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Message Passing Toolkit: Release Notes
(document number: 007-3689-003 / published: 1999-02-24)    table of contents  |  additional info  |  download
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Chapter 5. Customer Services

This chapter describes the MPT support policy and the following customer services that are available to support the MPT 1.3 release:

  • MPT World Wide Web page

  • Training support

  • Software problem reporting and resolution process

  • Cray Research CRInform program

  • Pipeline and the Pipeline Supercomputing Supplement

  • Additional resources

Support Policy

Silicon Graphics offers standard support for problems in the following categories:

  • Build problems

  • Run-time problems specific to Silicon Graphics and Cray computer systems

Fixes to problems will be made available through one of the following mechanisms:

  • Upgrade utility

  • Major release

  • Minor release

MPI Support Policy

Silicon Graphics will address MPI problems in a timely fashion.

PVM Support Policy

Silicon Graphics will help customers resolve PVM problems by forwarding general PVM problems to developers at Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL) and the University of Tennessee, and assisting in their resolution. Problems with Silicon Graphics enhancements to PVM will be addressed in a timely fashion.

SHMEM Library Support Policy

Silicon Graphics will address SHMEM message passing problems in a timely fashion.

MPT World Wide Web Page

Current product information regarding MPT is available online through World Wide Web sites. Access to the information is available at the following URLs:

Training Support

For information about Silicon Graphics courses, training office locations, current class schedules, and training services listed by country, contact us in one of the following ways:

  • On the World Wide Web at the following URL:

  • Call one of the following numbers:

    1 800 800 4744 (toll free in the United States or Canada)
    +1 651 683 3825 (from all other locations)

Software Problem Reporting and Resolution Process

If you experience problems with MPT 1.3, contact your service representative. Your service representative will work with you to resolve the problem. If you choose to have full-time or part-time on-site support, your on-site support personnel are your primary contacts for service. If you have elected not to have on-site support, please call the Customer Support Center and report your problem to them, or submit a request for technical assistance (RTA) through the CRInform program (see “CRInform Program”).

When you report problems, use the product name most appropriate for the problem and refer to MPT for all products. Use any of the following product names:

  • PVM

  • MPI


For UNICOS and UNICOS/mk customers who need current information on the status of reported problems, see the Software Problem Report (SPR) section of the CRInform program.

CRInform Program

The Cray Inform (CRInform) program is a World Wide Web-based information and problem-reporting service for UNICOS and UNICOS/mk customers. Using the CRInform program, you can do the following:

  • Report software problems

  • Request technical assistance

  • Communicate directly with other UNICOS and UNICOS/mk customers

  • Read about software problems similar to yours reported at other sites

  • Learn about solutions to various problems

  • Find information about classes

  • Read about new products, and more

The CRInform program automatically logs as news items those events that are pertinent to your site, so you do not have to search through the system for new information. The logged events include changes in SPR or RTA activity, new orderable software, new issues of the Pipeline Supercomputing Supplement, new field notices (FNs), new software release documents, new software problem fix information, new marketing information, and new CRInform program information. You can also get automatic e-mail notification of any or all of the news items.

Version 4.0 of the CRInform program is available through the World Wide Web. You need access to the CRInform Web server and a browser (such as Mosaic, Netscape, or Lynx), which allows you to view information or make service requests. You can use your own site's browser, or use either the Mosaic or the Lynx browser available on the crinform system.

Pipeline and the Pipeline Supercomputing Supplement

Customers who have a support contract receive Pipeline , the Silicon Graphics customer newsletter. Customers who have a support contract for a Cray system also receive the Pipeline Supercomputing Supplement. Pipeline provides product and support information about Silicon Graphics workstations and servers, and the Pipeline Supercomputing Supplement provides product and support information about Cray supercomputers. Pipeline and the Pipeline Supercomputing Supplement are both published six times a year (January/February, March/April, and so on). Pipeline is available on the World Wide Web in Supportfolio Online (, and the Pipeline Supercomputing Supplement is available in CRInform ( (see “CRInform Program”).

