Nevis System News 1997-1999 This is an archive of all the Nevis Computing News items released during the years from 1997 through 1999.


There is now a web page available with information about the 1999-2000
New Year's weekend shutdown of the Nevis computer systems.  It is at


Cernlib 2000 has now also been installed on the Linux servers ladym
and kolya.

Now that Cernlib 2000 has been installed on all the major software
servers, I'm going to schedule Monday, December 13, 1999 as the date
that it will become the "default" version of Cernlib on these machine
(that is, the version you get if you don't type in a setup command).

If there are any problems with this schedule, please contact Bill


Release 2000 of Cernlib is now installed on nevis1.  To access it, use
the command "setup cern2000".

This version is labeled as "IN PREPARATION, Release for 30 Nov 1999,"
and so may be revised or upgraded in the future.  I'm providing it to
you now to help ease any transition you wish to make to this latest

The Y2K issues fixed by this release can be found in
<>.  None of the issues
seems critical to a typical physics analysis task.  However, I suggest
you switch to the new version.

I'm holding off on installing Cernlib 2000 on the Linux machines until
the "IN PREPARATION" label is dropped from the Linux release.  After I
install the Linux release, I'll announce a date after which Cernlib
2000 will become the "default" version on the Nevis systems.  However,
older versions of Cernlib will continue to be available if there are
any migration difficulties.

If there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


I've upgraded xemacs to version 21.1.8 to help be sure that the
program is Y2K compliant.  Note that xemacs and emacs are _not_ the
same program; xemacs 21.1.8 has evolved from emacs 19.30 (our current
version of emacs is 20.3).  See <> for more

If there are any problems, please contact Bill Seligman.


Version 3.1.6 of ddd, a graphical interface to the GNU debugger gdb,
has been installed on the Linux servers kolya and ladym.  For more
information, see <>.  If
there are any problems, please contact Bill Seligman.


As previously announced, many unencrypted services to nevis1
(including telnet, rsh, rlogin, and rexec) will be turned off on
Monday, 11-Oct-1999.

As part of the continuing effort to end unencrypted communication over
our network, I've installed Secure Socket Layer (SSL) on nevis1.  The
immediate practical benefit of this is that those who read mail with
programs that support SSL can now do so, and their passwords will be
not be transmitted in clear text.

In particular, Netscape Navigator and Outlook Express both support
SSL.  If you go though the list of preferences for your mail server,
you can now select "Connect via SSL".  The first time you try to read
your mail after doing this, you'll be asked to accept a Nevis Labs
certificate.  Do so.  Your mail connections to nevis1, including your
password, will now be encrypted.  This should work for both POP and
IMAP clients that support SSL.

For now, I will not disable un-encrypted remote POP and IMAP
connections to nevis1, until we are all confident that this procedure

If there are any problems or questions, please contact Bill Seligman.


I'm in the process of doing a "Y2K sweep-up" of the system, cleaning
up any last lingering areas where I spot a potential Y2K issue.
Today's sweep consists of the following:

-- As previously announced, the default version of CERNLIB now
available on nevis1 and the Linux machines ladym, kolya, anna, marie,
and tanya is now CERNLIB 99.

-- enscript on nevis1 has been upgraded to version 1.6.1.  I don't
believe anyone presently uses enscript; it's a utility for formatting
text files on a postscript printer (see man enscript for more
information).  I believe people normally use a2ps for this purpose
(see man a2ps) but I wanted to make sure.

If there are any problems or questions, please contact Bill Seligman.


Cygnus software, the people who develop the GNU language compilers,
have developed an GUI front-end to gdb.  It's called "Insight", but
that's not the name of the command to invoke it.  It's supposed to
replace the standard "gdb" command, and so is normally stored as
/usr/local/bin/gdb.  I've renamed it to /usr/local/bin/xgdb, since you
may want to still use the non-X version of gdb.

xgdb is only available on ladym, kolya, and the other machines on the
Atlas Linux Cluster.  On nevis1, you should continue to use dbx, which
is a superior debugger that only runs on the SGI (see man dbx for
more information).

If you have any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of Liubo Borissov, xfig on nevis1 has been upgraded to
version 3.2.2; xfig is a program to generate figures in X11.  transfig,
which translates files from FIG format to LaTeX graphics format, has
been upgraded to version 3.2.1.  See man xfig and man transfig for
more information or consult the web pages at <>.

If there are any problems with these utilities, contact Bill Seligman.


The newest version of less, 340, has been installed on nevis1.  Less
is a paging utility, similar to "more" but with more features (so if
less has more than more, why is it called less?).  See man less for
more information.


Version 1.10.6 of cvs has been installed on nevis1.  This was done to
address Y2K issues and perhaps to help eliminate recent crashes on
nevis1.  For more information, you can use man cvs, but more recent
documentation can be found in the Emacs info facility (type "C-h i",
then search for "cvs").

If there are any problems, please contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of Stephen Markacs, SGI's Java Development Kit (based
on Sun's JDK 1.1.6) has been installed on nevis1.  In other words, the
javac command is now available.  For more information, type "man
javac" or see <file:/usr/java/webdocs/release.html> (if you're running
Netscape on nevis1).  If there are any problems, contact Bill


The utility ps2eps has been installed in /usr/local/bin on nevis1,
ladym, and kolya.  For more information, type man ps2eps (note that
the program and the documentation are circa 1996).  If there are any
problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


Lyx 1.0.2 has been installed on nevis1, ladym, and kolya.  Lyx is a
WYSIWYG editor for LaTeX; it is roughly the equivalent of Scientific
Word for UNIX.  It is capable of importing and exporting standard
LaTeX documents (and even its internal .lyx format is
LaTeX-compatible, although it includes a lot of Lyx-only comments).

To use the program, type "lyx".  For more information, type man lyx
or consult the Help menu in the Lyx window.  If there are any problems
or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


Version 99 of CERNLIB has been installed on nevis1, kolya, and ladym.
It is accessible by typing "setup cern99".  I strongly suggest that
you switch from any previous of CERNLIB to 99, since this is the first
version that promises some form of Y2K compliance.  You can find more
information at <>.


At the request of Dave Winter, fsh 1.0 has been installed on nevis1,
ladym, and kolya.  Fsh is mainly used when access a CVS repository
using the ssh command.  Instead of executing the ssh command once
every time a file is transferred, fsh opens a "tunnel" through which
CVS can execute a succession of commands.

For more information, consult the fsh web site at


Now that the IRIX 6.5 upgrade is (mostly) complete, I'll start
attending to the backlog of programs to be installed or updated on
nevis1.  Where possible, I'm going to try to keep the same program
versions on nevis1, ladym, and kolya, so that the same resources will
be available on all three servers.

In order to make the utility structure of the three servers as similar
as possible, and to make all references available to those who need
it, I've chosen the following directory structure for all utilities I
add to the systems:

/usr/local       -- base directory for any new utilities or resources.
/usr/local/src   -- directory of source code for added utilities
                 -- compressed gzip'ed tar archives of the source code.
 ... and so forth 
                 -- directories created as needed for the added utilities.

On both ladym and kolya, there is a separate disk partition named
"/usr/local" for these files.  On nevis1, they are physically located
on /libdisk with appropriate symbolic links to reflect the above

If there are any problems or questions, please contact Bill Seligman.


Version 1.1.2 of egcs has been installed on nevis1, ladym, and kolya.
Egcs is the GNU compiler suite that includes gcc, g++, and g77 (c,
c++, and Fortran 77 respectively).  More information can be found at
<>, the EGCS web site.


At the request of Bonnie Tamminga, the latest stable version of
xmgrace, 5.02beta, has been installed on nevis1, ladym, and kolya.
Xmgrace is a 2D WYSIWYG data plotting program; in an earlier version
the program was known as "xmgr".  You can find documentation at the
Grace web site <>, and on your
local machine on <file:/usr/local/grace/doc/UsersGuide.html>.

Incidentally, as part of the xmgrace installation, LessTif (the
freeware equivalent to Motif) has been installed on the Linux servers
ladym and kolya.


The latest version of Pine, 4.10, is now installed on nevis1, kolya,
and ladym.  Actually, this upgrade was announced about two months ago,
but was postponed until after the IRIX 6.5 upgrade.  You can get more
information from the Pine web site at
<> or from typing "?" [help]
from within Pine.


nevis1 will be down on Friday, April 9, starting at 8 AM; the system
will be back up sometime that evening.  The purpose of the downtime is
to upgrade the IRIX operating system for Year 2000 compliance, and to
install a new 36 GB hard drive for the DOE group.

For more information, see the Nevis1 Upgrade Page at

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Bill Seligman.


We are planning major upgrades to nevis1 in the next month or so.  We
invite your comments on the proposed upgrades, and your input on how
best to schedule them.  I've written a memo on the subject; it's in:


If for some reason you do not have access to web browser, let me know
and I'll e-mail you a text version of the memo.

-- Bill


As previously announced, nevis3 has been taken off the network to be
used as a system testing machine.  All user network and password
access is now disabled.  If you require an SGI workstation for a
particular purpose, please contact Dave Leon or Bill Seligman; we'll
see what resources can be made available for you.


At the request of Dave Winter, fsh has been upgraded to version 0.2.
If there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


A new version of pine, 4.10, has become available.  If you type "setup
pine410", the "pine" command will use this new version.  Please test
this new version to see if there any problems.  If I hear no
complaints, pine 4.10 will become the default on 26-Feb-1999.

If there are any problems, please contact Bill Seligman.


Dave Leon's memo on the Nevis system status can be viewed on the Web
site with the URL


At the request of Dave Winter, I've installed fsh on nevis1.  Fsh is a
utility that opens a "tunnel" to another computer via ssh, so that
repeated encryption/decryption of user keys is no longer necessary.
It's meant to be used in conjunction with cvs.  Note that fsh must be
installed on both the client and the remote machines in order to work.

Documentation can be found via the Emacs Info facility (type "C-h i",
then scroll down to the bottom of the window).  If there are any
problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of Dave Winter, Python 1.5.2b has been installed on
nevis1.  Python is an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented
language.  For more information, see <>.  If
there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


Root 2.20/06, the latest production version, has been installed on
nevis1, ladym, and kolya.  On all three machines, the command "setup
root" makes the root command available.  Earlier versions of root are
still archived on nevis1.  If there are any problems or questions,
contact Bill Seligman.


A web page has been prepared on how to convert VAX mail to UNIX
format.  It's at <>.  If
you have any questions, or need assistance for the conversion, please
contact Bill Seligman at x2823.


At the request of Peter Steinberg, Tk/Tcl 8.0.4 has been installed on
nevis1.  If there are any problems, please contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of Dave Winter, fvwm 2.1.4 beta has been installed on
nevis1.  fvwm2 is a window manager that is popular on Linux systems.
Now you can have the same window manager on both your Linux system and
on nevis1, if you choose.  For more information, see man fvwm2 or
visit the FVWM website at <>.

I have not tested this new window manager.  However, if you find any
problems, please contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of Peter Steinberg, I've the latest development version
of root, 2.20/04, on nevis1.  If you wish to use this new version,
type "setup root22".  Root 2.00 will continue to be the "default"
version of root on nevis1 until the users of root tell me that 2.2 is
stable enough to be the new default.

If there are any problems, please contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of Eric Mannel, I've upgraded the version of ssh
running on nevis1 to 1.2.26.  If there are any problems or questions,
contact Bill Seligman.


Recently, at the request of Mickey Chiu, I re-compiled cvs 1.9 with
the AFSCVS flag turned on.  This was supposed to allow cvs to work
properly with AFS.  Although this worked, unfortunately it created
problems for those trying to use AFS from NT systems.

