TCC   NEWSLETTER                                                         Volume 4,   Number 1

March   1978

 

C 0 N T E N T S

 

INTRODUCTION

Well it's been a while but we finally got around to putting another newsletter out. Things appear to be settling down with respect to the new system around here. So, hopefully, we'll be more consistent in getting Newsletters out on schedule.

 

NEW RELEASE OF TOPS-20

We have received Release 3 of TOPS-20 from DEC. This release is (supposedly) more efficient and incorporates some improvements to the Command Executive which make it smaller. Commands have been added to facilitate the batch TOPS-20 interface, and, probably most important of all, we'll be able to support 4000 directories on PS:. We have to wait, however, for two things to happen before installing the new release: we need to incorporate our changes to the executive, and our accounting system needs to undergo modification. We intend to have the new system up in April, if all goes well. Because of the 4000 directory allowance, we will be able to give everybody LOGIN directories on PS: instead of connected directories on PS1:, We're going to wait until the end of the semester on this change, however, as it would severely impact ail users. We may experience some difficulties in the transition from Release 2 to Release 3, but they probably will be minor. Bear with us during the change period. We'll keep you informed as to progress in this area.

 

BUSINESS OFFICE DEDICATED TIME

As you probably have noticed, the Business Office has been receiving large amounts of dedicated time The reason for this was to let them get the rest of their programs converted. This has been accomplished, so there are now only the two slots at noon and 1630 on weekdays. The 1630 slot is temporary, and will probably go away in the near future.

 

TCC INSTRUCTIONAL AND SNSR POLICY

We would like to reiterate the Instructional account policy. Instructional accounts are to be used for classwork and class-related outside work only. If students wish to work on their own projects, an SNSR account is to be used. We have to account accurately to the BEF on instructional usage, so please cooperate with us on this.

SNSR policy needs to be revised and we are considering several possible ways of handling this. We'd like your input before we finalize it. Send us some MAIL or drop in and discuss it with Dave or Bob!

 

NEW PLOTTER

There is a new plotter available to the general user community. It is a Houston Instruments DP-1-5H and is an XY, 11" wide 5-mil resolution device. We offer a choice of black blue, green or red felt tip or ballpoint pens (black ballpoint will be the standard, as on the CALCOMP).

 

a) Software Considerations

Generally, all programs written tow the CALCOMP will run with the addition of two suanroutine calls. The calls are (FORTRAN examples):

1) Before any plotting:

CALL INITAL (IUNIT)

...where IUNIT is the Fortran logical unit number tow the plotting software to use anile outputting plot commands. IUNIT should be a logical unit number unused in the program you are running.

2) After plotting:

CALL RSTR(0)

This call flushes the plot butters and closes the output tile.

The plotting software will produce a tile in your connected directory by the name of OUTPUT.PLT. If you are doing multiple runs, you should RENAME this file to another name between each run.

b) Accessing the Plot Routines

The plot routines reside on <SORSYS>. To use the plot routines on timesharing use the following additions to the LOAD, EXECUTE, or DEBUG commands:

( LOAD

< EXECUTE (FROM) (program name, etc),SYS:PLFLP/LIB

( DEBUG

On batch, before your $DATA card, insert a card with the following:

$INCLUDE SYS:PLTLIB.REL/SEARCH

The plot routines will then be LINK'ed In with your program.

c) Routine Differences

Subroutine SYMBOL differs from the CALCOMP subroutine symbol in that integers.equivalent plotting of characters (p 19-20 of TCC plotter documentation) is unsupported. The only special characters plotted by SYMBOL are:

! " # $ % _ ' ( ) * : = - ` + @ < , > . ? /

 

Subroutine LINE differs somewhat wore radically. The call to LINE is now:

CALL LINE(X,Y,N,KODE,ISPACE)

Where:

X is the name of the array containing the X-coordinate points.

Y is the name of the array containing the Y-coordinate points,

N is the number of data points in the X and Y arrays. The number of points in each array must be the same.

+/- KODE is the following:

KODE Character to be drawn at each (X,Y)

0 No character

1 Plus sign

2 X

3 Triangle

4 Square

5 Hourglass

If KODE is positive, a line is drawn connecting the points. If KODE is negative, no line is drawn connecting the points. If KODE is right justified hollerinth data, the character specified by KODE is drawn (i.e., if KODE is 4HbbbA, an A will be drawn at each (X,Y).

ISPACE specifies the interval at which characters specified by KODE will be drawn. Characters will be drawn at 1, 1+(ISPACE), 1+(2*ISPACE), 1+(3*lSPACE), etc. All symbols are drawn centered about the data points.

There also exists a subroutine, MARKER, which will drab the characters denoted by KODE in LINE at the current Plot position, The call Is:

CALL MARKER(KODE)

Where KODE (always positive) has the same meaning as KODE to subroutine line for the character to be drawn. More complete documentation is available from Patti Quick in the Computer Center.

d) Requesting that a Plot File be Plotted

Obtain a plot request form from User Services, fill it out, and Submit to the operator. The plot will be placed in the bin corresponding to the first letter of the user name to whom the plot is charged.

 

TAPE USAGE PROCEDURES

Assignment of tape drives via the ASSIGN command is no longer allowed, and any user doing so will be requested to DEASSIGN the drive. The reason for this is that ASSIGNs circumvent tape usage accounting and confuse the operators no end.

 

ACCEPTABLE TAPE MOUNTING PROCEDURE

a) the TMOUNT command

ALL tapes must be mounted via the TMOUNT command. The format of this command is:

@TMOUNT (TAPE) log: (VOLID) vserno,<CR>

@ @ R W A D

--- or

 

@ @ WRITE

Where:

1) log: is the logical name for the Drive. It must be 3 characters in length, followed by a colon. To reference the drive, always use the logical name. In practice, the logical name is regarded as equivalent to a device name, and may be used as such (i.e. in the DEVICE field of the FORTRAN OPEN statement),

2) VSERNO is the volume Serial number (e.g. CV0001) that the tape is labeled with externally. This must be 6 characters or less in length, and must correspond to the exterior label name of the tape,

3) READ, WRITE specify READ-only and WRITE-enabled respectively. If omitted, the default is READ-only.

When the tape has been mounted and readied by the operator, you will receive a message indicating that fact,

TAPE DISMOUNTING

To dismount a tape, first issue the UNLOAD command, viz:

UNLOAD (DEVICE) log:

Where log: is tile logical name of the tape drive. Next issue the command;

DEASSIGN (DEVICE) log:

Please follow the guidelines indicated herein, as they will make both the operator's and your life easier.

 

DIAL-IN SERVICE

We now have dial-in service available. There are six lines: 5117, 5118, 5124, 5145, 5146, 5147.

These are 300-baud (30 characters/second) full-duplex lines. To use them, you must have an acoustic coupler and a terminal that functions at 300-baud (most of the terminals here will). If you dial one at the above numbers, the phone should be answered and a high-pitched tone should be heard (if the machine is down or the line is not operational, you should get no answer). Upon hearing the tone, you have 10-15 seconds to place the phone in the acoustic coupler. By dialing only the first number in a sequence (5117, 5124, 5145), you will automatically get subsequent numbers if numbers are busy, as they are on a rotary. If you get a busy signal, all lines are in use.

 

TERMINALS FOR CHECK-OUT

We have a TI-745 portable terminal (another is on the way) for take-home use for faculty and staff. There will be fee, (in the neighborhood of $5 a day for checkout) to cover the cost of the terminal and paper. This terminal is about the size of a portable typewriter, and is much less noisy. Contact Patti Quick in the Computer Center if you wish to check out this terminal.

 

PLOTTER PROBLEMS FIXED

On the 20th of March we received replacement boards for the plotter interface, which fixed the poor alphanumeric production problems on the plotter.

 

CLEANLINESS IN TERMINAL ROOM

We have had numerous complaints from users about the general lack of neatness and cleanliness in the terminal room. Examples of this include pipe tobacco remnants being dumped on the floor, paper not being disposed of properly (instead of being folded and put into recycling boxes), and general disarray. Please, remember that everyone has to use this room, and that every user is expected to clean up after themselves. Thank You ...

 

NOTE TO INSTRUCTORS

If you have students WHO have dropped your class who had instructional directories assigned to then, please contact Patti Quick and let her know. We would like to free the disk space. We need it !!!

 

REVISED USAGE RATES

After a careful review of the system use since January, it is evident that the charging rates for CPU and terminal connect time are way out of line with actual use and system costs. Therefore, as of March I, 1978 these two rates are reduced to $100.00/hour for CPU time, and $1.00/hour for terminal (job) connect time. There is no longer a distinction between "prime" and "non-prime" CPU time.

 

 

TCC FACTS

WHERE . . . . . .

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

WHO . . . . .

WHEN . . . . .


Operator On Duty User Services Desk
Monday-Thursday 8:00am 10:00 pm. - Hours are posted -
Friday 8:00 am 8:00 pm - in the User Area -
Saturday 1:00 pm 10 pm.
Sunday 1:00 pm 10:00 pm.

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

Preventative Maintenance (PM) is scheduled for every other Friday between the hours of 4:00 AM and 8:00 AM. This schedule is always subject to some modification.

 

HOW MUCH . . . . .

CPU time   (per hour)   $ 100.00
Job Connect Time   (per hour)   $ 1.00
Disk Usage   (per page-day)   $ 0.0035
Tapes Mounted   (each)   $ 1.50
Tapes Usage   (per minute)   $ 0.20
Printer   (per page)   $ 0.0175
Cards   (read, each)   $ 0.0023
Plotter   (per hour)   $ 17.50