Recap of Recent UNIX Problems
Stat/Transfer Now Available on KITE
New SSCC Publications
SSCC Account Renewal Reminder
SSCC's Spring Training Schedule
Our main UNIX file server, HAL, has been crashing off and on for the past several weeks. When this occurs, SSCC's mail and web services are also interrupted. (No mail is lost -- any queued mail is immediately sent out after HAL gets rebooted.) These crashes have been caused by hardware failures. First, a SCSI adapter card (a device that communicates between a computer and its peripherals) failed and had to be removed. Things were better for a while, but then HAL started crashing every 8-12 hours after rebooting. Unfortunately, system logs showed nothing. The lack of logs though was an indicator of memory problems so Dan Bongert, our UNIX System Administrator, swapped out some suspect memory and HAL ran normally for over two weeks until Sunday night when it crashed again (with no system logs). Dan continues to investigate to determine if the cause was again bad memory (There's a lot of checking to be done with two gigs of memory!) or something else. Unfortunately, hardware problems are often times very difficult to diagnose so we appreciate your patience as we work hard to fix the problems.
Recall that the SSCC has a voice mail box for reporting system and network
failures during weekends and evening hours when staff or operators are not in
the building. Dial 376-4572 to report problems. After you leave a message, an
on-call staff person will be paged automatically. Note that the on-call staff
person will not attempt to contact the person who reports the problem unless
absolutely necessary. This system is for reporting after-hours emergencies and
Stat/Transfer is a very useful utility program that can convert data sets from
one format to another (for example SPSS to Stata, or Excel to SAS). We have
had Stat/Transfer on Terminal Server (WinStat1-2) for several years. A command
driven version of the software recently became available for Linux and we purchased
it for KITE. Even though the Linux version is command driven rather than Windows-like,
it is still very easy to use. Instructions are provided in SSCC Publication,
Stat/Transfer was long the most useful statistical tool the SSCC did not have a publication for--but it is so easy to use documentation seemed unnecessary. The new Stat/Transfer for Linux (now available on KITE) is also very easy to use, but we had to tell you about it somehow. If you ever have to convert data sets from one format to another you really should take three minutes to read this publication and master this extremely handy program.
New printers have required changes in the commands used to print from UNIX--as those who print from UNIX regularly already know. This publication discusses the new commands, including options that can reduce the cost (a major part of the SSCC's budget) and environmental impact of printing.
It's time to renew your SSCC computer account(s) if you haven't already. SSCC requires that all accounts be renewed annually. Please take a moment to fill out the short form. It should take no more than two minutes. Note that you will need to complete this form for EACH user name that you have on the SSCC system. This includes departmental accounts and "email-only" accounts. If you need help identifying what accounts might forward e-mail to your primary account, please contact Deb Brauer. The account renewal deadline is April 30. Accounts not renewed by April 30, 2003 will be locked.
SSCC's Spring training is well underway, but there's still a few classes left - Intermediate Stata, Programming in Stata, Printing Conference Posters on Large Format Paper, Creating a Web Page, and Formatting Your Dissertation in Word. Visit SSCC's training web pages for registration information. Remember that all SSCC training sessions require preregistration.
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© 2003 University of Wisconsin Social Science Computing Cooperative