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Computer News

                                                                                                No. 119, Jan.-Feb. 2006


General News

PC News

Staff News - Five Colleagues Received Long Service Awards

Training News

Hotlines and Operations Schedule

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Computer News No. 119  Jan.-Feb. 2006

Computer Centre Annual Report 2004-2005 Posted on Web

Computer Centre Annual Report 2004-2005 is now available at  The report summarizes the major development and accomplishments of our Centre in the reported year together with some focal development areas envisioned for 2005-2006.  

Among the many areas reported, I wish to highlight some of the key milestones completed in 2004-2005:

  • New IT Strategy for 2005-2008 : A new IT Strategy for the University in the 2005-2008 triennium with the theme on "Quality IT Services for a Digital University" had been formulated, laying down the direction for Computer Centre's development in the coming three years.
  • Serving an Expanding User Population : Computer Centre now serves over 62,000 email accounts including staff, students and alumni with diversified IT demands.
  • Upgrading of Central Computer Servers : During the year, 3 major central computer servers supporting the important services of student email, HKU Portal and electronic courses had been upgraded.  Moreover, consistently high availability for over 25 central computer servers were maintained throughout the year.
  • Enhancing Campus Network Development and Security : :Continuous enhancement to the infrastructure and security of the campus network were undertake.  This included the setting up of a new optical link between the Main Campus and the Sassoon Road Campus for much-improved bandwidth capacity and resilience, and the deployment of advanced security devices to strengthen the network security.
  • Deployment of new and enhanced Administrative Applications - a new range of applications had been  developed and successfully launched during the year, which included the Performance Review and Development/Academic Portfolio of Achievement system in support of the HRM reform, an On-line Application System for Taught Postgraduate Admissions to facilitate international admission applications via the Internet and the development of the Fixed Asset Module of the Oracle Financial system.

Please visit the online version of the Annual Report to find out more.

N. Ng
Computer Centre
Tel: 2859 2491 

Computer News No. 119  Jan.-Feb. 2006

HKU Event Management System (HKUEMS) Enhanced with New Features

    1. Introduction
    2. Different types of registration fees and 'early bird' rate
    3. Other enhancements

1. Introduction

Since the first launch of the HKU Event Management System (HKUEMS) in February 2005, many departments have been using the system to announce the events they organize and to manage the registration of attendees.  HKUEMS provides a readily available channel to announce events and saves much manpower in handling the registration form. 

According to our usage statistics, half of the events announced via HKUEMS uses the online registration feature to improve their registration process, and out of those events that required registration, 30% had employed the collection of registration fees with the online payment option of HKUEMS.  We had received many requests for additional flexibility in handling payments for conferences announced through the HKUEMS system.  In response to these feedbacks, we have made enhancement to the payment handling function, and we are pleased to announce that new  features including the 'early bird' payment, differential fee types, email alert to event organizers and payment reminder to registrants will be made available in HKUEMS starting from March 1, 2006.

2. Different types of registration fees and 'early bird' rate

Previously, event organizers can only specify a single rate of registration fee.  In the enhanced HKUEMS, multiple fee types and different currencies for registration can now be defined, including an 'early bird' rate for any fee.  Once a multiple fee schedule is defined, HKUEMS will automatically generate a mandatory 'Fee Type' field in the registration form for registrants.  This new option will be available once the online registration feature of HKUEMS is selected, regardless of whether online payment is used.  Figure 1 below illustrates the features of multiple fee types, different currencies and 'early bird' rate for an event organizer.  Figure 2 shows the registration fee information that an registrant will see on the screen.

Figure 1:  The screen dump viewed by an event organizer defining multiple registration fee types


Figure 2:  The screen dump of an event showing different fee types as seen by an registrant

3. Other enhancements

Email alerts for event organizers:
Event organizers will be able to choose to receive email alerts on registration, cancellation and payment of an event so that they can be better informed of the registration status of their events.

Email reminder on payment:
If a deadline for payment is defined for online payment, email reminders will be automatically sent to registrants two days before the deadlines.  This reduces the chance of missing outstanding fees by registrants who have forgotten to pay.

