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The newsletter of the SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza N. 17 - April 2007

SIEminar: "Using Python for Data Analysis", by Jorge A Pérez Prieto, Wednesday 18 April 12:30

The use of python as the day to day language of programmers and scientists has increased in the last years, meanly due its clear syntaxis and easy learning curve, in addition with its huge potential, with modules for virtually any tasks. Today python is everywhere, in system administration (Linux can't live without it), web programming (several NASA portals are built on python and it is one of the Google ´s main languages) and is also a big success as a scientific data analysis tool, competing with to well-stablished languages such as Matlab or IDL. In this SIEminar, Jorge will show us how easy is to use python to solve day to day problems.

Beoiac cluster retiring after 620817.62 hours worked in the last two years!

Our trusted Beoiac cluster has retired after nearly four years of hard toil. We only have usage statistics for the last two years (9 Mar 2005 to 24 Mar 2007), but in this time he has been 'crunching' numbers for a whopping 620817.62 hours (54.18% of the total possible hours: 1145856) -- see the detailed usage statistics at the SIE Forum. (Well, in truth, he is not retiring just yet, he is being merged with new machines to form the Chimera cluster, but don't let him know, he thinks he will be spending his retirement years in Mallorca...)

Bewildering problems with scripts and other files?

Recently, several users have got in touch with us concerning strange problems with IRAF, shell or supermongo scripts (and MOOG parameter files as well). Though these files may look perfectly OK, they give odd error messages when loaded or executed. We found out that the reason was the presence of extra hidden characters, such as "^M", at the end of each line, probably produced by copying or transferring the file across different platforms, like Windows and Linux, and ultimately due to different newline conventions (for a full explanation, read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newline). Such characters can be displayed with cat -v, and easily removed with the Linux command dos2unix.

New Google tools, and other IT developments

Google never ceases to surprise. After Google Mail and Google Docs and Spreadsheets, it has just launched two new, very interesting services: GMail Paper, and Google TiSP, a revolutionary, totally free in-home wireless broadband service. And, have you ever wondered why your computer is much slower now than when you bought it? The leakage of MHz from the CPU is to blame, according to the article in the Reg Hardware e-zine. Finally, Web developers will be happy to know that, after RubyOnRails, a new open-source web framework, called PythonOnPlanes, has been released.
SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza :: N. 17 - April 2007 - Contact: