Research Computing >> 2001 news archive
RESEARCH COMPUTING NEWS 2001Please check here often for updated news and information on research computing.
December 5, 2001: New release of SSH Secure Shell
SSH Secure Shell Version 3.1.0 is now available to current NU faculty, students and staff. Windows and UNIX versions are available.
To obtain your copy of SSH Secure Shell Version 3.1.0, see
You should install SSH Secure Shell Version 3.1.0 if you are using any version of the product prior to version 3.0.1.
Version 3.1.0 adds numerous bug fixes, and also adds a variety of new features, including:
After investigation, telnet on skew3 is not vulnerable to the currently known issues. Therefore the telnetd service on skew3 has been re-enabled. We hope this will help those users who do not have ssh or X windows. Please note, due to the inherent vulnerability of telnet, its use is discouraged. SSH and X windows are two alternatives in place of telnet. Refer to our page on terminal emulators.
Telnet does provide one convenience when the password of your skew3 account expires and you need to set a new password. You can change the password at the login window of a telnet session, and do not need to ask research computing group to change it for you. If you ask us to change the password for you, it will take a longer time to get it done due to the waiting queue of the requests.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments on this.
The latest electronic copy of the Stata Journal is available online. The Stata Journal replaces the Stata Technical Bulletin series.
Access to the STBs and the Stata Journal is by request only. Send a message to email@example.com to have your netid added.
Also, the following titles have been added to the research computing library's collection:
These books are available to current Kellogg faculty and doctoral students for short term loans (up to one week) in Jacobs 4219.
Kellogg has subscribed to CDA/spectrum 13F institutional transaction data from 1980 to current via WRDS. The data can be accessed through either WEB or UNIX server.
Please go to Access CDA/Spectrum via WRDS for file layout and access information.
Part I: Research Computing at Kellogg
Instructor: Patricia Ledesma
Research Databases at Kellogg
Software Tools on NT and UNIX
Part II: General Computing at Kellogg
Instructor: Joe Cheng
Robert McDonald and Andrew Kaplin will give an introduction to creating documents with Scientific WorkPlace (or Scientific Word), and LATEX, in general. Materials will be posted in the following page:
Topics of the Monday session (led by Andrew Kaplin) will include:
Topics of the Tuesday session (led by Robert McDonald) will include:
Skew3 has been down throughout the day due to power outages and flooding at 2020 Ridge. The university has issued a system wide emergency, closing the campus.
Update: Skew3 was back online around 6:00 pm.
Skew3 will be taken down 8:00 am to 10:00 am the morning of Sunday, August 5th to apply emergency security patches. Without these patches, the UNIX server is at risk of being broken into. We appreciate your collaboration and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please feel free to contact Research Computing if you have any questions or concerns on this.
Telnet access in skew3 disabled:
The CERT Coordination Center has recently discovered a security vulnerability with telnet. The announcement to the public can be found at:
Because of this we will have to disable non-secure telnet access to this machine. The potential damage from the vulnerability could potentially bring down the entire machine and completely stop all services for days. The University has recently experienced an increase in hacker attacks on Unix machines, and has already diabled telnet on the e-mail servers.
There are secure alternatives to the non-secure telnet. To connect to skew3, use one of the following two options:
Telnet will be restored when Sun provides a security patch.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Feel free to contact Jim Guo and Patricia Ledesma with any questions.
Skew3 scheduled maintenance downtime:
Skew3 needs to be taken down for system maintenance on August 24 and 25. The software that controls skew's RAID (redundant array of inexpensive disks) will be reinstalled to avoid a potential system crash. Due to lack of time, this task could not be accomplished in the previous shutdown. All services on skew3 will be unavailable during these two days.
We apologize for the inconvenience this might cause and appreciate your collaboration. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either Jim Guo or Patricia Ledesma.
Per the users' request, we have added 7 more concurrent Stata licenses on skew3, bringing the total to 10 concurrent users. We hope this will resolve "no more users allowed" problem with STATA.
Please also be aware that skew3 has 4 GB of RAM, shared by all users. Plan carefully if you want to allocate a big block of RAM with Stata. The command "top.beta" (man top) will let you know the current usage of memory and CPU on skew3.
The latest versions of SAS and Matlab are now available on skew3. To access SAS version 8.2, run your SAS programs with "sas82 filename". Version 8.1 is still the default for "sas". Matlab 6, release 12, can be accessed typing "matlab12" at the Unix prompt in skew3. This new release of Matlab has a desktop environment that can be accessed using an X Windows emulator such as Xwin32.
The Stata executable (and many ado and help files) has also been updated. The current version is dated June 26, 2001.
Please report to firstname.lastname@example.org any problems you may experience with these new versions.
Skew3 will be taken down from 8:00 am to 10:00 am for maintenance on June 30, this Saturday morning. All the services will be unavailable during this time period. Please do not run overnight jobs before the downtime. Thank you very much for your collaboration. Please e-mail us if you have any questions on this.