For now, I've implemented a temporary work-around.  The "cvsafs"
command will work with AFS filesystems, and the "cvs" command will
work with all other filesystems.

If there any further problems or solutions, contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of John Parsons, the FeynDiagram package has been
installed on nevis1.  This is a set of libraries that allows you to
write short C++ programs to create Feynman diagrams.  For more
information, see man FeynDiagram, or look at the documentation in

Note that according to
/usr/local/lib/FeynDiagram/Docs/README_compilernotes, you may have to
insert some additional code to compile your C++ FeynDiagram program on
the SGI.

If there are any problems or questions, please contact Bill Seligman.


For some reason, the input bins on the QMS color printer qmsc have
been switched.  The upper tray (the default) now contains paper, and
the lower tray (selected by the qpr option -I2) contains
transparencies.  Apparently this was an official decision on someone's
part, since the labels on the paper trays were changed.

This may be a problem for people who use PCs to print to qmsc.
Depending on your printer setup, the "Transparency" selection in your
printer options may now select plain paper, and vice versa.

Please be aware of this change and adjust your printer setups


The latest version of xmgr, 4.1.2, has been installed on Nevis1.  Xmgr
is an X-windows-based plotting package similar to gnuplot or PAW; for
more information see <>.
If there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


We plan to use nevis3 for various system installation and
configuration tests (primarily NIS and IRIX 6.5).  Although we are not
taking the machine off-line, it may be restarted at any time.  Please
do not use nevis3 for anything that you can't afford to have cancelled
without any notice.

If you have any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


This is a revision to an earlier news item on Fortran on the Nevis
Linux machines kolya and ladym.  It only affects the users of those

There are three different "versions" of the Fortran compiler available
on kolya and ladym.  g77 is the GNU version of Fortran.  It is a
"true" compiler, in that it converts Fortran source code into assembly
language.  Although it is a beta version, it's been fairly stable for
the past couple of years.

Both fort77 and f77 are front ends to a common UNIX utility, f2c; the
difference is in the command options they use.  Therefore, both
function more as code converters than compilers: the Fortran source is
converted to C by f2c, then the C code is compiled by cc.  fort77
comes with the RedHat disbtribution of Linux, while f77 comes with the
Debian/Slackware distribution.

I have not worked enough with these compilers to judge which is the
"best" one.  The only immediate advantage that they have is that they
are free.  If the operation of these compilers is not satisfactory,
let me know; we'll contemplate getting a commerical Linux Fortran
compiler such as Absoft's.

If there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


Netscape 4.07 has been installed on nevis1, and is now the default
version that you get if you type "setup ns4".  If you need to fall
back to Netscape 4.03 through 4.06, then type "setup ns4XX" where
XX=03..06 (in other words, all previous versions of Netscape 4 are
available).  The default version (the one you get if you don't use a
setup command) is Netscape 3.01.

If there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


Dave Leon's memo on the VAX migration is now available on the Nevis
Web site at <>.  If
there are any changes in the plan, they will be posted on this Web
page (in addition to the mail announcements.)

No, you don't have to type in the long URL in your web browser.  Go to
the Nevis Home page, click on "Computing", then on "VAX migration".
Alternatively, you can go to the news page (click on "When" from the
Home page).  Any URLs in any news items is a clickable link on this

Please send any comments on the migration to Dave Leon, and any
comments on the Web page setup to Bill Seligman.


Version 1.24r of the fvwm window manager is now installed on nevis1.
If you've grown to love fvwm on Linux systems, you can now see the
same display when you use nevis1.  For information and some .fvwmrc
configuration files, see <>.  If
there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


Due to a silly mistake on my part, xemacs 19.14 was deleted from
nevis1.  I've installed a later version, 19.16, in its place.  Please
let Bill Seligman know if there are any problems.

A side note to xemacs users: 

Version 20.4 is the latest version of xemacs, but I did not install it
because this later version has problems compiling under IRIX 5.3.
Also, xemacs is an X-windows interface wrapped around an older version
of the emacs editor: 19.34.  The emacs editor is now up to version
20.3, but it's unlikely that xemacs will be upgraded to use the later
versions of emacs.

Given these version and support issues, I suggest that xemacs users
migrate to using emacs instead.  I gather that main reason for using
xemacs is that it provides syntax coloring while editing programs.
That same functionality can be gained in emacs via the following menu
option: Help->Options->Global Font Lock.  You can also add the
following to your .emacs file:

        (global-font-lock-mode t)


It has come to my attention that almost no one here at Nevis is using
version 1 of Root; everyone who uses the package has gone to Root 2.
Therefore, I've changed the default behavior of "setup root";
previously the command set up root1, but now it sets up root2.  If you
have any questions or problems, contact Bill Seligman.


There appears to be a problem with the sar command on nevis1.  For
now, please don't use this command until we find out what the problem
is.  If there are any questions, contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of Cheng-yi Chi, a backup log has been added to the
Nevis Web site, at <>.  You
can also reach this link by going to the Nevis Home page, click on
"Computing", then click on "Back-up".

This web page contains a list of the dates & times that a backup was
performed by Nevis1 on each computer's disks.  It is automatically
updated whenever a backup is run.

If you have any comments or questions, ask Bill or Dave.


Dave Winter sent me the following e-mail message (which I've edited)
that I think is of general interest:

   It seems that Matt and I have uncovered a bug in the current nevis1
   version of tcsh.

   If you accidently type ^X^S in an xterm which has your tcsh getting
   the input (for emacs users the probability for this is rather
   high), your shell becomes unusable.

   Our understanding of this from the man tcsh page is that ^X is
   bound by default to the function "sequence-lead-in" which is used
   to map multibyte characters to tcsh functions.  On nevis1 (tcsh
   version 6.04) this somehow allows you to stop the tty output (usual
   ^S) but then prevents any subsequent ^Q (restart tty output) from
   having any effect.

   We have verified that this is not a problem with the version of tcsh
   installed on blood and sweat (6.07).  You might want to consider
   upgrading, as there are probably other bugs.

   Alternatively, if replacing tcsh represents too major a change, you
   can suggest to folks that they can add the following sequence to
   their .cshrc files if they would like:

   if ( $shell =~ *tcsh ) then
     # For a "bug" in older versions of tcsh where ^X (sequence-lead-in)
     # followed by ^S (suspend-tty-output) renders the shell unusable.
     # This binds the bell to ^X.
     bindkey -s "^X" "\a"

   (The "^X" can either be a literal cntl-x or simply a carat-x.
   bindkey understands both)

   -- Dave

As Dave surmised, I can't upgrade to tcsh 6.0.7 on nevis1 because some
existing shell scripts would break.  I will install tcsh 6.0.7 on new
Linux systems, and when we upgrade to IRIX 6.5 on nevis1.  Until then,
you can use Dave's and Matt's solution.

If there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


The latest version of a2ps, 4.10.4, has been installed on nevis1.
A2ps is a program that converts text files to postscript and, by
default, prints them on QMS1.

This version is much fancier than the old version (4.3), and is
superior to enscript in almost every respect.  In particular, a2ps now
supports "pretty-printing" in many languages, including Fortran and
HTML.  See man a2ps for more information, or use the info facility
in Emacs (type "C-h i", then scroll to the bottom of the page).

If there are any problems (especially in the configuration of the
default options), please contact Bill Seligman.


At the request, or rather the insistence, of Dave Winter and Matt
Moulson, the readline 2.2 libraries libreadline.a and libhistory.a
have been installed on nevis1 in the directory /usr/local/lib.

"Readline" is a set of routines that can be used to implement a
tcsh-like editing of lines in a program with a command-line interface.
It only works with a program written and compiled with the readline
library in mind; it cannot add this functionality to an existing
executable unless you have access to the source code.

If there are any problems, questions, or requests to add readline
functionality to any of the programs on nevis1, please contact Bill


At the request of Mickey Chiu, AMS Latex has been installed on nevis1.
This is a collection of macros that aid in preparing complex
mathematical equations in Latex documentions.  For more information,
see /usr/local/share/texmf/tex/amslatex/math/amsldoc.tex.  If there
are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of Matt Moulson, bash 2.02.1 (Bourne-Again Shell) has
been installed in the /usr/local/bin directory.  Basically, "bash" is
to the original shell "sh" as "tcsh" is to the C-shell "csh".
Information is available via man bash and via the info facility
(start emacs and type "C-h i").

If there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


Pine 4.04 has just been released as a maintenance upgrade.  Since the
last couple of pine upgrades have gone so smoothly, I've simply
installed this latest version.  If you need to fall back to the
earlier version, type "setup pine403".  If there are any problems,
contact Bill Seligman.


Version 5.12 of unzip and version 2.0.1 of zip have been installed in
/usr/local/bin at the request of Stephan Boettcher.  These commands
differ from gunzip and gzip primarily in that they can handle PKZIP
files; see man zip and man unzip for more information.  If there
are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


Stephan Boettcher requested that the GNU textutils, fileutils,
findutils, tar, and grep be installed on Nevis1.  The problem is that
many of the commands in these packages have the same names as commands
distributed with IRIX 5.3.  Although the GNU versions often have
improved speed, security, and functionality over the IRIX commands,
their command options may be different and they make cause existing
shell scripts to break.

I've chosen the standard method of dealing with this issue: the GNU
packages mentioned above, and the GNU make, gzip, and patch, have all
been installed in /usr/local/gnu.  If you type "setup gnu", your $PATH
and $MANPATH variables will be updated to point to this directory.  If
you type "unsetup gnu", the directory will be removed from your
environment variables.  This gives you complete control over whether
you wish to use the GNU versions of commands like cp, find, grep, tar,
or make... without the annoyance of a "g" prefix (e.g., "gmake").

For additional documentation on the GNU versions of these commands,
see the info page within Emacs (type "C-h i" from within Emacs).

From now on, our policy will be: If a GNU utility duplicates the name
of an existing system command, it will be placed in /usr/local/gnu;
otherwise it will be installed in /usr/local along with our other
local software packages.  Exceptions: because "gmake" is used so
frequently, I will continue to maintain it in two places:
/usr/local/bin/gmake and /usr/local/gnu/bin/make; in other words, when
you setup gnu, make=gmake.  I will also maintain gzip and gunzip in
both directories.

If there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of Stephan Boettcher, I've installed the beta 340
version of gnuplot 3.6 on nevis1, in /usr/local/bin.  Gnuplot is an
X11-based program for generating graphs, similar to xmgr; you can type
man gnuplot for more information.  It is not a GNU utility; the use
of the "gnu" prefix is an historical co-incidence.

If there are any difficulties, contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of Stephan Boettcher, the babel package and tools
package have been added to our LaTeX distribution.  These enhancements
include support for multiple languages and additional formatting for
some mathematical terms.  If there are any problems, contact Bill


Version 2.00/11 of root has been installed on nevis1, replacing the
earlier version.  If there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


I've installed the latest version of Pine, 4.03, on nevis1.  This is a
maintenance release that fixes a few bugs.  If there are any problems,
contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of Jerry Dodd, I've upgraded Netscape 4.06 on Nevis1 to
the 128-bit strong-encryption version.  Again, it is illegal to export
this program outside the US or Canada, so please don't copy it to any
foreign computers; if you do you could be shot for treason.  If there
are any problems (apart from treason), contact Bill Seligman.


As I was going through the list of recent system patches, I discovered
that two important SGI patches for the sendmail program were never
fully installed.  These patches help prevent nevis1 from being used as
a relay for spam.  In priciple, without these patches someone could
use Nevis1 to relay thousands of junk mail messages (this has probably
never been the cause of any of our past network performance problems,
but we can't be sure).

