User Manual

Michael Wales -
EEL 5874 - Expert Systems and Knowledge Engineering

Version History:
User Manual V1.0April 18, 2002Initial Document

Table of Contents

Installation Instructions:

This application will depend on the TCP/IP protocol being installed on the user's system. This can typically be checked on most systems by typing:


This command should work on Windows and Linux systems. If the command generates any error messages, the TCP/IP protocol is probably not installed.

This system will also depend on the JVM to be installed on the user's system. The system is tested and verified to run on the latest Java Virtual Machine (JVM) available, version 1.3. After the JVM is installed, the application's can be installed on the system for execution.

  1. Download and install the Java 2 V1.3 SDK. This can be found at Sun's Java Homepage or use the version on the CD. There are detailed installation instructions for the installation at Sun's Java homepage.
  2. Test the JVM by opening an MS-DOS command prompt and entering the following:


    Your output should look like the following:
  3. Install JESS. Jess can be downloaded from the JESS Homepage or can download the version I used here. It is recommended to download the newest version directly from the website, but I have included a copy of what I used for convenience.
  4. Test the JESS installation by going to the Jess/Jess60 directory, and typing the following in an MS-DOS command prompt:

    java -classpath jess.jar jess.Main

    The following is what the output should look like:

    Type (exit) to exit JESS.
  5. Extract the Computer Advice application files into the Jess/Jess60/ directory of JESS.
  6. Compile the Computer Advice Java application. To do this, open an MS-DOS Command Prompt. Navigate to the /Jess/Jess60 directory where the Computer Advice files were extracted. Compile by typing the following in an MS-DOS prompt:


    The computer should process for a while, and then the javac compiler will bring you back to the prompt. Installation is now complete.

Running the Application:

If the installation procedure from above is completed, the initial prototype should be ready to go. Open two MS-DOS command prompt windows, and navigate them both to the jess/jess60 path where the application files were installed. Then follow the step-by-step directions below:

  1. Start the Computer Advice Java front-end application first. Type in the following at one of the prompts:

    java ComputerAdvice

    The application will then start and wait for a connection from JESS.
  2. Next, start the JESS application and run the script file. In the second MS-DOS command prompt window, type in the following:

    java -classpath jess.jar jess.Main computer.clp

    You'll know if everything worked OK if you get something similar to this in the first MS-DOS prompt window.

Running the Web-server:

The web-server application only works stabile in Linux. This section will focus on how to get the ComputerAdvice web-server application running as a background process on a Linux machine.

  1. Make sure all the .class files are in a directory, along with computer.clp, HardwareList.txt, and jess.jar. Make sure the modified date for jess.jar isn't 30 days old if you are using the trial version of it.
  2. Use the su command to become the root user for the machine, you will have to know the root password for this.
  3. Type in the following at the shell:
    java -classpath jess.jar jess.Main computer.clp > CALog.txt &
    A process ID should pop up for the application. The CALog.txt will be a log file of what JESS normally outputs towards the command prompt screen.
  4. Type in the following at the shell:
    ps -el
    That command will list all of the process currently running on the machine, their should be serveral process's named "java".
  5. You are now free to close the shell. The application should run in the background until root issues a kill command on it.
  6. Now the web-server is ready to accept connections from the CAWebClient applet. Copy the .class files for the applet, into a directory with the Web Application HTML page. Open up the page in the browser, and the applet should connect to the ComputerAdvice web-server.

Using the application:

Now that the application is running, the user needs to answer the questions prompted to them. The user should answer y for yes, and n for no. The user will first be asked many questions about how they want to use there system. After many questions, JESS will start the hardware characterization. JESS will print out what hardware is critical to the applications that user specified.

After the hardware characterization, JESS asks the user how much they would like to spend on the new computer system. The user needs to enter an integer number, no decimals or dollar signs are necessary. JESS will then print out the system build sheet. It lists the component's upgrade level (0 is a basic component, 1 is a single upgrade, 2 is two upgrades, and so on), the price of the component, and then a short description of the component. After all the components are listed, the total estimated price of the system is listed.

To restart the application, you can refresh the browser if you are using the web client, or re-run JESS and ComputerAdvice if you are using the command prompt version of the application.