N e w s l e t t e r

Volume I, Issue 1, July 1994

Contents

Welcome Message

VACET Information

VACET Activities

New Technology

Vietnam News In Brief

Job Openings

VACET Technical Library

VACET Membership Form

Welcome Message

Hoang Viet-Dung (vhoang@mitre.org) Vice-Chairman (Technical Affairs)

On behalf of the VACET Board and Societies, we would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our VACET Newsletter. Please feel free to pass on this publication to your friends and colleagues.

The goal of the "Vietnamese Association for Computer & Engineering Technologies" or "VACET" is to provide a forum for members to enhance their knowledge, expertise and competitiveness in a period of rapid change in the computer and engineering industries, and to promote professional friendship. This publication will serve as a vehicle for VACET to move toward that goal.

The Newsletter will cover many topics: from current VACET news to VN technologies, from technical discussions to technical papers and books review, and from jobs openings to product announcements, or anything else that is of interest to VACET members. Our objective is for the Newsletter to serve all members. The force of an organization is in its membership; the strength of a paper depends heavily on the readership's participation. We will always welcome your inputs.

The Newsletter will be produced every two months. We will solicit all members for inputs. All articles, once received, become properties of VACET, but the members will always have until one week before publication to retract them, if they so choose. The VACET Newsletter editorial board reserves the right to use any information it feels will benefit most to VACET members. The editorial board will also edit the inputs for content and format.

We hope that you will find this VACET Newsletter helpful and will find time to actively participate in its publication in the future.


VACET Information

From: Le Mong Thao (thaomlee@wam.umd.edu)

1. The "Vietnamese Association for Computer & Engineering Technologies" or "VACET" is a technical, professional, and non-political association established to provide a forum for members to exchange technical ideas and information in support of work and education, and discuss the applications of information technologies around the world. These may allow the VACET members to enhance their knowledge, expertise and competitiveness in a period of rapid change in the computer and engineering industries. Moreover, VACET provides a means for members to promote professional friendship, share career aspiration, and exchange work experience in term of dealing with colleagues and managers at work.

2. VACET may have, but is not limited to, the following activities: (a) Reviewing and providing comments or suggestions on a technical article/book written by a member, if requested; (b) Helping to solve and discussing any technical issue submitted by a member; (c) Publishing electronic newsletters, which summarize VACET activities, and provide technical news related to VN, jobs openings, and others; (d) Publishing technical magazine/journals, which consist of technical papers/articles written by VACET members; (e) Providing the technical library that contains various technical information related to computer and engineering areas; (f) Sharing members' information on job placement or relocation; (g) Helping colleges/Universities at VN in some technical areas, if condition allows; (h) Organizing a technical conference, if required.

3. Currently, VACET has over 180 members, who are living in the USA, Canada, France, Australia, England, Germany, Austria, New Zealand and Belgium. About 97% of VACET members are professional engineers and scientists; many of them hold advanced degrees. The rest are student members. There is no membership fee.

4. VACET requests each member to submit the attached Membership Form. This form will enable the other VACET members to easily identify the new member's background and technical expertise. Upon the receipt of the application, the new member will be given an ID, and a Society will be assigned to that member. If a member does not submit the membership form, he/she may have limited activities.

5. The VACET library plans to provide various topics of technical papers/articles related to computer and engineering technologies as well as referenced projects done by VACET members available for commercial use, and points of contact. This library will also consist of various information related to VACET's activities, including VACET information, members' background information, newsletters, and technical magazines/journals. Any member who submitted the Membership Form can access to this on-line library.

6. VACET has the Governing Board and two Societies (Computers and Engineering). The Governing Board members and the Societies' leaders are responsible for overseeing all VACET's activities, including developing policies, guidelines, and plans, publishing newsletters, and technical magazines/journals, and others. Beginning 1995, there will be a democratic election via the Internet mail to choose the Societies' leaders and Governing Board members every year. However, any member can provide ideas, comments or suggestions related to the VACET goals and activities at any time.