Easier to review records of credit card payment:
Event organizers will be able to group records of credit card payment by event or by date under the 'Credit Card Payment' option. In addition, information collected from registrants will be readily retrievable by selecting the corresponding payment records.  Thus, organizers do not need to go around different menus on HKUEMS to locate the information they need.

Alternative registration web site:
Event organizers will be able to specify a registration URL for their events if they choose not to use HKUEMS for registration.

Heading for registration form:
Event organizers will be able to specify instructions at the beginning of a registration form should they use the registration option of HKUEMS.  The instructions can provide registrants with further details before completing the registration.

Reference to registration form directly:
In many cases, event organizers need to make reference to the URL of their events directly in their publications or web sites.  It has been made possible with the 'Event URL' option in HKUEMS.  In the enhanced version, further enhancements are made so that event organizers can also make reference to the URL of the registration form of their events for the public to access.

"FULL" status of events:
For those events that have registration quotas defined, registrants need to click into each event to find whether the event is full.  In the enhanced version, a *FULL status will be displayed next to the events that are filled up so that registrants can know that it is full by a glance.

Figure 3:  The screen dump of an event showing that it is full

If readers have any questions regarding the above features or HKUEMS in general, please contact the undersigned.

Computer News No. 119  Jan.-Feb. 2006

On-line Application System for Taught Postgraduate Admission

    1. Introduction
    2. Benefits
      1. Simple application procedure with secure on-line payment of application fee
      2. Efficient handling of the diversity of programme information and application forms
      3. Rich features to cater for the management needs
    3. Concluding Remarks

1. Introduction

From the advertisements in the press, readers may have noticed that the new admission exercise for postgraduate studies has begun.  The University would always like to attract the best local and overseas students.  For years, prospective students from all over the world have been accessing our postgraduate prospectus on the Web to read about our wide variety of  programmes of studies. With the launch of the on-line application system for taught postgraduate admission in 2005, students can since apply for admission through the Web without sending a printed application form.  This brings convenience to the applicants and speeds up the processing of their submitted forms.  The system is accessible at or from the HKU homepage => "Study Programmes and Admissions".

Applying for admission on-line is just part of the picture.  Behind the scene is a sophisticated information system that provides the necessary back-end support for processing the applications and catering for the unique requirements of individual programmes of studies.

2. Benefits

2.1. Simple application procedure with secure on-line payment of application fee

A prospective student can apply for admission simply by filling in the on-line application form of the chosen programme of study and follow any application requirements of the programme.  In the on-line application system, the application fee by credit card payment is settled securely by the JETCO payment gateway service provided through the Bank of East Asia.  Using the payment gateway, JETCO or the bank never receive any applicant data from our system and similarly our system never receive any credit card information.  After an application is successfully submitted, an application number will be shown in the acknowledgement web page and an email will be sent to the applicant to double confirm the receipt of an application.  Therefore, applicants can enjoy a straightforward application procedure while getting a secure on-line payment service.  A sample partial on-line form is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. A sample on-line form (partial)

The University of Hong Kong
Master of Architecture [MArch] (Full-time)
User: scotty 
Change Password | Preview 
Payment Status | TPG Admissions
Application Procedures | Enquiry 
Personal Information Academic Qualification Professional Qualification
& Working Experience
English Language Requirements Referees Further Information Payment & Submission
Personal Information
Name:* (Surname)    (Given names)
Chinese Name:
(if any)
C.C. Code:
(for HKID card holders only)
Date of Birth:* (dd/mm/yyyy) / /  
2.2. Efficient handling of the diversity of programme information and application forms

One complexity of the system is the need to handle the yearly update of the syllabuses and information of each programme of studies from the faculties.  Sometimes, the final details of some programmes are finalized a few days before application begins.  To tackle this problem, a central repository is set up for the Faculty Offices to upload the new information.  Central administration staff will then have a single place to receive, process and disseminate up-to-date information to the public.  The flow of the update exercise is now easily managed through the system.  Any late information can easily be spotted and handled accordingly.

