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HKUSGA: A New SGI Unix Server

We are pleased to announced that the newly acquired SGI Power Challenge L system has been installed and made available for general use since December, 1995.

This SGI Power Challenge L system is a symmetrical multi-processing (SMP) system with 2 RS8000 processors (64-bits), 256MB memory, 4.3 GB disk storage and the IRIX operating system (a variant of Unix). The aggregated theoretic performance rating of this system is 621.6 SPECfp_92 and 223 SPECint_92. The system is assigned the hostname hkusga.

The hkusga system is set up primarily for supporting user applications which have the specific requirement of running on the SGI platform. The FORTRAN, C and C++ language compilers are installed. In addition, a program for quantum chemistry computation, GAMESS, and the basic communication programs, including telnet, ftp and mail are also available.

This server is set up as part of our existing computing facilities in the hkusua/hkusub/hkursc cluster . The hkusga system shares the same file systems and user authorization information with those of the hkusua and hkusub systems. Thus users with accounts on hkusua/hkusub systems can login hkusga system with the same username and password.

For more information about this new system, please contact the undersigned.

Nick Chi
Tel: 28598936
E-mail: chy@cc.hku.hk

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ACSL (Advanced Continuous Simulation Language) Available on HKUSUA

ACSL (Advance Continuous Simulation Language) is designed for computer simulation of continuous dynamic systems which can be modelled by time dependent non-linear differential equations or transfer functions. We are pleased to announce that ACSL is now available on the HKUSUA system.

All the necessary programs and files of ACSL are accessible through the path /opt/acsl10f and the executables and documents of the package are kept under the 'bin' and 'doc' sub-directories respectively.

Users can invoke the "acsl" to translate an ACSL model definition program, say "model.csl", to a FORTRAN program with the filename "model.f", compile it into the object code file "model.o", link it with the system libraries of the package and then load into model program for execution.

For example, assume that "pendlm.csl" is the file defining a system model using the ACSL language and that the runtime command for a simulation run is kept in the file named "pendlm.dat" in the user's current directory, the user can use the following command to simulate the system being studied.

acsl -C pendlm.dat pendlm

The simulation results will be output to a file with a qualifier of ".log", i.e. "pendlm.log" for the example and an executable file named "pendlm" will also be created and put into execution. This executable file is also saved for further simulations runs which need not go through the steps of translation, compilation and libraries linking. Instead, the computer model developed can be run immediately by using the executable file generated, i.e. using the following command for our example :

./pendlm -C pendlm.dat

For more information about the software package, its language and usage and the command options, please refer to the following document file:


You may use your favourite editor or viewer to read this file. Moreover some test programs and corresponding runtime command files are available in the directory "/opt/acsl10f/test/".

For further information about this software, please contact the undersigned.

S.Y. Wong
Tel: 28598934
E-mail: sywong@hkusua.hku.hk

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New Sun SPARCstation4 Workstations in Room RR-210

We are pleased to announce that 10 new Sun SPARCstation4 model 85 UNIX workstations have recently been installed in Room 210, Run Run Shaw Building in place of 10 DECstation 5000/125 workstations there. The new workstations are named as hkusu13 to hkusu22. Each workstation is configured with 32 MB memory, 1.05 GB disk and the Solaris 2.4 operating system. The performance ratings of these systems are 65.1 SPECint92 and 53.7 SPECfp92.

The new systems are set up as an expansion of the existing cluster of Sun workstations which include those of the Sun SPARCclassic and SPARCstation IPX models in Room RR-107 and RR-113 of the Centre. Such arrangement means that all new and existing Sun workstations in the Centre are sharing the same file systems, user authorization information and mail service with the hkusua and hkusub servers. Thus, all users having accounts on the hkusua/hkusub systems can access to the new workstations by using the same login username and password and run the network-licensed MATLAB and MAPLE V packages on these workstations directly. Users can also run the applications on the host systems, e.g. SAS on hkusua, through telnet sessions established from the workstations to the host system. Like other systems in the Centre, the hkumenu is available on these workstations to facilitate the users to run the commonly used applications and services, e.g. the email and News programs.

K. T. Wan
Tel : 28597971
E-mail :hcxcwkt@hkusua.hku.hk

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New Power Macintosh Computers in Computer Centre

We are pleased to announce that Computer Centre has set up 15 PowerMac 8100/100 computers with Apple Multiple Scan 17" monitor in the Macintosh Laboratory located at RR-104, Run Run Shaw Building. These new systems have been put into service in the form of a networked cluster with a file-server since the start of the academic term. Each PowerMac is installed with the System 7.5.1 operating system and equipped with 16MB RAM, a 700M hard disk and a built-in ethernet card for connection to the Campus Network. The following is a list of software available on the network of PowerMacs:

Each PowerMac in room RR-104 has a 'temporary disk' to provide a larger storage space for users. With the 'At Ease 3.0' program, users can choose the available software by clicking the large button of the "At Ease" program.

