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Collected by the IT/User Support Team
This is a collection of Questions & Answers that have been treated by the Computing Helpdesk managed by the User Support group.
N.B. The number in parentheses refers to
its relative numbering in the User Support "Question-Answer"
database, at URL:
where NNN is the problem identifier (number).
Question (QA 170) - Install a
How do I install a printer on a PC at CERN (on NICE)?
Answer - To do this you must have the
CERN printing Package installed. If you do, you should
see a small printer in your
"system tray" which is the
area at the bottom right of your screen, where the clock
"Printer Wizard"from the menu.
Note: Do not use the
"Install a new
Printer" option under
Control Panel to install
a printer at CERN.
Question (QA 178) - FAT partition
How can a FAT partition be converted to an NTFS partition?
Answer - From the command line enter
convert d: /fs:ntfs . This command is one
way only, and you cannot convert an NTFS partition to FAT. If the
FAT partition is the system partition then the conversion will take
place on the next reboot. Be aware that if you have a dual boot
installation and convert to NTFS the boot partition where Windows
95 is sitting, you loose it.
Question (QA 182) - Strange
characters in my Word document
I find very strange characters in my Word document which make it difficult to read (e.g. all spaces contain these characters). However, it's perfectly ok when I print, the characters are not printed then.
Answer - While you view or edit a document on the screen, you can display characters such as tab characters, spaces, and carriage returns that don't appear on the printed page. (For example, Word uses arrows to represent tab characters and dots to represent spaces.) That way, you can easily see if you added an extra space between words, typed spaces instead of a tab character, and so on.
Question (QA 184) - Internet
Explorer 4 and 5 Installation
I tried to install Internet Explorer 4 from the
Start Menu (
it fails when trying to install the components. All the items are
marked with a red cross and I get the error message that the
installation failed. Nothing more.
Answer - The last months NICE system people have noticed PCs having corrupted registry settings preventing MSIE4 or MSIE5 to be installed. They checked that this problem does not come from NICE itself. The only workaround to this problem is to do a full re-install of Windows/95 before installing MSIE4. Once this is done the user should not have any further problems.
Question (QA 185) - Internet
Explorer on NICE
Which version of Internet Explorer is supported by NICE?
Answer - MSIE4 has been replaced by MSIE5. This is the only version you can install from NICE. But people who use MSIE4 can continue to do so.
Note: the default MSIE3, which is pre-installed
on NICE is 4 years out of date, and does not work correctly with
the current NICE nor with numerous Web sites around the world.
MSIE3 will be removed from NICE at some later point.
N.B. When users complain about MSIE, it is important to know which version they run with:
Help menu -
Question (QA 195) - Shutdown Linux
What is the procedure to shutdown a Linux machine? Can I just power it off?
Answer - From the machine :
<CTRL> <ALT> <F6>keys altogether, then you should get a console prompt. Log as
root, then execute
userid, then as
root, then execute the
Question (QA 197) -
CapsXpert on NICE
CapsXpert is no longer supported/available under NICE. What alternative does the user have?
Answer - The CAPSXpert component-data lookup system (previously on NICE) is no longer supported at CERN. The vendor has ceased to support our current installation and cancelled the respective contract. A new local installation (cost more than CHF 100,000) was beyond both available budget and support manpower. Therefore, and in collaboration with the Digital-CAE user group, the decision is to discontinue CAPSXpert.
The following alternatives are proposed:
N.B. We have sent the message to the registered users of the
electronics CAE cluster registered in the list
email@example.com. But it seems that not
everybody concerned has received (or read) the info. People can
subscribe themselves to the above mentioned mailing list, if they
follow the corresponding link from the Web page:
The "CapsXpert" topic has been discussed for quite some while in the Digital-CAE User Group. We expected that this, and sending the details to the
cern-electronicsmailing list and to the support staff, would cover it pretty much.