7. VACET Internet Addresses Information:

(a) The Internet address used to post any information to all VACET members is: vacet@vungtau.cerf.net

(b) The Internet address to get the VACET members' Internet addresses is: vn@vungtau.cerf.net with a single line in the body "who vacet".

(c) The host of the VACET library is "vacets.org" (140.174.120.1). Please contact the library officers (read item # 8) to find out about uploading (directory: Pub/VACET/Incoming) and downloading (directory: Pub/VACET/Gallery) a file.

(d) Other Internet services (i.e., Telnet, FTP and rlogin), Gopher, Web, and Mosaic are under consideration.

8. VACET Board Members Information:

o Chairman: Dr. Tran Thong (trant@teleport.com)
o Advisors: Dr. Huynh Thiet Dung (huynh@utdallas.edu) Dr. Ha Thuc Tri (ha@ece.nps.navy.mil - unofficial) Dr. Cao Huu Tri (caohuu@ee11.sjsu.edu)
o Vice-Chairman (Administrative Affairs): Mr. Le Mong Thao (thaomlee@wam.umd.edu)
o Library Officers: Mr. Vuong Quoc Anh (Ly) (tin-viet@pulse.com)
o Systems Officers: Mr. Le Van Trung Tin (tin@szebra.vacets.org) Mr. Nguyen Thanh Binh (nbt@vungtau.cerf.net)
o Administration Officers: Ms. Le Tuyet-Trang (trang@austin.ibm.com) Mr. Vu Duy Huy (huydv@seas.gwu.edu)
o Vice-Chairman (Technical Affairs): Dr. Hoang Viet-Dung (Jack) (vhoang@mitre.org)
o Assistant Vice-Chairman (Technical Affairs) Dr. Nguyen Minh Nhat (nhatn@abpcad.sj.hp.com)
o Technical Affairs Officers Mr. Le Trong Nga (nga.t.le@hydro.on.ca) Mr. Hoang Hai Tuong (hoang@galaxy.nsc.com) Mr. Le Phuoc Toai (le@vax5.csd.com) Mr. Ta Dac Anh (ata@mitre.org)
o Vice-Chairman (International Affairs): Dr. Anson Binh (anson@csuvax1.murdoch.edu.au) o International Affairs Officer Mr. Nguyen Tu Hao (hao@hpauto.aus.hp.com)
o President of Engineering Society: Dr. Tran Van Hai (htran@oceanus.mitre.org)
o President of Computer Society: Dr. Vu Anh Phuong (pav@teak.cray.com)

9. VACET Administrative Information (a) As stated above, the submission of membership form are mandated. Please mail it to: Le Tuyet-Trang at: trang@austin.ibm.com If the above Internet address has a technical problem, please mail it to Le Thao at: thaomlee@wam.umd.edu (b) For getting the general VACET information and Membership Form, please contact: Vu Duy Huy (In US and other countries, except Australia and New Zealand) at: huydv@seas.gwu.edu or Nguyen Hao (In Australia and New Zealand) at: hao@hpauto.aus.hp.com (c) For VACET's technical library and its Internet system information,please contact Vuong Quoc Anh (Ly) at: tin-viet@pulse.com or Le Van Trung Tin at: tin@szebra.vacets.org (d) For contributing information to VACET's Electronic Newsletters, please send it to Le Trong Nga at: nga.t.le@hydro.on.ca (e) For contributing technical papers/articles to VACET's technical magazines/journals, please send it to Nguyen Minh Nhat at: nhatn@abpcad.sj.hp.com (f) For VACET's mailing server, please contact Nguyen Thanh Binh at: nbt@is.internic.net (g) For subscribing/unsubscribing VACET, please send an e-mail to Le Tuyet-Trang at: trang@austin.ibm.com (h) For any other question, please send an e-mail to Thao Le at: thaomlee@wan.umd.edu


VACET Activities

TECHNICAL MAGAZINE
by: Hoang Viet-Dung

VACET will publish (most likely via e-mail) a technical magazine in the near future. Ideally, we like to have this first issue out by December 1994. At this time we like to solicit articles from the members. There is no real constraint on the categories of the papers at this time, except that they must be technical and in the Computer or Engineering fields. The papers must be short, and general to be of interest to most VACET membership. There is no guarantee of publication, and the articles will most likely be edited in content and format. All articles submitted are considered VACET's properties, but the members can withdraw them up to one week before publication date. Submit the articles to Hoang Viet-Dung < vhoang@mitre.org > or Nguyen M. Nhat < nhat@abpcad.sj.hp.com >. If you have any questions please feel free to direct them to these same people.

