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The Dice Project

Operational Meeting

Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 6th December 2006
Seminar Room, Buccleuch Place

Toby Blake, Neil Brown, Roger Burroughes, Tim Colles, Ken Dawson (convener and minutes), Carol Dow, Morna Findlay, Stephen Quinney, George Ross, Alastair Scobie, Craig Strachan
  1. Apologies for absence

    Alison, Chris and Iain had sent their apologies.

  2. minutes of the last meeting.

    Roger pointed out a grammatical mistake in the sentence about the location of the Appleton Tower Support Office.

  3. Report from Computing Executive Group

    This item was not taken.

  4. Reports from units.

  5. FC5 stability investigations

    Stephen reported on some of the findings so far. It appeared that there were several distinct problems, with different symptoms.

    Stephen said that a kernel bug that had been implicated in some of the cases examined was present on Dell GX260 workstations with the ATI Radeon graphics card. Certain graphics manipulations would precipitate a crash. The Managed Platform Unit will be changing the include/lcfg/hw/dell_optiplex_gx260.h header file to remove any reference to the kernel module (that is now only poorly supported) that was needed for the Radeon card.

    It was essential that when details of frozen machines are reported, whether the machine was pingable or not must be included.

    Stephen also mentioned some problems that had been observed with KDE. On some machines with a very high load there were a very large number of kded processes in an uninterruptable state. It appears that as each person logs in with KDE a new kded is started but when they log out the kded process becomes uninterruptable.

  6. Undergraduate student quotas

    Craig reported on some of the discussions at CEG on this issue (see 1.7) Disk quotas for commodity use in the most recent CEG minutes. He said that by the start of January no home directory partition should be over-subscribed i.e. the sum of the quotas of the user home directories on a partition would be no greater than the size of the partition. Initial examination of the statistics seemed to suggest that the quotas were not in general too low (the average use of 3rd and 4th year students was about 63% of their individual quota).

    The problem was exacerbated by some badly-behaved software (such as Eclipse) that wrote zero length files without reporting an error.

    A script would be written that would be run each time a shell was fired up which would report on the quota usage. Another script would mail the user if they were approaching their quota limit.

  7. AOCB

    There was none

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