor).

Software:

DOS 6.0 or above. Windows 3.1 is installed on the hard disk. Starting from February 15, 1995, HKUWIN will be available to staff and departments using the LAN file-servers managed by Computer Centre . A user whose networked PC satisfying the above minimum system requirements can try the HKUWIN interface by issuing the HKUWIN command at the DOS prompt after he has logged in the LAN file-server.

Upon starting the HKUWIN, two more Windows groups will be added to the user's original Windows screen. These two groups are:

1. Central Network Services:

This group contains the network services that are set up and maintained by Computer Centre .

2. Departmental Network Software:

This group contains the application software that are set up by the user's department on the LAN file-servers. Applications available in this group have to be installed by the department. Computer Centre will provide training sessions to staff who are coordinating their departments' network and PC facilities in setting up the applications in this group.

In addition, since the HKUWIN is actually using the Windows software installed in users' hard disks, all locally installed software can also be used in conjunction with the above two Windows groups (see note 3 below).

Central Network Services provided

At the moment, the Central Network Services contain the following services :

  1. Telnet for Windows.

  2. FTP for Windows.

  3. Setup Win32sOLE on local hard disk. (Users who have not installed Win32sOLE on local hard disks previously need to run this setup before running the Mosaic program described below. The Win32sOLE should only be installed once.)

  4. Mosaic, a browser program for World-Wide Web access.

  5. Netscape, an alternative browser program for World-Wide Web access.

  6. Computer Equipment Maintenance (see article in this Computer News on this Computer Equipment Maintenance for detailed information).

  7. CWIS (Campus Wide Information Service).

Should any problems be found in trying the HKUWIN, please report to the undersigned.

Notes: There are a few precautions or notes worth mentioning here :

1.  Since the menu will create some environment variables in DOS, users need to
      make sure their environment space is sufficient by doing :

      a) add the following line in c:\config.sys

shell=c:\command.com /p /e:value

where value is the size of memory reserved for DOS environment space

e.g. shell=c:\command.com /p /e:1024

b) remove any unnecessary environment variables

e.g. set variable=

2. The menu will add a search path to the PC's original paths. Users need to remove unnecessary paths if the path definition are close to 127 characters. 3. If a software e.g. MS Words, has been installed both on network and on local hard disk, the network version will take priority over the local one. That is to say if there are any conflicts in the settings of the software, the menu will work with the network settings. In this case, if users want to use their local software, they can simply quit HKUWIN and start their local Windows. 4. Chinese Windows is still under testing and is not yet supported for this version of HKUWIN.

Fanny Chau
Tel: 28598933
Email: hcxccyh@hkucc.hku.hk


ELECTRONIC FORM FOR LOGGING COMPUTER EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE (CEM) REQUESTS

Computer Centre has been offering the Computer Equipment Maintenance (CEM) service to departments for some years. Departmental users can log the maintenance requests for their equipment that have joined in the CEM service by calling the telephone number 28592774. After office hours, there is a telephone recording machine to record the maintenance requests.

Although the existing telephone reporting procedure for CEM service request arrangement is satisfactory, some enhancements to the reporting procedures are desirable. For example, it is desirable that users can enquire if their calls have been registered and dealt with, and that the problems due to line busy and running out of cassette tape of the telephone recording machine during long public holidays, etc. can be addressed.

To further improve the CEM service, Computer Centre has implemented an Electronic Form for users to log their CEM requests in addition to the telephone reporting procedure. The advantage of the Electronic Form reporting procedure is its extended functionality of allowing users to enquire the status of their maintenance requests.

This Electronic Form reporting procedure is available as an icon on the new HKUWIN interface (see companion article on HKUWIN in this issue of Computer News). The form provides two functions :

1. To send CEM requests.

2. To check the status of the CEM requests that have been registered. Upon clicking the CEM icon from the HKUWIN, the following screen appears:

Sending Requests

Click the "Send service requests" icon to bring up the forms where users need

to enter their departments, the HKU/serial number of the equipment to be reported, the contact person and a brief description of the fault observed.

