sscc

SSCC News for October 1999

Inside this issue...
VMS (EAGLE) Commercial Software Expiring October 31
SSCC Mail Slow in Early September, Improving
Annual SSCC Computer Account Renewal Project Underway
Upgrading Your HOME PC for Y2K Compliance
New/Upgraded Software (DBMS/COPY, HLM, AMOS, LEM)
University Site License for Microsoft Software
FTPing to/from Your NT Home Directory
STATA 6.0 is Web-Aware
Protect Your PC Against Computer Viruses like Y2KCount
SSCC Training Schedule for Fall Semester

VMS (EAGLE) Commercial Software Expiring October 31

The phase out of VMS (EAGLE) is nearing its end. On October 31, commercial software will begin expiring. Below is a list of the commercial software that expires before December 30 when the entire VMS system will be retired:

Software Expiration Date
SAS 11-14-99
SPSS 10-31-99
WordPerfect 10-31-99
SUDAAN 10-31-99

SAS and SPSS system files must be transferred to UNIX in portable format or files will no longer be readable. There are handouts that provide detailed instructions on how to do this:

How to Transport SAS Data Sets from VMS to UNIX
How to Transfer SAS Data Sets from VMS to UNIX using SAS Version 7
How to Write a Macro to Transport SAS Data Sets from VMS to UNIX
How to Transport SPSS System Files from VMS to UNIX
On December 30, VMS (EAGLE) will be retired. Make sure all the VMS files you want to keep are transferred to your UNIX account, your space on NT home directory (U: drive), or a local drive on your PC. Schedule an appointment with Consultant if you need assistance with this transfer.

SSCC Mail Slow in Early September, Improving

SSCC staff have taken a number of steps to alleviate the email slowness problem experienced at the beginning of the semester. Additional memory was added to DUNCAN, SSCC's email computer. Also, the computer was reconfigured in a number of ways: the computer can handle an increased number of processes; it starts to queue mail up sooner (which can cause delays, but increases reliability and availability); and when it gets too overloaded, it rejects new connections, which may have caused some users to get the message that their PC was unable to contact the mail server, increasing reliability at the expense of availability. These intermediate steps have eased the email delivery problem considerably.

In addition, SSCC staff are now ordering a more powerful server to take over mail service. This server will have two powerful processors and will be running the FreeBSD version of the Unix operating system. Other services, such as web service, FTP service, and user authentication, will be moved to other servers so that the new computer will be dedicated exclusively to providing email services. These changes should not only improve email throughput, but will also improve the performance of the SSCC web server and other internet and local services.

The slowdown experienced in early September was caused by an increase in email usage. The volume of email coming through the SSCC mail server in September almost doubled from the Summer volume, and increased by almost 50% compared to the Spring semester volume.

Annual SSCC Computer Account Renewal Project Underway

Over 700 SSCC users submitted requests to renew their SSCC accounts. These requests will be reviewed by the SSCC agency representatives, who will make the final determination as to which accounts to renew and which to close.

Users who did not renew their accounts will have their accounts closed and their files deleted sometime next week. Users who renewed their accounts, but whose renewal was not approved by the agency representatives will have their accounts closed later this semester.

Political Science users were vetted and approved earlier this summer and so this account renewal program does not apply to them.

Upgrading Your HOME PC for Y2K Compliance

Since SSCC began upgrading office PCs for Y2K compliance last month, many users have asked us what options are available to them for their PCs at home. (Sorry, guys, but we don't do house calls!) Below are three options to consider:

DoIT's Department of Installation, Repair, and Maintenance does Y2K compliance checking. In fact, any PC serviced by their department during 1999 will automatically undergo a series of tests by specialized software to determine and report Y2K compliance at no additional charge. If you'd like DoIT to verify your computer compliance and it is not in need of an upgrade or repair, they will do it but there will be a charge. Click here for details.

Microsoft has a web site that will guide you step-by-step through the process of upgrading your PC for Y2K compliance. This may be a good option for those who don't want to spend any money having someone else do the work.

SSCC Consulting has CD's available for loan that has the same updates that are being provided to PCs in the building. We don't recommend that you go with this option unless you are fairly computer savvy because if you run into problems, SSCC staff will not be able to help. You will have to take your computer into DoIT for repairs.