Besides, the Centris 650 at the Special Facility Room in room RR-107 has also been replaced by a PowerMac 8100/100 which is connected to a Laserjet 4MPlus printer and a new ScanJet 3c scanner.

The cluster of networked Mac LC IIIs which were previously installed in room RR-104 are now set up in room KK-LG108 together with several networked 386 PCs. Users can use these computers with the similar procedures for using the PowerMacs and PCs of the other laboratories in Computer Centre .

T.Y. Lui
Tel: 28592455
E-mail: hcxclty@hkucc.hku.hk

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New Developments of Centre's PC Laboratory Facilities

We are glad to report several new developments for Centre's PC laboratories that have been implemented in the past three months. The new facilities include :

Upgrade of HKUPC1 and HKUPC3 To improve the performance of running Windows-based applications using the Centre's PC facilities in Run Run Shaw Building and Old Library Building, the file-servers which serve the PC systems in these two user areas, namely HKUPC1 and HKUPC3, have been upgraded with new version of Novell Netware, new machines with faster CPU, larger RAM and larger hard disk. Each of the upgraded server is configured as follows :

Furthermore, the MS Windows-based application software provided on these two file-servers are also reorganised in such a fashion that all Windows-based applications provided are accessible in a Windows environment which can be started through the single entry point "HKUWIN (English) - MS Windows Applications (English)" on HKUMENU. With the new arrangement, users can make use of the dynamic data exchange feature of the Windows-based applications and can print the printer output from the applications to the networked laser- printer directly. The Chinese Windows applications provided on HKUPC1 and HKUPC3 are also organised in a similar fashion and can be invoked through the entry point "HKUWIN (Chinese) - MS Windows Applications (Chinese)" on HKUMENU.

Automatic starting of Network-PC using boot-ROM
Starting from the first academic term this year, all Network-PCs in the following PC laboratories of the Centre are enhanced with the function of automatic connection to a LAN file-server by means of boot-ROM:

This new facility provides a much faster process in starting up a Network-PC by the user and eliminates the requirement of asking the users to bring along the "Network-PC Start-Up Diskettes" which have been used for many years for Network-PC sessions.

Pentium PCs with multimedia features in Room OLB-135
All 486 PCs in Room 135 in the Old Library Building are replaced by the more powerful Pentium machines. The new PCs are equipped with a 90 MHz Pentium CPU, SVGA display, a 1.44 MB floppy drive, 16MB RAM, a hard disk, and a Creative Sound Blaster sound card. Among these new PCs, five (PCs numbered c1,c2,c4,c5and c6) are equipped with a RealMagic MPEG decompression card and a CD-ROM. With these new systems, our users can work with multimedia applications, either from the network or from CD-ROMs, in the PC laboratory.

In the meantime, we are also setting up a CD-ROM server for our Old Library Building PC facilities so that CD-ROM materials can be distributed to the user PCs over the network. The CD-ROM server will be particularly useful to those users who would like to conduct classes in the laboratory using CD-ROM materials.

While all the Pentium PCs are equipped with sound cards, loud-speakers are not installed to avoid the noise problems due to operation of many sets of speakers. Users who require to use audio facility of a PC should bring along their own ear-phones and connect it to the "SPK OUT" socket at the back of the PC unit. For classes, the teacher can borrow a speaker cable from the counter at the entrance of the PC facilities in the Old Library Building for connecting the audio output of the teacher's station to the "public announcement system" in the classroom.

The hard disks of the PCs are to facilitate the running of those programs which require the use of large temporary disk space during program execution. Although the users can make use of the hard disk to store user files during their sessions, they are specially reminded that they must copy all their files back to their floppy diskettes before they finish the PC sessions. All files which are left on the hard disk of the PC are removed when the PC is used in a new network session.

For any questions related to the new facilities described above, please contact the undersigned.

Additional 486 PCs in Room RR-201 and other areas With the installation of Pentium PC in room OLB-135 described above, the 486 PC originally set up in the room are relocated to the following areas:

The additional PCs in rooms OLB-134 and KB-218 will be operated in the same mode like the other PCs in the rooms. For the facilities in room RR-201, they can also be booked for instructional classes.

Tony F. K. Lai
Tel: 28597976
E-mail: tfklai@hkusua.hku.hk

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JUCC PC Tender Results

The Joint University Computer Centre (JUCC) has recently conducted a tendering and evaluation exercise (JUCC Tender No. 192) on PC equipment which includes systems with 80486-DX2/66, 80486-DX4/100 and Pentium (75, 90, 100, 120 & 133MHz) CPU's. From the tenders chosen by the JUCC, Computer Centre would like to recommend to purchase the "Standard Network-PC Workstation" with Pentium CPU from either the Comtech and Powerwave.