The latest Stata Technical Bulletin, STB-61 is now available. Interested faculty and doctoral students may access the electronic copy through the Research Computing web pages:
Access to the STB page is given upon request. Send a e-mail to email@example.com. Bulletins since STB-59 are available in electronic format. Hardcopies are available in Research Computing (Andersen 4219), including volumes 1-9 of the STB reprints.
Please be aware of the following scheduled WRDS downtime for June 1st, 5th, 8th, and 12th. Please plan ahead and do not run overnight jobs on WRDS before the days listed below. If you have any concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear WRDS Representative,
Please forward the following e-mail to your WRDS users.
During the next several weeks we will be optimizing our disk arrays.
for better performance and redundancy as well as converting all of our databases to SAS V8. During the specified times below, the WRDS system will be up and operational, however, users will not be able to access the indicated data partitions for the specified times. All processes that access these partitions during our conversion time will be terminated.
We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
Jalal D. Akhavein
WRDS OPTIMIZATION/CONVERSION SCHEDULE
DATE: Friday, June 1st, 7AM-8AM.
DATA NOT AVAILABLE FROM 7 AM - 8 AM:
DATE: Tuesday, June 5th, 7AM-8AM.
DATA NOT AVAILABLE FROM 7 AM - 8 AM:
DATE: Friday, June 8th, 7AM-8AM.
DATA NOT AVAILABLE FROM 7 AM - 8 AM:
DATE: Tuesday, June 12th, 7AM-8AM.
DATA NOT AVAILABLE FROM 7 AM - 8 AM:
SDC Platinum Repurchases database: This database has been added to our subscription. Coverage starts in 1994 and it includes all US repurchase programs (open market and privately negotiated) and sel-tender transactions. The database includes the following items: value and shares authorized (indicated and actual), purpose of buyback, transaction description, capital increases, financing information, after market pricing and performance information, board authorization and completion dates, related acquisitions, adjustment for stock splits. SDC Platinum is available through the Kellogg NT network.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Selective Time & Sales data: This CME "tickdata" has been installed in skew3 and it consists of a collection of "flat" ASCII files. It covers the period between April 21, 1982 and June 30, 2000, tick-by-tick. The commodities included are S&P 500 options, futures and cash index. The file layouts have been transcribed and are available online in the Research Computing page.
Futures Industry Institute (FII) daily futures data: The files are currently being updated to include data until December of 2000. There are over 100 contracts available (agricultural, energy, minerals, exchange rates, indexes, treasuries) from different stock exchanges, including non-US exchanges. Data items generally include opening, high, low, settlement price, cash price (depending on contract), volume, open interest.
For more information, refer to the Research Computing "Data" web page.
There have been two toolboxes upgrades after the Matlab CD was shipped to us:
If you are interested in obtaining the upgrade, the installation instructions and link to the setup programs are in the following page:
Matlab Release 12 is available (for both Windows and UNIX) now. This is covered by the campus license. The cost is $100.00 per copy per machine for the next two years and can be installed in a university owned computer only. If you acquired a copy through the campus license within the last year (release 11), then this upgrade is free.
The current R12 license works through September 1 of 2001. It covers the following toolboxes:
Note: NAG is not covered under this license. NUIT just obtained a campus license for NAG, and the media and license password will arrive later this month or early next month.
The installation instructions have been posted in the following page:
Stata 6 has been removed from Kellogg's Unix server, skew3, and from the Andersen computer laboratories. Stata 7 is installed in both platforms. If users have any problem with Stata on skew3, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the material in the old web site has been archived; if you need access to a specific page, it can be added to the new site or Research Computing can e-mail the requested page.
The BridgeStation service has been discontinued. Due to Bridge's Chapter 11 proceedings, the cost of the subscription was increased substantially, while the breadth of information provided was reduced.
The patch applied to DBMS/Copy allows the program to read and write Stata 7 data files.
February 1: Gauss modules installed
The Constrained Maximum Likelihood (CML) module was updated, while the Maximum Likelihood and Optimization modules were installed.
Stata 7 has now been installed on skew3. To facilitate the transition, Stata 6 will be kept on the system for 60 days (the time allowed by our licensing agreement).
From now until March 1, Stata 7 is available with the "stata7" or "xstata7" (for the graphical user interface) commands. Stata 6 will continue to start with the "stata" command.
On March 2, Stata 7 will succeed Stata 6 as the default "stata" (and "xstata") command. Stata 6 will be available as "stata6" until April 1st, when it will be removed from the system.
About xstata: xstata is the new graphical user interface for Stata in Unix. It is equivalent to the GUI in Microsoft Windows. In order to access xstata, users need an X windows emulator. Northwestern has a site license for XWin32. Installation instructions are available in: www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/researchcomputing/xwin32.htm This page includes links to two handouts with more detailed instructions.
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