TECHNICAL LIBRARY
by: Vuong Quoc Anh (Ly)

This posting serves as an annoucement of the first phase of constructing the VACET Technical Library. The directory structure is created and ready for receiving articles. To retrieve (download) the articles, until we transfer all the VACET members login names to the host (vacets.org), VACET members will use anonymous FTP to retrieve the articles. However, we discourage all the downloads until the logins are in place. Site: vacets.org [140.174.120.1] Directory: pub/VACET

To upload (ftp-put) a file, please fill out the the submission form (in Section 8 of this newsletter), and upload along with the file. Place the filled-out form and the upload file in to

Directory: pub/VACET/Incoming

To retrieve (ftp-get) a file, first get the index file to identify the interest articles and the stored path + file name.

Directory: pub/VACET/Gallery

Section 8 of this newsletter shows the directory structure and also some explanation on various topics about the Technical Library. Comments are certainly welcome.


New Technology

WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY
by: Hoang Viet-Dung

If you follow the trend in the technology development you are bound to come across the term Mobile Computing (Wireless Technology). I like to share with you some basics of this technology before MCI and Nextel flood us with their Integrated Radio Systems (IRS) phones; or Microsoft and McCaw darken our sky with their 840-satellite Ka-band Teledesic system.

In the context of mobile computing, wireless technology means having the capability to transmit data over a wireless environment. Data communications over wires or land lines are nothing new. Since the early days of the ARPANET, networks were designed and implemented for the main purpose of transmitting and transferring data files. Only recently, attention is given to developing techniques to transmit data over the airwaves.

Wireless technology can be loosely grouped into three broad categories: mobile satellite systems (MSS), mobile radio data systems, and packet cellular systems. Cellular systems has many disadvantages: it is unreliable (connection failure rate can be as high as 20%), it has long set-up time (over 30 sec), and it is slow (around 1.2 kbps). However with a nationwide capacity to support 45 million users and over $9B already invested infrastructure, and with the emergence of CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data) standard, it will be a major force and will probably dominate the mobile computing market by 1995/1996. The major advantage of satellite systems is that they will be, at minimum, nationwide seamless networks: no change in equipment or equipment configuration is needed when moving from one area to another. The systems are simpler in design, are more flexible for enhancements, have a much larger capacity, have a much wider area of service, and are a lot more reliable. The down side at the present time is that satellite communication services are significantly more expensive. I will cover some of these interesting systems in later newsletter issues.

There are several fundamental differences between the "new" wireless data communications world and the familiar wire data communications environment. The total "bandwidth" in the wireless technology is limited: only a certain amount of usable spectrum is available. While additional wire lines can always be installed if needed, new spectrum can not be created. The total amount of raw usable spectrum bandwidth available for wireless data communications is roughly equal to 1,700 to 2,000 T1 (1.544 Mbps trunk) circuits, 250 to 300 Ethernets (10 Mbps local area networks), or 25 to 30 FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface, usually in the 100 Mbps range) networks. For this reason, considerable efforts are put into developing better techniques for the utilization of the existing frequencies: more efficient frequency reuse and allocation, data compression and high-efficient protocols. However, the law of physics will forever prevent the converting to a totally wireless communications world.

Radio signals attenuate sharply over distance, and signal strength typically falls proportionately to the distance between the sender and receiver. In the wireless communications, the sender and/or receiver is often moving: installing signal repeaters or amplifiers between them are impractical if not impossible. Therefore, rapid decrease in signal strength is unavoidable. This significantly limits the practical distance between sender and receiver. In addition, the radio environment is much noisier. Some of this noise is natural (like the interference from sun spots), while others come from artificial sources (like from other transmitters or from the sender's own equipment).

