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REBOOTS - 9/3/2016 - Office 2016 and Matlab 2016a upgrade
Written by Janaka Jayawardena   
Wednesday, 24 August 2016

On Saturday, September 3rd (the Saturday of the Labor Day Weekend), most CAT supported Tier 1 and 2 computers running Windows 7 will experience a series of reboots throughout the day as we upgrade two major software packages:

- The Microsoft Office Suite migrates to the 2016 version

- Matlab migrates to the 2016a version (for computers that have Matlab already installed)

This includes all supported Windows systems in dept/faculty offices, cubes and research/project labs.

Each host will see multiple reboots during the update process. Due to the complexity of the changes, we will be going through the computers in batches and expect the work to last through the day.

The large MCECS computer labs will not be affected by these reboots as they will receive the Office/Matlab upgrade during the migration to Windows 10 which happens in mid-september.

FAB/EB BUILDING POWERDOWN - September 13 and 14th - 8pm to 4am
Written by Janaka Jayawardena   
Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Full building power down testing for the FAB/EB buildings is scheduled for 9/13/2016 (a Tuesday). If the testing runs into issues and needs more time, testing will resume in the evening of 9/14/2016 (Wednesday).

During the testing, power in most parts of FAB/EB will be prone to outages between 8pm and 4am. The Data Center and other building UPS backed up areas are expected be immune to power interruptions during this work. CAT and OIT support staff will be on site throughout the testing in the event an emergency requires shutting down the data center.

On these days, make sure that your office and research space computers, printers and other electronics are turned off before you leave. If you are off site and need anything turned off, please contact Past per-test outage durations from range from a few seconds to 15-20 minutes per test (and there are multiple tests that run through the night). The CAT will shut down all major MCECS computer labs before 8pm.

PSU Facilities and their vendors have scheduled two days in case they are unable to complete their testing on Tuesday.
Migrating to Ubuntu Linux “Xenial” by Fall 2016
Written by Janaka Jayawardena   
Thursday, 04 August 2016

By the time Fall 2016 begins, we hope to have most of our CAT supported Ubuntu Linux systems migrated to the Xenial release (16.04 LTS). This is the latest Long Term Support release for Ubuntu Linux. Systems affected will include:

FAB 88-10 - CS “Penguin” Linux Lab

FAB 88-09 - CS “Particle” Linux Lab

FAB 55-17 - MCECS General Lab (fab01 -> fab10) / /

We expect to reload these systems sometime in mid September. We will also be contacting research groups running Ubuntu Linux to check on their readiness for migration.


Time to retire
Written by Janaka Jayawardena   
Wednesday, 03 August 2016

We are looking at retiring, a 9-year old Sun Sparc system running Solaris 10 (UNIX). It used to be the CS dept workhorse but that role was taken over by (running Ubuntu Linux) some time ago.

With the CS dept switched over to Linux, the only remaining logins to chandra are a small handful of its original users - most of them running remote scripts. There have been no software package updates in years and it is no longer being updated for configuration management. Since there is no hardware maintenance and based on how old the machine is, we would like to shut it down in a planned fashion without waiting for it to die without warning.

If you have scripts or cronjobs that run on chandra, please move them to a Linux environment (like Let us know ( if you have any questions or need assistance in migrating to Ubuntu Linux.

We would like to have chandra offline before the start of Fall 2016.

CAT Windows 10 Migration Status
Written by Janaka Jayawardena   
Wednesday, 20 July 2016

For a good part of this few months, the CAT Wintel Team has been working at getting a supported Windows 10 deployment ready for MCECS users. Our first goal will be getting Windows 10 installed in the following labs in time for Fall term (2016).


CRAM - for MCECS Account Activation and Password Changes
Written by johnj   
Friday, 15 August 2014

CRAM is the CAT Remote Account Manager.  If you have an active Odin Account (because you are an active PSU Student, Faculty or Staff member), then you can use it at:

You must use your Odin ID to get into CRAM.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 October 2015 )

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