This year, the "Standard Network-PC Workstation" has the following configuration :

The price of the "Standard Network-PC Workstation" from PowerWave Co. Ltd. is HK$12,840 and that from Comtech is HK$13,350. Both companies will provide two-year warranties on their supplied systems.

Detailed information of the tender results can be read by staff from the CWIS (Campus Wide Information Service) on file servers set up by Computer Centre . The instructions are:

(1) establish a connection for your PC station to the PC-LAN server which is set up by Computer Centre to serve your department; (2) select "Campus Wide Information Service" from the HKUMENU; (3) select "Computer Centre " from the menu; (4) select "PC tender information" from the menu; (5) follow the guidance displayed on the screen to search and read the required information.

Hard-copy of the tender results are also available for examination in Computer Centre . If you have any queries, please contact Mr. Tony, F.K. Lai (tel: 28597976, email: lfk@cc.hku.hk), or Mr. T.Y. Shen (tel: 28592482, email: sty@cc.hku.hk).

T. Y. Shen
Tel: 28592482
E-mail: sty@cc.hku.hk

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Lotus Passport Program

The Joint Universities Computer Centre (JUCC) has recently signed a Lotus Passport program Agreement - Contract Option with Lotus Development Software (HK) Limited. With this Agreement, departments can now apply the Volume Price Level C of the Passport program to acquire Lotus software, maintenance and support services.

Description of the Program

A department of the University which is interested in joining the program may enrol as an Additional Site of the Passport Program of JUCC ("Originating Site"). An Enrolment Form, obtainable from the General Office of Computer Centre , must be completed and delivered to Lotus before the Department may order any Lotus System and/or services under the Program.

Selection of Passport Reseller
JUCC has selected Laser Computer Systems Limited, the successful bidder for JUCC Tender No. 188 on Lotus products, as the Passport Reseller. Departments can acquire Lotus Passport Software, Maintenance and/or Support Services through this supplier ("Passport Reseller").

Ordering Process
After a department has submitted to Lotus a duly completed Enrolment Form, Lotus will notify the department of its Passport Number. The department may then place purchase orders, to the Passport Reseller for software and/or maintenance service. The Passport number of the department must be indicated in each order. The department can install software by itself up to the no. of copies ordered. Lotus will deliver Passport Certificates and monthly reports to each department summarizing all cumulative purchases by that department.

Media Pack
A department must purchase a Media Pack for installing the Software from the Passport Reseller.

Departments may purchase Maintenance on an individual basis. Once Maintenance is selected, it must be purchased for the entire term, i.e. 2 years. Lotus offers Maintenance based on the following Software categories :

For Notes and cc:Mail, once a department has purchased Maintenance, the department must purchase Maintenance for all subsequent Software orders in those categories. In the Desktop category, a department may purchase Maintenance for one or any combination of products in that category. Once a department elects to purchase Maintenance for a Desktop product, the department must purchase Maintenance for all subsequent purchases of that product then made.

Volume Purchase Price
With this JUCC Agreement, all departments of the University can start procurement at Price Level C. Besides, an additional 5% discount off is available for all purchases placed with the Passport Reseller on or before January 30, 1996. For detailed pricing information, please refer to JUCC Tender No. 188.

You may contact the General Office of Computer Centre for pricing information and to obtain the Additional Site Enrolment Form. Should you require any further information, please contact Ms Kitty Ng or Ms Pansy Kwan of Computer Centre at 2859 2491.

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We are pleased to welcome the following new staff of Computer Centre :

Mr Henry Yue obtained his Bachelor Degree of Computation (Hon) and Master Degree of Science in Computation from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1988 and 1990 respectively.

Mr Caesar Chan obtained his B.Sc (Engg.) Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Hong Kong in 1991.

Mr Ricky Chan obtained his B.Engg. Degree in Computer Engineering and Master Degree of Philosophy from the University of Hong Kong in 1993 and 1995 respectively.

Mr K C Kong obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree (Hon) from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994.

All four new staff are joining the administrative application development projects of the Centre.

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Computer Centre is pleased to announce a series of introductory courses to assist staff and students in using our Centre's facilities in the next two months. The courses will cover the following areas:

For detailed description of the courses, staff users can find the information by the following steps:

  1. Login your networked PC;
  2. Invoke HKUMENU on your networked PC;
  3. Select the "Campus-Wide Information Service (CWIS)" item on the HKUMENU on your networked PC;
  4. Select the "Computer Centre " item on the "CWIS" sub-menu;
  5. Select the "Training Section" item on the "Computer Centre " sub-menu.