The effects of limited available bandwidth, range and interference severely constrain the data rates. Typically wireless local area networks (LANs) can support data rates of millions of bits per second, but still far below those provided by high-speed LANs such as FDDIs. The difference in data rates is even more pronounced for metropolitan area networks (MANs) and wide area networks (WANs). While typical wire MANs and WANs are designed with T1 as minimum unit capacity, wireless data networks are struggling to deliver 19.2 kbps links to mobile users. Furthermore, the practical throughput on wireless networks is usually about half of the "rated" capacity because of high overhead of signaling and error correction protocols.

Wireless technology will play a larger role in the future due to the nature of the evolving business environment: the demand for instantaneous information from anywhere, at any time will become the norm. But physical limitations will prevent it from ever becoming the major player in our telecommunication world.

Vietnam News In Brief

VN SOFTWARE INDUSTRY

BusinessWeek excerpt , May 23, 1994, "Rising from the Ashes" (posted by phongv@clipper.robadome.com)

...One encouraging sign is that Vietnam is becoming a hotbed for small software and computer startups. The school system has spawned legions of techies fascinated with information technology. "The cream of Vietnam's students are choosing computer engineering," says Luu Tien Hiep, deputy director of Ho Chi Minh City's Lotus College, where students use locally made PC clones and share old American textbooks.

Vietnam once harbored dreams of developing its own high-tech industries. But realism has set in, and wasteful programs in semiconductors, robotics, and aerospace have been scrapped. Still, Vietnam has thousands of electrical engineers earning around $100 a month. Many have managed to stay abreast of technological advances. Even though using U.S. computer networks was prohibited during the embargo, the Vietnamese were able to gain access to them through Australia. For instance, researchers at Hanoi's Institute of Information Technology kept up with the advances in fields such as artificial intelligence by tapping into Massachusetts Institute of Technology's database through the Internet. Today, those scientists and engineers are doing business directly with Digital Equipment, Oracle, and Microsoft.

Many experts believe that as early as by the end of the decade, Vietnam just may become a source of computer applications and design. "There is a lot of raw, sound talent," says Roger Stone, Indochina vice-president for Unisys. "With their entrepreneurial flair, they have unbelievable potential as a source of services and software."

AT&T IN VIETNAM

Collected by: Le Trong Nga from: EDGE, on & about AT&T, March 21, 1994 v9 n295 p5(1)

AT&T has reached agreement with other telecommunications providers in Southeast Asia to participate in the construction of the first undersea fiber optic cable system linking Vietnam, Thailand and Hong Kong.

The 3,400 kilometer system will link cable-landing stations in Sri Racha, Thailand, Vung Tau, Vietnam and Hong Kong's Deepwater Bay. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by representatives of the Directorate General of Posts and Telecommunications of Vietnam, the Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT), Hong Kong Telecom International Limited (HKTI), Telstra International Limited of Australia, AT&T and fourteen other telecommunications companies.

The Thailand-Vietnam-Hong Kong cable system will consist of two fiber optic pairs operating at 560 million bits of information per second. This is enough capacity to provide the equivalent of 80,000 simultaneous phone conversations.

"With this system connectivity to and from Vietnam will dramatically improve", said Alexander C. Stark, Jr., senior vice president of AT&T's International Operations Division. "Currently consumers and business customers can only call to and from Vietnam via satellite. When service is activated on the system in December 1995, not only the call completion rate will go up, customers will also discern a vast improvement in quality".

From the landing point in Vung Tau, Vietnam, the cable will connect to Ho Chi Minh City and from there via an existing terrestrial fiber optic cable to the country's capital Hanoi.

Undersea fiber optic systems were introduced in the Pacific basin in 1989, and the planned Thailand-Vietnam-Hong Kong System represents the 23rd fiber optic system now slated for that area through the middle of this decade. On average, about 13,000 kilometers (7,800 miles) of submarine cables are being constructed in the Pacific region every year to meet growing customer demands for a wide variety of communications services.