Furthermore, different Faculties will receive different application information according to the different programmes they offer.  For example, a programme in Community Geriatrics requires the details of in-service training taken by applicants.  The ability of the system to collect such information is crucial for minimising the administration effort to contact the applicants afterwards.  In the current admission exercise, about forty different on-line application forms are used to cover the different needs of over one hundred programmes.

2.3. Rich features to cater for the management needs

To assist the selection of applicants, application data can be downloaded by Faculty Offices.  The data is provided in a tabulated form to enable easy short-listing.  In addition, to handle enquiries from applicants, facilities are available for the different administrative offices to conveniently search for applicant information.  Finally, management information such as the statistics of applications is made available from the system.  Management decisions can be made accordingly.  A sample application statistics report is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. A sample application statistics report (data for demonstration only)

Faculty  Curriculum Count   
Arts Master of Arts


(29%) (On-line)


(10%) (Paper)
  Master of Arts in Transport Policy and Planning




  Master of Geographic Information Systems





3. Concluding Remarks

Applications for admission to the taught postgraduate studies are now open for the coming academic year.  We expect the number of programmes of studies and on-line applications will increase.  By streamlining the application process and organizing the application information, the On-line Application System for Taught Postgraduate Admission will continue to provide a convenient channel for our applicants to submit applications while serving the complex needs of our Faculty Offices.

Computer News No. 119  Jan.-Feb. 2006

HKU Portal PIN Serves as the Password for Library Services

Forgetting the various computer system passwords has always been a problem.  Over the years, the proliferation of IT applications has resulted in the employment of different technologies which has demanded different user account names and passwords.  To overcome this problem Computer Centre has been working in the past few years on an authentication scheme to reduce the number of passwords that a user has to remember.   The introduction of the HKU Portal in January 2003 has helped to achieve this aim, unifying the user identification and passwords for different applications in our portal, including the access to central email systems and other administrative systems, so that the HKU Portal PIN will serve as the single password to the various systems.

Towards reducing the number of passwords that users need to remember, we are very  pleased to inform our users that the University Libraries, in collaboration with Computer Centre , have changed their login scheme to using the HKU Portal UID and PIN for current staff and students to access the Libraries services starting in January 2006.  However, other groups of users of the Libraries (i.e. non-current staff and students) will continue to use the old login scheme, i.e. using the account names and passwords assigned by the Libraries as before.

If you have any questions or problem with your various passwords, please send email to or call our help desk at Room 104, Run Run Shaw Building (phone: 2859 2480).

Computer News No. 119  Jan.-Feb. 2006

Report on the Seminar "The Trend of Green Computing and Its Impact"

Computer Centre was most pleased to have invited Dr David Yen, Executive Vice President, Scalable Systems Group of Sun Microsystems, to speak at a seminar organized in the University on February 21, 2006 to share his ideas on "Green Computing".

Dr Yen shared with the audience that while IT development is booming in particular with a surging number of network-enabled devices, the energy resources available on the planet are being exhausted and would not be able to meet the multifarious increase in demand and consumption.  The computers are also using a lot of energy.  He drew the attention of the IT professionals to help save the limited power resources through an effective use of IT tools and computer systems.

Dr David Yen speaking at the seminar.

Being the innovator of the SUN UltraSPARC chip, Dr Yen introduced the competitive edge of the new generation of SUN's CPU chips -- low power consumption and small size.  It can save both energy and space demands in the computer rooms.  It is the industry's first multi-threaded and 8-core processor deploying the CoolThreads(TM) technology that could boost the performance of its servers through simultaneously executing potentially dozens of threads resulting in a much higher computation throughput rate.  He said that this would be one of the latest tools that can help save energy consumption.

Computer News No. 119  Jan.-Feb. 2006

From the Help Desk ... the Battle Against Spam

    1. Lawsuits against spam are coming
    2. What Computer Centre does to filter spam
    3. What to do about email falsely labeled as spam or infected with virus

1. Lawsuits against spam are coming

Every email user knows the frustration of seeing spam in their mailbox.  The spam containing advertisements for products seem to be harmless, but they use up our limited disk quota for storage and also costs us valuable time and effort in deleting them.  The dangerous spam even tries to trick us into giving away important information on our bank accounts or passwords at some bogus web site, or installing a malicious software in our computer by opening an attachment.


We seem to be fighting a loosing battle against spam.  While Computer Centre , like all commercial and non-commercial organizations in the world, is trying hard to filter spam from entering the users' mailboxes, the ultimate solution would be legislature which would punish the spammers and bring mass emailing into proper channels.


Although there is no legislature for punishing spammers in Hong Kong yet, we are glad to see that justice is done elsewhere in the world.  For example, the owner of an Iowa-based Internet services company has been awarded a US$11.2 billion judgment against a spammer who is also prohibited from accessing the Internet for three years.  This is the largest spam judgment ever recorded so far.  See,4814,107598,00.html for details.  


The Hong Hong SAR Government has also recently issued a consultation paper on legislative proposals to contain the problem of unsolicited electronic messages and citizens are welcome to raise comments on the legislation proposal.  The public consultation will be closed on March 20, 2006.

2. What Computer Centre does to filter spam

  1. When an email comes into our central email server (the HKUCC, HKUSUA or GRADUATE system), the Sophos anti-virus software running on the server first scans it for computer virus.  If a virus is found in the attachment, it is deleted from the email queue.
  2. Then the email is checked for spam with the SpamAssassin software using some filter rules and against the databases of spam sites black-listed by Open Relay DataBase (ORDB), Spamhaus and SpamCop.  The system then assigns the email a spam likelihood score.
  3. Email with spam scores greater than or equal to the spam threshold value is thrown into the recipient's spam folder of the month called "spam-of-YYYYDD".  Emails with spam scores less than the spam threshold value get put into the recipient's INBOX (incoming mailbox).  The default spam threshold value is 5 and you can change its value (at HKU Portal => "MyFavourites" tab => "Set Spam Filter" link or at => "Set Spam Filter" link at the top of the page).
    • NOTE: A low spam threshold value filters more email into the spam-folder while a higher value filters less email; e.g. the value '9' filters less email and thus more SPAM will come in the INBOX.
  4. Sometimes, the email server is too busy with virus and spam filtering that a long email queue is built up. When that happens, our server administrator has to disable the spam filter temporarily to allow the queued up mail to be delivered first, and then enable the spam filters afterwards.  That is why sometimes you see more spam in your INBOX than on other days.

3. What to do about email falsely labeled as spam or infected with virus

Sometimes an email can be falsely labeled as spam and end up in the spam folder ("false positives").  Emails with a lot of hyperlinks or email addresses in the message body or bearing attachments with unfamiliar file types often get labeled as spam. It is better to have a more stringent filter than to introduce a virus to your computer.

For files labeled as spam, you can always find it in your spam folder.  Thus, always check your spam folder first if you are expecting an email but haven't seen it in your INBOX. If you wish to know the reason why a legitimate email is labeled as spam, you can send the FULL header of the email to for analysis by our server administrator.    

Attachments labeled as a computer virus are put in a quarantine area of the server.  If you wish to check whether an attachment file you are waiting for is treated as virus, you must send enquiry to within a week, otherwise it is likely to be purged.      

See our FAQ on spam management at

Computer News No. 119  Jan.-Feb. 2006

A Reminder Notice for Users of Microsoft Office Products

All departments and users should be reminded of a notice from Microsoft requesting users of Microsoft Office to do the following as a result of a recent ruling of the court of law in the U.S.A.

  • Install Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 2 (Office 2003 SP2) for all your future deployments of Office Professional Edition 2003 and Office Access 2003,
  • Install the Microsoft Office XP Service Pack 3 Patch (Office XP SP3 Patch) for all your future deployments of Office XP Professional and Access 2002

The updates to the Microsoft Office products are downloadable at

The notice from Microsoft draws our attention to the following:


It was recently decided in a court of law that certain portions of code found in Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Access 2003, Microsoft Office XP Professional and Microsoft Access 2002 infringe a third-party patent. As a result, Microsoft must make available a revised version of these products with the allegedly infringing code replaced.

Action required:

As a result of the above ruling, you are required to:

  • Install Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 2 (Office 2003 SP2) for all your future deployments of Office Professional Edition 2003 and Office Access 2003,
  • Install the Microsoft Office XP Service Pack 3 Patch (Office XP SP3 Patch) for all your future deployments of Office XP Professional and Access 2002

Action requested:

To keep your current systems in alignment with your future deployments of these products, Microsoft is requesting that you also update all your current Office Professional Edition 2003 and Office Access 2003 installations with Office 2003 SP2, and Office XP Professional and Access 2002 installations with the Office XP SP3 Patch.

How do I do this?:

You can obtain both Office 2003 SP2 and the Office XP SP3 Patch by going to the website listed below and downloading it directly, or by contacting your reseller.

Please visit our site at


Microsoft Operations Pte Ltd / Reg. no. 199802706M

The notice from Microsoft has already been distributed to all Department Heads to keep them informed of the action required.  Users who plan to do the update are advised that they may be prompted to insert the software CD for Microsoft Office to complete certain updates. 

For more details, please refer to excerpts of FAQ from Microsoft, in particular Microsoft has provided the following answer to a frequently asked question:

Q:  If I have a computer with Microsoft Office Professional 2003 already installed on it do I need to update that computer with Office 2003 SP2?
A:  A customer is not required to install Office 2003 SP2 on any machine already deployed. However, Microsoft strongly recommends they do install SP2 as the service pack includes many product updates the customer will likely value.

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Computer News No. 119  Jan.-Feb. 2006

Macromedia and Adobe Products Available under Adobe Contractual License Program

We are pleased to inform the University departments that following the completion of the acquisition of Macromedia by Adobe Systems Incorporated in December 2005, all Macromedia products, with the exception of Breeze and Flex, are now available for purchase by University departments under Computer Centre's existing Contractual License Program (CLP) with Adobe.  The same discount scheme as that for Adobe products will be applied on the Macromedia products under the CLP for departments.

Departments interested in acquiring the Adobe and Macromedia products can take a look at the products list and prices available through the HKU Portal ("Services" tab => "Tender Prices" => "Software" => "Adobe & Macromedia").

For enquiries, please contact Ms Sarah Li at 2859 2491 or the undersigned.

Computer News No. 119  Jan.-Feb. 2006

PV-WAVE Visual Data Analysis Software Available in Central PC Laboratories

PV-WAVE is a software package that provides a comprehensive and integrated visual data analysis environment for scientific, engineering and business users to rapidly import, manipulate, analyze and visualize data.  It has rich utilities that can directly import graphical data (e.g. JPEG format) or tabulated data (e.g. Excel file format) into array structures, and allows users to build and deploy Visual Data Analysis applications through some array-based commands.  The data can be presented in many 2D and 3D formats allowing further manipulation (e.g. rotating, zooming and shading) for enhanced display.  A series of such slides/pictures can also be joined up into a “movie” for animated show. 

PV-WAVE commands can be saved into a script program for sequential execution. Such a PV-WAVE script program can incorporate standard executable programs as produced by C or FORTRAN compilers.  Thus, a C or Fortran program, which normally can output textual results, can be easily enhanced to have instantaneous graphical display of the data produced by PV-WAVE.

PV-Wave is currently installed under English Windows XP in the central PC laboratories.  It can be started by clicking the icon "PV-Wave Console" in the "Computer Centre Software" window on a PC in the laboratories.  Some training courses on the use of PV-WAVE are also offered by Computer Centre from time to time during the year.  Interested users can enroll in these courses via the HKU Portal or contact the undersigned for other details of the software.

Note: PV-Wave is supplied by Visual Numerics, which also supplies the scientific library IMSL (International Mathematical and Statistical Libraries).   

Computer News No. 119  Jan.-Feb. 2006

Staff News -

Five Colleagues Received
Long Service Awards

Computer Centre congratulates our colleagues Mr Lo Chi Wah, Mr Cheung Yap Chun, Ms Chiu Mei Wan Maizee, Ms Lee Miu Fun Juan and Ms Yim Kwai Ching Regina, who had received the Long Service Awards from the Vice-Chancellor on February 6, 2006.

Mr Lo has served the University for 25 years.  He is a senior member of our Operations Team, providing our users with 7 x 24 hours non-interrupted network and system services throughout the years.

Mr Cheung, Ms Chiu, Ms Lee and Ms Yim have all served the University for 15 years.  Mr Cheung and Ms Chiu are also members of our Operations Team while Ms Lee and Ms Yim are members of our Administration Support Section.

We take this opportunity to specially thank them for their contributions to the University.

Photo from left: Ms Yim Kwai Ching Regina, Ms Chiu Mei Wan Maizee,
Mr Cheung Yap Chun, Mr Lo Chi Wah and Ms Lee Miu Fun Juan at the Long Service Award Ceremony

Computer News No. 119  Jan.-Feb. 2006

Training News

The following are the training courses arranged by the Computer Center till April 2006 to help our staff and students learn how to use the various software and services.  Most courses are open to HKU staff and students free of charge.  Some courses are provided by a course vendor and a fee is charged for these courses (e.g. the Microsoft Office series and other PC software). Click on the course number to see the description of each course.

"register now" image Users can apply on-line for attending these courses through the web by visiting HKU Portal ( => Services tab => Workshop and Courses (under Computer Centre Services)

Course Schedule

Note: RR = Run Run Shaw Building    


Courses on Statistics Software
Introduction to SPSS for Windows 8 Mar, 2006 9:30am - 12:30pm RR-201
Introduction to SPSS for Windows 12 Apr, 2006 9:30am - 12:30pm RR-201

Courses on Web Page Browsing and Authoring
Using CGI Programs in Web Pages 1 Mar, 2006 9:30am -12:30pm RR-201
Web Page Editing with FrontPage 15 Mar, 2006 9:30am -12:30pm RR-201
Web Page Editing with FrontPage 19 Apr, 2006 9:30am -12:30pm RR-201
Using CGI Programs in Web Pages 26 Apr, 2006 9:30am -12:30pm RR-201

Courses on Parallel Programming

Parallel Programming with Workshop 28 Apr, 2006 2:30pm-5:30pm RR-201

Courses on Unix System and Applications

Introduction to PV-WAVE 22 Mar, 2006 2:30pm-5:30pm RR-201
Using PV-WAVE in 2D Visualization 29 Mar, 2006 2:30pm-5:30pm RR-201

Courses provided by course vendors on PC software

Dreamweaver MX 2004
6, 7 Mar, 2006 9:30am - 4:30pm RR-201
Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 - Introduction
20 Mar, 2006 9:30am - 4:30pm RR-201
Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 - Advanced
21 Mar, 2006 9:30am - 4:30pm RR-201
Introduction to Flash MX 2004
22, 24, 29, 31 Mar, 2006 6:30pm - 9:30pm RR-201
Microsoft Access 2003 - Introduction
27, 28 Mar, 2006 9:30am - 4:30pm RR-201
Microsoft Access 2003 - Advanced
10, 11 Apr, 2006 9:30am - 4:30pm RR-201
Microsoft Excel 2003 - Advanced
24, 25 Apr, 2006 9:30am - 4:30pm RR-201

"register now" image

Users can apply on-line for attending these courses through the web by visiting HKU Portal (  => Services tab => Workshop and Courses (under Computer Centre Services)

Click here to suggest new courses you would like

Course Descriptions

Courses on Statistics Software


Introduction to SPSS for Windows

This is a course on the SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science) for Windows PC. Users will learn how to read the input data as well as to perform some simple statistical analysis. Contents include:

1. SPSS for Windows - SPSS Modules, Getting Help
2. Getting Started, SPSS Manager, Creating and Editing Chart
3. Statistical Analysis with Dialog Box Interface
4. Data Files
5. Data Editor
6. Working with Output
7. Working with Command Syntax
8. Data Transformations
9. File Handling and File Transformations
10. Some Statistical Procedures
11. Utilities
12. Production Facility

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Courses on Web Page Browsing and Authoring

Web Page Editing with FrontPage

This is a 3-hour course workshop on HTML Editing using Microsoft FrontPage. In this workshop, students would be doing the following exercises:

Exercise 1

- Create a document, try colors, fonts, bullets lists etc.

