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Connectivity between a Windows PC and UC Berkeley Astronomy Department Sun Computers

  1. Windows Suport
  2. Connectivity for a Windows PC in HFA
  3. Connecting to astron from a home PC
  4. Using Exceed: Running Unix commands from your PC
  5. Copying files between Sun and PC

1. Windows Suport

The UCB Astronomy Department computer support staff (a.k.a., central@astro a.k.a. Bill) do not support the Microsoft Windows operating system, beyond providing some help getting you connected to the department network.

(We do recognize that Microsoft software is better for some applications, e.g., Powerpoint over its StarOffice counterpart. In general it is still the case that many users will have some favorite applications which are only available for Windows (and/or for Macs). Also, some peripherals are not supported under Unix. However, there is a limit to how much we can support at a high level, with quick turnaround time, good documentation, etc.)

2. Connectivity for a Windows PC in HFA

As documented in: Using Laptop Computers over the internet in HFA, our policy is that private computers may only be connected to the internet in the department in one of three ways:

  1. Wireless connection through the campus AirBears service
  2. Having a new ethernet connection installed in your office (see Bill about this)
  3. Using an ethernet switch and DHCP (IP address dynamically assigned by the department server)

Disconnecting a workstation in order to plug in your PC is expressly forbidden. (You might thereby prevent other users from accessing their disks, and you might create havoc on our network.)

Only method 2 above requires setting a fixed IP address, Gateway, Netmask, DNS Server as documented in Using Laptop Computers over the internet in HFA.
You enter these parameters by going to control-panel and selecting network. From there, you may need to select from a menu something like: TCP/IP for ethernet card, or you may be able to set the following immediately. If you're asked whether to specify IP address, or have it assigned dynamically, choose to specify it.
There may be some further variation among PCs, OS versions as to which sub-menu sets what, so you may have to explore a little, but these are the parameters you must set. Here are the values to use for a fixed IP address:

Hostname: (ask Bill)
Domain: Berkeley.EDU
IP address: (ask Bill)

3. Connectivity to the astro network from a home PC

Obtain the necessary software, either online from campus Software Central or from the Berkeley campus's Connecting@Berkeley CD (a.k.a. C@B). All UC Berkeley faculty, staff and students can get C@B for free at The Scholar's Workstation. Students can also get it at the Student Computer Consulting Service located in the Moffitt Microcomputer Facility in the Moffitt Library. The Connecting@Berkeley CD will lead you through the whole process. However, you can do it without too much trouble without the CD:

  • Get SSH Secure Shell if you don't already have it.
  • Use a commercial account provided by an Internet Service Provider or get a UC Berkeley Home IP account. (You will first need an employee ID or student ID. See Patrice Stone if you don't have one.) You'll be given a username and password.
  • From home, connect to the internet either through your ISP or through the campus dialup service.
  • Use SSH Secure Shell to ssh to either your office computer, or one of the public computers: meso, saturn, titan, grus, irk, puck (but not chandra, astron, mars, or astroplasma, if you're going to do any real computing).

4. Using Exceed: Running Unix commands from your PC

From Software Central or the C@B CD (see above, you'll get a free copy of Hummingbird's package Exceed. Exceed guides you through login (using ssh), and then allows you to run X applications (e.g., xterm for a terminal window) on your PC.

5. Copying files between Sun and PC

Use SSH Secure File Transfer, which is part of the SSH Secure Shell package. You may also use WinSCP, which is free for download from

$LastChangedDate:: 2012-07-02#$

To suggest changes, additions, clarifications in this documentation, contact Central Services: central@astro.