Today, undersea digital technology already directly connects over 20 countries in the Western Pacific, North America and Europe. Additional systems planned worldwide will nearly double that number by the middle of the decade.

US VENDORS EYE VIETNAM
collected by: Le Trong Nga From: MIDRANGE Systems, March 11, 1994 v7 n5 p10(1)

Computer, software and telecommunications companies are jockeying for position in the market in Vietnam since the recent lifting of trade restrictions. DEC, IBM and Unisys have already entered the market, and the Vietnamese government claims $7.8 billion in foreign investment in over 850 projects has been planned. The government hopes to maintain an 8% annual growth rate in foreign investment, and reach nearly $15 billion by 2000. DEC predicts the market will be worth over $100 million in 1994, and DEC hopes to command as much as 10% of that total. Idea had offered information technology (IT) seminars and meetings in Vietnam during the embargo years, and is now in an excellent position to enter the market. The company is targeting manufacturing, hospitality, banking and shipping industries. Equipment from other countries has been used in Vietnam, but few complete networks and information systems are installed.

POST AND TELECOMUNICATIONS NEWS (2nd Qtr 94) collected by: Le Mong Thao

On March 17, France's Alcatel Cable and Japan's Fujitsu Submarine were awarded a US$128 million contract to supply and install an undersea fiber optic cable linking Thailand, Vietnam and Hongkong. The 2,108 mile TVH system will provide 7,560 basic circuits on two fiber optic pairs, with sufficient capacity to carry 80,000 simultaneous phone conversations. 20 international telecommunications carriers representing 12 participating countries include the Communications Authority of Thailand, Vietnam Post and Telecommunications, Hongkong Telecom International Ltd., US's MCI International and AT & T, Japan's International Telecom Japan and International Digital Communications, Inc., Australia's Telstra International and TeleGlobe Canada.

On March 23, France Telecom (France) signed a framework agreement with Vietnam Post and Telecommunications for a US$500 million project to develop Vietnam's telephone system. The project includes development of a cellular telephone network, providing technical assistance for Vietnam's data transmission system, and technical help in organizing and managing the national telephone network. France Telecom expects to sign a business cooperation contract by this summer.

On April 13, IBM signed an agreement with Vietnam according to which IBM will spent $2 million to help develop computer science institutes in Hanoi and HoChiMinh City for Vietnamese executives and managers. IBM will also establish a computer-based system for teaching English in Vietnam's schools. IBM has expanded its computer sales and servicing network in Vietnam from three to five firms, and is advising the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment on its plan to spend an estimated $500 million by the year 2000 to develop information technology in Vietnam.


Job Openings

Montclair Financial Technology, New York City/New Jersey

MFT is a management consulting and software product firm that specializes in trust and investment management automation. We are about to develop a state of the art financial workstation, using client/server technology of Windows, NT, Sybase SQL-Server combined with object-oriented software engineering techniques, for the trust and investment management industry. Please send us your resume via email, fax or hardcopy to: Montclair Financial Technology 22 Hudson Place, Suite 2R Hoboken, NJ 07030 Fax: 201.792.7749 email: tnguyen@panix.com

Rockwell Telecomunication at NewPort Beach, California

My group is looking for 2 firmware engineers, from 3 upto ~ years of experiences in Assembly & C language programming, exp. with Fax Engine, DSP, Modem operations are desirable. If interested, please send me a copy of your resume to Thuy.Nghiem@nb.rockwell.com

The Australian National University, Australia

There are two nontenured research (postdoc level and above) positions going at ANU in the new Telecommunications Engineering group in the new Research School of Information Sciences and Engineering. For more information, contact Hao Tu Nguyen at <hao@hpato.aus.hp.com>.