These patches are clearly important, but after the recent downtime due
to the T1 problems, I assume few people are willing to risk any
possible difficulties due to a new sendmail configuration.  Therefore,
I'm going to wait until Tuesday evening, September 8, before
installing these new patches.

If all goes well, you'll notice no changes in the behavior of any of
the mail programs that use sendmail (pine, Navigator, Outlook, etc.).
If you do, please notify Bill Seligman at x2823.


The latest version of Emacs, 20.3, is now available on nevis1.  To
access this new version, type "setup emacs203"; to revert back to the
earlier version, type "setup emacs" or "unsetup emacs".

You have until I get back from the ATLAS Software Conference to test
out this new version.  If I hear no complaints, 20.3 will become the
default version of Emacs on Monday, August 31, 1998.

If you have any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


I've upgraded Netscape Communicator to the latest "production"
version, 4.06.  The major visible change to this version is a "What's
Related" button on the browser toolbar.  Netscape will automatically
scan a web page as you're looking at it, and make suggestions for
related websites; you'll see the suggestions if you click on this

If Netscape 4.06 causes problems, you can fall back to the earlier
version typing "setup netscape405".  If there are any problems or
questions, contact Bill Seligman.


It turns out that Pine may have been vulnerable to the
recently-publicized MIME vulnerability that many mail programs
possess.  I've installed the latest patch for Pine, 4.02A, which
corrects this problem.

Incidentally, Netscape says that the UNIX and Mac versions of
Navigator are not subject to the MIME vulnerability, so it is only the
users of the Windows versions of Netscape and Outlook who should
upgrade if they use those programs to read their mail.

If there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


In honor of the DOE party that's being thrown today, I've installed a
new little utility to help you manage your disk space.  "xdiskusage"
is a graphical interface wrapped around the "df" and "du" programs.
It allows you to immediately grasp how much disk space is being used
by your directories.  To use it, just type "xdiskusage &".  If there
are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


GNU make version 3.77 has been installed on nevis1 as "gmake".  For
more information, type man gmake and use the info facility within
emacs (type C-h i).  If there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


I've installed the latest version of root, v2.00/10, on nevis1.  If
there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


I've installed the latest version of root, v2.00/09, on nevis1.  If
there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


The latest version of perl, 5.005_01, has been installed on nevis1.
If there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


After the flurry of messages yesterday relating to system performance,
it appears that some people have started logging onto nevis3 to do
their work.  This is good; it helps to distribute the system load.
We're trying to make the nevis3 environment as similar to nevis1 as
possible.  If you find any system differences between nevis1 and
nevis3, let us know and we'll bring them in synch.

Those of you with long memories may recall the news item of
1998/04/07, when we said that nevis3 was going away.  The reason for
shutting it down was so that it could be used as a test platform for
installing IRIX 6.2.  Since we've managed to compile CERNLIB 98 under
IRIX 5.3, there's no need for a system upgrade at this time.
Eventually, we will upgrade to IRIX 6.5 to get Year 2000 compliance,
but this is months in the future.

If you have any questions, contact Bill Seligman.


Early next Wednesday - July 29 at 7:30am - I plan on shutting down the
entire network in order to connect a new 100mb/second network switch
which ultimately will replace our old Kalpana switch.  In order to do
this, I need to shutdown the entire network in order that the switch
'learns' all the ethernet addresses again.

I expect this outage to last about 1/2 hour with the entire system
back on line no later then 8:30am.

By bringing this switch on-line, we will be able to extend fast ethernet
services to the electronics building and begin to provide service in the
administration building.

During the same shutdown, all remaining IRIX 5.3 system patches that
were issued by SGI will be applied.  These patches, which have already
been tested on nevis3, may potentially alleviate some of the system
problems we've been experiencing.

If there are any problems, please contact Dave Leon.


On occasion, we have had processes which are old or 'run away' which
use up system resources.  I have a procedure which I run which will
kill 'old' processes however, if a run away process is not responding,
I can't kill it.

I am starting to consider setting up a planned weekly reboot - for
example very early Monday mornings around 6:30am.  A properly rebooted
system takes the system off-line for about 10 minutes and will cleanup
old and run away processes.

I am looking for input regarding this policy so see how it will effect
you.   Please contact Dave Leon with your thoughts.


As you know, we have been having troubling maintaining performance
levels on the SGI this summer.  While it is easy to blame the
increased usage pattern associated with the summer students, the
bottom line is the uptime and performance has become unacceptable.

Yesterday - I added 500mb of additional swap space.  Previously we had
1gb of swap space allocated and it was not unusual to have 50mb free.
When the system ran out of swap space, the processors and response
time would slow down tremendously and at times crash the system.

If the additional swap space is insufficient, I will add more.

Analysis of the performance of the system is that the processes are
waiting for I/O on swap space which means that the processes are using
swap space and the swap space being physically located on the hard
drives takes time to access.

With the addition of swap space, the system will still slow down
however the chances of the system crashing are reduced.

If there any questions, please contact Dave Leon.


It is not unusual to have multiple sessions of Netscape running
simultaneously on the SGI with each session consuming on average about 4 mb
of memory.  At the time of this email there where 12 sessions so 48mb of
memory was being used for the browsers.

If you can, I would like to ask you to move your Netscape operations
over to Nevis3 which is an SGI Indigo.  This system is not being used
for critical analysis so it will not effect anyone regardless of the
number of Netscape sessions going on.

Please telnet to Nevis3 and login using your usual username and
password.  Then issue your usual netscape command.

Note: Those users who use Netscape for mail, please contact me.  At
this time, if you use the Netscape mail utility on Nevis3, then your
email address will be '' instead of

If anyone has questions regarding this topic, please contact Dave Leon
at ext: 2830


As part of the Nevis1 shutdown on July 29, I also expect to NOT bring
up all the nodes of the VAX cluster.  Currently we still have the
following nodes connected:


In line with out planned phase out of the VAX cluster, I will be
removing the following node(s).


I will also be moving the library disks from Nevis2 to NevisR which
will allow Nevis2 to be removed. The planned phaseout of all not
essential VAX nodes should be completed by the end of the year.  I
have already removed the following nodes:

Nevis8, Nevish, NevisJ, NevisK, NevisP

I have also completed migrating all user files from Nevis$dua0,dua1,
and dua2 to a single large disk Nevis$dua0 thus allowing me to
shutdown the expensive and hard to maintain RL02 disk drives.

VAX Mail

With the phaseout of the VAX cluster, please discontinue as soon as
possible your use of the VAX for mail.  Advise recipients of your email
that your new email address will be ''.  By
December 31, I would like to shutdown the mailer on the VAX cluster.

If you wish to archive your VAX mail on nevis1, Bill has a procedure for
automatically converting VAX mail folders into pine folders.

If you have any questions regarding this policy, please see Dave or Bill.


Everyone has noticed how slow nevis1 has been lately.  Although it's
easy to attribute the slowdown to the influx of summer students, we're
still trying to determine the precise cause.  In the meantime, we ask
everyone to take the following steps to minimize this problem:

1) It appears that a lot of system resources are used by having many
users run Netscape simultaneously.  With this in mind:

  a) If you don't use Netscape as your mail program, please don't keep
  it running idle for long periods of time.  Use it, get what you need,
  then quit it.  (Netscape accesses the Internet periodically even
  when you're not using it.)

  b) If you use X-windows on a PC, please don't run Netscape on
  nevis1.  Run it on the PC instead.

2) Please check for defunct or disconnected processes that you may
have initiated.  I've added a new command, myjobs, to /usr/local/bin.
If you run it, you'll see a list of all the processes you're running.
Can you identify all of them?  Did you issue a command two days ago
that's somehow still running?  Get rid of any old processes with "kill
-9 PID", where PID (process ID) is the second number in the "myjobs"

If there are any questions, please contact Bill Seligman.


We will upgrade to Pine 4.02 this evening (Wednesday July 22) at 6 PM.
If you are not a summer student, you should have already received
e-mail explaining this change; if you did not, contact Bill Seligman.


Mikhail Leltchouk pointed out that CMZ was not properly installed in
CERNLIB 98 on nevis1.  I've installed the latest version, 1.50.  If
there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


The standard IRIX debugging utility, dbx, has been revised to version
6.2 via a patch from SGI.  It should be much friendlier for debugging
FORTRAN programs.  For more information, type man dbx.  If there are
any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


The latest version of STDHEP, v4.02, has been installed on nevis1.
The old version (v3.01) contained within CERN 98 has been replaced
with v4.02, so all you have to do is type "setup cern98" and you'll
access the latest versions of both CERNLIB and STDHEP.

If there any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


While investigating C++ programming on nevis1, I discovered that the
STL (Standard Template Library) was not installed.  This library is an
important part of modern C++ programming; I'm surprised no one spotted
its absence before this.  In any case, I've installed version 2.8.1 of
libstdc++ on nevis1, which is the g++ version of STL.

In order to properly install STL with g++, it is necessary to build
them both simultaneously.  Therefore, I've re-compiled the gcc/g++
compilers.  They're still at version 2.8.1, but it's possible that
something made have changed due to the new compilation.  If you notice
any changes, let me know.

As part of the installation, I also installed version 2.5 of the GNU
patch utility.  To avoid a conflict with the X11 patch utility, I
renamed the GNU version to gpatch.

If there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


Release 4 of IDEAS has been installed on nevis1.  This is a CAD/CAM
package with an interface that works on X-windows terminals.  If you
need to use this package, tell Bill or Dave -- your userid needs to be
added to group "design".  You also need to add /libdisk1/ideas/ms4/bin
to your $path.  If there are any other problems. contact Bill


Here's a common problem we've had here at Nevis: You generate a
postscript file by running latex, then dvips; but when you ghostview
the file, you don't see any page numbers.

This problem should now be fixed.  The problem was that dvips can
optionally generate postscript without the "document structure" codes
that tell ghostview where the page numbers are (it's option -N).  If
you don't specify this option on the command line, then dvips gets the
"state" of the -N option from a configuration file called
This file is normally located in $TEXMF/ps/, where
$TEXMF=/usr/local/share/texmf for our installation.  However, due to a
complex TeX installation problem, dvips was looking for the file in
$TEXMF/dvips/.  Since the file wasn't there, dvips apparently
determined the document structure option from other factors, such as
whether you were running Latex 2e in compatibility mode.

The file $TEXMF/dvips/ now exists.  Postscript files created
by dvips should now all have document structure by default, which
includes page numbers that can be recognized by ghostview.  If you're
still missing the page numbers, go to the "State" menu in ghostview
and make sure that "Respect document structure" has a bullet next to

Some older Postscript printers choke on document structure commands.
If this happens, use the command "dvips -N" to create the .ps file.

If there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


One of the features of Pine 4.00 is that it can interpret URLs.  When
it detects a URL embedded in a mail message, it can invoke your
favorite web browser to open up with that web page.

The problem with this feature is that every time you do this, Pine
opens a new copy of the web browser.  If I send you a mail message
with three URLs, and you choose to open each of them, you can have
three copies of Netscape open on your screen.

To help address this problem, I've installed Lynx on nevis1.  Lynx is
a text-only web browser that interfaces well with Pine (it's also
blazingly fast compared to Netscape, since it doesn't have to process
graphics).  For more information, type man lynx, or just type "lynx"
and look at the built-in help.

If there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


Dave Winter was kind enough to point out that Pine 4.00 has been
released.  I've made it available on nevis1.  To use the new version,
type "setup pine400".  To see a list of changes from the old version,
see <>.

Unless I hear otherwise, Pine 4.00 will become the default version on
Monday, August 3, 1998.  Please test the new version and let me know
of any problems before then.