Enquiring Status of Registered Requests

Click the "Check service requests" icon to bring up the screen where name of department is to be entered. All CEM requests are recorded in one of the following files according to the service status:

1. unprocessed - request is not yet attended

2. being processed - request is being handled by our technicians or the external service vendor

3. finished - service is completed

Users may check their outstanding and/or completed CEM requests by choosing the corresponding check box(es).

Further details of a CEM request can be retrieved by double clicking the entry of interest in the service requests list resulted from the "Check service requests" operation.

For more information on this service, please contact the undersigned.

Fanny Chau
Tel: 28598933
Email: hcxccyh@hkucc.hku.hk


WWW (WORLD WIDE WEB) ON PCS

In the last issue of the Computer News, we announced the availability of the WWW (World Wide Web) service on Unix servers and workstations as an initial release. Since then, many users have expressed their interests in the WWW service and enquired its availability on PCs.

Computer Centre is pleased to extend the WWW service to the PC users. Two of the popular Windows browsers, the Netscape and NCSA (National Centre for Supercomputing Application) Mosaic, are now available on the new HKUWIN interface (please refer to the companion article on HKUWIN in this issue of Computer News). To run NCSA Mosaic from the Central Network Services menu of HKUWIN, Win32sOLE must first be installed on the user's local hard disk. To set up the required Win32sOLE on your local hard disk, you should click the Set up Win32s OLE on local disk icon on the Central Network Services window. This installation needs to be done once only.

When the HKUWIN is started (with a PC of the required hardware and software as described in the HKUWIN article and Win32sOLE installed as discussed above), the user can access the home page of the HKU WWW server by simply clicking either the NCSA Mosaic or the Netscape icon in the Central Network Services Window.

The home page of the HKU's WWW server (i.e. the first page when HKU's WWW server is connected) is maintained by Computer Centre . This home page contains a list of information that are available on this WWW server. At present, information available from the University include Department of Computer Science, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Centre of Media and Resource (CMR) and Computer Centre . It is expected that the list of departments in the home page will grow with time. The home page also contains entries that point to other WWW servers in Hong Kong and overseas.

WWW servers are accessible globally. Departmental users are encouraged to try out this service and to explore the potential of this service in disseminating departmental information on a world-wide basis. As this service may be new to many users, Computer Centre is providing advice and help to departments in setting up information on the HKU WWW. Interested users should contact the undersigned for more information.

Peter Leung
Tel: 28592497
Email: hcxclkh@hkucc.hku.hk


ADDITIONAL DIAL-UP MODEM LINES

The usage of Centre's dial-up modem lines has been increasing steadily over the past few months. In order to cope with the situation, the 24-hour modem pool of number 25480590 has been increased by 10 lines, i.e. from 20 to 30 lines. With the additional lines, users should find it much easier in getting a modem connection, even during the busiest period (7 p.m. - 2 a.m.)

Since more free lines are available during the less busy time, starting from February 15, 1995 the dial-up sessions using the number 25480590 would be extended for another 60 minutes if the dial-up modem pool is lightly loaded. The user will be notified of the session time extension or involuntary session disconnection by the system 5 minutes before any of such actions will be effected.

We are also pleased to inform our users that the modem pool of the number 25480590 are now connected to new terminal servers which support terminal speed of up to 38400 baud and CTS/RTS flow control. We hope that users of the 25480590 dial-up modem pool will enjoy the benefits brought by the above enhanced functions. (For the 30-minute lines of the numbers 28592595 and 28597997, XON/XOFF flow control is still used and the session time limit of 30 minutes is still maintained and will not be extended dynamically).

Centre's Dial-up line facilities:

Computer Centre has set up three separate modem pools to meet the different needs of our users. Each modem pool is identified by a single access telephone number which controls a self-hunting group of modem lines. When one of the telephone number is called, it will automatically search through the modem pool to allocate a free modem line for connection. If all lines in that modem pool are busy, attempts of connection will fail. Users may then try the other modem pool by calling its number. The facilities available are summarised below :

Access       Operating     No. of   Connection   Maximum 	Flow 
Number       Hours         Lines    Time Limit   Speed 		Control 

25480590     24-hour         30      60 min.     38,400 baud     CTS/RTS
                                     (can be extended during less busy time)
28592595     24-hour         10      30 min.     19,200 baud     XON/XOFF
28597992     night-service    8      30 min.     19,200 baud     XON/XOFF
                                     (6p.m.-8a.m. next day)

MS-Kermit diskette for Eight-digit Dial-up Number :

Since January 1, 1995 the digit "2" will be added to all phone numbers. As a result, all phone numbers are now 8-digit long. Computer Centre has updated its MS-Kermit package which is tailored for access to Centre's computer systems through the above dial-up numbers to reflect the change. An update MS-Kermit (01-95) Installation diskette (on 5.25" floppy) is now available at nominal cost from the Laser Printer Counter in Room RR-103, Room OLB-134 or from the Centre's General Office in Room RR-223. Users can also borrow from the office the MS-Kermit Installation Package and make their own copies.

HKUDIAL service:

Access to Centre's computer systems through dial-up modems is supported by the HKUDIAL service with the following user procedure :

  1. Ensure that the user terminal and modem are set up with None parity and the appropriate flow control (CTS/RTS for the number 25480590 and XON/XOFF for the other numbers).

  2. Dial the number of one of the 3 modem pools.

  3. When a dial-up connection is successfully made, the user may be required to press the "Enter" key a few times until the "Username" prompt appears on the screen.

  4. At the "Username" prompt, type HKUDIAL and then press "Enter" key

  5. At this point, a menu giving a list of systems you can connect to should appear.

  6. Select the system you wish to connect and proceed to login using your account username and password.

For more information about the dial-up modem service, please contact the undersigned.

Charles Cheung
Tel: 28592488
Email: cheungyw@hkucc.hku.hk


COLOUR LASER PRINTING FACILITY

Computer Centre is pleased to announce that a colour laser printer has been installed at the PC Laboratories located in the Old Library Building. The colour printer is a QMS ColorScript Laser 1000 which can produce colour and high quality text on A-4 size paper. The colour printer is compatible with PostScript Level 2 and Level 1, and HP PCL 5C with GL/2 to handle every application requirement.

QMS ColorScript Laser 1000 has an Intel 80960CF RISC-based internal controller, running at 25MHz and utilizing QMS Crown technology which speeds up the postscript files processing. There are 65 resident typefaces for postscript language printing. The printing technology adopted by QMS ColorScript Laser 1000 is electrophotographic recording with semiconductor laser and the resolution is 300 X 300 dpi. The printing speed is 8 pages per minute for monochromic mode and 2-3 pages per minute for colour mode.

The QMS ColorScript Laser 1000 printer is connected to the HKUPC3 LAN file- server and can only be accessed by PCs in Room 134 and 135, Old Library Building. All Windows software in the Centre's PC Laboratories in the Old Library Building (i.e Room 134 and 135) can prepare colour laser output for the QMS ColorScript Laser 1000 printer.

The colour laser printout can be collected at the Counter of Room 134, Old Library Building. Like the other laser printing services offered by Computer Centre , there will be a charge for colour laser printing. The charge per page of colour laser printing is equivalent to 10 units on the Laser Printer Coupon. The Laser Printer Coupon can be purchased from the Centre's General Office, Room 223, Run Run Shaw Building during office hours.

To guard users against accidentally printing their output to the colour laser printer, the user will be asked to re-confirm his colour laser printing when he selects Colour Printing option from the Network Printing Menu.

Below is the procedure for printing a coloured document from Window softwares:


1. There are 2 ways to select QMS ColorScript Laser 1000:

   (a) Within Windows, run Print Manager and select QMS ColorScript Laser 1000 
       on File from the printer list.

   (b) Within Windows Applications, choose Print Setup from File menu and 
       select QMS ColorScript Laser 1000 from the printer list. 

2. Print your document on the Windows software you use. A coloured postscript
   file is generated on drive C:.

3. Go back to HKUMENU and choose Colour Printing under Network Printing menu.
   You will be prompted for your student/staff number and file name. You are
   also asked to confirm your printing session before the document actually
   goes to the QMS printer. 

