TCC   NEWSLETTER                                                         VOLUME 3,   NUMBER 1

FEBRBARY   1977

The TCC Newsletter will be published as often as necessary to keep the user community informed of "happenings" that occur within the Tech Computer Center.

With the high activity currently being devoted to replacement of our computing hardware, there will probably be lots of information to be passed along to all users (and potential users), as well as a good many rumors to be either confirmed or squelched. It is hoped that the Newsletter will fill these needs as well as provoke some input from users regarding their specific needs from the Computer Center.

We welcome any feedback which you might have regarding the content of the Newsletter and hope it will stimulate good communications between the TCC and its users.

We invite all current or potential users to come in and discuss their computational needs, or to voice their suggestions, comments, or gripes with any member of the TCC staff.

If you know of anyone who would like to receive this Newsletter, but is not currently receiving a copy, please let us know and we'll add their name to our distribution list.

 

NEW SOFTWARE

FORTRAN Cross--Referencing Program

FORTXREF is a new program which has just been completed. It will provide a cross--reference listing of all variables and arrays used within each FORTRAN main program and subroutine as well as a global cross--reference listing for all components of the program (main program and subroutines). Interim documentation is available from the computer center. Complete documentation is expected to be available later in February.

IMSL Mathematical & Statistical Subroutines

This set of subroutines, which was acquired last summer, is enjoying increasing popularity among users. Documentation is available from the Computer Center secretary, Patti Quick. Individual subroutines will be provided upon request. A list of the currently active subroutines is kept at the User Services Desk in the keypunch room.

Rebirth of the Scientific Subroutine Package_(SSP)

The source code for the SSP, which was done away with some years ago, has again been made available. Requests for specific subroutine source decks should be made to Patti Quick.

 

KEYPUNCHING SERVICE

The Computer Center will provide keypunching service to any faculty or full-time staff member upon request. Since we have only one part--time keypunch operator, we cannot guarantee 24-hour turnaround, or any such thing; but we will do the best we can. Contact Patti Quick if you have need for this service. Any outside account desiring this service should also contact Mrs. Quick.

 

NEW COMPUTER ACQUISITION ACTIVITY

Since last May, there has been a lot of talk about replacing the IBM--360/44 computer and its peripherals with "something better". In spite of the fact that our 360/44 is getting old and tired and takes frequent unscheduled "vacations", our main deficiency is software --- we just do not have adequate, modern, reliable software resources which one would expect an educational institution such as Tech to have available to its users.

The 360/44 (being the black sheep of the 360 family) was never given a large software base by IBM, and it was never intended to be a general purpose machine. It was marketed primarily for the scientific community. Nevertheless, it is sufficiently fast and has done admirable service during its 10+ years here at Tech.

We are currently trying to determine how much money would be available for the purchase of a new system. If it turns out that the amount of money available won't be enough to acquire what we feel Tech needs, alternative approaches will have to be considered--one of which is keeping what we have.

The systems which we are now investigating as possible candidates for replacing the 360/44 are the following (the list is not necessarily complete):

DECsystem-20: This system would be ideal, except that the acquisition costs would probably "strain" the budget.

DEC PDP-11/70: A "large mini" which apparently has adequate hardware resources. We need more information about this system and its software.

Hewlett--Packard HP--3000 Series TI: Another "large mini" which appears to have an excellent software base. The hardware has limited expansion capability. More information is being gathered on this system also.

IBM System/370 Model 145: Would you believe we're actually considering a system wherein the central processor alone costs $1.2 million (new)? Well, believe it or not, the Division of Automated Data Processing in Santa Fe has such a CPU which they would like to replace with something else. Negotiations are underway with DADP to determine the acquisition costs of this machine. This is an excellent general--purpose computer, and it would allow us to keep our better peripherals (printer, card reader/punch) which we own. It has an extremely large software base, but its suitability for Tech needs further examination. A major stumbling stone for this system would be its potentially high monthly maintenance costs.

These four systems were discussed briefly at the open Computer Center Advisory Committee meeting which was held on January 26th.

A future Newsletter will provide detailed information on all acquisition efforts. Be assured that the TCC and the Tech Administration will NOT change computers without discussing it at GREAT length with the Computer Center users.

Converting programs (and user habits) from one system to another is NOT an easy task nor is it fun and recreation for any computer center staff but we're looking forward to making it as smooth a transition as possible for everyone whenever the time comes.

 

SOME COMPUTER CENTER STATISTICS FOR 1976

MONTH JOBS RUN JOB TIME (hours) CARDS READ LINES PRINTED
January 4,750 144.71 1,154,237 3,579,239
February 9,137 133.17 1,474,008 4,120,464
June 4,282 124.87 1,140,155 5,121,127
July 5,940 160.71 1,150,101 4,493,362
August 5,665 133,37 1,233,518 5,275,066
April 7,449 145.57 1,526,104 4,190,278
March 9,097 165.79 1,751,663 4,249,892
May 6,932 167.40 1,690,442 4,465,385
September 8,437 180.84 1,562,845 5,666,350
November 9,914 139.05 1,889,547 6,097,619
October 11,266 169.03 2,082,711 6,021,377
December 9,392 151.73 2,315,969 6,378,326
TOTALS: 92,261 1,816.24 18,971,300 59,658,485

Note that JOB TIME does not include the time required to read all those cards, nor does it include printing time.

Those are the facts ... any desired statistical analysis is left as an exercise to the reader...

We will try to provide other "interesting" statistics about the Tech Computer Center in each Newsletter.

 

 

 

TCC FACTS

WHERE . . . . . .

#4 Workman Center (phone: 835-5126).

WHO . . . . .

WHEN . . . . .


Computer Center User Services Desk
Monday-Thursday 7:30am Midnight. 8:30 am Noon,
1:00 pm 5 pm,
6:00 pm 1:30 am
Friday 7:30 am 8:00 pm 8:30 am Noon,
1:00 pm 5:00 pm,
6:00 pm 8 pm.
Saturday 10:00 am 10 pm. 1:00 pm 5:00 pm,
6:00 pm 8:00 pm.
Sunday 10:00 am Midnight 1:00 pm 5:00 pm,
6:00 pm 11:30 pm.

This schedule changes during holidays and semester breaks. The schedule for those periods will be posted in the keypunch room.

Preventative Maintenance (PM) is ALWAYS scheduled for Wednesday between the hours of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. This schedule is always subject to some modification. If there are any extremely critical jobs to be run during this time, we can either slide PM until later or dispense with it altogether for that day. We like to have 24 hours notice if this is required.

 

HOW MUCH . . . . .