NACS Computing Lab Changes and Expansions – Fall 1996

University of California, Irvine
Network & Academic Computing Services

Since before the first PCs and Macintoshes came out of garages in the Silicon Valley, NACS has been providing computing access points for general campus use. With the advent of ever more powerful PCs, we have continually increased the number and usability of computing systems in our computing labs. Concurrently, powerful UNIX servers (EA, E4E, Orion, etc.) have been available for electronic communications through both simple terminals and application software (Netscape, Eudora, etc.) on all our PC systems.

This fall we made significant changes to our computing labs. There are now 130 computer access points in Engineering Gateway (EG, building 321) available 24 hours a day. There are an additional 80 computers in the Engineering and Computing Trailer (ECT – building 317) available 7AM until Midnight, Monday through Friday, and 8AM until 8PM on weekends. Together, these labs constitute the largest ensemble of computer access points on campus.



  • 25 new PowerPC model 7500 Macintoshes have been installed in the large schedulable Mac lab, ECT 120. Each system has 32Mb of RAM and 1 GB of local disk.
  • 25 new Dell Pentium 133MHz PCs have been installed in the large schedulable PC lab, ECT 123. Each system has 32Mb of RAM and 2 GB of local disk.
  • A new schedulable/drop-in lab has been opened in ECT 121 with 15 PowerPC model 7100 Macintoshes
  • A new schedulable/drop-in lab has been opened in ECT 122 with 15 Dell Pentium 90 Mhz PCs.
  • All ECT machines have software mounted locally, facilitating use of the large, complex software packages currently in demand (Netscape 3, Word 6, etc.). This results in rapid software start-up even when all classroom users are doing so simultaneously.
  • All NACS PCs are now running the Microsoft Windows NT operating system both on student stations and on the lab server. This will result in reduced downtime due to viruses and local system setup changes, greater flexibility in system management, and will allow the installation of the Windows95 Graphical User Interface (GUI) for Winter quarter.
  • The computing systems in our Engineering Gateway labs have been improved with the addition of more capable PCs and Macs formerly located in ECT.
  • Newer, higher performance laser printers are being installed in several locations. This is a prelude to a newer, easier to use, printing system to be deployed in the next few months in all labs.
  • A new, more rugged electronic tie-down system is being deployed to replace the existing system. Coupled with security cameras and other devices, this system allows us to provide access during extended hours.
  • Local lab networking has been improved with the deployment of switching hubs in the ECT labs (also planned to be added to the EG labs during quarter break). These hubs improve reliability, provide much greater network security for user passwords and the like, and improve network throughput.
  • Lastly, we are installing a greatly improved computer-to-screen projection system in both large, schedulable labs. These state-of-the-art systems are both significantly brighter and of higher resolution than our previous, aging, LCD-panel systems.

During the rest of the school year we will be making further, albeit smaller, improvements in all labs – software upgrades for applications and operating systems, more security tie-down installations, additional ‘seats’ when possible.


To develop better communications with UCI faculty and others teaching in NACS’ instructional computing labs, we have created an e-mail listserv list, NACS-Labs-Info@UCI.EDU. We will use this list to communicate lab announcements, updates, requests for comment, surveys of current use, surveys for requested changes (e.g., what new software is needed?), and the like.

If you have scheduled any NACS labs in the last three years your name has been added to the list and you should have already received a message welcoming you. If you know of others interested in joining the list, please suggest they send mail to with their name, e-mail address, and departmental affiliation.

Update on NACS Activities Supporting UCI’s Electronic Educational Environment

October 25, 1996

  • Update on NACS Activities Supporting UCI’s Electronic Educational Environment

University of California, Irvine
Network & Academic Computing Services


The Electronic Educational Environment (EEE) is a cooperative campus-wide venture to make computer-mediated communications and electronic information resources an integral part of UCI’s educational environment. It combines the efforts of a number of organizations including the UCI Libraries, the Office of the Registrar, NACS, Division of Undergraduate Education, and academic departments.

The EEE web page at provides a general entry point to campus EEE activities. The program for the EEE Exhibit for Faculty (, provides a good overview of the range of EEE activities being undertaken across campus.