For further enquiries, please contact either of the undersigned.

Tony Lai
Tel: 28597976
Email: tfklai@hkuxa.hku.hk

or

TY Lui
Tel: 28592455
Email: hcxclty@hkucc.hku.hk


MULTIMEDIA FACILITIES ENHANCEMENT

Computer Centre has further expanded its multimedia facility by installing a MAC-based multimedia system and attaching a newly acquired Nikon 35mm Film Scanner COOLSCAN to the existing PC-based multimedia system. The multimedia facilities are part of the Centre's Special Facilities in Room 107, Run Run Shaw Building.

New Power Macintosh station

The newly installed MAC-based multimedia system is a Power Macintosh 7100/66AV. It is configured with 16M RAM and 500M hard disk. An internal CD- ROM drive is also installed. The Power Macintosh also has an Apple AudioVision 14" colour display and an Apple Adjustable Keyboard.

Computer Centre has installed in this POWER Macintosh the necessary software to facilitate multimedia application development. This includes Authoring tools: Authorware V2.0, Director V4.0 and Hypercard V2.2; 3D Modelling software Macromodel with Renderman V1.5.2; Image Editing software Adobe Photoshop V2.5.1; and Presentation software Powerpoint V3.0 and Macromedia Action V1.0.1.

Film scanner for PC Multimedia station

Other than the MAC-based Multimedia system mentioned above, the Centre's existing PC-based multimedia system has also been enhanced by having a Nikon Coolscan film scanner attached to it. The film scanner provides the ultimate desktop tool to capture images from negatives directly. The following is the specification of the film scanner:

Film Type supported:
  - 35mm film (colour or monochrome, positive or negative) 

Scanning density:
  - 2,700 dpi

Gradation:
  - 256 gradations each for C (cyan), M (magenta),Y (yellow) and BK(black).

Film holder:
  - no holder needed for mounted slides
  - strip film holder for strip slides

Scanning time:
  - Pre-scan: Approx. 30 sec.
  - Actual scan: depends on the kind of interface, resolution
    settings and film density. (Approx. 140 sec. for 3-colours within a 1,000
    X 1,000-pixel range with standard film.) 
The Coolscan Control software is an application for use in conjunction with the Nikon Scanner plug-in software to provide an effective means of image capturing. Coolscan Control is menu-driven and utilizes standard file dialogues. It is simple to use and allows users to scan and save images, and to zoom-in and zoom-out of the areas of interest within a scanned image. The Coolscan Control application can be started by double clicking its icon under the MS Windows environment.

All Special Facilities set up by Computer Centre in Room 107, Run Run Shaw Building are available to staff and postgraduate students. Use of the Special Facilities for projects by undergraduate students can also be arranged through their supervisor. While Computer Centre can provide technical advice on using the facilities,users are expected to learn to use and do their intended works by themselves.

Eligible users can apply for the use of the Special Facilities on project basis by completing and returning the "Application Form for using the Special Facility" to Computer Centre . Advanced booking of the required facilities offered by Computer Centre is required.

For more information, please contact the undersigned.

T.Y. Lui
Tel: 28592455
Email: hcxclty@hkucc.hku.hk


UPDATE ON SENDFAX

The telephone numbers in Hong Kong have been extended from 7 to 8 digits long since 1-JAN-1995. SENDFAX users are thus advised to update their configuration files, SENDFAX.CFG. SENDFAX users can modify their SENDFAX.CFG file using their favourite editor by just adding a "2" before the original telephone number.

For example if the original SENDFAX.CFG;1 is

From : Charles Cheung
Department : Computer Centre , H.K.U.
Reply FAX number : 5597904
Telephone number : 8592488

then change it to

From : Charles Cheung
Department : Computer Centre , H.K.U.
Reply FAX number : 25597904
Telephone number : 28592488

The Command to send the fax remains the same. That is:

1. On hkucc system, type the command @hku:sendfax at the VMS $ prompt.

2. On Unix system, type the command sendfax at the Unix command prompt

Charles Cheung
Tel: 28592488
Email: cheungyw@hkucc.hku.hk


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