New/Upgraded Software (DBMS/COPY, HLM, AMOS, LEM)

Thanks to a site license to which the SSCC contributes, you may obtain a free copy of DBMS/COPY (Version 7) for your campus-office PC. DBMS/COPY is software that translates data from one software package to another. Version 6 can read SAS version 7 files. (STAT/TRANSFER, another package that translates data still cannot read version 7 SAS files.) If you would like a copy of DBMS/COPY for your PC, please contact the Consultant. DBMS/COPY will be installed on WinCenter and the three PCs in the 7413 terminal room during next Wednesday's down time.

HLM2 and HLM3 are now available on UNIX from GUY. This is release 4.04. Note that HLM2 and HLM3 are unsupported software. No one on SSCC staff is familiar with these programs so Consulting will not be able to help you with problems you encounter other than making sure the software is properly installed.

AMOS 4 for networks has finally been released. It is an upgrade to version 3.61 currently running on WinCenter. We will install version 4 during next Wednesday's down time.

LEM, a freely-distributed program which computes loglinear and related models has been installed on the three PCs in the 7413 Terminal Room.

University Site License for Microsoft Software

The University has purchased a site license for certain Microsoft software products. For details on this purchase, see DoIT's press release.

FTPing to/from Your NT Home Directory

In last month's SSCC News, we advised WinCenter users to save files to their NT home directories (W: drive) rather than to UNIX because of some communication problems between WinCenter and samba, the software that makes Unix directories available on the PC network. This has raised a very good question -- Is it possible to FTP to/from your NT home directory? The answer is yes and it's no more complicated than FTPing anywhere else. The address for accessing your NT home directory is sscwinnt2.ssc.wisc.edu. You will need to provide your WinCenter/NT account name and password. After a successful login, you will be placed in your NT home directory. SSCC Publication, #1-5 contains detailed instructions on using FTP.

STATA 6.0 is Web-Aware

STATA 6.0 (the current version installed on UNIX and WinCenter) is "Web-Aware". This means that while you are in STATA you can do things like connect to a web address to read a STATA file, update your copy of STATA (if you have your own copy on your PC), or obtain a copy of a user-written ado-file submitted to the STATA Technical Bulletin (STB). The old way of accessing ado-files from the STB no longer is supported by STATA so be sure and take a look at the updated instructions for UNIX users in SSCC's STATA handout. There is also a new handout for STATA users on WinCenter who want to access these ado-files.

Protect Your PC Against Computer Viruses like Y2KCOUNT

Earlier this month a new virus called the "Y2K Virus" made the news. This is yet another example of a virus distributed through an e-mail attachment. This one APPEARS to come from Microsoft Corporation (it does NOT come from Microsoft). This virus masquerades as a Y2K countdown clock named "Y2KCOUNT.EXE".

The good news about this particular virus is that F-PROT, anti-virus software, can detect this virus immediately and will clean it away. Anyone with a PC should have UP-TO-DATE antivirus software running. "UP-TO-DATE" needs to emphasized because antivirus software needs to be updated regularly in order to protect your PC from the latest viruses.

UW-Madison has a campus site license for Command AntiVirus that is available free to any SSCC member. If your PC is in the Social Science Building and you are logging into the PRIMO domain, you can take advantage of the SSCC's automatic Command AntiVirus installation. This will install the latest version of Command AntiVirus on your computer and configure it to work on the SSCC's network. When new upgrades and virus definitions are released, your computer will be automatically updated. Click here for installation instructions.

If your PC is not in the Social Sciences Building, you can still download and install Command AntiVirus. There is no way to automatically update your Command AntiVirus software though, so you will need to download the updates. The most important thing that you will want to keep updated are the definition files (.def). These allow your software to find and protect you from even the newest viruses. Click here to download Command Antivirus and get the latest version and def files.

If you are running antivirus software and want to check and make sure the software is up-to-date, go to the program's Help menu and choose "About antivirus_software_name" and check that the program has been updated at least some time in the last three months. In the case of Command Antivirus, the current version is dated 9/17/99 and corresponding definition files should be dated as late as 9/17//99.

SSCC Training Schedule for Fall Semester

Click here for the SSCC Training Schedule for Fall Semester.


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