NACS’ role in EEE includes providing campus-wide services and coordination and communications with faculty and other participants. This issue of NACS-News describes some of the services which NACS offers as part of the campus EEE.


UCInetIDs and Electronic Mail for All Students.

Beginning this academic year, all UCI students have a personal UCInetID pre-assigned to them. As with faculty and staff, all students have e-mail addresses of the form “” For students, the default is to have e-mail delivered to an account on NACS’ EA (Educational Access) computer systems, but, like faculty and staff, students, can use the web to control where mail sent to their “” addresses is delivered.

Each student activates his/her UCInetID by selecting a personal password to be used in conjunction with the UCInetID when accessing services which require authenticated personal identification. As part of the activation process, each student is advised of and accepts the campus Computer-Use Policy which is available, among other places, in the UCI General Catalog (page 401).

By the end of the second week of the quarter over 90% of the freshmen had activated their UCInetID. This is well ahead of last year’s pace, in which 95% of freshmen activated their UCInetIDs by the end of the academic year.


Educational Access (EA) Accounts

As a component of EEE, NACS provides electronic access services to all UCI students; these services include electronic mail, Internet access, computing resources and access to class information resources. These services are provided via the EA systems (, a cluster of UNIX-based Sun SPARCservers.

On a typical class day, over 6,000 different students use the EA systems. On weekends, over 3,000 different students use these systems each day. Each week, almost 11,000 different students access the EA systems. This figure indicates that more than 70% of UCI undergraduates access their e-mail each week. As a practical matter, it means that an e-mail announcement sent to all students enrolled in a class will reach as many of those students in a week as an announcement made during a class meeting.



EEE Web Site –

NACS manages the campus EEE web site, which provides a campus repository of course materials and services as well as a set of tools and facilities to facilitate the creation of course web pages and web-accessible resources.

The EEE Web site functions as a central reference point for course-related web materials at UCI. The EEE web site organizes instructional resources into a consistent and easily navigable structure and incorporates links to information provided by the UCI Registrar and other campus units. From a single page, students and instructors can learn about class enrollment statistics, the availability of course books, room assignments and seating arrangements, credit options, prerequisites, and so on. Instructors for over 60 courses, with a total enrollment of over 6,200 students have course web areas on the web site. Another 1,800 students are enrolled in other courses which have web areas on other computer systems. The EEE Web site lists course web areas on systems supported by NACS and by other campus units.

The EEE Web site hosts Web accessible, searchable archives of e-mail messages which serve two critical functions. First, they include archives of e-mail messages sent out via the course mailing list system described below. Second, individual faculty members can request personal e-mail archives with the same functionality (i.e., web-accessibility and full search capabilities) to facilitate interaction with their colleagues. See for examples of such archives.


EEE Web Tools

The EEE Web site also features a suite of tools designed to help instructors move new and existing course materials onto the web. Documents written with most word processors can be converted into web publishable format, and the syntax of hypertext documents can be checked against current publishing standards for validity. Using these tools, individuals with no prior knowledge of Web publishing conventions can convert the personalized bookmark files generated by their Web browsers into publishable documents that can be made available to students and colleagues.

Instructors who want to give students access to grades for individual quizzes, tests or for an entire course can request an EEE Gradebook for their Class Web accounts. Gradebooks provide a simple, yet secure mechanism for distributing grades to individual students, and, at the instructor’s option, can incorporate a graphic representation of the grade distribution for the entire class.

Additional tools serve more specialized needs. For example, the FLIQ package allows instructors to use the Web to interactively create multimedia, interactive practice quizzes. These exercises emphasize discrete skill acquisition, but can be adapted for use in a variety of educational settings.


EEE Course Mailing Lists

NACS and the Registrar offer a service that allows faculty to use their usual e-mail software to send electronic mail directly to all students enrolled in classes they are teaching. Searchable archives of all such mailings to a given class are automatically maintained by the e-mail archive facilities described above. This system facilitates the electronic distribution and accessibility of assignments, reference information, and a variety of other materials in a timely, low-cost, low-effort fashion. See for complete information on using course mailing lists.

As of the start of the fourth week of the quarter, 204 classes with a combined enrollment of almost 11,000 students have sent over 1,800 postings to these mailing lists resulting in over 110,000 e-mail messages delivered.

New NACS Staff

NACS now has a full-time Receptionist/ Dispatcher at our help desk, Sylvia Bass, who joined NACS in June. Sylvia previously worked for Wyland Galleries as Executive Assistant to Wyland. Her background is in Fine Arts, and she is experienced using various Macintosh software. She is very organized, enjoys interacting with people, and will facilitate timely and professional handling of requests. The next time you call us at us at extension 46116, join us in welcoming Sylvia to UCI.

Leonard Megliola

In July, Leonard Megliola joined the professional staff of NACS’ Academic Applications Group. Leonard graduated UCI in June with a BA in ICS having worked as a student employee in NACS during his undergraduate career. Part of that work included creation of Zot-Dispatch, a tool for processing information submitted via Web forms, which is used extensively at UCI and at places as far away as Australia, France, and Hong Kong.

As part of NACS’ support of the UCI Electronic Educational Environment, Leonard will help develop and support the broad use of new technologies. He recently joined others from NACS in a presentation at the UC Computing Services Conference on “Web Tools for Building an Electronic Educational Environment.”

Jan Vescera

In late July, Jan Vescera joined NACS’ Departmental and Distributed Computing Support group. Her principal responsibility will be to foster communications among the technical support staffs in the schools and with NACS, but she will also be taking the lead within NACS to work with software and hardware vendors of importance to UCI, managing site licenses, the Workstation Acquisition Service, product fairs, non-disclosures, and technical forums.

Jan joins NACS from the commercial world, where she has undertaken such projects as designing and implementing a technical support staff training and certification program, but has over 8 years’ experience at UC, working at various departments in UCLA. One of the most noteworthy projects from her tenure at UCLA was the creation and nurturing of their Multimedia Users’ Group which survives (and flourishes) still.

From the Director: Keeping up with campus network capacity demands

Keeping up with campus demands for electronic communication capacity remains a major challenge for the Network & Academic Computing Services. In six years, UCInet has grown from less than 300 registered hosts (computers with a registered IP address) to more than 9,000 registered hosts today. This is greater than the number of telephones on the campus! The number of students with an Educational Access (EA) computer account has grown from less than 500 in 1989 to nearly every student at UCI as of the end of Spring 1996 (over 14,000). Faculty and staff with an e-mail account with NACS has grown from less than 100 to more than 3,000 in only three years. All of these and other users of UCInet generate a lot of network traffic!

Last year, NACS invested approximately $400,000 to upgrade the optical fiber UCInet backbone to accommodate future communication technologies such as ATM. This year, NACS will invest another $150,000 to upgrade some of the older electronics on UCInet. Future investments during the next few years will likely exceed $1 million as capacity is expanded to meet demand for more bits/second.

Access to the Internet is also becoming more expensive. In one year, UCI’s cost of Internet access has increased from $17,000 to approximately $140,000. There are two reasons; user demand for more bandwidth, and the “privatization” of the national network. Transfer of large data sets among researchers, desktop video communication, and thousands of UCI faculty, staff and students downloading graphic, audio and video files from the World Wide Web will most likely require annual increases in the bandwidth of our access to the Internet.

In an attempt to constrain the growth of the cost of Internet access, all nine campuses are discussing a common strategy for obtaining reliable access at low cost. The combined buying power of the University of California hopefully will reduce costs for each campus.

This summer, NACS has been updating its long range electronic communication plan (now know as UCInet 2001). Important components of this plan will be shared through future editions of this newsletter.

William Parker
Director, Network & Academic Computing Services

Summary of NACS’ Organizational Groups and Functions

This edition of NACS-News lists the organizational groups within NACS along with their function and staffing. Please feel free to send comments and questions to NACS@UCI.EDU or to any NACS manager; management e-mail addresses are provided below. This information is maintained in NACS’ Web page at URL .

NACS Core Services

Operate and manage NACS’ central computing services, facilities and help desk. Services include NACS’ instructional labs, Educational Access (EA) student UNIX cluster, E4E, the DCSLIB UNIX software library, the Convex scientific UNIX system, and the Orion UNIX service, among others.