By the way, if you don't want to type the lengthy URLs that I
sometimes include in these news message, check out the Nevis News Page
at <> with your favorite web
browser (go to the Nevis Home Page and click "When" near the bottom).

If there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


The lsof command has been installed on nevis1.  This command lists all
your open files.  It's primarily a system maintenance tool for the
root user, but for a non-root user it can help to identify which
programs are accessing which files.  Type man lsof for more information.

If there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


I'm trying to wrap up my work on the Nevis Web Site
<> as I move on to other work at Nevis.
Would interested parties please look at the particle physics page
<> and the heavy-ion page
<>.  Please verify that I
haven't maligned anyone, nor mis-represented anyone's work.  If there
are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


The problem with the slowdown and crashes on nevis1 on Tuesday
afternoon has been solved.  Although this problem was unrelated to the
slowdown of the system last Thursday, we now know what symptoms to
look for and have a better handle on how to debug these problems in
the future.  For now, go ahead and use Pine.

So what happened?  I installed a system patch that SGI said was
absolutely necessary for system security for our old version of
sendmail.  The patch contained a bug in the configuration file that prevented sendmail from actually sending any
messages.  Mail programs like pine assume the absolute reliability of
sendmail, so when sendmail failed, pine failed as well.  The symptom
of the failure was that pine would freeze, and consume more and more
memory until the system slowed down and crashed.

I fixed the problem in and the problem was solved.  I will
look into installing the latest version of sendmail, which will
hopefully not have these sorts of problems.

-- Bill


At the request of one of the users of Nevis1, we'd like to remind
everyone of the system usage policy.  You can find it in
<>.  Please review it
before submitting your next job, or before you leave netscape running


The Nevis home page <> has been revised.
I've changed the look and layout.  I've tried to compromise between
the desire to have fancy graphics and the desire to have the page load

Over the next few weeks, the other pages on the Nevis web site will be
revised to have the same look as the home page.  Any outdated material
(e.g., the descriptions of research on the particle and heavy-ion
pages) will be revised or removed.  If you don't like the new
appearance, tell me now before I propagate the changes throughout the

Send any comments or questions to Bill Seligman.


At the request of Peter Steinberg, I've installed the latest beta
version of root: 2.00/08.  In the future, I'll try to keep up with all
the latest beta versions of root 2.00.  Note that the past three (or
so) versions of root will continue to be available in the /libdisk

If there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of Peter Steinberg, PGP version 2.6.2 has been
installed on nevis1.  For more information, you can type man pgp,
see the documents in /usr/lib/doc/pgp, or consult the PGP web site at

What is it?  PGP stands for "Pretty Good Privacy."  It is a program
that can encrypt and/or digitally sign files so that they can be
safely transmitted across the Internet.  On Windows and Mac systems,
PGP can be integrated with web browsers or mail programs to to
encrypt, sign, de-crypt, and verify e-mail messages at the touch of a

The latest version of PGP freeware is 5.5, but that's only available
for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.  If an IRIX version becomes
available I'll install it.

If there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


SSH is now installed on nevis1.  SSH (which includes ssh, slogin, and
scp) uses an RSA encryption scheme to create secure connections
between two computer systems.  It performs two basic functions:

1) It can replace telnet (or X-windows) as a means of communicating
between two computer systems.  In particular, passwords (or
pass-phrases) are either encrypted or no longer sent over the
Internet, which means they can't be intercepted by sniffers.  I
strongly urge you to cease using telnet and to use ssh (or slogin)

2) It replaces rsh, rlogin, and rcp for authenticating usage between
different computer systems; in other words, it allows your ~/.rhosts
file to be used in a more secure way.  I strongly urge you to replace
your current use of rsh, rlogin, or rcp with ssh, slogin, or scp.

SSH requires some initial setup in order to work properly.  For
instructions, type man ssh or see the web page at
<>.  If you need any
additional help, ask Bill Seligman.

As part of the SSH installation, new versions of the rsh, rlogin, and
rcp commands were placed in /usr/local/bin.  However, the old
"r-commands" are still in /usr/bsd.  Type "echo $path" -- if you see
/usr/bsd before you see /usr/local/bin, then the old r-commands still
work as before; otherwise you'll invoke SSH instead.  Although I'm
tempted to remove the old r-commands for security, I will leave them
there in case people have shell scripts that use them.

SSH only works if both computer systems are running it.  If you need
assistance to install SSH on another computer system, contact Bill


At the request of Dave Winter, a number of utilities on nevis1 have
been upgraded to their latest versions.

gdb, the GNU debugger, has been upgraded to version 4.17.  This makes
it fully compatible with the version 2.8.1 of gcc, the GNU C
compiler.  As part of this upgrade, we've also gone to version 2.9.1
of binutils, the GNU binary utilities (including as, the gnu
assembler).  For more information on the GNU compiler, assembler, and
debugger, see the info facility in Emacs (type C-h i from within the

RCS, a version control system, has been upgraded to version 5.7.  As
part of the upgrade, version 2.7 of the GNU diff utilities have also
been installed.  For more information on diff, see info.  For more
information on RCS, type man rcsintro.

Many of these programs were formerly located in /usr/bin and
/usr/sbin; they are now located in /usr/local/bin.

If there are any problems or questions, contact Bill Seligman.


I've revised the Nevis phone list at
<>.  Please take a look at
it and verify that your name, phone number, e-mail address, and web
site (if any) are correct.

If you click on an e-mail address link, you'll see a warning page.  My
goal is to discourage "spamming" (unsolicited advertising) at Nevis.
I invite comments on this policy and the manner in which I present it.

If you have any comments, please contact Bill Seligman.

We now have a new CGI script on our web server that allows you to view
man pages in your web browser.  The pages include hypertext links to
other UNIX commands, and you can use the browser to do linked keywords
searches of the man pages.  The base URL for this script is
<>.  You can see an
example of how I've used this feature in the Nevis web site by looking
at <>.

It you have any problems with this script, contact Bill Seligman.


Due to a mistake on my part, portions of the CERNLIB 95a distribution
were overwritten as I was trying to install CERNLIB 98 on Nevis1.  I
restored the corrupted libraries from the pre-compiled 95a
distribution available at CERN.  Hopefully, you should notice nothing
different.  If there are any problems, inform Bill Seligman and we'll
restore the 95a directory from backup tape.

Actually, although I did not know this until now, when I tried to
compile the CERNLIB 97a distribution last year, I overwrote the 95a
libraries at that time.  We've actually been using the 97a libraries
when we thought we were using the 95a libraries.


I have installed version 2.4 of count.cgi, the HTTPD extension that
allows a counter to appear on your web pages; it also allows the time,
date, and other numerics to be displayed as well.  The primary
reason I installed a new version is to fix a security hole, but the
new version also has some new features.  You can read about Counter
2.4 in <>.

This change should produce no changes in any of your existing web
pages.  If you have any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


Netscape has just released version 4.05 of their
Navigator/Communicator Suite.  It looks OK to me, so I've made it the
default version of Netscape 4.

In other words, you can now type:

setup ns2    <-- to get Netscape 2.0
setup ns3    <-- to get Netscape 3.01
setup ns403  <-- to get Nstscape 4.03
setup ns404  <-- to get Nstscape 4.04
setup ns405  <-- to get Nstscape 4.05
setup ns4    <-- to get Nstscape 4.05

You can type "netscape" instead of "ns" in any of the above commands.
Netscape version 3 is still the "default" Nevis version (what you get
if you type "setup ns"), I may change this, but not until after we
upgrade to IRIX 6.2.

By the way, the version of Netscape 4.05 that we have supports 128-bit
encryption.  Please don't copy this program to a computer outside the
US or Canada.  It's a federal offense if you do, and you could be shot
for treason.



As previously announced, we are going to "turn off" Nevis3 so we can
use it to test the installation of IRIX 6.2.  It will be taken
off-line on Monday, April 13.  For all intents and purposes, you
should assume that it will never be on-line in its present form again;
after we finish our tests, we'll probably use it as some form of
network server with no user accounts.

If your X-windows terminal stills boots off of Nevis3, please change
it so that it boots from Nevis1 ( [nevis1] instead of [nevis3]).  If you don't know which machine your
X-terminal boots from, or if you don't know how to make this change,
please ask Bill or Dave.


At the request of Peter Steinberg, the latest beta version of Root,
2.00/03, has been installed on nevis1.  To access this version, type
"setup root2".

The latest production release of Root, version 1.03/09, is still
available.  It can be accessed by either typing "setup root" or "setup

According to Peter, there was the possibility that the version of
root1 that I installed somehow had the linux version of the Makefile.
I therefore re-copied 1.03/09 from the Root Web Site into
/libdisk/root.  All other earlier beta versions of Root have been
deleted from /libdisk.

If there are any questions or problems, please contact Bill Seligman.


As previously announced, the anonymous FTP access to nevis1 has been
re-configured.  From now on, the anonymous FTP user cannot write files
into the pub/ subdirectory of the ftp site, nor to any of its
subdirectories (unless YOU make one of your directories
world-writable; don't do this!).

Instead, there is a new directory: ~ftp/incoming.  If you want someone
to put a file into our FTP area anonymously, have them cd incoming/
and put the file(s) into that directory.  That directory is write-only
to the anonymous user; they will not be able to read anything they
have written.

Then you (or someone else with a valid Nevis account) must move the
file(s) from ~ftp/incoming/ to some other directory, which can be in
~ftp/pub/.  You will not be able to delete the files from
~ftp/incoming/; you'll have to ask one of the system administrators to
do that for you.

If there are any questions or problems, contact Bill Seligman.


SGI has issued an advisory that the pset command can be used to gain
root access.  I've hunted around the system, but I don't see the pset
command used anywhere.  To secure the system, I've removed setuid and
setgid permission from pset.  If there are any problems, contact Bill

For the curious: The pset command allows you to define and query about
processor sets.  For example, we could set up nevis1 so that
processors 0 and 1 were reserved for Monte Carlos, and processors 2
and 3 were reserved for data analysis.  The pset command would allow
us to do this.


To remove a security problerm on nevis1, I've removed suid permission
from the /sbin/df command.  This does not appear to affect df's
functionality.  If you experience any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


I've updated the version of perl on nevis1 to 5.004_04.  If there are
any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


I've upgraded the GNU C compilers on nevis1 to version 2.8.1.  This
includes new versions of gcc and g++, the GNU C++ compiler.  If there
are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


I've added a new utility to nevis1: enscript.  This program acts like
a2ps: it takes a text file and converts into postscript format.  The
difference is that enscript has far more options than a2ps, including
the ability to "pretty-print" program source code.  (It can't handle
Fortran, but I may create code for this.)

For information, type man enscript.  To use it, just type

# enscript foo.txt

This will print foo.txt on qms1.  By default (a deliberate decision on
my part) it will print the file on qms1, with one column per page,
single-sided.  But like a2ps, enscript supports options for multiple
columns and layouts.  You can also create a ~/.enscriptrc file to
select the options that you'll use all the time.  For fun, try:

# enscript -GrE -U2 -DDuplex:true foo.c

where foo.c is a long C program.  And if you add 

StatesColorModel: emacs

to your ~/.enscriptrc file, and then type

# enscript -GrE -U2 -dqmsc -Ssetpapertray:2 foo.c

you'll get a program listing pretty-printed in color.  Yes, I'll
definitely have to work on the Fortran printing.

If you have any comments, questions, or requests for changes in the
default enscript behavior, please contact Bill Seligman.