Walker Interactive Systems, San Francisco, CA

My company Walker Interactive Systems based in San Francisco has many openings: - Director of Distributed Architecture - Software Engineer - Programmer Analyst - Senior Programmer Analyst - Technical Analyst for Alpha/Beta Testing - Workstation Analyst - Client Infrastructure Developer/Workstation Tools - Communications Developer - Project Librarian - Programmer/Analyst (Tools) - Senior Support Analyst - Manager of Configuration Services - Unix Systems Analyst - Framework - Helpdesk Analyst - Technical Support Analyst - Customer Specialist If you or anybody interested, please let me know:

Xuan Nhut Tran Internet: xnt@walker.com
Phone: (415) 281-2374 Fax: (415) 957-1711


VACET Membership Form

1. Full Name (Last, First, Middle): 2. Home Address: 3. Employer Name: Address: 4. (Your) Work Title: 5. Number of Years of Work Experience: 6. Telephone Number(s) (W): (Fax): (H) (Optional): Can any member contact you ? 7. E-Mail Address(es): Can any member send you an e-mail? 8. Educational Background (e.g., EE, ME, AE, CS, Math, etc.): Degree(s) (BS, MS/MBA, Ph.D.): 9. What are your major areas of interests? (e.g., computer program- ming, simulation/modeling, electronics design, communications engineering, mechanical design, engineering research, etc. ): 10. Are you interested in getting information on the existing/emerging technologies of VN?: 11. Hobbies (e.g., writing technical papers, sport, music, travel, and community activities, etc.):



VACET Technical Library

by: Vuong Quoc Anh <tin-viet@pulse.com>

DIRECTORY STRUCTURE

Click here to view the directory structure.

THE PROCESS

1. Submitting Articles: Technical articles are to be submitted along with the AST completely filled out. Upon received the article and the AST, an ID will be assigned and the format will be verified and converted to common formats. The article is then placed in the Gallery directory and the AST will be transformed into either a record in a database or included in a HTML format file; this is done to accommodate the electronic search techniques in the future (WWW).

2. Assigned IDs

2.1 Book IDs (BIDs) The format is as follows: byyssssr, b = ASCII character '\b' yy = Year ssss = Sequence number, started from 0 at the Jan 1st of each year (In hope that VACET will never has more than 9999 books in a year !) r = Revision number in ASCII character, from a to z. If the revision is max out, a new BID will be assigned.

2.2 Article IDs (AIDs) The format is as follows: ayysssss a = ASCII character '\a' yy = Year ssss = Sequence number, started from 0 at the Jan 1st of each year (In hope that VACET will never has more than 9999 articles in a year !)

2.3 Project IDs (PIDs) The format is as follows: pyyssssr p = ASCII character '\p' yy = Year ssss = Sequence number, started from 0 at the Jan 1st of each year (In hope that VACET will never has more than 9999 projects in a year !) r = Release number in ASCII character, from a to z. If the release number is max out, a new PID will be assigned.

3. Accessibilities

3.1 Access Levels:Directories and files are setup to allow different access levels. There are three levels: General, Officer and Member. The Guidelines directory is at General level, which is publicly available to all users to read. The Incoming and Gallery directories are at Member level, which is only available to VACET members. The Records directory is only allowed at Officer level. Officer level can read/write to all directories.

3.2 Access Formats :All materials (files) are presented in more than one format, to accomodate variety common tools, which are used to retrieve, view and print the articles.

ARTICLE SUBMISSION TEMPLATE (AST)

Article Title: [Limit to 60 characters] Author(s): [One or more, full name] Address: [E-Mail address only, do not use postal address]

Abstract: [1-2 lines of texts, give a brief desc. of the article] Keywords: [A list of keywords that relate and explained in the article, which can be used for context search] Description: [5-20 lines of texts, give a better indepth of the article, ie. proposed techniques, how/why the the topic is discussed...]

Format: [Ascii text, Postscript, Word for Windows, HTML ...] File name: [Actual file name being upload, limit to 8.3 format]

Note: This template is to be completed for each file being upload, and named after the submitting article's base file name, the extension will be .ast , for example : - Article's file name: network.zip - Template file name: network.ast