Additional Resources

Along with the standard support described in the preceding sections, users of PVM and MPI have a variety of other resources available to help them use these products. These resources should supplement, not replace, standard Silicon Graphics support. In particular, users are encouraged to use Silicon Graphics support when they encounter what may be a PVM or MPI bug, even if the problem does not apply to Silicon Graphics systems. However, these other resources can be helpful in gaining a better understanding of PVM and MPI and how they can be used. The following sections describe some of these resources.

MPI Standard

You can access the MPI standard in any of the following ways:

  • As online PostScript or hypertext on the World Wide Web at the following URL:

  • As a journal article in the fall 1994 issue of the Journal of Supercomputing Applications

News Groups

The comp.parallel.pvm and comp.parallel.mpi Internet news groups focus on PVM and MPI, respectively, and related products. The PVM and MPI developers use these news groups to announce new releases of the products and to discuss related topics, such as the PVM User Group meeting (see “PVM User Group Meetings”). Users are also free to use the news groups to interact with one another by responding to postings made by others.

To access comp.parallel.pvm or comp.parallel.mpi , you must have access to the Internet and a news reader program. If necessary, contact your site administrator for additional information.

World Wide Web Servers

Several PVM-related web servers are available. There is one for netlib (see “netlib Source”) that includes the PVM source code, other material on PVM, and additional software packages and subjects. The URL for this server is as follows:

Another Web page specific to PVM can be found at the following URL:

MPI User Group Meetings

You can obtain information about upcoming MPI developers conferences and user group meetings through comp.parallel.mpi or through the MPI web page listed in “MPI Standard”.

PVM User Group Meetings

There have been several PVM user group meetings held in the past, and there are plans to continue these in the future. These meetings have been quite successful, attracting a wide range of presentations from the PVM development team, vendors working on PVM, and users working on PVM-related tools or using PVM in applications.

Announcements of PVM user group meetings are posted in the news group comp.parallel.pvm.

PVM E-Mail Support

The PVM developers have established the following e-mail alias, which they use to answer questions and provide support, as time permits:

It is suggested that users first try Silicon Graphics support or contacts within the PVM news group when asking questions. This e-mail address, however, can be used when needed.

The MPI Forum e-mail discussions, and both current and earlier versions of the standard, are available from the netlib server. For more information about netlib, see the following section.

netlib Source

Public domain versions of PVM and MPI are available from a source called netlib . If your site is using the versions of these products contained in MPT, you will not need to obtain the source code from netlib. However, the following additional resources available from netlib might be useful:

  • Test and sample programs contained in the public domain releases that are not included in the Silicon Graphics release

  • Papers and presentations by the PVM and MPI developers that describe PVM, MPI, and related products

  • Presentations from past PVM user group meetings

You can obtain information from netlib in the following ways:

  • Use the Web, which allows you to obtain the files directly. This is perhaps the easiest and most convenient method. The PVM page at netlib is located at the following URL:

    The MPI page at netlib is located at the following URL:

  • Send electronic mail to (or, and include the following in the Subject: line or message body:

    send index from pvm3
    orsend index from mpi

    Once you receive the index, similar send messages will return parts of PVM or MPI. This assumes the ORNL or AT&T host can determine how to return your e-mail. If not, use anonymous ftp.

  • Use anonymous ftp from .

  • Use anonymous rcp from . For example:


    You can use the following commands to obtain file lists:

    rsh -l anon ls pvm3orrsh -l anon ls mpi

  • Use the xnetlib browsing tool (which you can obtain from netlib by using one of the preceding methods).

  • For access in Europe, use the duplicate collection in Oslo, as follows:

    X.400: s=netlib; o=nac; c=no
    EUNET/uucp: nac!netlib

  • For access in the Pacific, use the following address, located at the University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia:

Message Passing Toolkit: Release Notes
(document number: 007-3689-003 / published: 1999-02-24)    table of contents  |  additional info  |  download

    Front Matter
    Chapter 1. Introduction
    Chapter 2. New Features
    Chapter 3. Compatibilities and Differences
    Chapter 4. Documentation
    Chapter 5. Customer Services
    Chapter 6. Release Package
    Appendix A. Updated Release Information

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