Exercise 2

- Create targets and hyperlinks

Exercise 3

- Create a table

Exercise 4

- Using image files in your document

Exercise 5

- Uploading your document to the server

Pre-requisite: Attendants must have the HKUSUA computer account.

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Using CGI Programs in Web Pages

This is a 3-hour course on using CGI programs in Web Pages. Contents include:

Exercise 1 - Running CGI program on the web server
Exercise 2 - Imbedding CGI programs in a web form
Exercise 3 - Putting a counter in a homepage
Exercise 4 - Putting a guestbook in a homepage

Pre-requisite: Basic HTML editing knowledge.

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Courses on Parallel Programming

Parallel Programming with workshop

This course is suitable for researchers and their assistants who need to run programs with very long execution time. By parallelizing and executing the program in a computer cluster environment, the execution time may be reduced significantly, for example, from 2 days to 2 hours. Students must have programming experience in either C or Fortran.

The course is designed for our HKUHPCC Linux environment which consists of a PC-cluster of 356 CPUs (178 nodes of dual CPU architecture).  For technical details on HKUHPCC cluster, please refer to:

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Courses on Unix System and Applications


Introduction to PV-WAVE

PV-WAVE is a software that provides an integrated comprehensive visual data analysis environment to analyze/present scientific data in various graphical formats.  The software is currently available on the Linux and Microsoft Windows platform, and is supplied by Visual Numerics, the company that also supplies the well-known scientific library IMSL (International Mathematical and Statistical Libraries).

In this first introductory seminar, the capability and fundamental concept of the software will be highlighted.  File input and output, together with simple 2-D visualization will then be discussed.

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Using PV-WAVE in 2D visualization

PV-WAVE is a software that provides an integrated comprehensive visual data analysis environment to analyze/present scientific data in various graphical formats.  The software is currently available on the Linux and Microsoft Windows platform, and is supplied by Visual Numerics, the company that also supplies the well-known scientific library IMSL (International Mathematical and Statistical Libraries).

In the second seminar, 2-D visualization will be further discussed, followed by an overview on 3-D visualization.  Other topics including animated picture show and programming within PV-WAVE will also be discussed.

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 Courses provided by course vendors on PC software course (fee required)

Adobe Photoshop CS2 - Introduction ($500)

This is a 2-day course on using the Adobe Photoshop CS, a software for create, edit, and retouch digital images.

Course outline:

1. Introduction to Adobe Photoshop CS
2. Photoshop CS Interface
3. The Toolbox
4. Palettes
5. Layers
6. Color
7. Artwork
8. Image Manipulation
9. Type
10. Printing
11. Transformation
12. Masks
13. Easy Filter

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Dreamweaver MX 2004 ($500)

In this 2-day workshop, participants will learn how to design and create a web site, text editing, creating hyperlinks, using forms to collect data and other site management skills.

1. Overview of Dreamweaver MX 2004
2. Workflow for Creating Web Site
3. Exploring the Workspace
4. Creating and Opening Documents
5. Laying Out Page
6. Formatting Text
7. Using Cascading Style Sheet
8. Inserting Images
9. Hyperlinks and Navigation
10. Tables
11. Add Multimedia and Interactive Elements
12. Frames
13. Layers
14. Forms

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Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 - Introduction ($250)

The course outline of this 1-day workshop includes:

1. PowerPoint 2003 Overview
2. Create A New Presentation
3. Understand PowerPoint Views
4. Editing In Slides
5. Bullets And Numbering
6. Insert Picture And WordArt
7. Drawing Objects On A Slide
8. Change The Look Of Object
9. Create Table, Chart and Organization Chart
10. Apply Design Template
11. Present a Slide Show
12. Printing A Presentation

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Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 - Advanced ($250)

In this 1-day workshop,  emphasis is placed on using efficient editing techniques, essential skills for multimedia elements as well as advanced animation techniques.

