Computer News

March, 1995 to June, 1995 No. 59

For previous issues please click here


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Hot Lines
General Enquiries 28592495
Fax 25597904
Computer Operations (Hardware and operational problems)28592496
Help Desk (Software and general problems)28592480
Hardware Maintenance 28592774
Dial-up Services
24-hr services linesNight services
60-minute lines25480590
30-minute lines2859259528597992

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Operation Schedule

Computer Centre Opening Hours

Summer Schedule (June 12, 1995 to Sept 11, 1995) Monday (8:00 a.m.) - Saturday (4:00 p.m.) Closed on Sundays and Holidays

Normal Schedule (Sept. 12, 1995 to June 16, 1996) Monday (8:00 a.m.) - Saturday (9:00 p.m.) Sunday (12:00 noon - 7:00 p.m.)

(All central host systems will be running unattended during the closed hours)

Microcomputer / Workstation Room Summer Opening Hours

(All microcomputer/workstation rooms are closed on holidays)
Holiday Schedule for July, August and September 1995
Centre Closed on Centre Re-open on
The Saturday Preceding the last Monday in August August 26, 1995 (Saturday) 8:00 a.m. August 29, 1995 (Tuesday) 8:00 a.m.
Mid-Autumn Festival September 9, 1995 (Saturday) 8:00 a.m. September 11, 1995 (Monday) 8:00 a.m.
(All central host systems in Computer Centre will be running unattended during the holidays)
Scheduled System Maintenance


July 5, 1995 (Wednesday)         October 4, 1995 (Wednesday)
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon          10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

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HKU.CC.FORUM - An Additional User Communication Channel

At present, Computer Centre is providing three established channels to communicate with our users. They are the Help Desk, CCBOX and Computer News. The Help Desk located in Room RR-109 is a front line of contact for our users to seek for assistance in using Centre's facilities and services. CCBOX is an email channel for users to make enquiries, report technical problems as well as to provide suggestions or feedbacks for our facilities and services. All electronic mail enquiries to CCBOX are answered by our staff. Computer News is a Centre's newsletter which serves the functions of reporting and announcing Centre's new development and updated facilities and services.

Since the Usenet electronic bulletin board was first put into service, Computer Centre has set up the "" newsgroup as a forum for University members to discuss any of their interested topics. As this newsgroup is not intended as a place for users to report problems or file their suggestions to any particular departments of the University, Computer Centre , like most other departments, has not officially participated in the discussions of the newsgroup. However, we have been treating the discussions in this newsgroup which are related to the Centre's services as feedback information for improving our service.

Recently, we have reviewed our user communication channels and decided to set up a new local newsgroup, called "", for discussions related to matters of Computer Centre . This new newsgroup will be available starting from July 1, 1995. For manpower consideration, our staff will respond to the discussions and issues raised in the "" in the form of a consolidated reply weekly.

The "" channel is set up as a new service. Centre's other user communication channels : Help Desk, CCBOX and Computer News will continue to serve their original purposes as mentioned in the first paragraph.

C.M. Mak
Tel: 28592491

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Dial-up TCP/IP PPP Service Supported

In the last few months, Computer Centre has been working hard to provide TCP/IP PPP support for its dial-up service. With such support, a user can use his PC at home to have full IP connection through dial-up lines and run the TCP/IP based communication applications, such as telnet, ftp, WWW ® browsers (e.g. Mosaic, Netscape), etc.

After suitable schemes for controlling legitimate access and regulating fair usage have been implemented, we are now very pleased to announce that starting from July 1, 1995, the dial-up modem pool with the number "25480590" will support the TCP/IP PPP operation mode in addition to the existing terminal access operation mode. For both the terminal access as well as PPP modes, the 60-minute maximum connection time limit of this group of lines remains unchanged. For the PPP mode, a maximum of 4 TCP/IP sessions is supported.

When you have gained access to a dial-up line of the "25480590" modem pool, you will be prompted to enter a username. For the usual terminal access, you can then enter "HKUDIAL" to call up a menu for starting terminal sessions on the Centre's host computers.

If you wish to use the TCP/IP PPP service, when you are prompted for the username, instead of entering "HKUDIAL", you have to enter your own PPP username and a password in one consecutive line separated by a '.' (e.g., h9314567.mypasswd). Note that if you are using the HKU PPP package (see below on how to get it), your PPP username and password will be prompted separately by a Windows-based dialog.

All staff and student users who have a valid computer account on a computer system of Computer Centre are eligible to apply for a PPP dial-up account through either HKUMENU or HKUWIN of the LAN file-servers which are set up and managed by the Centre. To apply through HKUMENU, you should first select the "Campus Wide Information Service", then select "Computer Centre " sub-menu and then select the "Apply-PPP-account" menu item.