  • Manager: Allen Schiano, Schiano@UCI.EDU
  • Staff: Dawn Bergan, Joseph Farran, Mike Iglesias, Carol Jackson, John Mangrich, Son Nguyen, Alex Odyniec, Steve Okura, John Ward.

NACS Departmental and Distributed Computing Support

Provide a variety of services to UCI users of computing distributed around the campus. Support local supporters, provide campus-wide technical coordination. Make available UNIX and network administration expertise on an annual contract basis. Provide specialized PC and Macintosh expertise on a recharge basis. Coordinate UCI-wide site and bulk software arrangements.

  • Manager: Lyle Wiedeman, Wiedeman@UCI.EDU
  • Staff: Domingos Begalli, Sinclair Fleming, Bob Hudack, Andrew Laurence, Dan Stromberg, Jim Surlow, Tri Tran, Minh Vo.

NACS Computer Operations

Staff and operate NACS’ central facilities. Oversee instructional labs and machine room. Act as central NACS computer and network trouble reporting center, 24 hours a day.

  • Manager: Ray Ravelo, RIRavelo@UCI.EDU
  • Staff: Evans Curtis, Steve Pickett, Alex Wu.

Core Services, Departmental and Distributed Computing Support, and Computer Operations report to Associate DirectorDana Roode .



NACS Academic Applications Group

Support faculty and the academic mission via cross-platform applications and technology. Promote instructional activities using World-Wide-Web and computer-mediated communications including the Electronic Educational Environment (EEE). Support high performance computing.

  • Director: Stephen Franklin, Franklin@UCI.EDU
  • Staff: Shohreh Bozorgmehri, Donald Frederick, Garrett Hildebrand, Leonard Megliola.



NACS Electronic Communication Services – Operations

Plan, implement, maintain, and support campus data and voice electronic communications network infrastructure. This includes the fiber optic data backbone, copper telephone cable, Ericsson telephone system, building routers, and repeaters/hubs. Provide remote access to UCInet via UCI’s modem pool; coordinate and manage campus radio services.

  • Manager: Brian Buckler, BBuckler@UCI.EDU
  • Staff: John Dalenta, Jeff Hunter, Jon Iliescu, Jack Lockhart, John Schaefer, Michael Scott, Mike Simon, Todd Strand, Rich VanBuskirk, Con Wieland.

NACS Electronic Communication Services – Network Programming

Maintain software systems in support of UCI’s network including the on-line directory information database (QI), Domain Name Service (DNS), UCInetIDs, electronic mail delivery services (MTA), and network protocol and routing support.

  • Manager: Brian Roode, BGRoode@UCI.EDU
  • Staff: Keith Chong, Dana Watanabe.

NACS Electronic Communication Services – Customer Services

Provide customer support for telephone and data installation, repair, and change requests. Provide campus telephone directory, general information and console operator services.

  • Manager: Theresa Barnes, TABarnes@UCI.EDU
  • Staff: Deborah Ahlheim, Dottie Baker, Gayle Bonham, Ella Twaite.

Electronic Communication Services Operations, Network Programming, and Customer Services report to Assistant DirectorDon McLaughlin, who reports to ECS Director Dave Tomcheck. Bruce Cotsonas serves as a special assistant to the ECS Director and Assistant Director.



NACS Business Services

Provide support to NACS management and staff for all standard University administrative needs. Provide guidance and advice in areas including finance, planning, policy and personnel. Support key NACS activities such as marketing, Site/Bulk software licensing, and the Workstation Acquisition Service (WAS).

  • Manager: Marie Perezcastaneda, MariePC@UCI.EDU
  • Staff: Kim Gerrard, Liza Krassner, David McCafferty, Kathy Tavares, Ashley Vikander.

Business Services reports to Associate Director for Business Services, Cathy McFarlane.



NACS Directors

Director: William H. Parker, WHParker@UCI.EDU
Associate Director: Dana Roode, DRoode@UCI.EDU

  • Stephen Franklin, Director of Academic ApplicationsFranklin@UCI.EDU
  • Cathy McFarlane, Associate Director for Business ServicesCMcFarla@UCI.EDU
  • Don McLaughlin, Assistant Director – Electronic Communications ServicesDMcLaugh@UCI.EDU
  • Dave Tomcheck, Director of Electronic Communications ServicesTomcheck@UCI.EDU