I've fixed a minor problem with a2ps.  Previously, the -s1 and -s2
options did not work (these select between one-sided and two-sided
copying).  Now they do, at least on printers that support the duplex
feature.  One-sided printing is still the default.

Note that a2ps uses the qpr command to generate output, which may not
work properly on non-QMS printers.  If this is a problem, contact Bill


Ghostview 3.5.8 has been released.  I've tested it and found it to be
superior than the current Nevis default version, 2.9.4.  Aside from
offering many additional options, it also does not have the font
problems of the current ghostview.  Unless I hear an objection, I will
install the new version of ghostview on Monday evening, March 2, and
it will be the new Nevis version.

Normally, it is my practice to implement some form of version control
using the setup command when I install new software.  Unfortunately,
this is not easy in this case.  Version 3.5.8 uses a different format
for its resource file (in /usr/lib/X11/app-defaults/GV) than 2.9.4.
If you try to run the later version with an old resource file, the
program will quit.  Therefore, I'm taking the unusual step of moving
forward a version in software without providing you with a simple
fallback.  Based on my tests, and on the lack of complaints about the
previous ghostview upgrade, I feel this is safe.

If there are any comments or questions, please contact Bill Seligman.


There was a power failure at Nevis today (9-Feb-1998 from 11:55 through
13:30).  We took advantage of the downtime to perform some of the
maintenance that had originally been planned for 17:00 today. 
Unfortunately, some other problems occurred, in part due to the power
failure, which means we have to power down nevis1 again tomorrow at 12
noon.  Here's the complete picture:

-- The drive containing /doedisk3 and /doedisk4 has been replaced. The
contents of these partitions were backed up early this morning, and are
being restored as I type this.  Hopefully this will end the intermittent
problems we've had with the drive.

-- The new drive ordered for the atlas collaboration gave us "parity
errors."  We have ordered a replacement drive from BoxHill.  It should
arrive tomorrow (Tuesday).

-- The power supply on /usr5 failed.  /usr5 is a critical drive for the
Zeus collaboration.  For now, the contents of the drive are inaccessible
and those people with home directories on /usr5 can't even sign on.  A
new power supply will arrive tomorrow.

The replacement power supply for /usr5 is being sent via overnight
mail.  Because of the importance of /usr5, we plan to power down nevis1
at 12 noon tomorrow (hopefully during lunch time for most nevis1 users)
in order to get /usr5 up and running, and secondarily to install the new
atlas drive.

As usual, if this plan causes any potential conflict with your use of
nevis1 please inform Dave or myself.

-- Bill 


As a result of the power failure at Nevis today, the power supply on
the /usr5 drive failed.  The drive was removed from nevis1.  A new
power supply is being ordered, and will hopefully arrive at Nevis
tomorrow (10-Feb-1998).  In the meantime, /usr5 is not available
(though the data on the drive is safe!).

If you need a temporary account to just sign onto nevis1, or need a
file more than a week old from /usr5 before tomorrow, contact Bill
Seligman at x2823 or Dave Leon at x2830.


It appears that AFS has been successfully installed on nevis1.  If you
use AFS, please test it and let me know of any problems.

Since we have only one client license, we cannot run AFS on nevis1 and
nevis3 simultaneously.  Therefore, AFS has been disabled on nevis3.

I was unable to eliminate the AFS authentication message from the
login process.  Frotunately, it only appears when you telnet into
nevis1.  It does not show up when starting new windows on X-window

If there are any problems or questions, please contact Bill Seligman.


I just sent out a system-wide e-mail to inform you that I will reboot
nevis1 at 7 PM Tuesday, Feb 3, in order to install AFS client software
on nevis1.  If you did not receive this e-mail, let me know so I can
you to the mailing list.

What is AFS?  It is a system of linking disks between different
computer systems.  NFS is also a system for linking disks and
directories between different computers, but AFS has one crucial
difference: a directory accessed via AFS has the same name no matter
which computer system you're on.  (AFS also has much better security
than NFS, but this is transparent to the casual user.)

Here's a simple example to make things clear: Suppose we were running
an AFS server at Nevis (we aren't going to install the server, just
the client, so this is purely hypothetical).  Further suppose that I
were to put my files into an AFS directory named /afs/nevis/seligman
(in reality, AFS directory names are usually much longer).  Then no
matter where in the country I went, I could always access my files
with the directory name /afs/nevis/seligman, as long as I logged onto
a computer system that was running AFS.

With AFS, I don't have to worry about copying files back and forth
between computer systems to do my work.  AFS takes care of that by
storing any file I access in a cache, so if I repeatedly access the
file I'm not doing it over the network.  I can also write command
files with directory names that are independent of the computer system
I'm presently logged onto.

The DOE group requires AFS to do their work.  If you want to think
about using AFS for your work, try typing "ls /afs" after AFS has been
installed; you'll see a list of institutions that have installed AFS
servers, including BNL, CERN, and FNAL. 

However, there _may_ be a side-effect to the AFS installation.  We
presently have AFS installed on nevis3, and when you log onto that
machine, you get the message:

   Unable to authenticate to AFS because user doesn't exist
   proceeding with local authentication...

When AFS is installed on a system, it modifies the login command so
that it tries to automatically log onto an AFS server first, then
tries to log onto the local computer.  Our default AFS server is RHIC.
If you don't have an AFS account at RHIC, you see the above warning
message.  I will try to suppress this message when I install AFS on
nevis1.  If I can't do it, then you will see the message every time
you log on.  Please just ignore it.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Bill Seligman.


You may recall that in November I said that I had made Latex 2e the
default version at Nevis.  Well, it turns out that I made a mistake in
the installation -- everyone has still been using a test version of
Latex I placed in /libdisk/tex-wgs/.  I'm going to correct that
mistake at about 6:00 PM Thursday night (hopefully you'll all be
eating dinner at that time, so if TeX momentarily stops working it
won't impact your life severely).  With this change, all the files
that Latex uses will now be in the /usr/local directories.

As I noted in the message last November, TeX is a complicated program
and there are a lot of things that can go wrong during the
installation process; this mistake is an example of that.  If you
encounter any problems with the new installation of Latex, let me know

A minor tip: After the new installation, if you want to know what
style files or packages are available in our Latex installation, or
you want to find documentation on any of those packages, look in

As part of the correct TeX installation, the TeX-Info documentation
suite has been installed.  This facility allows you to create TeX
documents that can be used both as the source for info files within
Emacs and as printed postscript documents; the Emacs manual is created
this way.  For more information, type "C-h i" within Emacs; the
texinfo documentation is at the end of the directory.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact Bill Seligman.


Once again, I've installed the latest version of Root on Nevis1.  Root
is the latest software analysis framework tool from CERN.  Previously
we had a development version, 1.03/08, installed.  Now we have the
final production version of Root 1.03.

If there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


I've installed the latest version of root on Nevis1.  Root is the
latest software analysis framework tool from CERN.  Previously we had
a pre-production development version installed.  We now have version

If there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of Dave Winter, I have copied the binary libraries for
Cernlib 95a from CERN (if you're interested, I got them from
<>).  These libraries are
now in the local nevis1 directory /cern/95c/lib.  If you want to use
these libraries, type "setup cern95c".

Why was this done?  Apparently these is some compilation problem
associated with the Cernlib 95a libraries here on nevis1.  This may
have crept in during the compilation of 95a at Nevis, or it may have
been introduced somehow when I tried to compile Cernlib 97a.
Hopefully, using the CERN-compiled binaries directly will solve the

I have not tried running any programs using these libraries. If you
encounter any problems with them, contact Bill Seligman.


A simple version of the IMAP daemon is now available on nevis1.  I've
tested it for a while, and it works although it appears to be flakey.

What does IMAP do for you?  Here are the advantages:

1) All mail is kept on the server (that is, the computer nevis1).
This means that if you use your laptop or home computer to read your
mail, and something happens to your local machine, all your mail is
still safe.  You can also read your mail from anywhere in the world,
and it will still be available on nevis1 when you get back.

2) It imposes a hierarchical folder structure on your mail, allowing
you to organize mail in folders, sub-folders, and so on.  Pine, in
contrast, only allows one level of folder structure.

3) In theory, IMAP allows an administrator to configure access
privileges for mail folders.  In effect, this blurs the distinction
between mail, news, and bulletin boards.  In addition to your personal
mail folders, you can also see a set of folders that can only be
accessed by members of your collaboration, and another set of public
folders that can be read by anyone in the world for Nevis press

However, we can't do item (3) yet.  This version of IMAP, from the
University of Washington, is difficult to configure and comes with no
documentation.  We will almost certainly be moving to the
Carnegie-Mellon version of IMAP in the future.  It is a more powerful
implementation and is easier to configure, but it will store the mail
files in a different location, probably on nevis3.

If you have an IMAP client program (Netscape 4, Internet Explorer 4,
Outlook Explorer, Mulberry), you may want to give it a try.  The only
IMAP client program we have on nevis1 is Netscape 4 -- and this
crashes a lot when I try to use IMAP.  You have to consult your
program's documentation on how to configure it to be an IMAP client.
You should set the IMAP remote mail directory to be a directory in
your nevis1 account.  If this directory is the same as your Pine
directory, you may be able to share mail between the IMAP client and
Pine -- but this facility is untested.


Do not trust any critical e-mail to IMAP!!!  This software is a beta
version!  No serious flaws have been observed, but if your mail files
get trashed there may be little we can do to fix them.  In particular,
as with most mail programs, THE MAIL IN YOUR PINE INBOX WILL BE MOVED
ELSEWHERE IF YOU USE IMAP.  I strongly encourage you to make copies of
your mail files and directories before you start testing this

If you have any problems, contact Bill Seligman -- although in this
case I probably know no more than you do.


As promised, Latex 2e has become the default version of latex.  My
tests indicate that everything should work as before, but with a
complex system like Latex many things can go wrong.  If you experience
any problems, please contact Bill Seligman at once.

Also as promised, Lyx (a WYSIWYG interface to Latex) has been
installed.  You can learn a little about it by typing man lyx, or
you can look at the help available in the program itself: just type


At the request of Mike Shaevitz, the default print command has been
changed in ghostview.  It now defaults to duplex printing on QMS1,
that is, the default print command is "qpr -Pqms1 -d".

If there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


There are a number of old versions of TeX sitting around on nevis1.
To make support and upgrades easier, I would like to get rid of the
obsolete versions.  If I don't hear any objections by Monday, November
24, then I will make the following changes:

-- Any versions of TeX on the shared-software disks that are not part
of the official TeX distribution will be removed. This includes Chi's
version of TeX in /libdisk/tex and /usr2/tex.

-- Latex 2.09 will be declared obsolete.  You will be able to type
"setup latex209" to access this version.  However, the default version
will be Latex 2e.

Why the change?  When Latex 2e becomes the default version on Monday,
I will also install Lyx.  This is a WYSIWYG Latex editor (it's
basically Scientific Word implemented on the UNIX platform).  You can
get a preview by looking at <>.  Lyx only
works with Latex 2e, and so I feel that this is a good opportunity to
make a Nevis-wide change.

The command "setup latex2e" presently sets up your enironment for
Latex 2e.  I suggest you used this command to verify that your old
Latex 2.09 files are upwardly compatible with the latest version.

If you have any problems or questions, please contact Bill Seligman.


Nevis3 is down for a short time while we investigate the possiblity
that it is the source of some of the network problems that we've
experienced lately.

This immediately affects those users that boot their terminals off of
nevis3.  All the necessary terminal software was installed on nevis1
some time ago, and so everyone should now boot their terminals off of
nevis1.  To do this, go through your terminal's set-up and replace with  If you don't know how to do this,
contact Bill or Dave.