To apply through HKUWIN, you should double click the "Apply-PPP-account" icon from the "HKUWIN: Central Network Services" application group. After the "Apply-PPP-account" program is started, you can then proceed to apply for your PPP account with the help information provided by the program.


In tandem with the provision of PPP support for the dial-up lines, the Centre has tailored a set of Windows based PPP dial-up package which consists of two installation diskettes to facilitate our users to use the network services through the TCP/IP PPP dial-up lines. The two installation diskettes of the PPP dial-up package and a copy of the Installation Guide can be obtained from the Centre's General Office, Room RR-223, at the nominal cost of HK$20. Alternatively users can download the PPP dial-up package, which include files "hkuppp.exe" and "hkuppp.w02", from the Centre's ftp server under the directory /pub/hkuppp.

These two files should be saved to two separate diskettes. The Installation Guide can also be downloaded from the same directory in Microsoft Word format from the file "guide.doc". Please remember to use binary mode to transfer all these files. In using this tailored package, users are reminded to observe the terms and conditions of the usage of the software included in the package. Some of the software, e.g. Trumpet, is "shareware" which requires its user to register for a license if the software is to be used on a regular basis.

Should users have any problems or difficulties in using the TCP/IP PPP dial-up facilities, please contact the undersigned. Problems encountered after office hours can be reported to Centre's Computer Room (tel: 28592496).

Alex Fan
Tel: 28032532

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Network Links to PPDH, QMH and Sassoon Road Areas Upgraded

We are pleased to announce that the network links connecting the Prince Philip Dental Hospital, Queen Mary Hospital and the Patrick Manson Building in the Sassoon Road area to the University's Campus Network have recently been upgraded from 64 kbps to 512 kbps. In addition to the 8 times increase in speed of the network links, the routers supporting these links have also been upgraded to provide data compression capability.

With the upgraded lines and equipment, users working in these remote sites of the University should be able to access the network facilities and services provided in the Main Campus with much faster response. Should users have any problem or enquiry, please contact the undersigned.

Ronald Leung
Tel: 28597975

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The HKU World-Wide Web ® Service

With the introduction of the World-Wide Web ® (WWW ® ) service in Computer Centre since September 1994, many staff members have become aware of the tremendous potentials of WWW ® as an effective means of accessing and disseminating information through the worldwide Internet. In addition to text materials, WWW ® allows multimedia information including text, graphics, voice and video images be published, distributed and accessed through the global Internet.

There has been growing interest in the University community to make use of the WWW ® service. A number of departments (presently 18) have already put up their departmental information on "homepages" (entry points to the established WWW ® information) on the HKU World-Wide Web ® server.

As a result of the joint effort of the Academic & Faculty Services Section (AFSS) of the Registry, the Centre of Media Resources and Computer Centre , general information about the University of Hong Kong (compiled by the AFSS with photographs supplied by the Headquarters of the Registry) has also been added to the HKU World-Wide Web ® server. Users are encouraged to access the HKU homepage for information about the University.

Convenient access to the HKU WWW ® and other Internet WWW ® information within the University is supported by Computer Centre . Staff using networked PCs attached to LAN file-servers set up by Computer Centre and students working in our PC laboratories can run the Windows version of Mosaic or Netscape browser through the HKUWIN interface. Dial-up access to the HKU WWW ® server is also scheduled to be available from July 1, 1995 (see companion article on Dial-up TCP/IP PPP Service Supported in this Computer News).

To help the interested users to explore the World-Wide Web ® (Workshop A) and to set up multimedia information on the HKU WWW ® server for their departments (Workshop B), Computer Centre will continue to conduct these workshops on regular basis. During the coming summer, the following two workshops (only 20 places each) are scheduled. Further workshops will be arranged as necessary.

Venue, date and time
(A) Introduction to HKUWIN and World-Wide Web ® Room 135, Old Library Building July 20, 1995 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
(B) Setting up information on the World-Wide Web ® Server Room 135, Old Library Building July 21, 1995 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

More information about the workshops and registration details can be obtained from Centre's Office (Room RR-223, Tel: 28592491). If any user should have enquiries about the World-Wide Web ® or wish to set up information for his/her department, please contact Mr. Peter Leung of Computer Centre (Tel: 28592497, email:

Dr. N. Ng
Tel: 28592491

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New Applicaitons on HKUWIN

HKUWIN - the GUI (Graphical User Interface) option to HKUMENU has been launched for two months and is well received by users. Recently, we have upgraded Netscape, a World Wide Web browser, to its latest version.

We are also glad to introduce three more application programs on the 'HKUWIN: Central Network Services' program group. They are Usenet news reader (NewsXpress), E-Mail (Eudora) and Create General Account on Host.

