TCC   NEWSLETTER                                                         VOLUME 3,   NUMBER 4

SEPTEMBER   1977

 

 

C 0 N T E N T S

 

INTRODUCTION

As most computer center users have noticed by now, we literally have started the fall semester off in a cloud of dust -- all related to the pending arrival of the new DECsystem-20 computer. The keypunch room has temporarily lost some floor space and the computer room is about to be attacked with saws and wrecking bars to make room for a new air conditioning system and eventually the new computing hardware.

We have a firm shipment date fop the DEC-20 ... October 29th. It will be in transit for a week or two and should arrive here about mid November. Installation will probably take two weeks and then the system will undergo acceptance testing by both DEC field engineering and Tech computing center personnel. There will be (hopefully) some limited useful work performed related to program and data base conversion during December.

If all goes as planned - which it probably won't - we plan to have the new system up and in general use by the start of spring semester 1978.

We have made a commitment to release the IBM 360/44 and all its associated hardware by January 15, 1978, so we're going to be busy attempting to meet that deadline.

 

NEW SYSTEM

For those who missed all the acquisition excitement during the past summer, here are a few vital statistics regarding the new system:

Total cost: $498,935.

"Trade in allowance" on IBM 360/44: $80,500.

 

HARDWARE CONFIGURATION:

DECsystem-2040 central processor with 262,144 (36-bit) words of main memory, and 32 terminal ports.

2 - RP06 disk drives (200 million characters each).

2 - TU45 tape drives (dual density, 36/72 KC transfer rate).

1 - CD20A card reader (300 cpm).

1 - LP20H line printer (915 lpm with both upper and lower case fonts).

1 - LA-34 operator's console.

 

SOFTWARE :

APL BASIC COBOL FORTRAN MACRO-20 Assembler

SORT/MERGE Text Editor Data File Utilities

 

The above price does not include any interactive user terminals. We'll probably lease those, and initial plans are to provide 16 terminals in the user area (now the keypunch room, which will be enlarged after the 360/44 goes away). They will be a mixture of video and hardcopy types.

Initially, there will be no dial-up service available, but we expect to install that during the spring of 1978. Installation of hardwired remote terminals will also be deferred until after the system is up and running "locally".

We will also acquire some other language processors from other installations and decus - the digital equipment corporation user's society, ALGOL, SNOBOL, PASCAL, and lisp are readily available.

Applicable reference manuals for the DEC-20 will be available in the bookstore later this semester. All of the manuals are atrociously expensive but we're negotiating with DEC to supply some of the most frequently needed ones at reduced or (better yet) no cost. We'll get this resolved before we stock the bookstore.

Later in the fall semester the computing center we'll hold a series of seminars so that all interested users can become somewhat familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the new system.

A major effort is underway to get all the critical business data processing programs and data converted for the new system.

Those programs and 'data' which are necessary for the day-to-day operation of the Institute will obviously be given the highest priority.

The conversion of all other programs will be left to the users: however, the computing center staff will be glad to provide all the assistance we can. Most FORTRAN programs will convert with very little effort, disk and tape data sets which are now used on the 360 will also have to be converted, and some of these may cause difficulty and require special handling. A list of all magnetic tape datasets has been sent to their respective owners in an attempt to determine the magnitude of the tape conversion job. You'll be hearing more about this soon.

The existing Calcomp plotter will be used with the DEC-20 initially. We hope to replace it sometime in the future - maybe even with some interactive graphic capabilities, but that will probably be deferred until next year. Information about the changes required to do plotting on the Calcomp will be passed along as soon as it is firmed up.

The method of accounting for use of the new system and the amounts charged for its use are also being discussed by the computer center staff and Tech's financial people. We will publish the new rates before December so that those of you who have computing budgets to consider can make the necessary plans.

Now that the terminals have been removed from the 360, the process of adding new project names or adjusting existing accounts has become more difficult. Projects will be adjusted or added once a day around 4:00 pm.

The TCC newsletter will be published more frequently during the next few months and will contain more specific and detailed information about the new system and its impact on users. In the interim, if you have any questions, drop by the computing center and corner one of the staff -- we'll tell you all we know.

 

TCC FACTS

WHERE . . . . . .

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

 

WHO . . . . .

 

WHEN . . . . .


Computer Center User Services Desk
Monday-Thursday 7:30am Midnight. - Hours are posted on -
Friday 7:30 am 8:00 pm - the door of the -
Saturday 10:00 am 10:00 pm. - User Services -.
Sunday 10:00 am Midnight - room - Workman 2-

This schedule changes during holidays and semester breaks. The schedule for those periods will be posted in the keypunch room. The holiday operating schedule usually is identical to the normal Sunday schedule.

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 . . . . .