In the long run (a couple of months), we are planning to re-configure
nevis3 for use as a network server.  If you are using nevis3 for any
analysis, please let us know.  (We know that the DOE group uses nevis3
to AFS-mount a disk from BNL, and we are addressing that issue.)


                              NEVIS SITE SHUTDOWN 
Starting - November 14 at 4:00pm EST          Ending - November 17 at 9:00am

Please be informed that due to construction on the Con Ed power
substation located on the Nevis property, all power to the site will
be disconnected beginning Saturday Morning - November 15 and
continuing thru Sunday Evening - November 16th.

In preparation for this and to avoid costly equipment damage, we will
be shutting down all computer operations beginning Friday Evening at

In anticipation of the construction being completed on time Sunday, I
plan to turn the computer network back on beginning late Sunday
evening.  However delays are possible, so be prepared for the
possibility of no power Monday morning.

If you have any questions - please contact me

Dave (
914-732-1224 (pager)


If you recall, November is "remove old software" month here at Nevis.
To begin, I propose removing the following old software versions as of
Friday, Nov 14:

old version             only available version would be
---------------         -------------------------------
emacs 19.34             emacs 20.2
ghostscript 2.6.1       ghostscript 5.02
ghostscript 4.03        ghostscript 5.02
ghostview 1.5           ghostview 2.9.4
pine 3.91               pine 3.96
xview 3.0               xview 3.1

I anticipate the the only objection to the above list would be
ghostview 1.5, which is still used by default by the majority of Nevis
users.  If there was a request for it, I could make ghostview 2.9.4
the default version, and the only way to access the old version would
be through the setup command.

If you want to test the above software, I suggest putting the
following in your .mycshrc file:

# The following "source" line should already be in your .mycshrc
# file.  Leave it there permanently.
source /usr/local/adm/init-adm 
# The following line is temporary, to test the new software.
setup emacs202 gs5 gv2 xv31

In any case, if Bill Seligman ( receives
no objection to the above changes by Nov 14, then you should expect
that the old versions will become unavailable by Monday, Nov 17.

Next week's announcement will involve the removal of the multiple
versions of TeX that are sitting around on the public disk areas.
I plan to reduce the choice to between LaTeX 2.09 and Latex 2e.


Another potential security hole has been closed at the Nevis Web site.
If you'll recall the news item of 05-May-1997, I had removed access to
the nevis1 disk packs via the Web server.  This rendered URLs of the
form inoperable.  

However, I did not alter the configuration file srm.conf.  This file
still allowed URLs of the form or
.../doegroup/ or .../wl/ -- there were several aliases defined in this
file.  Today I browsed through the HTTPD access log, and discovered
that the files in all the directories accessible via doe/ and wl/ were
being continually catalogued and reviewed by someone's Web robot:

I have commented out all such aliases in srm.conf and restarted HTTPD.
At this point the privacy of the "aliased" directories has been
restored.  As with the previous change on 05-May-1997, this may mean
that some URLs on your existing Web pages may no longer work.  I
apologize for any inconvenience.

Right now, these are the only aliases that exist on our Web server:

backup_logs -> /libdisk/system
ccfr -> /usr6/ccfr/seligman/WWW/ccfr
e910 -> /usr14/doe/expts/e910
phenix -> /usr14/doe/expts/phenix

This means, for example, that the URL 
still works.  If you don't want a particular alias to exist (or need
one created), please contact Bill Seligman.


The new QMS magicolor CX printer is now formally ready for use.  The
new printer has been given the name "qmsc" on Nevis1.  Therefore, to
print a transparency using this new printer, you would type the

> qpr -Pqmsc

By default, transparencies are kept in the upper printer input bin
(which holds about 100 sheets), and white paper is kept in the lower
printer input bin (which holds about 500 sheets, or an entire ream).
Therefore, to print on white paper, you would use the command:

> qpr -Pqmsc -I2

You can learn more about the qpr command from the man page (type "man
qpr").  Note that qmsc does not have all the features that qms1 has;
in particular, qmsc cannot print double-sided.  Qms1 prints
black-and-white pages at least three times faster than qmsc prints
color pages, so you should still use qms1 for B&W printing.

The old Tektronics color printer, phaserps, still exists and is
presently located in the computer room.

If you have any problems using these printers, contact Dave Leon or
Bill Seligman.

As I public service, I've made a copy of the Emacs 20.2 manual in
postscript format and put it in /usr/local/share/emacs/20.2/
The manual is over 500 pages long.  If you want to print it out, I

> qpr -Pqms1 -d -I2 -l postscript /usr/local/share/emacs/20.2/

which will print the manual in duplex mode on (hopefully) 3-hole
paper.  Depending on the current reliability of our copying machine,
it may be better to xerox the copy in Bill Seligman's office.


The new version of Emacs, 20.2, is now available here at Nevis.  To
use it, type "setup emacs202", after which the "emacs" command will
invoke the new version.  For a list of what's new, type "f1 n" from
within Emacs 20.2 (that's the function key F1).

Let Bill Seligman know if there are any problems.  If none are
reported, Emacs 20.2 will probably become the default Nevis version in

An aside: If you want to make the transition from Emacs power-user to
Emacs wizard, you have to learn the LISP programming language to
create your own Emacs commands or modify Emacs' default behavior.
I've placed a copy of "Programming in Emacs Lisp" in directory
/usr/local/share/emacs/lisp-intro.  Unless you want to re-TeX the
.texi file yourself, you can just ghostview or print the 230-page
manual in


I have attempted to rationalize the way the setup (and unsetup)
commands handle multiple versions of software here at Nevis.  I did
this by allowing you to explictly specify a version number associated
with the software, as well as specifying a "generic" version.

Here's how it works, using Netscape Navigator as an example.  You can

> setup netscape

...and the command "netscape" will now work for you (as will
"netscape3", "ns", and "ns3", since version 3.01 is the default Nevis
version).  You can also type:

> setup netscape4

...and the command "netscape" will give you Netscape 4.03 (as will the
commands "netscape4", "ns", and "ns4"). You can also type "setup
netscape2" or "setup netscape3", which will create the analogous
commands for those versions of Netscape.

If you type:

> unsetup netscape

...or "unsetup netscape2" or "unsetup netscape3" or "unsetup
netscape4", you will remove all special aliases associated with
Netscape and leave your environment in an "undefined" state.  This is
the same state as when you first log in, before any setup command is
executed.  This is useful if, for some reason, you want to create your
own "ns" command and don't want the official Nevis version to conflict
with yours.

If you type just "setup" (or "unsetup"), you will get a list of all
the different software products and versions that are controlled by
the setup command.  The list is a long one -- which leads me to the
warning that November will be "remove old software versions month" at

I encourage you to use setup and unsetup for all your Nevis software
version control.  If there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


As I announced two weeks ago, Pine 3.96 has now become the default
version of Pine at Nevis. If you need to fall back to the earlier
version, you can do one of two things:

1) The command "pine391" will invoke the old version, Pine 3.91.

2) Type "setup pine391".  Now the "pine" command will invoke version
3.91.  You can switch to the new version later by typing "setup pine"
or "setup pine296", or just by using the "pine396" command.

If there are any problems, please contact Bill Seligman.


I recently closed a couple of additional security holes on nevis1. Now
that they have been taken care of, I can publically announce what they
were and tell you how to prevent them in the future.

1) Never put a "+" in a .rhosts file. 

The ~/.rhosts file in your local account contains a list of "trusted"
systems and accounts.  When you add an entry to this file, you allow a
particular account on a particular system to log in (via rsh, rlogin,
rcp, or rdist) to your local account without typing in a password.

This is fine, as long as the account on the remote machine remains
secure.  What you must never do is put a "+" as an entry in either the
system or account field of the .rhosts file.  A "+" in the system
field means that any system can access your local account as long as
their account name matches the account field in the .rhosts file.  A
"+" in the account field means that anyone from the system listed in
the system field can access your account.  And if you put a "+" in
both fields -- anyone from any system has full access privileges to
your account.

2) Do not put any passwords in your .netrc file. 

The ~/.netrc file in your account is used to speed up the "ftp"
program: if you put a system, account, and password in this file, and
ftp to that system, then the program will automatically log into that
account with that password.  The ftp program will only access the
.netrc file if its access privilege is set to chmod go-rwx, that is,
only your account and the root account can see the file.

This seems fine, unless the root account on nevis1 is compromised.
Well, it was... and so all the passwords to other computer systems
were visible to some system cracker.  This means that not only should
you change the passwords on all the computer systems listed in your
.netrc file, but you should change your nevis1 password if it was the
same as that on any of those other systems.

Everyone who had one of the above security holes in their account was
personally contacted by me and the problem was corrected.  In the
future, will there will be regular scans to search for these security
issues.  Violators will be contacted immediately.  If there are any
questions, please contact Bill Seligman.


The "official" Nevis base URL is <>.
Occasionally, some people (including myself) have used a shorter form:
<>. However, this assumes that our Web
server HTTPD is running on nevis1. This may not always be true -- we
may move the Web server to nevis3 in December. Therefore, when you
give the URL of your home page to others or when you compose your own
Web pages, please use the platform-independent form:

If you have any questions, please contact Bill Seligman.


Nevis1 was down from about 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM, Monday Oct 6, to make
the following changes:

-- About twenty system patches relating to security have been
installed. We have verified that these have closed up security holes
that formerly allowed system crachers to sneak in.

-- The directory /var/mail has been moved to a new, disk partition,
/maildisk/mail, which is reserved for mail only. This will help free
valuable space on the /usr disk. It will also allow Pine users to keep
as many message in their INBOX folder as they want.

-- A system development library,, was added to
/usr/lib. This allows I3D to function.

Let Dave or Bill know if there are any problems.


I3D is now available on nevis1. This is a web browser helper
application that allows you to see and navigate through 3D VRML
("Virtual Reality Modeling Language") models. However, it only works
on an SGI workstation -- and right now we have only one such
workstation in the main building, nevis3. Its performance is
lackluster compared to other VRML browsers available for personal
computers or workstations. However, for better or worse, I3D is the
"official" 3D modeling scheme for LHC.

To use I3D, you must add the following lines to your ~/.mime-types file:

# For i3d files
type=x-world/x-i3d \
desc="I3D file" \
# For VRML files
type=x-world/x-vrml \
desc="VRML file" \

You must also add the following to your ~/.mailcap file:

# For i3d files
x-world/x-i3d;i3d -remote 'openURL(%s,%u)'
# For VRML files
x-world/x-vrml;i3d -remote 'openURL(%s,%u)'

To set up the I3D environment, sit in front of an SGI workstation, log
in, type "setup i3d", then run Netscape. You will probably want to
start from the I3D home page, <>.


An FAQ (Freqently Asked Question) that system administrators get is,
"Which mail program should I use?" In the past, we've deprecated Pine,
because we thought it was becoming a commercial product. Well, we were
wrong. I checked out the Pine web site at, and Pine is alive and well. It's being
maintained by the good people at the University of Washington.

So by all means, go ahead and keep using Pine. In fact, Pine is a good
solution to the problem of how to access your mail from remote sites
or from your home computer. Since Pine is purely text-based, it's fast
enough to use even over slow Internet links via a Telnet
connection. Pine handles MIME enclosures, and is capable of reading
mail off of a POP server (which we have on nevis1) or an IMAP server
(which we don't have on nevis1, but may be available on other

In the spirit of continued support for Pine at Nevis, I've installed
the latest version of Pine, 3.96 (the "current" Nevis version is
3.91). The command to run the new version is "pine396". If you want to
see what's new in this version of Pine, you can consult the man page
or you can type R when you start Pine. I've also installed pico (a
text editor that uses the Pine interface) and pilot (a file
manipulation utility that uses the Pine interface). If I hear no
complaints from any Pine users by October 20, I will make Pine 3.96
the current version.