HKUWIN: Central Network Services

1. Usenet News Reader (NewsXpress)

The Usenet is a forum for discussions of thousands of subject areas (newsgroups). The newsgroups of the Usenet vary from the discussions of multimedia PC to social culture. Some of the newsgroups are internationally distributed but some of them can only be accessed locally. You may find lots of interesting newsgroups on Usenet. You can also participate in the worldwide Usenet newsgroup discussions by posting new articles or response to your interested articles. NewsXpress provides an easy interface for users to read and post Usenet articles using PCs.

Configure NewsXpress

Before you can use NewsXpress on your PC, you have to first configure or personalize the program by giving your personal information, e.g. your name, email address. Please follow the instructions below to set up the program.

Configuring NewsXpressClick here for details

  1. Double Click on the 'NewsXpress' icon.
  2. Select the 'Config' menu from the top menu bar and select the 'Setup' menu entry. You will find a similar screen as shown above.
  3. Fill in the second block of information, i.e. 'Personal Information' of the Setup form. Your full name, your E-Mail address and your organization should be entered. The field Signature File can be left blank. (The other fields have been preset by HKUWIN.)
  4. Click on the OK button to complete the configuration.

Using NewsXpress

Using NewsXpressClick here for details

Please follow the instructions below to read Usenet news:

  1. Select the 'View' menu from the top menu bar and select the 'All-Group' menu entry. All the newsgroups will be shown on screen as shown above.
  2. As there are about 4,000 newsgroups in the Usenet, you can narrow down the list by filling in the 'Filter' field at the bottom of the screen. For example, enter the string 'hku' to select all newsgroups 'hku.*'.
  3. You can read the articles of a particular newsgroup by double clicking on the corresponding entry.
  4. The functions of the smart icons near the top menu bar are self-explanatory and intuitive. You can place the mouse cursor on an icon for a while to see some help notes.

2. E-Mail (Eudora)

Eudora is a Windows-based e-mail program. Presently, users have to login a host computer and using the text-based program to process their electronic mail. With Eudora, users can process their electronic mail in a more convenient and user-friendly manner on a PC.

Configure Eudora

Before you can use Eudora on your PC to process your email, you first have to configure the program with your personal information. The procedure is described below:

Configuring EudoraClick here for details

  1. Double click the E-mail (Eudora 1.44) icon to start the program.
  2. Select the 'Special' menu from the top menu bar and select the 'Configuration' menu entry. You will find a similar screen as shown above.
  3. Fill in the following fields of the configuration form : The other fields have been preset by HKUWIN.
  4. Click on the OK button to complete your configuration.

Using Eudora

Using EudoraClick here for details

  1. Select the 'File' menu from the top menu bar and select the 'Check Mail' menu entry. The computer will prompt you to enter your password.
  2. If you have new messages, the message entries will be shown on the window automatically.
  3. If you want to read the 'old' messages, select the menu 'Mailbox' menu from the top menu bar and select the 'In' menu entry (for incoming mail). All the incoming and previously-read message entries will be shown on the window as depicted above.
  4. You can read a message by double clicking on the entry you want to read.
  5. If you want to send a new message, select the 'Message' menu from the top menu bar and select the 'New Message' menu entry. After editing your message, click on the Send button to send your message.

Composing e-mail using Eudora

Special Notes for Eudora

Eudora will store all your messages on the hard disk of your PC and will clear all the messages from your host computer. In this sense, you cannot read your messages from the host computer again once the messages have been retrieved by Eudora. Please do not use Eudora unless you are using a PC dedicated for your use.

3. Create General Account on Host Machine

Through HKUWIN, you can register your first host account for using email, other network services and general computing. This is the same procedure for registering your first host account through the use of HKUMENU.

Should users have any problem or enquiry please contact the undersigned.

Alex Fan
Tel: 28032532

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About HKUWIN

1. Q:How to start HKUWIN ?

A: Type HKUWIN and then press the ENTER key at DOS prompt. e.g.. C:\>

2. Q: Can I use HKUWIN on a 386 PC ?

A: The recommended configuration is a 486DX system with 8M RAM and SVGA colour monitor. It is still possible to run HKUWIN on a 486DX PC with 4M RAM or a 386DX PC with 8M RAM. However, the performance will only be marginally acceptable.

3. Q: I have already had the MS Windows and some Windows application programs installed on my harddisk, can I use these application programs after starting HKUWIN ?

A: Of course. If HKUWIN detects that you have a local Windows installed, it will add the 'HKUWIN : Central Network Services' (and a department application group if it has been set up by your department) to your Windows and all the properties of your local Windows will not be changed.

4. Q: Can I use HKUWIN without installing Windows ?

A: If you don't have Windows installed, HKUWIN will start the network Windows. You can still use the application programs maintained by Computer Centre . However, you cannot change the Windows properties e.g.. (colour, windows size, etc...).