For users of Centre's Student Networked-PCs, they can find the information by choosing the "Information Centre" item on the HKUMENU.

The courses are open to all staff and students. Interested users can apply for attending the courses by completing and returning the attached Registration Form to Computer Centre . Staff users can also make their applications through the "Computer Course Enrolment System" of UIS. (For information of using UIs' Computer Course Enrolment System please refer to our Computer News issue No. 60 which can be found in Information Technology Servicess Web Page in the HKUWWW)

Course No. C0112395 - Introduction to IBM 9076 SP2 system
This is an 1-hour course for prospective users of the IBM 9076 SP2 system. The course provides an overview of the IBM 9076 SP2 system, its architecture, configuration and softwares available.

Course No. C0112495 - Basic Operations of the IBM 9076 SP2 system
This is a 2-hour course for users of the IBM 9076 SP2 system. It provides an overview of various tools available on the IBM 9076 SP2 system and their use for developing parallel programs. In the course demonstrations will be given and samples programs are provided for the users' testings.

Course No. C0311695 - Introduction to HKUWIN and WWW
HKUWIN is a graphical User Interface (GUI) option of the HKUMENU to facilitate users to access the Centre's Network facilities and the Departmental Network Applications run under the MS-Windows environment. This course provides an overview on how to use each of the available services, e.g., the Mosaic and Netscape WWW browser, in the "Central Network Services" Windows group of the HKUWIN.

Course No. C0112595 - Advanced Topics on the IBM 9076 SP2 system
It is a 2-hour course for users who already have basic ideas about the parallel tools in the SP2 system. Some advanced topics are covered in this course. They include the methodology for writing parallel programs, the parallizer Forge and data visualization tool Data Explorer.

Course No. C0211995 - Seminar on Network Services
This is a 2-hour seminar which covers all the services provided on the University Campus Network, especially those related to the departmental LAN's (e.g. HKUWIN and HKUMENU, network printing, file sharing, access to CD ROM databases of the Libraries, CWIS, etc) and the host computer systems (e.g. E- mail, DRA Library System, SENDFAX, Usenet bulletin board system, access to Internet etc.)

Course No. C0211895 - Introduction to UNIX
This 2-hour course is intended for those users who have little UNIX experience. The course covers the UNIX file system, file manipulation commands, email and use of the vi editor.

Course No. C0311795 - Setting up Information on World Wide Web (WWW) Server
This is a 2-hour seminar for users who would potentially be information providers on the World Wide Web (WWW). The course will cover a brief introduction to the WWW, the steps of using a WWW browser to make connection to WWW and the procedure of preparing hypertext materials to be posted on the Centre's WWW server.

Course No. C0112695 - Adobe Photoshop Demonstration
Adobe Photoshop excels as an art production tool. It is a popular software for photo enhancing, image editing and producing visual materials quickly. The software is particially useful in producing graphics and visual material for WWW Web page.

The following topics will be covered in the demonstration:

  1. Basic concepts and terminology;
  2. Scanning, importing and exporting;
  3. Tools that comes with the software;
  4. Color corrections;
  5. Filters;
  6. Trouble shooting and tips;
  7. Working together with WWW home page authoring.

Course No. Title Date/Time Venue
C0112395 Introduction to IBM 9076 SP2 system Jan 25, 1996 (Thursday)
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Old Library Building
first floor, LBO-135
C0112495 Basic operations of IBM 9076 SP2 system Jan 26, 1996 (Friday)
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Old Library Building,
first floor, LBO-136
C0311695 Introduction to HKUWIN and WWW Jan 29, 1996 (Monday)
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Old Library Building,
first floor, LBO-135
C0112595 Advanced Topics on IBM 9076 SP2 system Jan 29, 1996 (Monday)
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Old Library Building,
first floor, LBO-136
C0211995 Seminar on Network Services Jan 30, 1996 (Tuesday)
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Old Library Building,
first floor, LBO-135
C0211895 Introduction to UNIX Feb 1, 1996 (Thursday)
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Old Library Building,
first floor, LBO-135
C0311795 Setting up Information on World Wide Web (WWW) Server Feb 5, 1996 (Monday)
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Old Library Building,
first floor, LBO-135
C0112695 Adobe Photoshop Demonstration Feb 6, 1996 (Tuesday)
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Old Library Building,
first floor, LBO-135

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This home pages is prepared by User Services Group, Computer Centre , Last updated on 27 December, 1995. Send comments to wedadm@www.hku.hk.
-135 C0112695 Adobe Photoshop Demonstration Feb 6, 1996 (Tuesday)
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Old Library Building,
first floor, LBO-135

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This home pages is prepared by User Services Group, Computer Centre , Last updated on 27 December, 1995. Send comments to wedadm@www.hku.hk.