If you use Pine, all of your mail files will be stored on
nevis1. Please be aware that if you leave your mail in the INBOX, the
mail is stored in directory /usr/mail, which is a relatively small
disk that's shared by all nevis1 users. If you move a message from
INBOX to another folder, it's stored on your own disk. I strongly
suggest that you move your mail into different folders as soon as you
read it. Aside from saving critical disk space, it's a good way to
organize your mail.

If there are any problems or questions, please contact Bill Seligman.


On the advice of Jerry Dodd, a change has been made in the Nevis Web
Site ( I've replaced the useless
"Welcome" page with a set of directions on how to get to Nevis Labs.
Please look over these directions and let Bill Seligman know if they're
incorrect or incomplete.

If you want to know why the "Welcome" page was useless, you can still see
it at If you want to contribute
any material that would make this page useful, please feel free to do so.


Netscape version 4.03 is now available on nevis1. To use it, first
type "setup netscape4" or "setup ns4". This will enable both the ns4
and netscape4 commands. I suggest you run Netscape in the
"background", so you would type "ns4 &" to actually run Netscape 4.

The advantages of Netscape 4 are an improved user interface, increased
speed, improved handling of mail and news, an HTML page composer
function, and a Java 1.1.2 virtual machine.  The disadvantages: the
program takes up more memory (do not be surprised if your low-memory
X-terminal crashes), it takes longer to start up, and there are some
funny glitches in the user interface.

Given the flakiness of the program, we have no plans to remove the
current Nevis version of Netscape, v3.01. Therefore, we now have three
versions of Netscape at Nevis:

Version    Command                          Comments
-------    ---------------------------      --------------------------
2.0        /libdisk/netscape2/netscape      For low-memory X-terminals
3.01       netscape                         Standard
4.03       setup ns4; ns4                   The latest - snazzy but buggy

If you have any problems, please contact Bill Seligman.

(Side note: A new Web-site design tip has been added to the bottom of It describes how to add an
"auto-forwarding" Web page.)


Ghostscript version 5.02 has been installed in /libdisk/ghostscript5.
Note that two earlier versions of ghostscript are still available: 
3.33 and 4.03. To access a given version, execute the following:

gs 3.33  ==> do nothing (or type "unsetup gs")
gs 4.02  ==> type "setup gs" or "setup ghostscript"
gs 5.02  ==> type "setup gs5" or "setup ghostscript5"

Given the wild and wooly world of Postscript, Ghostscript, and
Ghostview, I am reluctant to delete any earlier versions until we are
sure that the new versions work.

If there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


Although the GNU version of C and C++ (gcc and g++ respectively) have
been available for some time, the debugger options were never properly
installed. This has been corrected in three ways:

-- Version 2.8 of the GNU binary utility programs, binutils, have been
installed. Probably the most important of these programs is "as", the
GNU assembler (the gcc and g++ compilers won't accept the "-g" option
unless GAS is installed).

-- The latest versions of the GNU C and C++ compilers,, have
been installed. They were completely re-compiled with the appropriate
flags such that the "-g" option (for debugging source code) will now

-- The GNU Debugger, gdb version 4.16, has been installed.

The documentation for all the newly-installed software is available
from the "info" facility inside Emacs (type "C-h i").

If there are any problems with this new software, please contact Bill


We have instituted an automated procedure that runs at 4:15 AM every
morning.  Any file in your directories ~/.netscape/cache and
~/.netscape-cache is deleted if it's more than three days old.

Why is this change being made?  When you run Netscape, the contents of
the web pages you view are stored in one of the special cache
directories.  If you load the same web page again, Netscape will save
time by reading contents of that page from the cache rather than
fetching them from the Internet again.

This can be a problem because Netscape does not normally remove old
files from the cache.  These files are purged only when you tell
Netscape to do so (Options->Network Preferences->Clean Disk Cache Now)
or until you have at least 5 MB of files stored in the cache.  Since
we have a fast T1 link at Nevis, the time saved by not re-loading
files is offset by the amount of disk storage all these cache files
take up amongst all users.  This new procedure will free up the disk
space used by old cache files.

If you experience any problems with this change, contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of Stephen Markacs, xmgr has been installed on
nevis1. Xmgr is an X-windows graphics and plotting program similar to
paw++, but with more features and a more accessible user
interface. Documentation is available at nevis1/xmgr/xmgr.html (try it
without typing "http://" in front; it works!) or visit the description
of technical software at Nevis at nevis1/software/technical.html. If
there are any problems, contact Bill Seligman.


As of July 25, 1997 - The following system changes have
been made:

* Installed two(2) new 9gb disk drives for the ccfr group with
  each drive partitioned in half:

* Migrated the data from the old /usr6 to the new usr6 drive

* Migrated the data from the old /usr7 to the new usr7 drive

* Remounted the new usr6 and usr7 drives - unmounted the old
  usr6 and usr7 drives

* Installed two additional mount points for the group:
  /ccfr5 and /ccfr6

The effect of this doubles the capacity of /usr6 and /usr7
and provides an additional 9gb of capacity to the group
via /ccfr5 and /ccfr6

Any problems - contact me 



While working with Bill Zajc yesterday, we discovered two subtle
issues associated with setting up web pages.

1) All .html files must have "read" permission for "other" users for
a Web browser to be able to see them. 

2) If you put .html files in sub-directories, the directory must
have both "read" permission and "execute" permission for "other"
users for a Web browser to be able to access files within the

A more detailed description of this issue has been added to the Nevis
Web Guide at


Latex2e has been installed on nevis1 for some time (it's in
/libdisk/tex-wgs/share/texmf/tex/latex/base, and is activated by the
command "setup latex2e"). However, even though the files containing
the color and graphics bundles were installed in this directory, they
were not properly set up. This has now been corrected. If you look in
the above directory, you will find the file grfguide.tex, which
explains how to use the color and graphics bundles.

If you previously used the color or the graphics bundles, you had to
place files with the names color.cfg or graphics.cfg in every
directory that contained tex files. This is no longer necessary. If
you have other .cfg or .sty files that you have been forced to place
in every one of your tex directories, let Bill Seligman know and he'll
install them properly into latex2e.


Perl version 5.003 is now the default version of Perl on nevis1. The
program is in /usr/local/bin, and there are associated libraries and
scripts in /usr/local/lib and /usr/local/share. If you use the "perl"
command, or begin your scripts with #!/usr/bin/perl, you will get this
new version.

The Perl man1 pages have been installed in /usr/local/man, and
/usr/lib/makewhatis has been run so that the new pages will show up in
a man -k or "apropos" search. If you are a dedicated Perl user, you
may want to know that the default Perl installation places some man3
pages in /usr/local/lib/perl5/man. If you'd like to be able to access
these man pages, you may want to append this directory to your
MANPATH; e.g.:

setenv MANPATH "$MANPATH:/usr/local/lib/perl5/man"

The old version, Perl 4.36, has been renamed perl4. I have no
immediate plans to remove this old version, but it will be deleted
eventually. If there are any problems, please contact Bill Seligman.


At the request of James Nagle, Tcl version 7.6 and Tk version 4.2 have
been installed on nevis1.  Tcl is a scripting language; Tk is an X11
toolkit for Tcl.  Fundamentally, the Tk/Tcl combination offers a
platform-independent way to design graphic interfaces for your
software.  Some basic information is available via "man" pages: tcl,
tk, tclsh, wish.  On-line documentation is available at

I've also installed vtcl, a Visual Tcl toolkit.  Unfortunately, no
documentation is available; try typing "vtcl" and see if you can
figure it out.  This particular program is only one of several free
Visual Tcl development systems available; if you have a preference let
me know.

Also, the Tk/Tcl plug-in for Netscape has been installed.  You can
view (or even design) Web pages with Tk/Tcl interfaces.  Note that
this plug-in uses a fair amount of memory.  If you view Tk/Tcl
interfaces with Netscape, be prepared for crashes unless your terminal
has lots of RAM.

                                        -- Bill Seligman


At the request of Dave Winter, gawk (the GNU version of awk) version
3.0.3 has been installed on nevis1. Gawk (and awk) are "stream
editors", allowing you to apply a programmed series of edits to a
number of files. Documentation is available via man gawk (and "man
igawk"; igawk allows you to use include files with gawk), or you can
use the info facility in emacs (C-h i).

If you don't already use awk, I recommend that you learn perl
instead. If you have old awk or gawk scripts, consider using the a2p
utility to convert them to perl programs.
                                             -- Bill Seligman


I have received a number of complaints from users trying to switch
from version 94a to 95a. It appears that 95a has a few
bugs. Therefore, I have restored version 94a -- but you will have to
set it up explicitly with the command "setup cern94a". It may be that
once things settle down, the two "official" Nevis versions of Cernlib
will be 94a as the "current" version and 97a as the "new" version, but
no decisions have been made.
                                         -- Bill Seligman


Perl is a computer language that combines powerful text and pattern
manipulation commands with file manipulation and the ability to issue
system commands. The current "official" Nevis version is Perl 4.36,
which has been obsolete for a couple of years. Unless Bill Seligman
hears an objection, the obsolete Perl 4 will be replaced by the latest
version, Perl 5.003, on 30-May-1997.

For technical reasons, we cannot implement a "setup/unsetup" facility
for Perl. If you want to test Perl 5.003 right now, use
#!/usr/bin/perl5 (or use the perl5 command) to execute any Perl
programs you presently use.

The feedback I've received from the few Perl users at Nevis suggests
that we should switch to Perl 5 immediately. If anyone must use any
version of Perl earlier than 5.003, I suggest you let me know before


The Documenter's Workbench has now been installed on nevis1. The
immediate practical benefit is that the "man" pages of many new
utilities are now available. The following statement has been added to

setenv MANPATH "/usr/local/man:/usr/share/catman:/usr/share/man:/usr/catman:/usr/man"

The /usr/lib/makewhatis utility has been run so that man -k and
"apropos" will include the new man pages.

All of this should be transparent to you UNLESS you redefine the
$MANPATH variable in one of your environment files (.cshrc, .profile,
.login, .mycshrc). If you have redefined $MANPATH for some reason
(perhaps your collaboration uses private utilities with their own man
pages), then make sure the directory /usr/local/man is in your
$MANPATH directory list. Type "echo $MANPATH" to make sure.

Another feature of Documenter's Workbench is that the standard UNIX
document utilities (nroff, troff, tbl, eqn, neqn, font, grap, pic, and
so forth) are now available on nevis1. Please don't create new
documents using these utilities! Use LaTeX instead. These utilities
should only be used if you have old nroff or troff documents and you
want to see their contents.


There is now an on-line guide to software available at Nevis, along
with links to whatever tutorials are available on the Web. In theory,
you could point incoming students to this web page and let them learn
about UNIX, Fortran, Latex, and Emacs. Please send all comments and
suggestions for improvement to Bill Seligman. The URL of the Nevis
Software Guide is:

Tip: If your Web browser goes through nevis1 to access the Web, you
can just type nevis1/software (that's it, no http://) and get the same
result as typing the URL above.


At 3:45 PM on 6-May-97, the links to root directories of the nevis1
disk packs were removed in /usr2/local/httpd/htdocs. This was done to
eliminate a major security hole in the Nevis Web Site. The practical
result of this is that some web links on existing pages that you
created will no longer work.

For more information, see the URL

If the above Web page does not answer your questions, contact Bill


At the request of Eric Mannel, I've installed the a2ps utility in
/usr/local/bin. The "man" page has been installed in
/usr/local/man/mann, and you will be able to type man a2ps after the
Documenter's Workbench has been installed.