5. Q: Why do I get the message 'Bad command or files' when starting HKUWIN ?

A1:Your computer may not be connected to the Campus Network. HKUWIN requires your PC to be connected to the Network. You can check this by changing the current drive to f: e.g. type f: and press the ENTER key at DOS prompt. If you get the message 'Invalid drive specification', it means that you are not connected to the network. Your PC can be connected to the Network by typing the "network" command and pressing the ENTER key.

A2: HKUWIN may not be installed in your departmental file server, please check with the technical staff of your department or contact the undersigned.

6. Q: What is the meaning of the following message '*** Your DOS is path too long, please reduce it before running HKUWIN' ?

A: You need to reduce the length of the path statement in the c:\autoexec.bat file, i.e. to remove some of the un-used path in the 'c:\autoexec.bat' file.

7. Q: The HKUWIN does not behave normally and I got the message 'Out of Environment Space' running over the screen when I started HKUWIN.

A: It means that your are running out of environment space. You can either reduce the number of 'set' statement in the 'c:\autoexec.bat' file by editing the autoexec.bat file to remove all unnecessary 'set' statements or to increase the environment space by adding a line 'shell=c:\ /p /e:1024' in the c:\config.sys file. If you already have this line in your config.sys file, you can increase the value further to 2048.

8. Q: I cannot start the HKUWIN and a lot of text messages are flashing on the screen when the HKUWIN command is invoked.

A: Your windows directory is not on the search path, please change the c:\autoexec.bat file by adding your Window's path to it, e.g. set path=c:\windows.

9. Q: What are the differences between reading E-mail by using the Eudora and connecting to a host computer?

A: Eudora provides a much user-friendly and easy to use user-interface, it has inherited all the advantages of Windows applications, e.g. cut and paste, point and click, etc,. However, please keep in mind that when using Eudora to read Email, all messages will be stored in your PC's harddisk and all messages that have been read will be removed from the host computer. It saves you time to download message from host on the expense of not getting the 'old-messages' by using another PC or the host computer.

10. Q: Should I use Eudora to process Email?

A: Eudora is recommended only if you have your own PC on your desktop and use it as the primary email reading machine. If you need to share your PC with others, do not use Eudora.

If you still have any queries while using HKUWIN, please contact the undersigned.

Alex Fan
Tel: 28032532

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Reduction in Maintenace Charge for Microcomupter Systems

Computer Centre is pleased to announce that there will be a reduction in maintenance charge, with effect from July 1, 1995, on microcomputers and their peripherals which are supported by Centre's in-house Computer Maintenance Team. The models of microcomputers that will benefit from this price reduction include PC/AT, 386PC, 486PC and Macintosh. The aim of Computer Centre's in-house maintenance service is to provide cost effective and efficient hardware maintenance support to the large and ever growing population of microcomputer equipment of the University. The reduction in maintenance charge is possible because there has been price reduction for some spare parts, especially the 486 PC CPU board and disk drives and more users are joining the maintenance. We believe that the price is very attractive to all users and departments. If you are interested in joining this service, please contact Miss Heti Cheng at 2859 2491.

The new maintenance charges of some common microcomputer systems are summarized below:

Annual Maintenance Charge HK$
386 PC
386DX/486SX Compatible w/64KB Cache Memory
with 8M or below Memory, VGA Display Card,
2 Floppy Drives & Controller
and 540MB Hard Disk or below
486 PC
486DX Compatible -- 33MHz/40MHz/DX2-66MHz
w/256KB Cache Memory
with 8M or below Memory, VGA Display Card,
2 Floppy Drives & Controller
and 540MB Hard Disk or below
PC Monitor
Super VGA Colour 14" Monitor
Mac LC III/475/575/630 System with 8MB or below Memory,
14" Color Monitor, Apple Keyboard/II
and 350MB Hard Disk or below

Maintenance services for new models of microcomputer such as Pentium and Power Macintosh are now available through Computer Centre . Comprehensive information on the equipment that are supported by our in-house Maintenance Team and the maintenance charge are obtainable on CWIS through the University Campus Network (under the "Computer Centre " section).

C.M. Mak
Tel: 28592491

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New Default Disk Quota

With the steady increase of our users' participation in network activities, e.g. WWW (World Wide Web), email, Usenet news etc., many users have found that their default disk quota is insufficient to cope with their work. In May this year, we have decided to increase the default disk quota of its host accounts from 1000 blocks to 2000 blocks for undergraduate students and from 3000 blocks to 4000 blocks for staff and postgraduate students.

Accounts which have been created since May 1995 have been given these new default disk quota value.

For accounts created before May 1995, their default disk quota has automatically been upgraded from 1000 to 2000 blocks or from 3000 to 4000 blocks depending on their account types.

We hope this increase in default disk quota value will help you to better use our facilities.

C.M. Mak
Tel: 28592491