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Accounting on the SDCC12 System

ETS Unix computing recharge information.


System Rates (sdcc12)
Educational Technology Services, UC San Diego

The two most significant rates are those for "connect time", and "processor time". The connect time rate is charged from login to logout. Processor time is accumulated when the processor is engaged in performing tasks for the user as opposed to working for someone else or sitting idle. In most cases you will only consume a small amount of processor time during an hour of connect time.

These rates apply to sdcc12 system. The rates on other ETS systems may differ.

Non-University of California users add 13.6%.

Connect Time

$0.10/hour - prime time (8am-6pm weekdays)
$0.05/hour - non-prime time

On the charge summary sheet, connect time is measured in seconds, so divide that figure by 3600 to get the number of hours.

Processor Time (CPU)

$60/hour [$0.01667/second] prime time (8am-6pm weekdays)
$30/hour [$0.00833/second] non-prime time

Disk Storage

The Unix system ("ls -s" command) reports file sizes in terms of blocks which contain 1024 bytes.

Rate: $.000004 / 1024-byte-block / day

On the charge summary sheet, disk usage is measured in terms of blocks that contain 512 bytes per block, so divide by two (2) to get the number of 1024-byte blocks.

For example if the charge summary shows that you have 20,000 blocks in use, divide by two (2) to determine that you have 10,000 Unix blocks. Then multiply by .000004 to determine the day's charge.

10,000 x .000004 = $.04

That works out to 4 cents per day for 10 megabytes.

Laser Printer Output

Black and White 8.5x11 is $0.05/page (effective 09/01/01)

Other laser printing output formats and media are available, as are color printing services at various levels of quality and cost.

Line Printer Output

$1.32/1000 lines


On most accounts, the shell reports statistics concerning the resource consumption of any command which uses more than 3 seconds of processor time. For more information about obtaining and interpreting these statistics, see "logcost".

How to check your account balance

Once a day, Monday through Friday, the charges for resources used since the previous accounting are computed and deducted from the account balance. The last computed balance may be determined with the "balance" command.

% balance

If the computed balance becomes negative, the account is suspended.

Logcost - Estimate charges for the current session

The logcost command estimates charges for certain resources: connect time and CPU usage. In most cases the estimate will be a good indication of how much has been spent during the current login session. Some expenses, like printing, are not included. (Printing is billed separately to a real-money account that you open up with ETS.)

Strictly speaking, logcost reports charges for resources used by the current shell and all of its (completed) child processes. Resources not included in the estimate are those used in other sessions and processes of the current shell which have not yet completed.

Logcost is implemented as a C-shell alias. This alias is provided as part of the standard account setup. If you try to run logcost and get "Command not found" you should see about having your .cshrc file repaired (use /public/cshrc as a model).