sscc

SSCC News for June 2003

Inside this issue...

SSCC Summer Training Schedule
Other On-campus Training Resources
SAS to be Removed from ELAINE and MARIAH
Status of the Campus Site License with Microsoft
SSCC Software Support Level Changes
SAS On-Line Documentation
DoIT Broadband DSL and Cable Modem (Last Reminder)


SSCC Summer Training Schedule

SSCC's Summer training schedule is now available on SSCC's training web pages. We are offering more classes than ever, including several sessions that are either new, majorly revised, or not offered in a long time. The "old reliables" are still there as well. If you are relatively new to SSCC or need a UNIX refresher, you should consider signing up for the "Intro to UNIX" class. Remember that all SSCC training sessions require preregistration. Register early before sessions fill!


Other On-campus Training Resources

The SSCC provides some training classes each semester. Unfortunately, we can not offer all levels of training for all software. There are other resources on campus that can supplement SSCCs training:


SAS to be Removed from ELAINE and MARIAH

The SAS licenses on ELAINE and MARIAH will not be renewed when they expire in November. SAS usage on these two computers has fallen sharply since SAS became available on Linux and we can save approximately $4,000/year by dropping the licenses.

You can run your SAS jobs on Linux via KITE or CONDOR. Condor has six servers almost identical to KITE and is capable of running Stata, SAS, R, FORTRAN, and C/C++ code, and will give your job exclusive use of a processor while it runs. Best of all, there are almost always available processors just waiting for your job. If you want to learn more, we'll be offering a one-hour training session on June 25 on running jobs on KITE and CONDOR. You can register at SSCC's training web pages.

Submitting Stata and SAS batch jobs to Condor is extremely simple: log in to KITE as usual, and replace the usual stata or sas command with condor_stata or condor_sas. It will then run in the background on a Condor server. For example, replace

stata -b do bigprogram

with

condor_stata -b do bigprogram

and

sas bigprogram

with

condor_sas bigprogram

The only disadvantage to Condor is that it take about 30 seconds for a job to be assigned to a server before it can run. Thus it's not suitable for small jobs where you want the results right away. But for big jobs--the ones that cause slowdowns on KITE--it is ideal. For more information please see An Introduction to Condor.


Status of the Campus Site License with Microsoft

The UW's site license for Microsoft products, including the Windows operating system and Office software suite, will expire on July 31, 2003. While the UW system has negotiated a new contract, the Madison campus has decided not to participate in the new licensing agreement that goes into effect beginning August 1, 2003.

Why not?
Under the current license, faculty, staff and UW departments can install the licensed Microsoft products on any UW-owned PCs. The software is owned by the UW. The new license agreement would revoke that ownership, even for products that are currently owned and installed, and require leasing the software only. This would mean that when the new license expired, all Microsoft products would have to be removed from the University-owned PCs. By declining the new agreement, UW-Madison faculty, staff, and departments retain ownership of the current software. Additionally, the proposed license is considerably more expensive than the current one.

What does this mean to you and the UW?
The UW-Madison will retain ownership to all the software that is currently licensed, in perpetuity. That means that the software that is installed on University-owned computers can remain there. In addition, the software that is currently licensed can be installed on any new University-owned PCs. The Windows operating system, Office suite, and other software covered under the current agreement can be distributed to University-owned computers even after the license expires.

What about student purchases?
Under the current agreement, students who purchased Microsoft Products from DoIT in the past 3 years are required to remove the software from their PCs upon termination of the license, unless they graduate or leave the University before that date, or they may buy it out from Microsoft. Both Windows and Office must be bought out if they were obtained from the UW and will stay on the computer. The buy-out price for students is $45.00 for each before June15, 2003, and $60.00 after that date.


SSCC Software Support Level Changes

SSCC has three levels of support for the software we make available on UNIX/Linux, Windows, and Terminal Server: Full, Limited, and Minimal. There's really a fourth level - no support - if you count software products that SSCC members may use that are totally unsupported. These are usually antiquated software or software purchased for individual use.

From time to time, we review the software support levels and make adjustments depending on changing staff expertise and usage. Support levels for the following software were recently changed:

PCs:
Outlook Express - changed from Limited to Full
Outlook - changed from Limited to Full
Nero - added to support list as Limited
Ez CD Creator - added to support list as Limited
QuattroPro - added to support list as Limited

Terminal Servers:
DBMS/Copy changed from Full to Limited

UNIX/Linux:
C/C++ - added to support list as Limited
ELM - removed from support list (no longer supported)
MH - removed from support list (no longer supported)
R - added to support list as Limited
Fortran - added to support list as Limited
Stat/Transfer - added to support list as Limited

Visit SSCC's policy web page for detailed information on our software support policy and definitions of the three support levels. You can also visit SSCC's software web page to find the support level for a particular software package, to find out which software packages run on a computer, or which computers run a software package.


SAS On-line Documentation

People sometimes ask us why we don't have version 8 SAS manuals available for circulation in the CDE Library. The reason is that beginning with version 8, SAS distributes their manuals in an on-line format. Paper copies are still available for a few manuals but are very expensive. SSCC's on-line SAS manuals are on our web site at http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/saspdf/. The manuals are organized two ways: one for searching and another for printing.

Because of licensing restrictions, you need a user name and password to access the on-line manuals from outside of the Social Science Building. You will be prompted automatically and the user name is "sasuser" and the password is "sas". http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/sscc/soft/home.php


DoIT Broadband DSL and Cable Modem (Last Reminder)

DoIT will be terminating their Broadband DSL and Cable Modem (Bucky Bandwidth) services as of June 30, 2003 and plan to have a new contract in place by that time with Charter Communications for cable modem service. These state contracts generally allow for a discounted service fee and provide a means to pay for the connections using a University requisition. New orders are no longer being accepted for these services and customers who have not moved off by 6/30/03 will be terminated on that date. For more information, visit DoIT's Campus Network Services web pages. If you have questions or concerns about these services please contact Cory Chrisinger (cchrisin@ssc.wisc.edu).


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