Basically, a2ps takes a plain ASCII text file and formats it for
postscript printing. The text is printed in landscape mode, two pages
per sheet, with the file name and page number on each page. The basic
use of the command is:

a2ps filename.txt -Pprintername

If you have any problems with this program, contact Bill Seligman.



4 tape drives on Nevis1 - tps2d2, tps2d3, tps4d2 and tps4d3 have been
replaced with new units.  You should not have any more problems with
tape rewrites.



The directory nevis1:/var/news has been moved to /libdisk/news and
appropriate links have been placed in nevis1:/var/news and
nevis3:/var/news. This allows the news to be examined from
nevis3. Unfortunately, the side effect is that all news items have
become "unread" for all users. If you've kept up-to-date on the news
so far, then you don't have to read any further. Sorry for the


If you are not a Macintosh user, ignore the rest of this news item.

CAP (Columbia Appletalk Package) has been installed on nevis1. The
practical result of this is that a Mac with an Ethernet port can:

-- Print to any ethernet printer that can be accessed via the "lpr"
command on nevis1.

-- Read and write files on certain directories of nevis1 (in other
words, nevis1 is now a Mac file server). You need an account on nevis1
to do this.

Any Mac with an Ethernet port can share files with any other Mac, and
can print to any printer that understands Ethertalk. This has always
been true, and is unchanged with the installation of CAP.

If you want your Mac to be set up to take advantage of these services,
contact Bill Seligman. When the Documenter's Work Bench has been
installed, you can learn more about CAP by typing man CAP.


The latest version of CERNLIB, 97a, is now available at Nevis. To use
this latest version, use the command "setup cern97a". (Don't forget
that the command "source /usr/local/adm/init-adm" must be in your
.cshrc file for the setup command to work.) Report any problems to
Bill Seligman.

Right now we have seven different versions of CERNLIB installed at
Nevis. I'd like to reduce this to a single current version, but I need
your help. We are going to "stage a transition" to make CERNLIB 95a
the only "current" version, and CERNLIB 97a the only "new"
version. After this transition, which should take about two weeks,
we'll address the issue of making 97a the only version at Nevis.

Step one: Please look at the files you use to initialize your UNIX
environment (typically these files have the names .cshrc, .mycshrc,
and .alias). Make sure that the line

   source /usr/local/adm/init-adm

is in your .cshrc file, and the line

   setup cern

is in your .mycshrc file. Remove ALL other references to cern
directories from your environment files. This includes lines like:

   source /etc/cern94a.plienv   <-- REMOVE LINES THAT LOOK LIKE THIS


   set path = ($path /cern/pro/bin /mygroup/myfiles/bin)

   <-- EDIT THIS TO set path = ($path /mygroup/myfiles/bin)

If the effects of doing this cause any problems, contact Bill

Right now, if you don't initialize CERNLIB at all, everyone at Nevis
gets version 94a (note that this version is obsolete). On Monday, May
5, I'll remove the line from /etc/cshrc that makes this the "default"
version, and replace it with "setup cern", which will make the default
version the current Nevis version.

On Monday, May 12, I will move the CERNLIB versions 93c, 93d, 94a,
95b, 96a so that they'll become inaccessible to the system. If you
need files from these versions, do NOT copy them to preserve them (the
point of this exercise to recover disk space, not to use more). Tell
Bill Seligman and we'll work something out. If you were using 95b or
96a, try using 97a instead.

After this is done, there will be only two versions of CERNLIB at
Nevis: 95a and 97a. Then we can discuss whether 97a should be made the
only Nevis version.


The current default version of xview is 3.00. The latest version of
xview is available via the setup command:

setup xv

will cause xv to run version 3.1. If there are any problems, contact


An early version of a new CERN software product, ROOT, is now
available at Nevis. Apparently this is the new data analysis software
package that will replace PAW. It has been implemented with the setup
command; that is, type

setup root

to test this software, and

unsetup root

to remove it from your area. The ROOT software is presently stored in
$ROOTSYS = /libdisk/root. You may need to move some of the $ROOTSYS
sub-directories to your own area ($ROOTSYS/test and $ROOTSYS/tutorials
in particular). For more documentation, see

In related news, CERNLIB version 97A has just been released in source
form on the CERN FTP server. However, that server is now so busy that
we cannot access it. Once we can copy the new software over, it will
be installed at Nevis. Eventually 97A will become the default
version. With the release of ROOT, it appears that 97A may be _last_
version of CERNLIB to be released.


Many mail messages now have MIME documents embedded within
them. Basically, MIME is a way of transferring files as part of a mail
message. Pine and Netscape handle MIME automatically, but the Emacs
mail facility, RMAIL, did not.

A facility is now available for interpreting MIME content within
RMAIL. To use the RMIME mode, include the following lines in your
.emacs file:

(load "metamail")
(autoload 'rmime-format "rmime" "" nil)
(add-hook 'rmail-show-message-hook 'rmime-format)
(add-hook 'rmail-edit-mode-hook    'rmime-cancel)

If you want to learn more about .emacs files and other Emacs topics,
use the Info facility within Emacs (C-h i). From the Menu, select
Emacs, then scroll down the topic list to "Initial Options".

If there are any problems, contact


When news items are updated, they are now also saved on the Nevis Web
Site. If you need to look at news items, you can find them at:


At the request of some Nevis users, there is now a guide on how to set
up Web pages at Nevis. To see this guide, go to the Nevis Home Page
with your favorite Web browser. The URL is:

Click on the "Computing at Nevis Labs" link, then on the "Nevis Web
Guide" link.

Please send any comments or questions to


Bill Zajc spotted a bug in the installation of the latest version of
ghostscript (4.03). The symptom of the bug was that ghostscript could
not find many common fonts. This bug has been fixed. If you
experienced problems when you tried "setup ghostscript" and you went
back to the previous version, please try the new version again.

Report any additional problems to


xfig 3.1.3 has been available at Nevis since November. However, we
never installed the fig2dev utility, without which xfig is almost
useless. fig2dev has now been installed in /usr/bin/X11. If there are
any problems, please contact


                     * * * A L L  U S E R S * * *
Please add the line

   source /usr/local/adm/init-adm

near the beginning of your .cshrc file. This will help us administer
the installation of new software for all users. If you ever see the
message "setup: command not found", it's the lack of the "source" line
in your .cshrc file that's causing the program. If you don't know how
to edit your .cshrc file, contact Dave Leon or Bill Seligman. Warning:
If you don't edit this file yourself, eventually we will do it for


                     * * * Other new software * * *

"netpbm" is a collection of utility software for converting between
graphics files of different formats. They're used by the latex2html
utility. If you need to use these programs yourself, they're currently
located in /libdisk/netpbm/bin.

The latest version of perl is 5.003. Presently version 4.36 is current
Nevis version, and it is invoked by the command /usr/bin/perl. If you
want to test the latest version, use /usr/bin/perl5. (For technical
reasons, we can't control the version of perl using the "setup"
command.) Eventually, we will replace perl 4.36 with 5.003 -- if you
have any problems with this, contact Bill Seligman.

Would whoever installed perl version 5.002 please contact Bill
Seligman. If he doesn't hear from you before April 18, all files
relating to perl 5.002 in /libdisk and /usr/bin will be


                     * * * Software testing * * *

We now have a facility for you to try out new versions of software while
retaining the ability to run the old versions. This is done via the
"setup" command. The format of the command is:

   setup [products]

where [products] is one or more of the new software products we've
installed at Nevis. If one or more of the new products cause problems,
you can un-install it by typing "unsetup [product]". If you want a list
of products that setup (or unsetup) recognizes, type the command with
no arguments.

Example: I want to test the new versions of Latex and Cernlib 96a, so I
type "setup latex cern96a". Later, I decide that Cernlib 96a is
causing me problems, so I type "unsetup cern96a" to go back to the
default Nevis version (95a).

We strongly encourage you to test the new products and report any
problems to the person who installed the new software. Eventually, the
"new" version of the software will become the "default" version --
which means that you will NOT be able to go back to the earlier
version. Find the problems now, while you still have a chance to go

As of today (02-Apr-1997), these are the software versions that
"setup" can control:

product           setup version         default Nevis version
-------           -------------         ---------------------
latex2e           LaTeX 2e              LaTeX 2.09
                  TeX 3.14159           Tex 3.141
                  Dvips 5.66a           Dvips 5.51b
latex2html        96.1                  <none>
ghostscript (gs)  4.03                  2.6.1
ghostview (gv)    2.9.4                 1.5
cern94a           94a (obsolete - kept for people with old-format NTUPLEs)
cern95a           95a                   95a
cern96a           96a (may not be fully installed)
cern              95a ("setup cern" will always install the default Nevis
                       version -- "unsetup cern" will remove all CERN
                       reference from your system path)

Report any problems with these packages to

A note to DOE users: the "setup" version of latex2e is newer than the
one that Chi installed for you. Please test this new version.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 19-Mar-1997 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

CERNLIB software version 95a is the current Nevis version.  The
command "setup cern95a" will define all the proper environment
variables and pathnames.

Emacs version 19.34 has been installed in the system. It will assume
you are using X-window terminals.  Command "emacs -nw" will enable you
to run emacs on a non X window terminal.

Ispell version 3.1 and GNU Make version 3.75 have been installed. For
help on these utilities or on emacs itself, type "C-h i" from within


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 12-Mar-1997 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

==> The default versions of all software from non-SGI vendors are
installed in /usr/local/bin. This directory MUST be on your system
path for you to use any new software at Nevis. To check, type 
"echo $path" -- if you don't see "/usr/local/bin" in the list, contact
Dave Leon or Bill Seligman.

Netscape version 3.01 is now the default version in the system. Type    
"netscape" to run on an X-windows terminal.

GCC and G++ (the GNU C and C++ compilers) are installed on the system
at version 2.7.2. Type "C-h i" from within emacs to learn more about
these language compilers.

Gzip and Gunzip, the GNU compression/decompression utilities, are the
latest version: 1.2.4.

The current versions of the TeX-related software are:
     TeX: 3.141
     Latex: 2.09
     Dvips: 5.51b
These will be upgraded in the near future.

Mathematica version 3.0 is semi-installed in the system -- we're
having problems getting the font manager to accept the new fonts
necessary to run Mathematica. Will keep you informed. To run
Mathematica, type "math".


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 02-Aug-1995 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

xemacs version 19.12 has been installed on the system.  It is 
strictly for an X-window environment.  

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Use "qpr -Pqms1 -l postscript <filename>" to print a POSTSCRIPT file.
Use "qpr -Pqms1 -l pcl4 <filename>" to print a TEXT file.
Type man qpr for a complete list of options.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

xdvi has been installed in /usr/local/bin.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

RELEASE NOTES are available for IRIX v5.3.  For information on 
obtaining release notes on the various products installed, use the command
"more /usr/".

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

You can use "finger" to get account and login information about other users.
Type "finger <username>"


         * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
         * * * * N E V I S  S Y S T E M  N E W S * * * *
         * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We are resurrecting the UNIX news facility to keep you informed on the
current status of the Nevis systems and software. The first time you
type "news | more" you will see all the news items that used to appear
when you signed on to the system. Afterwards, you'll only see news
items that we've added or changed since the last time you entered the
news command.

Type man news for information on how to use the news utility. Here
are some basic tips:

If you forget to type "more" and all the news scrolls off the screen,
"man -a | more" will print all the news items. Simply type "q" when
you get to those items that you've read before.

If you want to look up a particular item, look in /var/news.

Send comments to webmaster.