We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have questions,
please send an e-mail to
Question (QA 172) - System names
On some systems (e.g. RedHat Linux and AIX) there is a difference between the ASIS and AFS system names (e.g. on Linux the ASIS name is
i386_redhat60 and the AFS
i386_linux22 - on RSPLUS/RSBATCH the ASIS name is
rs_aix43 but the AFS
@sys value is
rs_aix42). Why ?
Answer - Note that the situation has been discussed in detail in August, 1999, by the responsible in IT/PDP and IT/DIS and a message had been sent to the physics community at that time. The underlying reason for the difference is that there is no guarantee that AFS and ASIS applications will be affected in the same way by changes to Operating Systems (OS) (for all Unixes) and by differences between Linux distributions.
AFS is concerned only with the File System interface for the
OS. This is the same for AIX 4.3 and AIX 4.2, hence the same value
@sys. Taking a simplistic view, the file system
interface for Linux depends only on the Linux kernel and thus
Transarc (AFS provider for CERN) choose to use the
i386_linux22 name. One might imagine that this could
also be used by the AFS software for a future RedHat distribution
based on a 2.4 kernel if the File System interface remains
Many ASIS applications, however, depend on other aspects of
the whole Linux environment---e.g. location/version of system
libraries---that differ between the different Linux distributions
(RedHat, Suse, Debian). As such ASIS cannot use an AFS
@sys name which depends only on the kernel, hence the
i386_redhat60 value set and used at CERN by the ASIS
Those in IT division are reluctant to force AFS at
CERN to use the ASIS name, because they believe that many _physics_
applications are much less dependent on the Linux kernel and
distribution than ASIS applications (or even AFS releases). They
therefore believe it is unwise to create a difference between that
@sys value for AFS at CERN and the
value for other HEP sites that use different Linux
Regarding this issue, some practical advice for the users is:
@sysname in their own
PATHvariables and directory names.
PATHsand directory names.
The situation might be improved in the future by defining in
the HEPiX environment a
"$ASIS_SYS" variable which can
be used where necessary.
Question (QA 173) - Special
characters on HP
I would like to use special characters in my password but the
# is never recognised on HPPLUS.
Answer - Many UNIX systems have
different algorithms for special characters and the
is one of them. Sun and SGI machines have no trouble with this
character but for HP it must be preceded by a
tell the system a 'special character' is following.
Question (QA 174) - Run ANSYS in
When I try to run ANSYS as a batch job with the
atlas.cern.ch and after answering
the list of questions, I get some error:
:hostname=atlas01 : : REMEMBER !!!!!!!! : In case that no ANSYS license is available, you can : set the "ANSWAIT" env variable to "TRUE" and : your ANSYS session will queue for a free license unit : More info on ANSYS at URL: http://consult/parc/ansys : :This system does not have network batch system :Do you want your job to be executed just in the background? [y]/n
Answer - We have a dedicated service
called PARC setup to run engineering applications. You can submit
jobs to it from the RSPLUS cluster. Therefore to successfully run
your application you need to get accounts on PARC and RSPLUS and
log into RSPLUS and issue the
again. You should contact your computer group administrator (see
with "xwho") and ask him to create these accounts for you.
Question (QA 177) - Anonymous
access to files on AFS via
Is it possible to give anonymous access to files on AFS via
Answer - For security reasons, no
ftp service is offered on any public
Service. We discourage creating such access on your private
workstation or PC for the same reasons, and if you have to do it,
we strongly recommend not to allow file imports - in the
ftp'' terminology, that users may
put'' files. This is because hackers often use
writable FTP servers as a repository for illegal software. Systems
which insist on permitting writable anonymous ftp access should be
configured such that the writable directory is not readable by
You may however export any of your files through WWW following the procedure described below:
fs setacl www cern:nodes readto give the Web server read rights.
~/wwwwith links to the relevant files.
Question (QA 179) - Linux and
I am working on Linux and get many error messages from
ASISwsm which seem to indicate an "AFS cache corruption"
problem. What should I do ?