Course outline:

1. Insert Multimedia Components - picture, music, sound, voice, movie
2. Create an Interactive Slide Show with Hyperlinks
3. Linking and Embedding Objects e.g. Excel charts or files
4. Customizing PowerPoint Default
5. Master View in PowerPoint
6. Template
7. Custom Animation
8. Enhancing a Slide Show - set timings, full-screen movie etc.
9. About Custom Show
10. Packaging Presentations onto a CD
11. Password Protection

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 Introduction to Flash MX 2004  ($500)

This is a 4-evening course on using Flash MX 2004, a software for create animations and interactive products.  In this introductory course, participants will also learn how to create Flash document, use drawing tools, create animation, export and publish Flash document.

Course outline:

1. Introducting Macromedia Flash MX 2004
2. Basic Drawing And Painting
3. Importing And Managing Graphics
4. Creating Text
5. Using Layers And Frames
6. Using Symbols And Libraries
7. Adding Simple Animation
8. Help And Support
9. Using Behaviors
10. Publishing

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Microsoft Access 2003 - Introduction ($500)

In this 2-day workshop, participants will learn the features of Access 2003 and basic database management through hands-on experience. Course outline :

1. Simple Database Table
2. Table
3. Extracting data by query
4. Using Form
5. Using Report
6. Publishing a database as a web page
7. Working with external data

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Microsoft Access 2003 - Advanced ($500)

An advanced course for individuals who have mastered the basics of setting up and using an Access database. Providing hands-on experience in designing advanced forms and reports. Participants may learn the basics of creating and utilizing macros; creating and publishing Data Access Page. And also learn the basic integration with corporate database.

The course outline of this 2-day workshop includes:


Database Operation


Define relationships between tables


Perform Sophisticated Data Analysis




Other Forms - Graph, Switchboard




Creating pages by Data Access Page Designer


Publishing Access Report with XML features


Integrate with corporate environment


Build application





Pre-requisite: Knowledge of Windows and Access Introduction level.

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Microsoft Excel 2003 - Advanced ($500)

In advance Excel 2003 training, you will learn how to analyze, create, and navigate through important data by using some commonly used functions, formula evaluation, and data analysis e.g. Goal Seek, Scenario and Pivot Table. Participants may then learn the skills to manage critical business data easily.

The course outline of this 2-day workshop includes:


Reference and Name Box Usage




Formula Auditing


Data Form


Sorting and Filtering


Using Outline




Chart Customisation


Pivot Table


Financial Analysis




Sharing Data with Other Applications




Internet and Excel

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Notes for Registration:

    1.  Users can apply on-line for attending these courses through the web by login HKU Portal ( => Services tab => Workshop and Courses (under Computer Centre Services)
    2.  Successful applicants will be notified by e-mail or telephone at least one week before the commencement of the course.


    Some courses are organised in conjunction with a course vendor.  There is a fee charged on these courses.

    For courses requiring a fee, please send payment to Computer Centre as soon as you have registered on the web, otherwise your registration is considered invalid.

    Payment can be made by either:

    • cheque (payable to "The University of Hong Kong"), or
    • through departmental requisition (for applicants supported by departments) as either of the following:

    Once accepted, the fee is not refundable.  However, substitution of participant is possible by written notification to the Centre.

    Computer Centre reserves the right to cancel the courses if there is insufficient enrollment.  Applicants will be notified by email or telephone of the course cancellation and all course fees collected will be refunded in full.

    4. The maximum number of participants for a course:
    - 25 in Room 135, Old Library Building
    - 22 in Room 201, Run Run Shaw Building
    - 20 in Room 101, Run Run Shaw Building

Computer Centre runs courses in the following areas throughout the year to assist staff and students in using the Centre's facilities:

    • Email and Network Services 
    • HKU Portal Services  
    • Web-based Learning Systems 
    • Web Page Authoring
    • Unix System  
    • Parallel Programming 
    • Statistical Analysis Software
    • Bioinformatics Software
    • Word Processing  
    • Spreadsheet 
    • Powerpoint Presentations 
    • PC Database Systems
    • PageMaker 
    • Photoshop
    • Illustrator
    • Dreamweaver

    Click here to suggest new courses you would like


Computer News
Computer News No. 119 Jan.-Feb. 2005


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