The mainframe computer called ux1, which handles accounts for about 6,300 faculty and staff members who use campus networking services, is about to be put out to pasture and replaced with a new machine. "While quite fast for its day, ux1 is now too slow and outdated to handle its current and [future] projected user load," said Lynn Ward, a research programmer in the UI's Computing and Communications Services Office. Ward said all ux1 accounts "will be migrated" to a new server in early June, and once all accounts are moved and activated, the new server's name will be changed to ux1.cso.uiuc.edu. The old ux1 system will be renamed and eventually shut down altogether, Ward said. More information about the change will be mailed to individual ux1 users in late April, she said, adding that the transition to the new UNIX system "will be fairly transparent for most users." However, along with the switchover to a new system, about 1,800 users have been notified that their login names must be changed. Affected individuals are those whose current login does not match their "network ID," the unique identifier, which, Ward said, "plays a particularly important role in two technologies and related services that will soon see wide-scale deployment on campus." The first is Kerberos, a network security protocol that encrypts passwords and data before they are sent over the network; the second is what Ward describes as "UNIX cluster technology." "The new ux1 will be incorporated into a complex of cooperating servers called a UNIX cluster," Ward said. "This new clustered environment will have many advantages over stand-alone UNIX systems." For instance, she said, certain jobs - such as servicing Web pages and receiving mail - will be handled by separate machines that are part of the cluster, "thus reserving ux1's computing power for user tasks." In addition, the cluster design will allow people with more than one CCSO UNIX account to access files and e-mail from any one of those accounts, using their unique network ID-based address. "The network ID already plays a central role in authenticating users to several network services including the CCSO dial-up access servers, UI Direct and the on-line telephone book," Ward said. "As Kerberos, UNIX clustering and other campuswide services evolve, the network ID will be your key to accessing these services." CCSO is converting ux1 logins to match network IDs now through early May. Ward said affected users were instructed - in detailed mailings sent via e-mail and campus mail in March - to complete a few preliminary steps on their own, and then to contact CCSO to request activation of their new logins. "If you do not send an e-mail request to CCSO, your ux1 login will be converted automatically on May 21 after 5 p.m.," she said. Meanwhile, Ward advises people with questions about procedures related to the conversions to contact their unit's network administrator or the CCSO Systems Consultants. The consultants are available to answer questions Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. at 333-6133. 'Hands-on Help' from CCSO For persons who are having problems with certain commonly used software, CCSO has introduced a new program called "Hands-on-Help." The service is designed for users who already know how to use a particular piece of software but are having trouble with a specific task. Support for both DOS/Windows and Macintosh users is available. Assistance with the following software is available: * Microsoft Word * Microsoft Excel * Microsoft Powerpoint * Filemaker Pro * Claris Works * Claris Draw * Various Aldus/Adobe graphics programs Currently operating on a trial basis, the service is provided on a drop-in basis through May 3 at the CCSO computer site located at 901 W. Oregon, Urbana. Assistance is provided by two CCSO staff members. Hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays, 2 to 5 p.m.; and Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5 to 8 p.m. For more information about the service, visit its Web site: http://www.uiuc.edu/ccso/sites/hoh.html.