Answer - On supported systems using
'fs flush' to clean-up AFS cache is discouraged
because then no debug is possible. Problems with corrupted cache
should be reported to
Afs.Support@cern.ch who could
contact Transarc. However
could be use in emergency case, to continue working.
Note that on
Linux redhat 5.1, AFS is
completely unsupported and there are LOTS of cache corruption
problems. So it is possible to use
'fs flush' (to
flush individual files) or
'fs flushv' (to flush a
volume), or even to clear all the cache (type
/usr/vice/cache/*Items") and then reboot. This should solve
your problem with
For more information regarding AFS, you could also check what is the recommended AFS level at CERN for your operating system at URL:
http://consult.cern.ch/services/afs/afsdoc/recommended-levels.htmland see defects corrected in patches release at URL:
Question (QA 148) -
Pine version 4.10
Has CERN any project to move to version 4.10 of Pine, where it is possible to use the mouse (WRT Pine)?
Answer - Indeed we have been testing pine 4.10 and its new functionality possibilities here at CERN for several months. It is not in production, but if you really want to, you can start it directly out of the test area. If you do so, then you should bear in mind that it may be modified with no notice, and the version being tested may not be identical to that eventually released... Anyway with those proviso, try if you like:
ps:At present (November 1999) there are 4.02 and 4.10 available.
Question (QA 149) - Mis-spelling
There seems to be a mis-spelling in the
for users who receive e-mail sent by myself. Apparently users are
receiving e-mails with:
From: Vassili Marusov <Vassili.Marusov@cern.ch>instead of:
From: Vassili Maroussov <Vassili.Maroussov@cern.ch>Obviously this generates
"Error: Undelivered mail"messages when they try to reply to my e-mails.
Answer - If you are using
Netscape (Messenger) as your mail agent, then it is most
probably due to a bad configuration of your
Edit / Preferences... / Mail
& Groups / Identity).
Otherwise it could be a "registration" problem: check if the
data are correct in the CERN "Phone book". If there is an error,
then the Web page
http://consult.cern.ch/xwho/help/general will explain
you what to do.
Question (QA 147) - Accentuated
characters with Netscape 4.05
Netscape is crashing whenever I hit one of the accentuated characters in a text-entry field. Netscape simply closes, and I lose all information entered since the last save.
Answer - There is a bug in Netscape 4.05, and consequently the solutions are:
'French'keyboard layout instead of
Question (QA 150) - New version
We have an old version of the
httpd deamon from CERN
and have looked many a place for the updated version but it is not
to be found. Are there any later versions ?
Answer - The development and support of
httpd is no longer made at CERN, but at the
W3 Consortium. You can find information on the daemon
Please, send questions or comments directly to
Question (QA 151) - Invalid link
If I see a link out of date on a Web page who do I inform?
Answer - The person who signs the page (if it is signed). Else the owner of the site (who should sign the top page).
Question (QA 153) - Access counter
I want to know the number of access for a Web page which is in
www.cern.ch, what is recommended?
Answer - Usage of counters on Web page
is not recommended at CERN, as you can see in the "CERN
Guidelines for Publishing on the Web" at URL:
www.cern.ch you can use the
"statistics service" available at URL:
Any questions related to this service should be addressed to
Question (QA 155) - Icons with
How can I find small icons with national flags (at least of the CERN member states)?
Answer - There is an archive on the
Web, with many countries on it:
and for the CERN member states:
http://www.cern.ch/Public/CERNOP/Austria.gif for Austria.
Question (QA 164) - Protect Web
Can you help me to password protect a directory (and its contents)?
Answer - This depends on the Web Server software you run and can be done by its maintainer.
E.g. For different protection possibilities in
Apache look into:
Question (QA 157) - PDF
Is there a recommended software at CERN or a site licence for a software product to generate
Answer - No there is no recommended software. On the NICE PCs, there is the standard software from Adobe, "distiller", which convert PostScript to PDF.
Information about such conversions can be found at URL:
For matters related to this article please contact the author.Cnl.Editor@cern.ch